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Hip holsters while backpacking

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by mcw3734, Sep 16, 2010.

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  1. mcw3734

    mcw3734 Member

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    Seeking advice on those who carry a handgun while backpacking/hiking regarding their choice of hip holster. This also touches on the subject of how to properly fit a backpack.

    So I’m looking for a holster while wearing my backpack. My concern is that with those hip pads, it might interfere with a standard belt holster. I looked and looked for something that might work and found a Drop and Offset holster by Blade Tech on-line. I received it in the mail the same week I got my Eberlestock Dragonfly backpack.

    Retrieving the gun from the holster felt clumsy, though it’s adjustable and I’m going to try different settings. I think it would feel much better held tight against my hip. Also, the Eberlestock hip pads really aren’t all that poofy and it looks like a regular holster might work. I DO NOT want a holster on the pack itself, I want to be able to take the pack off but keep the gun on me.

    It also got me thinking if I’m not wearing my pack like I should. I put about 80 pounds in it and strapped it on as it came out of the box. I understand how the weight should fit on your hips, but the way I have it, the hip pads were covering my belt. My friend tells me that that is too low. For him, his might touch the top of his belt or not at all. He’s done a bunch of backpacking so he’ll help me fit the pack.

    So for those who pack a handgun on their hip, what hip holster do you recommend? My gun is a S&W 629 Mountain Gun. Thanks for the feedback.

    Take Care,
    MIKE
     
  2. slabuda

    slabuda Member

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  3. blindhari

    blindhari Member

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    Slabuda,
    For backpacking I always used a Bianchi cross draw with a thumb strap on a heavy belt. Most of the time I had a a 65-5 S&W in it. A cross draw on the belt puts the gun where the pack will not interfere with access. You can take off pack and weapon stays with you. With pack on it is not highly noticeble. Warm leather gently with hair dryer, work in a little bees wax, warm sidearm with hair dryer, wrap in plastic wrap, place in holster, let cool to form and lube holster, rub just a little beeswax on metal snap. Gun clears holster with no more than a touch to thumb strap.

    blindhari
     
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I needed a poor-boy solution to wearing a handgun while hunting with a rifle and using a back pack if I were so far from a road that I needed to do field butchering. I used a GI pistol belt and moved the holster to a cross-draw position for my Redhawk. Slightly loose, so it hung a trifle low--just below any pack's belt on the left side; at the top of the belt on the right side. A tie-down thong made everything secure.

    No scratches on the rifle's stock; no discomfort. Hardly knew it was there. It also worked great when quail hunting in cougar country.
     
  5. Sweden

    Sweden Member

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    I've had good luck with a chest rig. Situates a full size auto across my sternum. Another solution I found that works well is the leg drop holster, strong side. If adjustable, bring it up as high as possible.
     
  6. thunder173

    thunder173 Member

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    I carry crossdraw with a Galco SAO or DAO rig, depending on what handgun I am carrying. Doesn't interfere with the packs hip belt if the pack is adjusted to fit correctly.
     
  7. mfcmb

    mfcmb Member

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  8. waffentomas

    waffentomas Member

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    I have found no good way to get a quick draw while hunting with a pack. So, instead of trying different holsters, I just decided to stick to my OWB hip holster and try different packs instead. The Sitka 1400 Ascent pack is what I ended up buying, and have been using for the last 3 years. It's a pack designed to sit low on your back but it's height is adjustable so I've been able to get to right where I need it, and can still get the Glock 20 out pretty quick.
     
  9. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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  10. dougwx12

    dougwx12 Member

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    I've got an eberlestock pack, and even adjusted properly, none of the hip holsters that I use with my camelbak style hip belts work well with the larger padded hipbelts. I don't like safepackers unless concealment is required. Big boxy thing that my arm keeps hitting.

    The eberlestock's have MOLLE belts, so a UM92 holster can be swapped back and forth between pack and belt. But I also don't want to worry about a pistol when I take off the 100 lb for a break. Nor do I want to be disarmed while said 100 lb meat lure is sitting next to me.

    I'm going to try one of these this year: http://www.davidjohnstonleather.com/Pages/GuidesChoice.html

    Seems to work fine. Lots of chest holster options available. I even managed to get a sidekick crap shoulder holster to fit ok with the eberlstock pack. More comfortable than my OWB's, anyway.
     
  11. mcw3734

    mcw3734 Member

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    First of all, thank you all for your input. I feel after reading some that it might help to clarify my situation a bit more.

    I will NOT be wearing the handgun while carrying a rifle. So I’m not worried about interference on my right side. I will carry it bow hunting, hiking and maybe fishing (with chest waders). Concealment is not an issue.

    I don’t want to wear it ‘cross draw’, which I’m pretty sure means carrying it on my left side (I’m right handed) with the butt pointing forward. My left hip is reserved for the canister of bear spray.

    I’ve been adjusting the Blade-Tech Drop and Offset holster tonight and I’ve gotten it to ride fairly tight against my right hip and works with my pack. I do not like all the noise it creates drawing it out. I don’t need to mimic Doc Holiday, but as long as I have clear access to the gun and can pull it out without drawing too much attention, that’s what I’m looking for. So I guess I’m looking at some kind of open leather holster.

    You know, I’ve brought this question up on a few other sites and even in the past. Many swear by a chest holster. I initially shy away from that because I’ll be carrying a pack and want to leave the option open for binoculars. But maybe I should look into that option more. Would certainly be better if wearing it fishing.

    Slabuda – thanks for the links on pack fit! Very informative and may help me answer my own question on the matter. Thanks for taking the time.

    Dougwx12 – I like the looks of that chest holster. Looks to hang down far enough to not interfere with binoculars or when drawing a bow. Does the gun come out easy enough?

    I’m pretty sure I’m sending the Blade-Tech holster back, so keep the comments coming. Thank you.
     
  12. Justin Holder

    Justin Holder Member

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    You might try this place for a good chest rig.
    http://www.simplyrugged.com/index.html


    Last fall on a hunt in Colorado I carried my Glock 20 in a holster attached directly to my pack frame belt.
    The G20 was in a Bianchi Accumold holster on the right side belt along with a matching double mag pouch on the left side belt.
    This setup worked well and was very comforting while we packed out my deer for over a half mile after dark in lion country.

    When I wasn't wearing the pack I just slipped the Glock in my pocket.
     
  13. dougwx12

    dougwx12 Member

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    With a G20, those are some big ass pockets. :)
     
  14. ColdDeadHand

    ColdDeadHand Member

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  15. offroaddiver

    offroaddiver Member

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    I have put an accessory pocket on the belt of a backpack for odds and ends, this may be an option. Just make sure you don't have it flopping around. It will get annoying if you can't stabilize it enough to traverse terrain.
     
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