On Bud's Gun Shop Forums the question came up: What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself? Here was his response:
My personal favorite defense gun has always been a Beretta Jetfire in 22 short.
Over all the years I've been hiking I never leave without it in my pocket.
Of course we all know too the first rule when hiking in the wilderness is to use the "Buddy System."
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this it means you NEVER hike alone, you bring a friend
or companion, even an in-law. That way if something happens there is someone to go get help.
I remember one time hiking with my brother-in-law in northern Alberta.
Out of nowhere came this huge brown bear and man was she ever mad.
We must have been near one of her cubs.
Anyway, if I had not had my little Jetfire I'd sure not be here today.
Just one shot to my brother-in-law's knee cap and I was able to escape by just walking at a brisk pace.
That's one of the best pistols in my safe today!
Hmmm, a little humor.
Along that same line, as a scuba diver I've heard the old joke many times that when diving in shark-infested waters you don't need to be able to swim faster than the sharks — you only need to be able to swim faster than your dive buddy.
Of course, surviving in bear country or sharky waters involves "real" techniques that we can discuss another day. For now, just enjoy the joke.