the backpack issue


April 16, 2008, 02:10 PM
i am just curious what others have found to be the most comfortable way to carry a gun while hiking with an internal frame backpack on. i own a " s&w .40 sigma".

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April 16, 2008, 02:19 PM
Two ways I use, depending on purpose... Though neither is real ideal in my mind:

1) Open carry with the weapon's holster threaded through the hip-belt strap (or in the case of my pack, a smaller load control strap on the hipbelt). It provides the easiest access to the gun, no slower than my duty rig honestly.

Of course, it is open carried this way, which I generally don't like to do.

2) Throw it (holstered) into the top pouch of my pack. I can reach it with the pack on, but not easily. But, this method does conceal the firearm.

Vern Humphrey
April 16, 2008, 02:20 PM
Several choices. One is to put the holster on your belt, and adjust your pack's hip belt accordingly. Another is to put the holster on the pack hip belt. A third one is to thread a belt pouch on the pack hip belt and carry the gun there.

April 16, 2008, 02:45 PM
Some shoulder holsters will work with some backpacks, but it's just a matter of trial and error.

April 16, 2008, 02:53 PM
On the MED ALICE pack I usually put the gun in a side pouch...practice though and make sure you can access it quickly.

Jimmy Newman
April 16, 2008, 04:12 PM
On my super-large backpack (Dana Designs Terraplane X, one of the old ones from before Marmot bought them), I have this add-on pouch that extends from one shoulder strap to the other across my stomach. It threads on to the cinch strap at the bottom of the shoulder strap on one side and has a clip at the other end. That clip clips to a strap that connects to the other shoulder strap cinch strap. It has a water bottle holder and enough room for most handguns. It would be perfect, I think. Never carried one in it, as all of my backpacking with it was as a Boy Scout on Boy Scout trips (not as an adult leader, either). I put trail food, gps, flashlight, camera etc. in it.

You might look at something like this.

April 16, 2008, 04:45 PM
Iíve never seen a backpack Q-D buckle that would fit through any holster. The web belt is also pretty flimsy in order to be light weight. I carry in a chest holster thusly:

April 16, 2008, 05:03 PM
I've humped a big, heavy, full framed pack around in the woods. A very nice one with the pads that wrap around the waistline to help secure the pack from rocking motions. A OWB hip holster simply will not do with that pack/frame. Thigh holster was the ticket for me.

April 16, 2008, 05:18 PM
I do a fair amount of hiking, most of the time I go ultralite. However, if I will be on a longer hike and need a pistol I usually use a drop leg holster to keep it out of the way. If I'm going ultralite S&W 442 in front pocket.

April 16, 2008, 06:26 PM
For me a Tommy's Original Gunpack (or other gun-type fanny pack) at 12 o'clock (below the backpack waist strap) puts the pistol in the perfect place for quick access. I have an external frame backpack, but there shouldn't be any difference in that respect.

I only carry full-sized pistols in the boonies for both the power and the capacity, and this is the most comfortable, convenient, way I've found.

April 17, 2008, 05:45 AM
I've tried various belt holsters, and the pack's hip belt interferes.

I've tried several shoulder holsters, and the pack straps hit the pistol.

However, El Paso Saddlery makes a shoulder holster that is paterned after WWII shoulder holsters that has a diagonal shoulder strap. The holster can be worn in front of the L hip, high (if you're R handed...) and it doesn't hit either the hip belt or the pack straps. It has a snap loop that can be connected to either your pants belt or the pack hip belt, if you're worried about it flapping around.

It also works inside waders if you're fly fishing...

April 17, 2008, 05:55 AM
Hmm, I take it concealment is not an issue? If you would prefer to be discreet, the Safepacker ( from The Wilderness looks like it could work well, maybe attached to the tie-ins on the front of your shoulder straps? Probably uncomfortable with anything but the lightest pistol (I have never tried it.) There is also the option of a tactical-type holster attached at belt and thigh.

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