How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

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Espi
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How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Espi » Nov 01 2012 2:40 pm

I did a bit of a search and didn't come up with much.

Has anyone found a holster that works for backpacking? I normally leave mine at home but have been doing a bit more backpacking solo. I am in the market for something smaller than what I have and wondered what others use.

I have a leg holster but don't like the feeling of it around my leg. I usually just strap it to my compression straps on my pack but, I would prefer something kind of low key but easy to get at.

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chumley
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by chumley » Nov 01 2012 2:51 pm

Get a holster that clips to the strap of your pack. It's probably not very low key though.

Image

Another option is a chest-based attachment more commonly used for carrying cameras.
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kevinweitzel75
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by kevinweitzel75 » Nov 01 2012 3:01 pm

I carry a Glock 23 (mid size 40 cal.). I usually use a kydex (spelling?) belt hoster. it keeps my gun close to my side without any movement. I don't like my sidearm flopping all over the place like what tends to happen with a lot of other belt holsters.
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by paulshikleejr » Nov 01 2012 3:45 pm

I don't consider what I do with my gun to be ideal at all, but what I do is similar to what it sounds like Kevin does.

I have a Galco King Tuck IWB holster on my right hip towards the backside. In that position my backpack's waistbelt covers the gun when the waistbelt is in use.

That's not ideal because a "quick draw" isn't possible (I have to disengage the waistbelt). However, my gun is secure and concealed.
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Espi
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Espi » Nov 01 2012 3:55 pm

I have an osprey pack with no actual belt strap.

I have seen the chest holsters but thats a bit much. Plus the weight there doesn't seem like it would be cool.

I own a beretta .40 now but I am sick of the weight of it. I am looking at buying a .380 that is small and compact. Just wondering how others go about it.

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PLC92084
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by PLC92084 » Nov 01 2012 4:29 pm

I've had fairly decent luck with my Galco Miami Classic . I had to adjust it so it clears the straps on my pack; it hangs a bit lower than normal but stays put and doesn't get in my way (too much). A thigh holster is more comfortable (for me, anyway) but I can't use it (unless I'm in Arizona). I would LOVE it if some of the major backpack manufacturers would produce something to help with this.

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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Tough_Boots » Nov 01 2012 4:31 pm

I've tried a couple options and I've found that even though my pack might push down on it a little bit, I like my Blackhawk Serpa holster which was actually recommended to me by another HAZ member. It has a paddle lock on it so I'll never have to worry about it falling out (I've taken a couple hard falls with it to prove it :D ). They are made model specific so the fit is perfect. Also, its a pancake style holster which holds it steady and firm to your body. I don't want want it strapped to the pack's waist strap for this reason. I backpacked once with a holster system that was not so firmly held to me and my hips quickly got sore. Sometimes I wish I had something a bit more concealed. A lot of people rave about the Safepacker holster but it seems bulky and silly.
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PLC92084
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by PLC92084 » Nov 01 2012 4:38 pm

Tough_Boots wrote:A lot of people rave about the Safepacker holster but it seems bulky and silly
I agree!! Their website describes the product this way..."...Possibly the most usable gun case ever made" (Emphasis added by me, incidentally). It's rugged and useful but.. it doesn't afford quick access. If that's a concern, then something else is in order.

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Espi
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Espi » Nov 01 2012 4:54 pm

Tough_Boots wrote:I've tried a couple options and I've found that even though my pack might push down on it a little bit, I like my Blackhawk Serpa holster which was actually recommended to me by another HAZ member. It has a paddle lock on it so I'll never have to worry about it falling out (I've taken a couple hard falls with it to prove it :D ). They are made model specific so the fit is perfect. Also, its a pancake style holster which holds it steady and firm to your body. I don't want want it strapped to the pack's waist strap for this reason. I backpacked once with a holster system that was not so firmly held to me and my hips quickly got sore. Sometimes I wish I had something a bit more concealed. A lot of people rave about the Safepacker holster but it seems bulky and silly.
Is that a leg mounted holster?

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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Tough_Boots » Nov 01 2012 4:59 pm

"there is no love where there is no bramble."
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Espi
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Espi » Nov 01 2012 5:01 pm

PLC92084 wrote:I've had fairly decent luck with my Galco Miami Classic . I had to adjust it so it clears the straps on my pack; it hangs a bit lower than normal but stays put and doesn't get in my way (too much). A thigh holster is more comfortable (for me, anyway) but I can't use it (unless I'm in Arizona). I would LOVE it if some of the major backpack manufacturers would produce something to help with this.
I agree. Is the one you use go over the shoulder? I thought this would be best. I was worried about straps under my backpack straps though. I still always carry a bit of weight there. I have a long torso.

Something that didn't hang over the shoulder and sat about mid way though the chest would be perfect.


I don't need some quick draw get up. I would just like something secure, that I can get at if I needed to, without having to take my pack off and knowing that some dont like guns.. Not so much out in the open.

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Espi
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Espi » Nov 01 2012 5:03 pm

straight to your belt and your pack sits on top then?

