Backpacking in the outdoors is a passion for a lot of people. My wife and I love backpacking and go hiking frequently, often in the outdoors and in the mountains. Depending on where people backpack there can be a lot of factors that go into play.
Various dangers and Wildlife. Sometimes it can be danger from other people that are hiking. One of our readers talked about concealed carry while backpacking or hiking and has asked that I create content to help people better understand how to do so.
To concealed carry while backpacking, keep in mind the following:
- Check Laws
- Understanding Your Hiking Dangers
- Best Gun to Conceal Carry For Hiking
- Choosing Conceal method
- Fanny Pack Benefits
- How To Concealed Carry While Backpacking
Now that we know what to keep in mind when concealed carrying while backpacking. Let’s talk about specifics in terms of what to do. Whether you’re an avid backpacker or just an occasional backpacker these are things to consider before going out in the great outdoors.
How To Carry Concealed While Backpacking
Last summer I went hiking to a state park. When I got to the park I saw that carrying firearms are not allowed in the State Park. I discovered this by reading a sign that was posted near the entrance of the State Park. After seeing this sign I had to drive back to my house to leave my firearm at home before I could enter the park.
Before hiking be sure to check your local laws for the specific areas that you will be hiking in. It is common for state parks to prohibit carrying handguns. I found a few common sources that are really helpful in understanding whether or not it is legal to carry in in parks your areas.
The first way to do this is by checking the nra website which lists state laws related to concealed carry. Another way is simply by calling a local police department and asking them whether or not it is legal.
Local police departments are a great resource to better understand the specifics of local laws when it comes to concealed carry. Calling a police department is a method that I use most often to understand local laws because they can vary so much. Local police departments are very up-to-date on specifics of local laws when it comes to concealed carry.
Understanding Hiking Dangers
When backpacking people experience different dangers depending on where they are hiking. For example I have mountains close to me that I hike in. Sometimes cougars or wild animals can be in the area.
I have a close friend that went hiking with his dog. When he went into the mountains a cougar attacked his dog. Fortunately he had a concealed carry weapon on him to fend off the cougar.
Some areas can be grizzly country. If there are bears in your area you probably don’t want to carry a really small caliber weapon with you. But rather a larger caliber weapon with you. Bear spray or pepper spray can be a great option as well.
It’s also important to understand the environment of hiking. For example if some climbs are very steep when hiking it may impact the method of concealed carry that you choose. We will talk more details on this later in the article.
Another Factor can be the temperature outside whether it is really warm or cold. This can impact the clothing that you wear. In addition it can impact the concealed carry method that you choose.
The chances of a wild animal is probably not likely to attack you or come to a situation where you need to use a concealed firearm. But for myself it provides a peace of mind having my weapon on me in case an event were to come up.
Let’s not forget about the dangers of other people. Sometimes hiking requires being in areas that are far off from the police station or sometimes no cell phone service to call for help. Having a concealed weapon can help with would-be attackers and rural areas where help is not readily available.
Choosing Conceal Method
Choosing the best way to conceal carry while backpacking is a crucial thing to keep in mind. The reason being is it’s important to ensure you’re comfortable when backpacking. In addition you want to ensure that you conceal carry in a way that you’re able to access your weapon quick enough if you need to. In addition decide if you want to open carry or conceal carry.
First think about the reasons you may need to access your firearm in the outdoors if needed. For example in my area there are mountains and there have been occasional sightings of cougars. There have even been reported attacks of cougars on people or their animals such as dogs.
For this reason I want to concealed carry in a method where I’m able to quickly access my firearm in case this event were to come up. But if I carry at other places such as concealed carrying at a bank or concealed carrying at a local park.
I tend to use methods of concealed carry that I don’t need to access my firearm as quickly. An example of this might be using a concealed carry backpack. Think about any situations that you may need to access your firearm And how quickly you will need to access your firearm.
Next think about the environment in a specific area of your hiking. For example what will the temperature be, how will the terrain be of the backpack area. Will you be hiking up a really steep mountain? Or will it be just a regular stroll and they’re fairly flat backpacking area?
The easiest way to conceal carry when backpacking is using a backpack holster, drop leg holster, owb holster, concealed carry backpack, shoulder holster or a concealed carry fanny pack. Keep in mind the terrain of the area you’ll be backpacking. If the terrain has a lot of woods and Jagged rocks, and OWB Holster can sometimes snag on things.
Best Gun to Conceal Carry For Backpacking
Choosing the best gun to conceal carry for backpacking requires a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best weapon to use. First is understanding the threats that will be in your area when backpacking. For example if there are chances of large animals such as bears, then you may want to choose a weapon with a little bit larger caliber bullet. Know whether you live in bear country.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the firearm. Hiking or backpacking gear can get heavy when I can fill up fast with other various gear. When backpacking it is often most convenient to carry a gun that has a smaller caliber.
Keep in mind the message that you are going to choose for concealed carry. For example if you’re choosing to appendix carry while hiking. You probably don’t want a weapon very big as it will dig into your body as you hike. Below are some of my favorite firearms for backpacking as they are small although have decent size caliber bullets.
Glock 26 Gen 4 (9MM)
Springfield Armory XDs (.45 ACP)
Smith & Wesson M&P 40C
Fanny Pack Benefits
Using a concealed carry fanny pack when backpacking. The reason this method has become so popular is because it provides easy access to the weapon in addition, ultra comfort. Fanny packs can be worn with just about any outfit and are often built to protect handguns from outdoor elements.
Last but not least protect your firearm. Oftentimes day hikes that I go on can be through streams; waterfalls and different types of water. Don’t forget it sometimes rains. Because of this I always bring Ziploc bags to store my weapon and to keep bullets or other accessories from getting wet.
Take Ziploc bags with you to ensure you’re protecting your firearm or accessories of your firearms that would be better off staying dry.