What do you take when you go backpacking?


August 9, 2009, 10:43 PM
What kind of handgun..(or rifle dare I say?) do you take when you go backpacking up in the woods.

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August 9, 2009, 11:00 PM
I haven't backpacked in over a year, but hope to change that this fall. Anyway, I bought a Glock 20SF and a safepacker holster to carry it in. 16 rounds of 10mm (and maybe +15!) should be sufficient for any predator, 2 legged or four, that I might encounter here in PA!

August 9, 2009, 11:04 PM
.357 blackhawk

Big enough to handle anything around me, and tough enough to survive an accident (fall, etc.)

August 9, 2009, 11:26 PM
When I backpacked I carried a AR-7 and extra mag along with a 100 rounds of 22 in pack. A 38 snub on hip

August 10, 2009, 12:14 AM
M&P 340 in the Adirondacks for the summer with 158 jhp. 629 during hunting season.

August 10, 2009, 12:22 AM
It depends on if I am in high or low country(bears or not in az). High country I carry a 6" model 28. Low country I will carry one of my 5" colts in .45 or .38 super, but normally it's the model 28.

August 10, 2009, 12:24 AM
Usually a 1911. Not the best, but not bad either.

August 10, 2009, 12:25 AM
1911...good for just about anything

August 10, 2009, 12:28 AM
wow some heavy guns here...is no one worried about weight?

August 10, 2009, 12:46 AM
is no one worried about weight? Wow. What a perfect segue for me.

SW 642 in .38 spl (airweight). :D

Not worried about bears where I am. No griz here, and I've been backpacking enough to know how to avoid bear encounters (like absolutely no food in the tent).

My concern in these wilderness areas are crackheads.

August 10, 2009, 12:46 AM
I have done a lot of backpacking in my time and never been concerned about the weight of my handgun. Yes weight matters but I would sooner not pack enough food than not pack a sidearm and need it. When we go 35-45 lbs is the normal pack weight and extra 2-3lbs on the hip don't Seem to matter, thou I would think trying to carry a 5-9lbs rifle on a backpacking trip would bug me.

The handgun in the correct holster works great, but I would be hard pressed to pack a rifle In a sling and have it accsesable and comfortable. JM2C.

August 10, 2009, 01:02 AM
S&W M&P R8 Scandium frame 357. Big but very light for a large frame gun. Eight rounds of Double Tap and two full moon clips in a side pocket.

August 10, 2009, 01:07 AM
When we go 35-45 lbs is the normal pack weight and extra 2-3lbs on the hip don't Seem to matter... I'm happy for you, sir. I wish I could say the same.

Perhaps because it's because I'm a smaller person (tall and skinny).
I will go to lengths to shave even ounces, let alone pounds,
especially as the pack inches up above 40 lb.

August 10, 2009, 01:21 AM
Wow, I feel like quite the outcast in this group. When I go backpacking/hiking, I take my Ruger Bearcat in stainless steel. My primary concern is the ability to have food if I run out, get lost, etc. The Bearcat isn't going to replace your favorite rifle, but it can take rabbits and squirrel at reasonable handgun distances. I can put 100 mini-mags in my pack and add a negligible amount of weight. In an absolute pinch it's better than nothing for self-defense, although that isn't something I'm super-worried about, because Vermont has minimal crime in its cities, let alone its trails. As far as critter defense, I do the same level of prevention that all of you surely do.

I feel comfortable with a .22 revolver out in the wilderness, but I won't hate on those who like to have a .44 mag, 1911, or something else. If self defense was my primary goal, I wouldn't pick a .22 lr either.

August 10, 2009, 01:29 AM
Nothing. A couple of knives.

August 10, 2009, 02:05 AM
wow some heavy guns here...is no one worried about weight?

Three ways to handle that:

1) A horse
2) A shoulder holster,
3) (my favorite): A shoulder holster while on horseback.

It depends upon where I am going. We have three distinct wildlife habitat ranges around here within a reasonable drive:

1) Lowlands with no bears, a 1911 in .45acp
2) foothills: L or N frame .357 or a .44mag N frame.
3) Grizzly area - .44mag N frame, and if mounted also a 30-30.

August 10, 2009, 02:45 AM
I have a quality belt, and a quality holster. I really do not notice the weight of my blackhawk.

August 10, 2009, 03:43 AM
1911 in an old GI hip-belt Flap-Holster...or, Colt New Service in .45 LC, ditto...

August 10, 2009, 04:01 AM
6 shot small frame stainless .357 snubnose revolver, 18 rounds total.

