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Carrying Concealed with a Waistbelt-Equipped Backpack

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Defense Minister, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Eugene/Springfield Active Member

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    I have often wondered how I would carry a concealed handgun bigger than a pocket pistol while wearing a waistbelt-equipped backpack during warmer months or in a warmer climate. The waistbelt sits right where the gun is normally carried, so not only would this be uncomfortable, but it would be hard to access the firearm in a hurry. An ankle holster is not an option especially in a defensive encounter (ever try bending over with a loaded pack on while fighting for your life?), and a drop-leg holster isn't an option because the idea is to keep the gun out of sight.

    The reason I put this in preparedness and survival is because the only time I see it being an issue for me personally is in a SHTF scenario.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Badlands Super Day Pack.

    Has a built in holster in the belt on each side so you could put 2 pistols in it. I've put everything from a 6" 357 ruger gp100 to a walther p22 in them and it works great.
     
  3. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    If SHTF I don't care if some one sees the weapon.
    But in the summer,if you have the gun on your belt,wouldn't it show anyway?
    Anyway,I would find a way to mount the gun on the pack.Some type of chest carry

    And I ain't getting in a fight while I have my pack on.It's coming off before hand
     
    Sgt Nambu, Brutus57 and Joe13 like this.
  4. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Eugene/Springfield Active Member

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    I typically carry IWB, so that is where my dilemma lies. My EDC day pack doesn't have a waist belt for this reason, but if I have to put my 72 hour pack on, or something even bigger, it becomes an issue. Also, I'm thinking more of a natural disaster in my particular scenario in which case I believe it would be best if one's weapon were concealed.
     
    mjbskwim likes this.
  5. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I keep a mid sized semi Auto in a small "hip" pack that goes across my chest about nipple height. The "hip" pack can be secured by one of many ways to the shoulder straps on the main pack. It looks very innocent and gives me easy access. If I see anyone coming my direction that looks iffy for the environment I simply start unzipping while walking for easy access. It's secure when zipped for climbing over trees and creeks. I can carry my compass and GPS in it also.
    Hope to see you on the trails.
     
  6. sig40shooter

    sig40shooter Tahuya WA Member

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    you could wear a leg rig and utili-kilt! No one would see it coming! :D
     
    Michael Js likes this.
  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When I backpacked, some years ago, I had a large map pocket in the back of the pack behind my head. I hiked a lot of miles with a 6" .357 in that pocket. Since it was held closed with a small Velcro strip I had easy access and I carried a cheap, light nylon holster in the main compartment if I wanted to carry without the pack on. Good luck with your quest! SRG
     
    erudne likes this.
  8. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Try Outside the Waistband, crossdraw carry...most of my OWB holsters are adjustable in their angles so I can carry almost anywhere and draw at different angles.

    Works well in cars, as well...


    carjackerx_c.jpg crossdraw2.jpg

    Otherwise, if you're not a fan of appendix carry or crossdraw, I'd recommend off the belt altogether...like a shoulder rig.
     
  9. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    SHTF,what will the mentality be of the people you will deal with? If they see a gun are they apt to shoot first and ask questions after? If they don't see a gun are they going to see you as a victim? Does a backpack make you look like a big cash cow to the guy who has little? If you have nothing does it make you look like a future looter?

    It's all going to be run on fear in a big SHTF. I would pack with the fastest access yet not showing my carry.

    Edited to add, what ever carry you decide do some physical activity to see if the gun is going to stay in place. I bought some high dollar holsters in the past that the gun wouldn't stay in while I was running.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  10. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    this will always be an issue as pack manufacturers are clueless to this and plenty of reasons why someone would want to backpack with an accessible concealed pistol. Although that Badlands pack has merit except when I go to their website there is zero information how the pistol holder works. While this has merit the only downside to this is its off body carry, the gun stays with the pack when removed. ..also its only a 1950ci pack (32L).


    There are really only two options for "on-body" concealed carry, a fannypack or a chest pack.

    Put a fanny pack on with the pack up front of course then put your backpack on and set the backpack belt under the fanny pack. Simple and easy, just make certain you adjust the fannypack belt so its buckle and any adjusters are up close to the pack so they wont dig into your back. The Galco Escort pack works great for this and has a built in holster.

