How To Carry A Gun While Backpacking – Essential Guide

Backpacking has many advantages for it. The views. The exercise. The the challenges. Together, they make the days and hours in the beauty of nature worthwhile every step.

With all the benefits but, backpacking does not come without dangers. Two-legged and four-legged creatures can cause situations in which hiking armed is the ideal option for those who want to be well-prepared. If you’re planning to carry a firearm it, you need to figure out the best method for taking your firearm when you go out on the trail.

Let me be truthful. The carrying of a firearm is an enormous burden. This is referring to physical challenges. We’ll leave the private and social discussion for another time.

Guns can be heavy and heavy. They’re not a natural extension of human body. There are times when you discover the perfect combination of pistols and holster, which melts into you . If so you should cherish the combo. Now , you can add backpacking to your arsenal.

The idea of backpacking, whether it’s a short walk or a long hike can present a variety of challenges for those who are prepared. From the difficulty of a comfortable concealment, to the selection of the best weapon.

We all have to make decisions in response to threats, accessibility and ease of use. This article will address the issues, advantages and options for carrying when walking.

What is the reason someone would carry a gun when backpacking?

Everybody takes risks when we first wake up in the early morning. We don’t need to be afraid, however, dangers are all around us. If you are in need of firearms, it’s as a response to an immediate threat.

It’s too late to open the safe. It’s too late to take it out of your car. You must have it now otherwise someone else could get injured or suffer more serious. This is the reason we carry.

Backpacking isn’t any the only way to travel. There are threats that can and do originate from both man and nature. Take a look at the following recent events:

A man from Cody, Wyoming, was injured when he was able to surprise an grizzly bear asleep in a daybed just 7-8 feet from him. The bear attacked the man and threw him to the ground, suffering injuries to his arm and chest.

Most well-known is more well-known are the killings of Geoffrey Hood and Molly Laurue in the month of September, 1990. The couple was murdered by a person they encountered on the trail earlier during their hiking trip. In the moment, their killer was in the process of being sought for a murder that took place in the year 1986.

These are just two of the many incidents which occur every year. Animals can be unpredictable and strike in a sudden manner. Cougars, foxes, coyotes and bears, are all capable of hurting or killing hikers. While walking through the forest, we might not be the most dangerous predator. We are on their territory, and they have an advantage.

Another unfortunate fact is that people also stalk the woods too. Whatever the odds the fact is that it happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s the result of a crime of chance or anger can happen to innocent people.

We all are aware of the power of certain individuals to do evil. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the city’s center or in the heart of the forest.

If you are thinking about human or animal threats, severe injuries or even death could be prevented with awareness of the situation and the appropriate tools. The chance of being attacked is not as high, just like the normal risk of life.

However, the effects of having an gun but not having one are severe. If you’ve already made the decision to carry your gun throughout your daily life and you are a gun-owner, then there is no reason to not carry a gun when hiking or backpacking.

Are firearms allowed to be carried on a hike?

Are you able to carry a firearm while walking? Like most gun laws, this is a thorny problem. If your jurisdiction allows it there is a definite yes. First, however, you must to conduct the due diligence.

The first step is to consider the national parks and national forests. The national park system and the national forest system is an excellent source for exploring the wilderness. The federal law allows the possession of firearms is permitted in national parks as well as the national forest system.

There are some restrictions. Make a call to the office of the park to find out the rules specific to the specific location you are visiting. Here’s an quick guide to gun Regulations for the Intermountain Region, which is issued from National Park Service. National Park Service

Also, you should be aware of the state laws. State laws apply to federal property, so be aware of them too.

The next thing to consider is the state property owned by the state. Certain states don’t allow guns in parks. Connecticut, Maryland, New York and others restrict firearms within their parks. In these places, carrying a firearm could be a direct ticket to prison. The excuse of ignorance is not a viable defense.

Be sure to keep an eye on your trail. As enjoyable a looping trail might be, they may be a source of serious danger. Certain trails cross state lines and others cross into the restricted territory. Make sure you are aware of the trails and backup routes that lead you to or within these areas.

