How do you carry when backpacking?


waddy

New member
Although it is perfectly legal to open carry in Colorado, I dislike backpacking with a visible handgun as just the sight of a gun sends the bedwetters into a frenzy. I simply don't wish to end up in that type of discussion. My newest "solution" is one of the Ribz packs. It is actually not too bad a way to pack, as it keeps my pistol right in front of my chest where it is very handy yet does not intefere with anything else. The downside is the zipper and opening are both a little small, making for a somewhat slow and cumbersome draw. Has anyone come up with a better solution?
 

ncpatriot

New member
How about a pocket holster in left or right front pocket? Is your weapon small enough for this? In cooler weather, you could wear a vest with a crossdraw holster against the abdomen. I carry pocket in hot weather & crossdraw in cool weather.
 

rokurota

New member
Support side pocket or "utility pouch."

I've used pocket carry for quite some time, but I just scored a utility pouch (fine, a "man purse") at the gun show yesterday — big enough for my G19 or a .357 Ruger SP101 with a 3" barrel. You can sling it under your pack straps and have it on your support side (front) and it won't move around.

The other option is the outer pocket of the pack. When my wife and I hike together, we usually go this route. Not the quickest draw on the planet, but enough for security in the backwoods.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
When hiking/backpacking I carry on my thigh to keep the weapon below any gear. If you think a human can be fast and sneaky...just wait till you meet a mountain lion. I try to carry a bigger caliber in the wild.
 

M1911a1lvr

New member
When i go back packing, I carry my Ruger SP101 .357 3" bbl in an OWB thumb break holster. I couldn't careless what some green weenie, dirt loving, tree hugging anti-gun liberal thinks. I don't judge them for there belief's. So when i exercise my right's i hope they won't judge me. That is a pipe dream i know but my safety in the green mountains or the Appalachian trial of VT and NH is more important.
 

ChrisHunter

New member
The safepacker. It was first designed for search and rescue persons and it is not scary.(I'm an sp101 owner that hikes)
 

waddy

New member
Thanks for all the great replies. Like most carry questions, the answer is always; "it depends..". I don't have a problem when on a simple day type hike. I'm refering to a full blown backpack loaded with 3 - 5 days worth of stuff These packs have very wide and thickly padded hip belts which pretty much makes adding any type of waist or belt pouch improbable. The belts are large enough that they even get in the way of an open carry belt holster, and they are too thick and wide to put an ordinary holster on the belt itself. In addition, the padded waist belt is not stiff enough to handle a pistol hanging on it. I have thought about thigh carry, but generally don't like carrying my hand gun that way. Nothing against it, just not for me. As far as pocket carry, I generally carry a large caliber, and the size does not lend itself to that type carry. I'm definitely not trying to be a pain in the *****, or a prima donna, just looking for some fresh ideas. Thanks again for all the thoughtful replies. By the way, I do open carry a lot when out of town.
 

localgirl

New member
Thigh holster. Not too concerned about humans, mostly want to stop a grizzly bear from chewing on my extremities. I don't pay much mind to what the locals think. You can even be a tree-hugging, granola-eating, peacenik flower child in North Idaho, but if you're gun squeamish, you're in the wrong state.
 

Raider-3

New member
waddy:228938 said:
Although it is perfectly legal to open carry in Colorado, I dislike backpacking with a visible handgun as just the sight of a gun sends the bedwetters into a frenzy. I simply don't wish to end up in that type of discussion. My newest "solution" is one of the Ribz packs. It is actually not too bad a way to pack, as it keeps my pistol right in front of my chest where it is very handy yet does not intefere with anything else. The downside is the zipper and opening are both a little small, making for a somewhat slow and cumbersome draw. Has anyone come up with a better solution?

I live in colorado and I open carry a lot in the mountains. Most people don't care. I've run into boulder hippies that want to challange me, ask me why I need a gun. I just tell them to protect myself from nutty hikers. That usually runs them off.
 

golddigger14s

SFC At Fort Lewis, WA
I OC in the city with nobody crying. So if I go backpacking/camping it will be OC. I know I will be targeted first by BG. (sarcasm off) ******* the liberals! They can call MWAG on me all day long. I have a Kel-Tec PF9 that has a belt clip that can slide right onto my hip belt adjuster.
 

doug865

New member
I backpack a lot. I have a ULA pack with 6*6*2 inch pockets on the hipbelt. I carry a Glock 26 in the right pocket and a 15 round spare mag in the other. I carry concealed because I don't want any potential bad guys to know what I have. It is legal to open carry here in the Smokies but the liberals do call the Park Service and report."man with a gun."
 

