Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best way to carry concealed while backpacking? I have a Milt Sparks EX - which I absolutely love, but IWB won't work because of the hip belt. Ankle holster won't work because of leg fatigue due to long distances hiked. Shoulder holster won't work because of backpack shoulder straps and difficulty in accessing.
Looked at the Wilderness Tactical Safepacker, but it's too much of a 'man purse' for me. Although it may be the only way to go. I can afford sacrificing a bit of masculinity on the trail if it means quick, easy, unimpeded access to my trail pistol.
On the trail I carry a Kahr PM-40. Small size, light weight, and big bore. She's loaded up with Winchester 180gr SXT HP, and every other round is 180gr FMJ just in case I need the extra penetration.
Thanks for your knowledge and insight. I appreciate your time and cooperation.
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July 19, 2008, 05:47 PM
I've always open carried, even here in ***********...except in the national parks.
July 19, 2008, 06:24 PM
When out hiking/fishing/hunting I carry open on my hip. Sometimes I go IWB when I'll be in a high profile area.
Personally I like the simple Uncle Mikes IWB holsters. Not so easy to re-holster with, but it is easy to draw from.
July 19, 2008, 06:39 PM
I have a pouch that slides on my hip belt, intended for things you use on the move -- compass, map, lip balm, and so on. It holds my Colt Detective Special nicely.
July 19, 2008, 06:41 PM
OC or fanny pack.
July 19, 2008, 08:07 PM
This is one of the few times that I think one of those tacticool drop holsters might be appropritate
July 19, 2008, 08:31 PM
Small fanny pack. A regular one with a stout zipper works just fine. If the threat level is high, just unzip it a bit. Or, you can go with one of the purpose made packs with velcro tear open.
July 19, 2008, 08:43 PM
If you wear pants or shorts with cargo pockets, pocket carry with a PM should cause no problems at all.
Shirt pocket carry should also work well.
Get a small snap pouch that pins to your pack shoulder straps. locate the pouch near the top of your shoulder.
A pouch/holster on your pack's belly belt should work too.
With a gun as small and light as the PM, carrying/concealing it shouldn't be much of a problem.
July 19, 2008, 08:44 PM
I hate to say, but for open carry, I do use the drop leg holster. It gets the gun down and out of the way and doesn't rub my spare tire raw. That is how I wear my single action Vaquero (in a leather rig) or my Glock 17 (in a ballistic nylon rig). I have been known to put a 642 in my belly bag, so that it remains close even when my pack is off.
I don't wear a gun on my waist when I am out in the boonies, since I am usually on a motorcycle. I have seen pretty impressive scrapes and bruises from falling off a bike and onto a gun.
On a side note, I have found that open carrying a Single Action is more acceptable than open carrying a Glock in many circumstances.
July 19, 2008, 09:21 PM
I use a fanny pack and carry my map and snacks in the front pocket.
July 20, 2008, 12:08 AM
Get their pancake holster with the chest rig. You can carry it open or under a shirt. When you're not backpacking, you can carry it strong side or cross draw. All bases are covered!
July 20, 2008, 12:21 AM
I have one of these, with the optional pack mount kit:
I've not had much opportunity to test it out on extended hikes, but it is pretty well-made. It's not purpose-built as a holster, but the interior does offer some different carry options inside.
July 20, 2008, 12:35 AM
Backpacking, with a full-pack, I secure the gun on the cross-chest straps from the back pack. That way it's balanced, accessible, not in the way of the pack, or your walking gait.
I don't carry concealed "in the field" -- It's not necessary. Open carry is legal here and a firearm on a hiker doesn't get a second look.
Also try securing to the vertical weak side strap.
July 20, 2008, 01:51 PM
I use a GI type chest holster and carry a Colt Commander in it. I wear it over a tank top undershirt and under a loose buttoned shirt. I find it comfortable and easy to get to. I too have a Kahr in 9mm, a PM Covert I believe and that I carry in a pocket of my cargo shorts as someone already mentioned...Good luck with that!!
July 20, 2008, 01:55 PM
In the forests...Open carry always. Question the necessity of mixed rounds in your magazine. Good JHP's, or my favorite Hornady JSP, is all you need...
July 20, 2008, 02:09 PM
I am another one who uses the hip strap pocket -- in fact when I buy a pack I look for that feature for exactly that reason. The only downside is that it limits to me to smallish guns. I have considered having a larger pocket attached to the pack somewhere convenient, but have never gotten around to it.
July 20, 2008, 03:22 PM
I use a version of this chest holster:
I can still carry my pack comfortably, can easily access my pistol if needed, and can cover (if so desired) with a light jacket or shirt.
July 20, 2008, 03:38 PM
I found this to work well when carrying a pack, or under fishing waders -