Protecting Yourself in Camp
It's easy to imagine that all campers are kindred spirits in that they are all in pursuit of the same goal in a large sense, and that is to peacefully enjoy the outdoors and commune with nature in their own way. Most folks that camp are pretty sociable when you get down to it - considerate of others, helpful and friendly. Good camp neighbors only serve to help the overall outdoor experience, and most communications are respectful and end on a positive note.
On the other hand there is always a threat of interaction with those that wish to inflict harm, albeit through theft, vandalism or violence. The more remote the camp site the more serious this consideration should be when camping, and as such preparations must be made to fend for yourself when assistance may be miles away.
It's a simple answer to just say a camper should take a firearm with them and this is a good solution for self protection, but there are a number of considerations to take into account. First, not everyone owns a firearm and many that do could never use it against another human being regardless of the circumstance. Next, many families camp with a number of children running about, and guns and children are a bad combination at any time. To top these issues off there are many camping areas that disallow firearms of any type.
So what's the solution?
Start with ensuring that multiple members of your camping party possess cell phones to request help in an emergency. Secondly, a camping party that has a number of healthy men in it are a good deterrent to those seeking a physical altercation. Third, a dog may be man's best friend at home but is invaluable in camp, letting everyone know when something or someone is about that does not belong not to mention their aggressive and often violent reaction when family is threatened .Fourth, a trip line discretely set at night around your camp using fishing line and a few soda cans with some pebbles inside can give advance warning of imminent danger.
As far as legal self defense weapons go there are two very good ones - a canister of bear spray capable of spraying a stream over 30 feet, and at least 5 or 6 sturdy walking sticks placed strategically about the camp site. While these may be no match for an intruder with a gun they may offer a chance to escape harm, and a criminal without a firearm will suddenly find themselves in bad situation.