August 10, 2009, 04:38 AM
(.45ACP) S&W Model 325PD = for personal protection aganist 2 & 4 legged predators
(.22LR) Iver Johnson Model 844 = for plinking and snakes
(5.56x45mm) Kel-Tec SU-16CA = for personal protection. carried folded in half in pack.
(.303British) Long Branch No4Mk1 sporterized carbine = when hunting.

August 10, 2009, 04:40 AM
i took food a sleeping bag and a tent

August 10, 2009, 08:32 AM
I take a Kel-Tec P-11 on all hiking/camping trips.

August 10, 2009, 09:51 AM
Small frame, 3", .357 and w/12 additional rounds. Also carry a Ruger Bearcat with a box of HV ammo.

August 10, 2009, 09:58 AM
Ruger security six snub loaded with doubletap 180gr hard cast FP's, plus 3 speed loaders all inside a government sized safepacker.

August 10, 2009, 10:00 AM
On all hikes under 20 miles roundtrip, I never go without my 4.5" Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357 magnum, and it is loaded with full house loads.

On occasion, when I hiked alone into the deepest backcountry for quite lengthy treks, I'll add a 12ga. O/U to the setup.

August 10, 2009, 11:00 AM
My primary concern is two legged predators. I used to carry a 38 snub, but I have now settled on a Tokarev pistol. It is flat, compact, mil-spec tough, and 100% reliable. Weight is reasonable. It can reach out to 100yds. Plenty of penetration with FMJ, and good JHP's are available. Finally, it is fairly cheap, so I don't feel bad about subjecting it to trail abuse.

August 10, 2009, 11:05 AM
My primary concern is two legged predators.

Me too. I carry a Sig P6 loaded with Gold-Dots.

August 10, 2009, 12:19 PM
Nagant....seriously.... or my model 15.

Though If I get a .44 spl I might switch over to that.

August 10, 2009, 12:40 PM
Would it be safe to assume this all goes for Mountain Lions as well?

August 10, 2009, 12:55 PM
Mountian Lions are in some ways more nasty then Bears.

August 10, 2009, 01:19 PM
50 BMG in a pocket holster :neener:

generally a S&W 442 38SP, if anything.

My primary concern is two legged predators.

My concern for the two legged species greatly diminishes as I get further from trail heads and civilization in general. I know there's always the possibility of running into bad people even in the middle of of the forest, but it's a lot less likely than said possibility happening in the urban area where I live. Staying away from areas that can be easily accessed by vehicles can help keep you out of much of the trouble. I try to never camp within mile or so of roads and trail heads.

I don't want to threadjack, but if you don't mind, post how you carry your backpacking gun as well as what gun, ie holster type and location.

Marlin 45 carbine
August 10, 2009, 01:48 PM
as stated my primary concern is 2 legged varmints. I have an AR7, spare full mag and a slide top box of 50 SuperX.

August 10, 2009, 02:12 PM
I just carry my daily gun, a S&W 642 loaded with 135 grain Gold Dots. I just use my every day Mika pocket holster and carry one speed strip in my other pocket. When fishing and not hicking any distance I will take my 3" 629 in a Simply Rugged pancake holster. Gotta watch out for the big cats and crack heads. Not too worried about bears even thow they are fairley commen around these parts.

August 10, 2009, 02:20 PM
wow some heavy guns here...is no one worried about weight?

Yep, so no gun. I rarely see anybody on the trail. If its just a day hike, it will be .22. I'm thinking about buying a CZ-82 or one of those PA-63's.
Missouri has pot growers and tons of meth labs, but the labs are moving to the cities more and more. Way easier to cook in a crappy house than 6 miles into Mark Twain National Forrest. You would have to be one very dedicated criminal to rob somebody with no money 10 miles down a trail. Cars get broken into but I can't stop that.


August 10, 2009, 02:31 PM
I carry either of these two depending on temperature, length of hike, etc.

Taurus 85 Concealed Hammer (http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=316&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=UL2)- 13.5 oz


Taurus .44 Mag Ultralite - 28.3 oz (http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=206&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=UL2)

Will probably pack my recently acquired SA XDsc 9mm on the next one though.

Bill B.
August 10, 2009, 03:28 PM
As of late the hikes have been long and weight is a big factor .............so a S&W 649 + a reload! :)

WNC Seabee
August 10, 2009, 03:38 PM
Backpacking/Fishing....3" SP101. I use a Safepacker because it blends in with the fishing/BP gear so the hippie crunchy types won't freak out too bad.

