Back(P)acking


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jeepmor
May 3, 2007, 08:07 AM
Anyone know of some zippered backpack hip belt accessory pockets big enough for your CCW? I've seen the safepacker, looks pretty obvious to me. Unless you can conceal the gun, open it up and yank a map and some powerbars out of it also, I don't want it. The website doesn't show it opened, only closed. I want something bigger and not so single purpose.

Maybe a full body sized camera accessory pocket that slips onto the hip belt, ooh yeah. Completely incognito and still in close reach. and won't make it a gun only pocket.

I see packs with zipper pockets, and bought one, but it doesn't fit my compact 45.

Maybe a binocular bag modified to fit the hip belt ...hmmm. I do have a sewing machine in the house.

All suggestions and links welcomed.

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tank mechanic
May 3, 2007, 09:37 AM
Maxpedition has their Versipac series. Super rugged bags for hiking that have purpose built hand gun pockets.

Siderite
May 3, 2007, 10:24 AM
You might want to look into holster-style camera bags, designed for SLRs with long lenses. They come in a variety of sizes, and generally have a single clasp that can be used to quickly access what's inside (some also have zippers, useful if you do any climbing or steep inclines).

In addition to the shoulder strap, most of them have belt-loops that could be used for your backpack's hip belt. The ones from Tamrac (only brand I'm familiar with) are designed to fit their belt system, and have loops for a 2" belt. http://tamrac.com/g_holstertelezoompac.htm

For a small semi-auto or revolver, their accessory pockets might work as well: http://tamrac.com/g_modularaccessory.htm these have the advantage of using a velcro and snap flap to attach/detach easily to a large belt, but these would be more single-purpose, while the holster-bag would be able to carry a number of different things in the other pockets. They'd also stand out like the safepacker unless you are visibly toting a camera (I've been asked if there were handcuffs inside).

The other way to go would be a standard rectangular camera bag, and just setup the dividers so one area contains the firearm, and the camera in the other part. Something like this: http://tamrac.com/5533.htm would have room for both, unless you have a large SLR.

One last thing to consider is the size. I'd go to a camera store and see what is available, as it takes a bit of getting used to. Aside from the accesory pockets, all of these are fairly large bag that would attached in front, which hinders mobility (kneeling or uphill movement) and may make it harder to get the backpack on/off, depending on how where on the hip-strap you attach them (I prefer 12-o'clock, which generally means adjusting the belt so the clasp is off to the side).

usp_fan
May 3, 2007, 10:44 AM
I usually use my top compression strap (the one that runs over the bag opening, but is hidden by the floating top pocket) to thread a holster through. The pistol is concealed by the floating top pocket. To get it, I can reach up and behind, slip my hand between the top pocket and the main gear bag and retrieve the pistol. If you use the top pocket to help hold your sleeping mat in place, this doesn't work.

--usp_fan

sean m
May 3, 2007, 11:45 AM
I had an Eagle Creek shoulder bag that I had sewed a holster for a snu revolver. It worked pretty well for me. I ended up giving it to my sister since it looked less out of place on her arm instead of mine.

hnk45acp
May 3, 2007, 11:52 AM
not a belt pack but a nice option: http://www.copquest.com/57-3800.htm

Pitt762x54r
May 3, 2007, 12:07 PM
A cheap thing to consider is that most backpacks have a pocket on the top for a CD player (to they still make them?) or an MP3 Player. It's usually easy enough to get to, and I use mine for storing smaller items I need to get at quickly. Like a powerbar, compass, or P32.

PennsyPlinker
May 3, 2007, 12:17 PM
I've got a Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack, and it works great. I've carried my SIG Sauer SP2022 in it often, and it will hold my brandy new Springfield XD45 as well. Those are the biggest pistols I have. I've got a couple of big revolvers that wouldn't fit, but I don't carry them anyway. But, I can also stick a small camera (Nikon 8800) and a change of clothes excepting pants as well a few other things in it, and that does not even count hanging stuff off the outside.

It worked great for me when I was flying last month. I could stuff all my essential stuff into it (minus the gun of course, which was in checked luggage) and was able to eliminate an extra carry on bag.

WeThePeople
May 3, 2007, 01:53 PM
Ditto on the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack. I carry mine hiking, to the office, to the zoo, etc. It was rather stiff for the first month, but it has softened up quite a bit with fairly regular use. I highly recommend it.

http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=4&idproduct=6

jeepmor
May 4, 2007, 04:57 AM
Thanks folks, good comments. BTW, REI has a few expedition size bags on special that have the integrated hip belt pockets I mentioned. Not sure of CCW fit, just wanted to share the info.

I thought of mounting it under the floating top pocket also, but did not mention it. Is access quick enough? That's a good option and I could just sew a belt stay into the bottom of the floating pocket or a velcro gizmo to lash my OWB Witness holster and employ the belt loops, that's probably what I'm looking for, my 45 has the belt clip. I smell a quick project goin down soon.

I couldn't open the pack in front of others in the wilderness areas. But that's here nor there, I have been woke up by a momma and her cubs looking for grub, we were scared, real scared once we realized why the dog would just would not shut up. She was after the cooler and we had no food in the tent, that's smart. Of course, that was dark, late and I had no 10mm under my pillow at the time. Nowadays, I'd shoo them off and keep the dogs under control...with the pistol out of the holster mind you. We shooed them off then, but we also realized our vulnerability....good dog!

Safepacker is out for me, I'm looking for something to accompany my existing big pack, which is a Vortex and it fits great. I'm just gonna add something to it, not buy a new one. The warranty is so good on this one that no matter what happens, they will fix or replace it. And it wasn't cheap, it was a lifetime gear purchase. Pack and boots mean comfort, skimp on everything else, but never pack and boots at the multiday level or you'll be miserable.

