Any ideas on how to carry a Colt Trooper while backpacking?


August 8, 2006, 04:40 PM
I need a little help. I'm doing some backpacking in black bear country this fall. I already have my sidearm, what I am looking for now is a method of carry that would keep it readily available, yet offer the potential for concealment. I need the potential for concealment because I will be walking into a town or two every now and then, and as far as I am concerned our state has still not clarified the CCW issue in state parks (which I will also pass through), so it would be nice to be able to cover it up every now and then.

A shoulder holster might work, but I am going to be carrying an internal frame pack with plenty of gear. Is there perhaps some way I could strap it to my chest, and cover it with a buttoned shirt when necessary?

I am looking at the Cabelas web-page right now, and most of what they have appears to be either for autos or massive scoped dino-blasters.

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August 8, 2006, 04:44 PM
do these do anything for you ?

How long is your Trooper

August 8, 2006, 04:56 PM
I made my own chest holster. I learned how to do leatherwork when very young, so a lot of my holsters are hand made. I basically cut an "X" out of leather, with 2-1/2" wide arms. Cut belt slots in all four arms, cut another strip that I then glue and stitch to the top right and bottom left of the "X" to create a tilted Yaqui-style holster strip. I then bought 3 long belt blanks to make suspender style straps. The front two straps cross over through the holster on my chest over my shoulders and link to a saddle ring in the back, that connects to a single strap in the back. So there is an "X" on my front and a "Y" on my back.

Over a t-shirt, it is a very comfortable rig. To conceal you just throw on a long sleeve shirt and button it up.

My description isn't very illustrative, I'll try to find time to take a picture.

August 8, 2006, 04:59 PM
i gotta ahold of a bianchi x-15 off ebay that didn't have a harness. I sewed buckles into my back pack strap and the pack body on the left side and the mating buckles onto the holster. Works great.

August 8, 2006, 05:14 PM
It's a four inch.

I like that "Guide" holster, but the others would interfere with the pack straps.

August 8, 2006, 05:27 PM
Get your gear ready, then find someone to make you something for your special needs. :)

August 8, 2006, 05:42 PM
One thing to consider is downsizing the revolver. Look at current 2 inch barrel S&W or Taurus offerings. Same caliber (or even larger), much smaller frame. If bears are your concern, its gonna be close in work anyway with a handgun. Might as well go as small as possible.

August 8, 2006, 06:20 PM
You might check out the Galco Phoenix precision holster and write up at this site ( The Trooper is a rather large .357 which might come in handy and, as you already indicated, discretion might be the better part of valor.

Even in federal parks, a person has a right to self defense. How one goes about it is up to him.

August 8, 2006, 07:16 PM
I have a Galco Pheonix for both my GP100 and 629. I position the cross-draw so that it doesn't interfere with my pack while in the woods and while in town I can wear it as a OWB on the hip.

August 8, 2006, 07:21 PM
The Wilderness makes the definitive backcountry concealment holster.

Black Knight
August 8, 2006, 07:33 PM
I don't know if it is made but back in WWII there were some holsters that sound like they would work. The styles I'm thinking of were worn by tankers and pilots. You might find one that fits a revolver that might work. You might get someone to make a tanker or pilot style for the Trooper.

August 9, 2006, 12:46 AM
I use a fanny pack, albeit to conceal a smaller revolver. No one has ever guessed that I was carrying, because I use the front pouch to hold a Powerbar and map. I know many backpackers who don't carry use a fanny pack to carry essentials that they want to access without having to remove their pack.

August 9, 2006, 08:19 AM
I have both a fanny pack and a shoulder holster...I'd recommend whatever is most comfortable to you. The fanny pack can also carry a few speedloaders of extra ammo.


August 9, 2006, 11:09 AM
Okay, before you split a gut laughing, I used to work with some FBI agents who had to work in t-shirts and running shorts. They often carried one of those "man purse" deals that some dudes attired similarly wear around their waists to hold junk like wallet, camera (it was in a touristy place) and all that crap. Most of 'em being right handed, they wore it for crossdraw on the forward left hip. I didn't bother to ask who made them, but these guys mostly had a small velcro 'break' front pocket, so they could get to their rig quickly. That might work on your pack either on your belt or on your offside shoulder harness of your pack.

I crossdraw anyway when I have a choice. Hmmmm, maybe I should get one.
It doesn't look cool in some garb, true, but betcha you could get something at Cabela's or even a camera store that would be handy. Last time I looked at people who sell a lot of camping gear like they had stuff like that. You could get something that would look pretty natural with the kind of gear you're looking at. If it has a water bottle holder or film canister loops on it, nobody will notice.:D

August 9, 2006, 11:28 AM
Adding file canister loops or such to my fanny pack has been recommended to me and I think it is a good idea. However if you are among a group of friends unware of your carry status, be prepared with an answer for: "can I borrow your camera?" or "can you take a pic of this/us?".

August 9, 2006, 12:06 PM
I went looking for tanker holsters and found this...

I think it might fit the bill. It can hold energy bars and maps as well, so it looks rather innocent, maybe.

August 9, 2006, 10:55 PM
Okay, I never use film can loops anyway. Find a rig that has a cell phone holder and a bottled water pouch. You get the idea. Start with this thing in mind: "many times, things are not what they appear to be. Learn to hide in plain sight." :scrutiny: Get something that has an REI logo or something. Disney. GreeenPeace. Even Sponge Bob will do - just something that doesn't say S&W or give you away that way. And don't keep your hand on it at all times. Just don't put a bunch of junk OVER it. If it looks "Yuppie", you're good to go.

August 9, 2006, 11:55 PM
Link to a recent thread, review of the Wilderness Tactical Safekeeper "unholster"

August 10, 2006, 04:30 AM
When I was backpacking in Kentucky (years ago, before there was legal CCW), I'd drop a 2" .38 in on one of the side pockets of the backpack, or a fanny-pack (for day-carry) set to my front. Both worked well. Fortunately, I never had to use it and never got into trouble for carrying it, but just in case, it was there.

August 11, 2006, 01:55 AM
The kids and me are avid backpackers. I have been hauling a gun (629 6") for about 15 years. I used to carry it in a side nylon holster that I would conceal with a large shirt. It sucked when you have the backpack on and the straps are over your shirt, cant draw unless you drop the pack.

Recently I went to a 329pd (much lighter) on a fanny pack. After you put the backpack on, you strap the fanny pack over. It does not interfere with the backpack straps and is always up front for a quick draw when that bear is charging.

Double O

Bullet Bob
August 11, 2006, 08:35 AM
Gunbearer. Maybe Silent is still around.

August 21, 2006, 03:42 AM
Rob Leahy up here in Anchorage makes a wide range of holster options, including a chest rig and a chest rig conversion for his normal belt holsters. That'd give you 3 options in one, strong/cross/chest.

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