Once you have a clear understanding of the prohibited zones, you can leave confidently. Beyond these rules, being able to carry on the trail is not a different thing from everyday carry off of the trail.

Issues with carrying a gun when hiking

As I’ve mentioned before the carrying of a firearm is not comfortable nor practical. It’s not going to make it any more enjoyable. I know…way to market it.


Let’s start with the comfort. We carry an IWB, OWB or in a bag or similar backpack. The three options have their own issues when it comes to walking. Belt-wearing methods can cause problems with the hip belts on your backpack.

If you’re going on an excursion with no belt pack, then this shouldn’t be an issue. Combining a belt with a heavy pack as well as an IWB is not a comfortable experience. My personal experience here.

Messenger bags, purses All of them clash with the use of a backpack. If you are carrying a backpack you’re upgrading the off-body storage. But, in a manner that’s not as convenient in the event of a draw.

Drawing with your purse or bag for messenger will take much less time than dropping your bag and opening the gun compartment, then drawing.


In the next step, backpacking for any distance of any length is about the balance. It is essential to load your backpack in a way that makes it easy to carry. A heavy load toward the bottom, with even the weight across the left and right.

The addition of a gun on one side with no balance can alter your security gate. This can cause stress to your hips and knees. The more you attempt to balance the uneven load, the more you’ll hurt.


The next step is to introduce endurance. In your day-to-day life might make you run one or two miles. The hiking experience is about miles. The method you use to carry (aside that of your backpack) can wear down your body in the vicinity of the pouch.

Chafing, blisters and blemishes are painful and can cause deeper and larger sores. When you begin compensating for these issues, you’ll remove your gates. It’s a vicious circle.

Weapon Maintenance

In addition, you should be accountable for the maintenance of your firearm. Any type of carry-on-body procedure is guaranteed to produce sweat. Guns and sweat don’t mix. It is essential that following the long and hot hike, you strip the field also clean your firearm.

When you return home, it is time to do a thorough cleaning. Keep in mind that once your excursion is finished the day has only just began. Make sure your gear is secured so that it is able to protect you.

With the rise in backpacking and hiking, the range of options for carrying has grown. There are no more large, hip holsters that are uncomfortable. There are now a variety of options available for closed and conceal carry. A lot of them are made to be used with daypacks and backpacks.

The choice you make between open and concealed carry is affected by local laws as well as your confidence in the idea that open carry is a good idea. First, consider local laws. Certain jurisdictions ban open carry, whereas others permit open carry with no permit. Examine the laws of the areas you travel through.

After that, you should consider your personal preferences. My background is one of carry for defense. I’ve always carried concealed. The only time I’m carrying openly is when I am hunting.

First of all, I don’t want to reveal the fact that I own a gun to someone who may be interested in committing an attack. In addition I do not want to face the inconvenience of loud gun-free passers-by. To me, a gun is best hidden. Well hidden.

If you’re at ease with open carry, you’ll have a few choices. You can use your regular OWB hip holster can work with a daypack without the hip belt. If your pack does not have the hip belt, you need to consider other options.

Drop Holsters

Drop leg holsters might be an alternative. They put the gun on the thigh and do not interfere with the hip belt. I’ve yet to find a secure and comfortable Drop leg holster. They often flop around when moving, and the straps slide. They’re tight, and then they are too loose, and finally the loose ends bother me. It’s me, your mileage could be different.

Another alternative is a drop-holster. Blade-Tech and other companies, offer an adjustable drop-offset holster that positions the holster just below the belt line. It was designed to be used with battle belts, and I have found them to be safer than drop-leg or thigh the holsters. In addition. There are no straps to tug on and to rub against the skin.