golddigger14s

SFC At Fort Lewis, WA
I backpack a lot. I have a ULA pack with 6*6*2 inch pockets on the hipbelt. I carry a Glock 26 in the right pocket and a 15 round spare mag in the other. I carry concealed because I don't want any potential bad guys to know what I have. It is legal to open carry here in the Smokies but the liberals do call the Park Service and report."man with a gun."
All the more reason to OC.
 

waddy

New member
Thigh holster. Not too concerned about humans, mostly want to stop a grizzly bear from chewing on my extremities. I don't pay much mind to what the locals think. You can even be a tree-hugging, granola-eating, peacenik flower child in North Idaho, but if you're gun squeamish, you're in the wrong state.

I'm beginning to think I need to give the thigh holster another look. That puts the gun down out of the way of all the B.S. and paraphanelia hanging on and around my pack. In your experience (or anyone elses for that matter), does the gun tend to hang up in brush when it is down on your thigh? I would also appreciate any recommendations for a "perfect" thigh holster. One last thought, as far as the "locals" and what they think, where I mostly hike, I AM the local:laugh:

Thanks again for all the thoughts and suggestions, this has turned into an interesting thread.
 
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Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
I have had both the thigh and hip holsters get caught on a bush...it happens if you are walking through dense forestry. No avoiding that unless you avoid bushes all together.

I find blackhawk and Safariland thing holsters to work the best for me. Hard plastic platform that forms to the leg. They distribute the weight better, and don't ride up as much. They are a bit more expensive. All the nylon thigh holsters I've tried did not work.
 

localgirl

New member
I'm not sure what brand mine is. Whatever they had in stock at the local Army Surplus. It's nylon, but has the belt loop, plus a pretty wide lower strap, so I can snug it in, so I haven't experienced too much snagging. I'm also carrying a .380, and depending on my hiking partner, carrying something much larger, to provide backup!
 

M1911a1lvr

New member
Well another way you could carry, Is chest carry. The holster rides up across your chest, That way it stay's relatively out of the way. Now i'm not sure what you are carrying for a side arm, But maybe you can find a BIANCHI chest adapter for the UM84/M12 holster system. It is ment for most large semi's, But really designed for the 92FS. I have one, and have been able to carry my 1911's, SIG P229 and the 92 FS with no problems, and it didn't interfere with my pack straps or chest strap. YMMV with your pack.
 

TekGreg

New member
I have a High Sierra pouch that holds two 1 litre water bottles, is rust and silver in color and doesn't give the tree huggers any idea that it can hold a full-size auto and four extra magazines. True you have to unzip to draw, but I figure a worst case scenario will be that I will be drawing the gun when I am asked for my wallet and am supposed to be pulling something out. :wacko:
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
Well another way you could carry, Is chest carry. The holster rides up across your chest, That way it stay's relatively out of the way. Now i'm not sure what you are carrying for a side arm, But maybe you can find a BIANCHI chest adapter for the UM84/M12 holster system. It is ment for most large semi's, But really designed for the 92FS. I have one, and have been able to carry my 1911's, SIG P229 and the 92 FS with no problems, and it didn't interfere with my pack straps or chest strap. YMMV with your pack.

Chest rig's are nice too. I will agree with that. The only problem I have had with chest rigs is when I am backpacking and not hiking. When I backpack I have other straps across my chest to help with the weight of the pack. If you are going on a day hike, and have a light backpack on, and an open chest, then chest carry would be awesome too.

Edit: I do not have a molle system on the front chest part of my pack. I would think if your pack was set up more like a military set up, with a full molle system front (attached to your pack or if you wear some kind of vest under the pack), you could put a chest rig really easily on that. But then, if you take your pack off, your defense is taken off too. There is always a way to get it to work, I can see chest carry working really well. I have all ready invested in thigh carry, and that is what I have chosen for now :)

I have a High Sierra pouch that holds two 1 litre water bottles, is rust and silver in color and doesn't give the tree huggers any idea that it can hold a full-size auto and four extra magazines. True you have to unzip to draw, but I figure a worst case scenario will be that I will be drawing the gun when I am asked for my wallet and am supposed to be pulling something out. :wacko:

I don't know where you live or where you hike, so don't take this offensively, but that is not close to the worst case scenario out in the woods. Humans are fast...animals are faster. Worse case scenario is your dead before you know it...close second is the cat is biting your reactive arm by the time you can draw your firearm.
 

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