Some people are more serious than others when it comes to hiking. There are people who carry a snakebite kit and a doohickey that makes creek water potable and a, you know, sundial or whatever to know what time it is down at some Mayan temple in Eastern Mexiwhathaveyou. I hike light. Sometimes I don't even carry water because the thirstier I am, the more appealing the impending post-hike visit to the Sonic for a cherry limeade becomes.
Once when I was hiking alone in the South Grove at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, I was eating a roast beef sandwich while walking along admiring all of the nature. When suddenly! There was a black bear coming down the wooded slope off to my right! I totally panicked, mainly because I was also listening to Petula Clark sing "Downtown" on my iPod and it was at the part I really like and I really wanted to hear it. I couldn't quite remember what I was supposed to do if I ran into a bear. Punch it in the nose? No, that was a shark, and running into a shark on the western slope of the Sierras seemed unlikely at best. Drop and roll? No, the woods were not on fire. Oh, what was it? Think, think, think! So I just froze in mid-step and let the bear amble down and kind of around me to the creek, though I did get the rest of that roast beef sandwich stuffed into my mouth as quickly as possible. I finished my hike and when I got back to the car, I checked the hiking guidebook to see what it said about bear encounters. "Try to make yourself as tall and loud as possible so the bear thinks you're bigger than he is." It also discouraged - in so many words - the eating of roast beef sandwiches and the use of iPods on the trail. Which is advice you can take or leave; I'm no expert.