Chest Holsters

A significant change from hip holsters is the possibility of chest carry. There are a variety of styles available, and the majority are made to be used for hunting. There are a variety of styles available. the Gunfighters Inc. Kenai series is designed to securely and comfortably hold an enormous frame semi-automatic (Glock 19 or Signature 226) or big bore revolver (Ruger Blackhawk). The holster’s position and the buckles will keep any heavy connections out of path of the straps for your backpack. Gunfighters Inc. Kenai Chest Holster

Moving to concealed carry, we begin with the traditional carry. Like we said, this is going to be difficult using the use of a hip belt. It is possible however, not for prolonged durations and definitely not comfortable. IWB or OWB are ideal for an outing with a minimal pack.

Other options for carrying are concealed chest equipment. They are more like an admin pouch, rather than the concealed holster. Chest straps that are attached to shoulder straps are designed to be able to fit between straps for the backpack. You might need to choose a size to ensure an appropriate fit and easy access. Hill People Gear Runners Kit

Hill People Gear have perfected the art of carrying a chest. They produce a variety of chest kit holsters. They range from their kit bag called the Snubby Bag up to Recon Kit and the Runner’s Kit bags. Each is designed to meet a particular need and has a specific size.

Recon is a more tactical bag. Recon offers a greater practical bag, and comes with an external Molle straps. Its Snubby and Runners are more compatible in that grey man idea. Hill People Gear Snubby Kit Bag on the Left and Recon Kit on the Right

Its EmmersonGear Recon Kitbag is similar in shape similar to those of the Hill People Gear packs. It is similar to the Hill People Gear packs. EmmorsonGear Recon has external Molle straps, as well as an internal Velcro as well as elastic attach points. The well-thought out bag offers a lot of customisation to your kit. EmmersonGear Recon Kitbag

Although both chest bags hide the firearm, they are evident to anyone who is who are used to carrying. If you want to conceal your firearm better, there are many highly useful firearm holsters.

Under Garment Holster Options

First first, the Bellyband allows for comfortable carry while giving you a great concealment. The Bellyband provides a wide range of positions making it possible to get a good position between your backpack’s shoulder straps. By pulling up your sweater, you will be able to pull and display your gun quickly and effectively.

For the greatest concealment, give Thunderwear an attempt. The holster is placed below the beltline and between your pants as well as your trousers, Thunderwear isn’t readily accessible but they can protect the firearm. As with a lot of items, some are adamant about them while other individuals absolutely hate Thunderwear.

Another holster with a similar depth concealment can be found in known as the the Flashbang. The holster is designed to be attached onto the middle of a bra, the Flashbang is designed to fit smaller frame guns. Just a quick pull under the shirt , followed by an upward pull is all you need to show your firearm. Flashbang Holster

An important note on the different ways to carry. It is essential to practice no matter if your holster is opened or concealed. The effectiveness of shooting from a draw is debated. It is not a matter of debate that you need to be relaxed and smooth in your draw. A poor grasp of gun is more of a risk to yourself than an opportunity to secure yourself.

Inside the Backpack

I’d like to also mention another option for carrying the gun inside your bag. It’s a common practice to make it more comfortable, but accessibility is always a concern. I’ve only kept an extra in my bag. It’s in my bag if I require it but it’s only an emergency.

The backup is an KelTec Sub2000 with a 33 round Glock happy stick. I’m relegated my upgraded backup to my backpack. If I decide to go there and fight, it’s going to be a big battle! I fully accept that should I have to get this carbine back, it’ll take me much more time than opening an ordinary chest bag.

What is the best backpacking gun?

This is a complex issue. It is contingent on your risks the way you feel, your confidence, and your capabilities.

The first step is to determine the most serious dangers you could face along the way. These are tied to your current location. The preparation for grizzly bear country is different from rattlesnake country. Examine the news in the area for threats and attacks.

In the next step, you should extend your threat beyond natural and into the human-made. Do you know if there have been any double-legged attacks along your route. Expand the search radius by 50-100 miles. Are there any attacks happening now? Human predators cover a broad variety. Keep this in mind and make plans in accordance with. What is the distance of your route planned? For how long would you together with your party be traveling on your own?

