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As I sit here and wait for spring to come. I feel as if I'm going nuts. So I plan to head to the mountains this spring . I have a few questions from people with experience. Is there a way to charge a batterie in the bush or should I bring 4 batteries. This will be my first time out in a remote area by my self which brings an eerie feeling of what if something happens. Bears are prolly my number one issue I keep thinking what if I'm detecting with head phones on than than all of a sudden I'm attacked I 'll have the 44 on me but man maybe I should take a partner. We will see what happens. I'm bringing creviceing tools ,whites gmt,minelab gpx 5000. This place is a wildlife refuge I have permission to detect but no gasoline equipment is is an old claim prior to ww2 has not been worked since before Alaska became a state. The last usgs on the area was .15 oz per square foot on the east bank alluvia deposit. I need all your tips please???

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When I went to Moore Creek many of the guys had handguns or shotguns....I didn't bother because I figured apick would work as well and it would be in hand. I think a partner would be helpful...however, if you are really paying attention to the detector I doubt you would notice or know that big Griz was about to attack...

Take a solar charger for your 5000 or the spares you mentioned...maybe 12 hours on the stock Minelab battery...maybe 8 on other types...

Don't take smelly sardines for lunch...


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Hey Sourdough,

    Many have used small solar panels that can fit into backpacks, while other options are 12v cables to plug onto your battery.  

What is nice on the GPX 5000 is "Doc's Lightweight Goldscreamer Power Pack system, as the batteries are very lightweight and last 5-7 hours each.  You can pack 4-5 of these batteries vs. the stock Minelab battery.  You can also get this system with the Slimline external speaker and eliminate headphones.  The noise helps keep things notified your in the area, rather than spooking a bear or another animal.  

When it comes to guns, I used to carry a S&W Lightweight 44 Mag.  This gun was super lightweight and packed a punch.  They don't recommend using high powered .44 Mag rounds in it, but I did anyways and figured if it destroyed the barrel to protect myself it was all worth it.   I'm not sure 6 round of a .44 Mag will stop a charging bear .... some say it will when placed right, others say it won't.  

Other guys carried 12 gauge shotguns with slings over their shoulders, but this was difficult to carry if you're detecting, have a packpack and then trying to tote around a shotgun. 

A friend of my many years ago when the 50 Cal Desert Eagle came out bought one for Alaska.  He carried it for about 1/2 day and then said, "Hell with this heavy ass bastard!!"   ..... LOL  He said it was so big and heavy, he couldn't carry it on his hip all day trying to detect.  

I think the best method is to pack if you can, but be alert and make sure you don't get between the bear and cubs.  


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  • 2 weeks later...

Heavy and slow ... relatively ... .44 mag hollow points with an initial shot to the head will make Mr. Griz studder-step ... or so I have heard. In most cases that is momentary and forward he comes again! Shoulder shots frontal or side are useless for lack of penetration of its heavy bone structure. I'm guessing a shot to the throat ... a very small target on a fast moving object ... might stop one if it took out the spine ... but can you shoot a moving target ... in excess of 30 mph or 44 feet per second coming straight at you with the intention to take you out and your reaction coming from fear of dying!? That is the question! I don't think you have much chance of drawing and firing a perfect shot if the bear is within 50 feet of you and on a full speed charge! 

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