August 10, 2009, 05:20 PM
I AM one of those "hippie crunchy(?)" types, with my Tokarev...
On the trail, I use a North Face internal frame pack which came with a triangular side pocket on the side right over the waistbelt...if you were not familiar with the pack, you wouldn't know it was there, and it is accessable with the pack on. The pistol fits perfectly. Around camp, I just use a clip-on IWB Uncle Mikes holster.
It is very true that the most danger one might face is at trailheads and anyplace that can be walked to easily while carrying a 12-pack of beer. Many of my trips have me crossing jeep trails, however, and these are also danger areas.

August 10, 2009, 06:06 PM
Usually a S&W Model 36 snubby in an Uncle Mike's belt holster. It tucks in close and with black Pachmayr compact grips, it's hardly noticeable. Sometimes I carry it in a "camera bag". I do my hiking in open carry states. My back packing days are over but day hikes can be just as "intreresting". My Ruger Speed Six was just a bit too heavy and I never used .357 mags anyhow. Two legged critters and "cats" are my main concerns.

August 10, 2009, 07:56 PM
I've carried a plethora of .357s and a .45 Colt blackhawk over the years. I don't do much hiking, let alone back packing anymore, but my current favorite hiking gun is a Taurus 66 4" .357 magnum, extremely accurate light weight medium frame gun.

August 10, 2009, 09:53 PM
Ruger GP100 4" in SS. I don't mind the heft.

August 10, 2009, 09:59 PM
For camping and such, my Dan Wesson .357 comes along. It usually comes deer hunting also.

Either way, I almost always have a rifle with me. Lately it's been the AR...have been known to camp with a SKS too.

August 10, 2009, 10:03 PM
6" GP-100 with heavy 180 gr. since I might see a grizzly, but lets hope never

August 11, 2009, 06:49 AM
Glock 20

August 11, 2009, 07:08 AM
If it is truly a backpacking trip, meaning overnight at least, I almost always carry my AR7 and a box of mags. If we are talking a day trip it would be my Walther ppk/s or sig p230sl. Day trips you seem to find more people than the longer overnight or weekend outings

August 11, 2009, 10:42 AM
Well, a backpack (filled with food and drink, spare socks, and rain gear). A hat. Map and compass. A Leatherman 'Sideclip'. A Leki trekking pole (I prefer one pole rather than two). And of course, a small tent and sleeping bag if it is a multi-day hike.

A handgun ... why? :confused:

Every time he comes up, he's got no knife, he's got no jacket, he's got no pants, he's got no boots. All he's got is that stupid gun he carries around like John Wayne.

August 11, 2009, 10:50 AM
+1 on the Kel-Tec p11 at this time. 12+1 rounds in that compact and light of a package is a fantastic tradeoff. I'm looking into an SP-101 for the future since the .357 seems more ideal for many of these situations, but when it comes back to weight, there's probably a good chance that I'll still end up with the P11.

August 11, 2009, 10:53 AM
Glock 20 SF loaded with 230gr dt hardcasts and remington 870 loaded with 3" express magnum slugs. I don't like animals that walk on 4 legs, have sharp teet/claws and like the taste of my fingers and toes.

August 11, 2009, 11:19 AM
Not trying to be rude, but MY definition of backpacking is parking your car, putting on a pack containing every item you will use, walking a trail or planned route for several miles, then sleeping. Wake up, repeat.
Earlier this summer, i went on a two night backpacking trip with a friend. I brought food, a stove, a tarp, a sleeping bad, and 8 liters of water because there was no water source on the trail. Thats 20 lbs of water alone!!!

There is no way I could have handled carrying a long gun of any sort comfortably. Call me a wimp. I also didn't bring a handgun. I wouldn't have minded adding a squirrel to my diet but carrying a pistol added unnecessary bulk and weight. I might bring one next time provided we can find a stream or source of water.

Pretty much, i don't believe those who are carrying shotguns and rifles are actually "backpacking". Camping, bring anything and everything because there is a bigger risk. Backpacking, i can't see carrying anything over a small .38.


Mr. Bojangles
August 12, 2009, 07:55 AM
Ruger GP100 .357, Reasonably light, stainless so it won't rust (as easily) in rough conditions, and I just like the way if feels and shoots.

August 12, 2009, 08:50 AM
I always carry my S&W 637 when hiking or camping (although it has been quite a few years since I've did either).

August 12, 2009, 09:32 AM
I'd recommend a S&W PD series revolver in a magnum 329PD in .44 mag or .41 mag. It offers the power of a magnum cartridge and the light weight you need for backpacking. They have significant recoil but since you hopefully won't be shooting it that should not be a problem.

August 12, 2009, 10:20 AM
15 ounces worth of something 38 spl plus P or greater. Includes extra ammunition in the appropriate format, mag or speedstrip etc.

I'll be glad when the National Park issues are resolved/in effect. I like being legal. ;)

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