Hiking staff if for whatever reason a stick that goes boom isn't practical; and a good dirk for backup. And hike with a friend who's slower than you are.
Originally Posted by Canuck of NI
We certainly have cougars here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and sightings are on the rise in more urbanised areas. I haven't managed to see one yet; but once on a hike in the Marin Headlands just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco I spent about half an hour watching a bobcat that was so big that when I first glimpsed it I thought it was a young cougar. He was sunning and grooming himself, doing unmentionable and no doubt pleasurable things with his tongue.
"It's so dark that I can see stars that I've never seen and it's so beautiful. People of Sendai, look up!"