I'll look into the camera bags more, however, but the top pocket idea appears to be a quick solution on the cheap. I'll have to load up my pack and give it a try.

alukban
May 4, 2007, 03:08 PM
This is my first post on THR so... "HELLO WORLD" :)

My and my older brother find the idea of "the bag of evil" very entertaining and practical. No bag is "evil", of course, this is just in jest and a term I like from here:

http://www.mercop.com/docs/bag.htm

The camera bag thing combined with a chest rig is the easiest thing, I think. If you had a baby in one arm and a sandwich in your chest rig then nobody will give you a second look. I you are asian and it's a camera bag then it looks really natural... do believe me- this is my reality :)

There are also CD cases. This is what I've actually been using. They cost less than $20. The easiest and chepest to find are the one's from Case Logic available at Wally world. My blue one given to me by my brother does not exude para-military connotations at all. It holds a Glock 26 w/ Pearce +1 and.....

...a sandwich!

A spare 15 round mag is on the belt in a re-purposed folding knife sheath.

I'm thinking of making one from scratch and putting a "Nikon" patch on it - HEH HEH.

mlandman
May 4, 2007, 03:30 PM
I see a couple of issues here:
Where are you hiking? What is your target?
I am assuming that this is backpacking (multi-night trips) and you have camping grade gear. Are you in an NPS park? In that case you are banned from being armed and need a concealed solution. If you are on state land, what ever are the local regs cover you. I do light weight backpacking (12 - 14 lbs base weight for 5 days, plus food and water) so I under stand your quandary. I have "pockets" on my hip belt but it is hard enough to get a Pro-bar out in a hurry! ;) If I was in a national park, I might consider a pocket 9mm if large bears are not the issue. I figure a 9 will take care of cougars and deranged hikers. I have run into other backpackers who had full size revolvers in holsters mounted on to their hip belts. The other choice I have considered is to mount a right handed holster on my left sholder strap for a kind of right hand cross draw.

Post the solution you come up with, I would be intrested.

PH/CIB
May 4, 2007, 09:08 PM
We manufacture a Holster System that allows you to carry concealed in Cargo Pocket Pants or Cargo Pocket Shorts or on the outside of your clothing as a regular Tactical Leg Holster. Belts and Holsters lined with HDPE plastic the plastic they line pick up truck beds with, will not scratch your handgun, but is tough as nails. Reasonable price and money back guarantee. See our Website and Video at http://www.handgunholsters.net

Manufactured with Pride in Iowa by John Boyt Industrial Sewing

ArfinGreebly
May 5, 2007, 12:01 AM
Very interesting.

Very interesting, indeed.

I'd be willing to sacrifice a pair of cargo pants just to see how that works in practice.

jeepmor
May 6, 2007, 07:28 AM
Wow, I've carried in my cargo pants while hiking and thought of putting a strap in to clip my IWB holster onto or thread through the belt loops of my OWB holster for my 10mm. I came up with the strap idea because it went bonk, bonk with each stride. Hmmmm, just when I thought I was getting close to an answer, I got yet another solution.

I have a sewing machine, this might be a neat little project. I guess I'll be trying a couple options this summer, if the snow ever melts on Mt Hood. I can't even get to the trail heads right now, so no field tests have taken place yet this year.

(note to self, do not wade too deep when fishing with firearms in cargo pockets)

Nematocyst
May 6, 2007, 07:50 AM
Anyone know of some zippered backpack hip belt accessory pockets big enough for your CCW? I'm interpreting that as follows: You want an accessory pack with zippered top
that will attach to a backpack hip belt, within which you can carry a CW.

Right?

If "yes", then "no": I know of no such accessory. I'd like to find something similar, only my specifications are different. I'd like to find an accessory - waist belt mounted, chest mounted, shoulder harness, drop holster, whatever - that will comfortably carry a 3" 686 .357M while wearing an expedition backpack.

But if you're looking for an in town or woods day pack that can easily do CCW, I'll be number 3 to vote for a

Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack (http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=20&idproduct=6)Mine is in transit now. From all I've read, it is ... appropriate for today's world and whatever's coming next ...

jeepmor
May 6, 2007, 08:22 AM
hip belt accessory pockets

Preferably a holster that's incognito for the hip belt because most packs lack them, or they are too small. The CD case and camera case idea is perfect and doesn't have that "I'm holding a gun holster look", but I'm not certain they will lash onto the big poofy belt of my backpack properly. As stated, I suspect I'll have to drag out the sewing machine to graft one of these items properly to my large backpack's hip belt.

I am not looking for an urban carry option, in the concrete jungle, I just tote it around on my belt in my IWB holster or carry the Witness OWB when I have a long enough jacket to cover it sufficiently. If I'm in urbania with that much load on my back, I'll bring a hand truck or be in Europe where they wouldn't let me carry anyway.

Again, going for the incognito look or I'd just find a holster that would work. But then it would be open carry, not CCW.....verboten in some outdoor venues.
jeepmor

AK103K
May 6, 2007, 08:40 AM
Backpacking is one of the few places a fanny pack doesnt stand out. I use a medium size REI fanny pack and can carry a full sized pistol and a reload, along with anything else I want along if I were to drop my pack. Its also a great place to keep snacks and small items you would have to keep going into your pack for.

The fanny pack is comfortable, doesnt interfere with the hip belt, and is always with you.

Sig245
May 6, 2007, 04:31 PM
When I travel in the Oregon backwoods I pack a 45 acp compact Kimber and usually put it in a belt holster under my jacket or shirt. This is a nylon holster that will not be affected by rain or sweat. Same with the extra mag, or two.
I stay out of the national parks since it is illegial to carry. There you must call the ranger when the bear is eating your girlfriend.:eek:

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