Review your trip’s terrain, duration and anticipated exertion of the trip. Ounces equal pounds. Pounds equal pain. The extra weight of a gun on your chest or hip can make you uncomfortable. The longer you travel, as well as the less level the ground the more uncomfortable the gun is.

Also, consider the carrying capacity and comfort of your equipment. Have you already traveled the miles and noticed the rub spots or pinch points? Did you fix them? If yes, then you’re prepared to tackle the long-term? If not, continue to practice and perfecting your technique. It’s not like you’re going for a long hike without new boots. This is the same for your gun and holster. After you’ve finished your lengthy shakedown, you can hit the trail!

If the biggest threat you face is from humans rather than beasts, then the standard pistol you carry and caliber are a good option. If, because of your method of carrying you require an aft gun, then you should test a few. Whatever you decide to use, do practice until you’re proficient with it.

Handgun Options

Certain people will like the dimensions and function of a compact pistol, like the following:

  • Glock 26: 9mm double stack pistol that is able to accept Glock 19 and Glock 17 mags for a greater capacity of reloading.
  • SIG 32 Small: A 9mm stack with the rail to create an easy mount, as well as other models are also are also available.

However, if you opt to carry covertly, you might want to carry something that is more concealed, such as:

  • Glock 43: 9mm single stack pistol that has Glock’s famous reliability
  • Smith and Wesson M&P 9 Shield 2.0: 9mm 7+1, 8+1 single stack with an integrated laser sight.
  • Ruger LCP: .380 tiny but extremely strong, choose a contemporary defensive ammo

If your goal is to shield yourself from bigger creatures, then you could get a larger caliber that has more power. There are a variety of options to consider:

  • Smith and Wesson 686: The standard .357 choose the larger barrel when carrying openly
  • Ruger Redhawk: 44 magnum, the best for bear country.

What are the most effective alternatives to lethal poisoning?

There are many options to defend ourselves. There are numerous alternatives that aren’t lethal that can be carried in open. These are also part of your weaponry as part of a properly-layered defense strategy.

One is pepper spray. The chemical that produces hot peppers is capsaicin, is distillated into a stronger form. Sprays that are gel-like will not blow at you from the wind. SABRE Red Fire pepper Gel spray with belt Clip

The next is spray for bears. Pepper spray is the bigger brother. It has a concentration nearly double that than pepper sprays, the bear spray has been created with the animal’s physiological considerations in the back of your mind. They come in larger containers and disperse greater amounts of spray than the pepper sprays designed specifically for human use. Udap Bear Spray

Don’t forget the basic. The majority of animals prefer to be away from human. The same animals tend to react badly when they are shocked. We usually can make enough sound to keep the larger creatures from our reach. Bears that are black are known for preferring to be left to themselves. If you’re looking for a way to help them see you from afar, bear bells are an excellent option. They produce just enough noise to give animals enough signal to get away.

Roundup of Carrying A Handgun When Backpacking

The choice to employ guns as a method to defend yourself is a significant choice. If you decide to take this route it is essential to realize the need to work and determination. The work required to acquire and maintain your proficiency with your firearm is not sufficient emphasised. Make time and effort for every firearm you use to defend yourself and remain proficient.

The decision to utilize firearms when necessary is also part of living a life with guns. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking the streets, at your house, or on the trail. The predators can detect an armed person who is not willing to fire their weapon.

The very nature of backpacking is both a test and it’s also a pleasure. The satisfaction of pushing yourself to the limit and overcoming all obstacles shows you’re alive. There are many challenges that aren’t only physical, however. Both man and animals pose dangers in the woods.

Handguns are often referred to as the greatest equalizers. Only a few defensive weapons permit self-defense against such differences as guns can. The carrying of a gun when hiking can be a challenge but if you select the right equipment, it is possible. It can be done successfully!

Take your bag. Take your sidearm. Have a good time in the dirt. Make sure you be safe!

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Tobin Bryans

Tobin Bryans

I’m Tobin; I have recently only become an author at Dens Camp Guide and look forward to sharing my knowledge of off-roading, hunting, and 4×4 jeeps!