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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Tough_Boots » Nov 01 2012 5:27 pm

yup... the pancake part holds it pretty firm inside your waisteband against your body. and there's a spot for your belt to slip through. As long as your pack fits well, it doesn't push down too bad. I like it and I know there's at least a couple other HAZer's that use it.
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allanalxndr
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by allanalxndr » Nov 01 2012 5:51 pm

There is no issue with the safepacker and the firearms availability or accessibility. It keeps the firearm secured, protected and out of the way. Will work with most packs and can adjust based on the thickness of any hip belt.

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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by beterarcher » Nov 02 2012 6:20 am

This is Arizona, it shouldn't matter what other people think of your choice to protect yourself and those you care about. If you've got it, flaunt it. It just might keep a bad guy from even thinking about doing anything to you or yours. I sometimes wear my pistol on my chest in an Uncle Mikes holster that came from a shoulder rig. I removed the straps and put the buckles of the holster through the D rings on my bladder pack shoulder straps. It hangs right in the center of my chest. very secure and readily accessible. Other times that I don't wear a pack with a waist belt I just use my Kydex high riding belt holster

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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by CannondaleKid » Nov 02 2012 7:14 am

I have enough trouble getting comfortable with my hiking pack I'm glad I don't need to worry about hanging another item on myself. I'm by far more afraid of things like falling off a cliff than being shot or attacked by a wild animal.
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sidhayes
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by sidhayes » Nov 02 2012 7:21 am

For years have had so much hassle from gents, pumas, and snakes, I carry it in my right hand, cocked and ready to fire. I fell over rock once, gun went off, but everything ok.

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Thoreau
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by Thoreau » Nov 02 2012 7:38 am

I've gone through quite a few holster choices over the years, in no small part due to hiking comfort (or lack thereof.)

The Serpa was my #1 go to for a long time, in paddle format, and it worked great. Comfortable, extremely secure, durable, etc.

Then I discovered the joys of backpacks with waist straps. Soooo, on to a Blackhawk Serpa in a drop-leg rig I went. That worked better for times when I was using a waist strap, although due to the thick belt I use (Wilderness Instructor belt) I found that having the weight of the gun pulling down on my right side, combined with the waist strap compressing the belt into my flab, it would actually start to get really uncomfortable over anything but short trips (which ya generally don't do when you're carrying a full size pack and using a waist strap...) The Blackhawk Serpa + drop leg combo also kinda sticks out a good bit, and gets even worse if you use the quick-detachment plates which I do.

Then I got lazy and got back more into day hiking vs. backpacking, so paddle holsters became an option again. Since then i discovered Safariland and can't say enough about the quality, fit and finish of their holsters. I'm particularly fond of the Safariland ALS thumb-style retention release. It also covers more of the gun and protects its finish than the Serpas do. http://www.safariland.com/DutyGear/prod ... x?pid=6378

That then morphed back into the ability to wear it with a waist strap backpack, and being a Safariland convert, I had to see what they offered. They do have standard drop-leg platforms, but not being a huge fan of those, I kept digging and found this gem.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1SUWtQ-SXvk/S ... rs+003.JPG

It's basically a high-riding drop leg platform (using their 'drop flex adapter') that keeps the whole rig up high and close to the body. That eliminated the other issue of the gun being lower and causing a little more fatigue from swinging back and forth with every step, but it also helps with keeping it from getting banged around on rocks a good bit. It doesn't really eliminate the 'pressing into the flab' issue too much, but I'm slowly learning that that really isn't avoidable with such setups. All the Safariland stuff is modular, so you could take the holster itself from the first link off of the paddle, mount it to the drop flex/leg adapter, or get mounts for vehicles, molle webbing, etc.

I also did the Safariland Safepacker thing for a very short stint. It actually can be a pretty quick draw if you mount it to the waist belt of your pack, but it can also flop around a little too much for my taste, especially with heavier sidearms. I refuse, however, to have a gun mounted to anything but myself. Having it attached to a pack strap would mean never being able to set the pack down without undoing the velcro connection every time to take the setup with ya. The Safepacker is fantastic for in-hand carry though, or throwing it in a pack (although that kinda negates even having it.)

As for being covert, I agree with beterarcher. I couldn't care less what other people think. That's their problem. Sure made for some interesting conversations on past backpacking trips in the Grand Canyon though =)

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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by SAMBA » Nov 02 2012 7:55 am

Backpackin' Heat??? WHY??? I've mountain biked, hiked, and backpacked a fair amount over the last twenty years, and I NEVER had a reason to "draw down" on anything or anyone. To re-iterate - WHY do you pack heat? Oh yeah, Is there a one of yooz guys who's alive today, because they ventured into the Arizona wilds with "heat" on your hip?

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chumley
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Re: How do you carry your handgun while backpacking?

Post by chumley » Nov 02 2012 8:13 am

SAMBA wrote:Backpackin' Heat??? WHY???
That question belongs in another thread. See viewtopic.php?t=471 or viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1097

This thread addresses HOW to carry for those who choose to.
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