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Thread: concealed carry while backpacking

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    concealed carry while backpacking

    Now that we can concealed carry in the National Parks, etc., a problem arises when backpacking. I use iwb Crossbreed holsters when in street clothes, but an iwb holster will be a problem with the belly belt on a pack. I can carry the pistol inside the pack, but obviously the only time I can use it would be at camp for the night (that's the way I've been carrying, before it was legal). Has anyone solved this problem yet?

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    I'd think any on body CC would be uncomfortable while backpacking, if you could figure out a way.

    Attach a gun pouch or case to your pack belt, something that doesn't look like a holster, fanny pack type thing but attached to your pack belt. Or just OC.
    Last edited by VAopencarry; 07-20-2010 at 12:29 PM.
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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAopencarry View Post
    I'd think any on body CC would be uncomfortable while backpacking, if you could figure out a way.

    Attach a gun pouch or case to your pack belt, something that doesn't look like a holster, fanny pack type thing but attached to your pack belt. Or just OC.
    opencarry.org ???

    IWB does not necessarily mean CC. Of course since you *are* trying to CC, you should probably just give up unless you want to carry a pocket gun of some sort.

    I've hiked up a nearby mountain with a 15lb (school type) backpack and a OWB holster but it wasn't terribly comfortable. Manageable, but there is room for improvement. I definitely would not want to spend a week on the trail in that configuration. I own a $10 drop leg holster which is comfortable... I just can't bring myself to wear it.
    Last edited by t33j; 07-20-2010 at 01:09 PM.
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    I use one of these when I'm backpacking:

    http://www.blackhawk.com/product/Lev...,1172,1412.htm

    Admittedly, there is no good way to conceal with this holster as it moves the pistol down and away from your body allowing you to properly utilize your waist straps. A good side benefit to this is the utility belt the holster attaches to adds an additional load bearing apparatus to the pack (in my application at least). If you can legally open carry, this would be the holster I would personally recommend and tell you to throw in a set of belt keepers and 2" nylon duty belt. I can get some pictures later tonight if you wish to see it in action.

    If you must conceal per state law, I would suggest going the fanny pack route. A shoulder holster is near impossible to work with the shoulder straps of the pack and as you said (plus my own personal experience), any other waist holster outside of something similar to the above is going to render your waist straps useless. Depending on what you're carrying, pocket carry might be an option but something tells me you're carrying something bigger than a mouse-gun if you're backpacking.
    Last edited by onlurker; 07-20-2010 at 01:07 PM.

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    You don't need to conceal in a National Park. To my knowledge you can carry openly like anywhere else since they lifted the ban. If I am wrong, please correct me... I have a week on Wonderland scheduled next month (edit: this is in WA... your state may be different... I always seem to forget when I'm not in the WA forum).

    I hike everywhere with my .45 in a Blackhawk thigh rig with the Serpa. It hangs on a 3-inch nylon belt which rides low enough not to interfere with the hip belt on my pack. Plus it is comfortable enough that I don't have to carry an extra holster or anything while I'm not packing... just around camp and day hiking.

    (edit) I have not looked for concealment with a backpack, and it's not easy to find something!! CC holsters all sit right where your shoulder straps or hip belt will be... with 50lbs pressing on it if you pack like I do. Maybe a cross draw under your shirt..?
    Last edited by daddy4count; 07-20-2010 at 02:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daddy4count View Post
    You don't need to conceal in a National Park. To my knowledge you can carry openly like anywhere else since they lifted the ban. If I am wrong, please correct me...
    It was my understanding that the national parks gun ban was lifted allowing states to regulate weapon carry under state law instead of federal law. This would mean that some states that allow open carry allows open carry in the parks alongside conceal carry if applicable, and then there's Maryland.

    Here are a couple of news articles to get you going:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fed...n_ends_on.html

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...50/detail.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28072607/

    Under a rule to take effect in January, visitors will be able to carry a loaded gun into a park or wildlife refuge — but only if the person has a permit for a concealed weapon and if the state where the park or refuge is located also allows concealed firearms.
    Last edited by onlurker; 07-20-2010 at 02:16 PM.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onlurker View Post
    It was my understanding that the national parks gun ban was lifted allowing states to regulate weapon carry under state law instead of federal law.
    That's correct. For example, Texas would be CC only assuming there's no exception for parks.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAopencarry View Post
    I'd think any on body CC would be uncomfortable while backpacking, if you could figure out a way.

    Attach a gun pouch or case to your pack belt, something that doesn't look like a holster, fanny pack type thing but attached to your pack belt. Or just OC.
    A fanny pack instant zip open system would indeed be a good bet. These can be worn normally with a frame back pack if tucked below or above the lower cross strap, and as I believe you were getting at even mounted to the backpack cross straps or shoulder straps if you want to get clever. If I was in the woods in a place where concealed carry was legal, and my only option, this is what I'd do. But of course I'd OC if legal because of the faster draw time, and the fact that when you need a gun for 4 legged attackers, split seconds count.
    Last edited by Michigander; 07-21-2010 at 12:47 PM.

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    Regular Member sirtirithon's Avatar
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    My solution to this problem was to use an old belt and strap the holster (owb style holster with retention strap) to the pack frame in the gap between your body and the pack frame. I had the grip facing to my right so I could reach behind my right side and draw the weapon out quickly. This worked really well for concealing the gun and comfortably carrying it plus it was quick to get to after a few practice draws to train yourself where the gun sits behind your back. Only downside is the weapon is not on your person when you stop for breaks but I just kept my pack by my side at all times.

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