J-1, I appreciated your tale of your nights in the woods, and the fact that you confronted your fear (which is, in fact, a natural fear most humans have - being alone in the wilderness). I didn't think your measures for defence were at all "paranoid," and was shocked to see such a reaction to that by some people. A lot of folks just really arn't aware of the more primal dangers present in the wilderness. If only we lived in a world where bears and mountain lions were the worst predators in the woods. I lived for a while in a mountainous country with many pot farmers. They would often plant their crops deep into National Forests and WIlderness, where old logging roads were the only way in and out. I have come across plantations in various states of security, mostly as a teenager tramping around in the woods, not aware of the true danger. I have been ushered away by gunpoint, and threatened with violence in one instance. Those experiences gave me a gift for talking myself out of bad situations... but this only helps in certain situations.
There are the pot farmers who grow their crops in their backyard and who may be seen sitting in a lawnchair all night with a rifle across their lap - and then there are the true, hardened criminals who go out in the wilderness and hire goons with full-auto weapons at their disposal, setting insidious traps to warn off intruders. These are some of the reasons why going out into the wilderness in this part of the world is not a good idea unless prepared. I don't own any weapons (yet) but then again, I only go camping at capgrounds and hiking on well-worn trails in State Parks and such. I don't do much in the back country National Forests anymore like I used to when I was a kid.