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What do you carry when you actually hike?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Macchina, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Dryft

    Dryft Well-Known Member

    I spend a lot of time doing overnight and long distance hiking/camping - often by myself, and the best for me so far has been a four inch stainless Ruger SP101 in .357. I keep a shotshell in the first chamber, and full power loads in the rest.

    To get around the pack and hipbelt issues, I carry in a thigh holster.
  2. Charles S

    Charles S Well-Known Member

    Mr. Humphrey, what a elegant carry piece.

    I am fortunate like the esteemed Mr. Humphrey to live, while not in, very close to Arkansas and as such have access to an enormous number of wonderful hiking and backpacking trails. Additionally, my son is an in organization that encourages hiking and back packing.

    In my humble opinion, in this region, with quite limited experience, I worry far more about two legged predators that I do the four legged variety. I have never done anything as ambitious as the Appalachian trail, but have done some week long trips.

    If we are talking a hike, wight is not an issue and I don't mind carrying a 1911, a full size 357, or even my a take down rifle and a snub nose. For longer back packing trips, as has been previously mentioned, weight can become a real issue. I am not a fan of taking a semi auto pistol with a single magazine as certain types of malfunctions require a magazine change. I find myself more and more carrying a compact Ruger with a single speed loader to back me up. I have carried my S&W Chief Special 45 with a spare magazine on occasion, although I really like the idea of a Scandium S&W 44.

    Great pics earlier guys and a great thread.
  3. Quiet

    Quiet Well-Known Member

    When hiking, I most often carry my .45ACP S&W Model 325PD (2.5") loaded with 230gr JHPs.
    Where I hike (CA, NV, AZ), I'm only concerned/worried about two legged predators and mountain lions.
  4. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    On long hikes (2+ days) where bear might be an issue, I carry a 12ga with a pistol grip loaded with slugs in a part of my bag that would not be easily seen by a casual observer on the trail. Otherwise I carry one of my .45ACP pistols for other worrisome critters.
  5. Kayaker 1960

    Kayaker 1960 Well-Known Member

    Hiking gun

    I think it's apparent that most people here have never been on backpacking trip of more than a few miles, otherwise you wouldn't be suggesting such heavy hardware. I took my 4" model 19 on a couple 10 mile hikes. It can be done but it is far less than ideal. Most experienced backpackers carry a very light load and would consider the weight of even the lightest firearm as exessive and unneccessary. I do like the comfort of a warm gun at night but for the O.P's stated purpose it has got to be as light as possible. a Sub-compact pistol or small, light weight revolver is in order unless you are in big bear country.
  6. k_dawg

    k_dawg Well-Known Member

    Black bears here are very rare and small. Worst threats are coyotes and humans. So I carry what I shoot the most accurately: fullsize 1911 in .45acp with nightsights
  7. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Well-Known Member

    When I lived in NorCal, I usually carried a Colt SAA in .357 Mag. Packed it all over Humboldt and Trinity counties, never actually had to use it for serious work. Came close a few times, but I was lucky.

    Nowadays I generally pack a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag. After I moved back to Montana I retired the SAA to range duty and picked up a King Cobra and the SBH, always have one or the other on me when I'm out and about in the hills.
  8. Charles S

    Charles S Well-Known Member

    If you follow this thread.. and others there is a very common theme. Probably true of those of us who carry all the time, not just in backpacking, camping, hiking, but in life.

    A lot of us have carried for a lot of years, but have not ever used their weapon. Truth be told I still prefer to be in the have it and not need it crowd. :)
  9. HB

    HB Well-Known Member

    I've taken a glock 17, Buckmark, and a Blackhawk in .357. It just depends on what's in season and if its raining or not. Never carry more than a mag for the glock or a couple extra .38s or .22s for squirrels. There are some feral hogs in the ozarks and I've always wanted a nice roast if I happened upon one.

  10. Dryft

    Dryft Well-Known Member

    As always, everything is personal preference - what one person prefers will not necessarily be what another enjoys.

    Whether it's a five mile hike or Maine's Hundred Mile Wilderness, carry what is best for you - no more and no less.

    And if someone thinks you're carrying too much? Well, that's their opinion.
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    Same thing I always carry, a 1911. Sometimes my Para wide-frame.
  12. Triplec

    Triplec Active Member

    So I backpack in grizzly country, would anybody carry anything less than a caliber that you could use to deal with a grizzly (if such a thing exists)? I carry bear spray, plus my Glock 9mm for fun (I'm still young so I can carry extra weight for fun).
  13. psyopspec

    psyopspec Well-Known Member

    If you use the search function you'll find opinions and threads ad nauseum on this topic. Generally, from reading the opinions of posters that live in places with regular contact with grizzlies or who have BTDT, the "caliber to deal with a grizzly" doesn't exist in a handgun. If you're packing spray you've brought a better tool for the job.

    I have moved up calibers when hiking bear country, but I don't delude myself that going from 9mm to a .45ACP or a .357 would allow me to take on a bear. Rather, on the off chance I run into one, and on the off chance it attacks me, and on the off chance I get a shot off, and on the off chance I get lucky with where I land it, I'd prefer to have more penetration rather than less.
  14. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    357 snubby. Lighter is better.
  15. jon86

    jon86 Well-Known Member

    I usually carry just a 5 shot 38 special. I am considering something a bit more soon. Maybe an sp101 or an XDS 45.
  16. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Well-Known Member

    Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .454 Casull. First 2 cylinders are loaded with .45 Colt snake shot and the last 4 with Buffalo Bore hardened lead pentrators. Totally geared to defense against 4-legged (or 0-legged) animals--should be adequate for 2-legged ones (and probably a little messy as well), but that is not part of my planning or thought process.

    I did extensive patterning practice with .357, .44 man (.429") and .45 snake shot shells and I was not pleased with the smaller calibers. The 12% bigger bore of the .45 over even the .44 gives much better patterns (I think less shot is scattered by the riflings). The performance with snake shot is why I chose the caliber.

    I have encountered bear hiking near Wickenburg and I have seen bear near my cabin on Mt. Graham several times. There are also a lot of huge free-range bulls and cows. They a bit less docile than farm cows and bulls and every once and a while a story makes the press about someone killed by their own dairy cow. This is why I went to the high-power Buffalo-Bore ammo and the hardened lead penetrators (penetration is more important than expansion on a bull or a bear shot defensively lengthways).

  17. willypete

    willypete Well-Known Member

    2.25" SP101 .357 Mag. Anything else is just too heavy! Tried a .44 Mag Redhawk for a while, but it's a lot of unnecessary weight. If I had a 4" SP101, I might carry that, but I'll weight 'til they're available used.
  18. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Well-Known Member


    Model 625 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt. Light enough to carry but more than enough power if needed.
  19. herkyguy

    herkyguy Well-Known Member

    Yes Sir! lightweight is critical. the more you're on the move, you more you realize just how much your wheelgun weighs. With all that said, I carry a GP100 with a 6" barrel, loaded with the first four rounds of 158 grain .357. last two rounds are snakeshot. When i encounter a snake, i've always had enough time to spin the cylinder.

    I'll add that I now carry it in a Galco shoulder rig and it is far superior to when i used to carry it on my hip. The galco rig also has leather compartments to carry 12 additional rounds.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  20. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Well-Known Member

    I used to carry a Glock 27, now I carry 3" Ruger SP-101. No grizzlies where I go camping. So, a 357 magnum should be enough for anything I'd run into. Two legged predators would be more likely, than say getting attacked by a cougar or black bear anyway.

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