    HillPeopleGear make a variety of chest packs specifically for this purpose. Put the chest pack on first... I've never tried this but it looks like a solid product. The downside to this would be quickly adding or removing clothing layers on variable weather days. http://www.hillpeoplegear.com/Products/tabid/762/CategoryID/1/Default.aspx
     
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  11. huthuthike

    huthuthike Hillsboro OR Active Member

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    I went to Seven Seas Canvas in Oregon City a couple years ago and had him make a molle panel that goes over my pack's waist belt. Once you have the molle panel there are many pouches that will work for conceal carry like the Maxpedition jk-1 and jk-2. I can throw a holster in my backpack for when I don't have the pack on or carry in the fatboy that I use for day hikes and stuff.

    Not trying to shill for maxpedition - but they were easy to find examples of what I'm talking about.
     
    erudne likes this.
  12. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Eugene/Springfield Active Member

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    Koda,

    Thanks for sharing the tips and the link. That Hill People stuff looks cool, but way too tactical for me. I'm in the process of converting from the military look to the urban look for all my EDC bags. I'm probably going to end up with a covert looking but carry-specific fanny pack that will stay in my BOB should I need it.
     
  13. sailorfej

    sailorfej Scappoose Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I use the Wilderness Safepacker, directly on my pack belt. It is not precisely concealed, but not obvious either, it could pass for a map case or tablet case. It can be worn with a shoulder strap or transferred to your regular belt, although it is a little bulky and not as discrete on your regular belt without the pack. But with the rest of your backpacking gear it will blend in nicely.

    http://www.thewilderness.com/safepacker-concealment-holster/
     
  14. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Eugene/Springfield Active Member

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    I've seen the Wilderness Safepacker before and they seem really well built and suitable for use with a pack. The two issues I have with them are that $80+ seems WAY too steep for a nylon pouch (I can buy a good tactical EDC pack for around $100), and if I have to ditch the pack in a hurry the gun goes with it.

    Thank you for the suggestion!
     
    Koda likes this.
  15. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    That's why I never tried the Hill People stuff and went with the fanny pack. Hiking outdoors or otherwise with a backpack on a fanny pack does not stand out. Galco Escort is the only pistol specific one I know of that doesn't scream "gun", I used one for over 15 years before the zipper broke and got another one, I recommend it. Also, a much cheaper option than the Galco... A friend of mine uses a Mt Hardware fanny pack for the same purpose because it fits and holds his Sig just right even though it doesn't have a built in holster. Any of the popular name brand hiking fanny packs will not stand out and most of all it stays with you when you remove the pack.
     
  16. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    So, I think there's a bit more to the story here... namely "when" are you going to need to carry this way.

    In general, when I'm hunting, backpacking, etc, I open carry. I have a rig that's very similar to an M1 tanker's holster, which holds the pistol on the left front of my body. I can wear it under a jacket or shirt for concealed carry, but usually I just don't worry about it. I've used drop-legs in the past, but I don't find them at all comfortable, and worse still, lets say you have to kneel down to look under something, in the desert, that automatically means your gun is now full of sand. With the M1 style (or even the M3 style) it's much less an issue and would essentially require doing a belly crawl to dirty things up.

    It has positive enough retention that I even wear it while sleeping.
     
  17. Hamilton Felix

    Hamilton Felix Marblemount, Washington Active Member

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    Wilderness Safepacker is not cheap, and it needs a belt to support it (I have one, but don't presently use it). I was looking into this question a few years back. I was thinking in terms of an external frame backpack with hip belt. Sometimes you take off your pack, such as walking a log across a large stream (safety item if you fall and have to swim). It would be good to have a sidearm and a couple of survival items on one's person, independent of the pack.

    I noted that Shomer-tec sold a "Chest Raider" chest pouch that could include a gun, and they also offered the "Covert Chest Raider," which could conceal a handgun. I ordered one and liked it, but it would not quite accomodate the S&W Mountain Gun I wanted to conceal, so I returned it. It would have easily carried something like a G19 or my Kimber Pro Carry. I think the concept of an independently carried chest pouch is good. Do some research in that direction. Heck, back when I was into 35mm SLR photography I used a Kuban Hitch a bit, to carry the camera on my chest.

    With a little effort, you should be able to come up with a chest rig that is compatible with, but completely independent of, your pack. It should conceal a readily accessible handgun and perhaps a few essentials like firestarter and small first aid kit. For that matter, make it red with a white cross on it, and even a snoopy park ranger won't question it. ;)
     
  18. Barefoot African

    Barefoot African Saint Helens Oregon Active Member

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    Carry a 1911 commander sized inside the waistband in a milt sparks summer special, with my regular HD 511 belt. Incidentally it is my EDC too. Pack 35# no interference, no pressure at the 4 o'clock position. There is like a pressure hollow right where the EDC goes, so no interference. Try it you might be surprised. Concealed, easy to reach under a shirt, same manual of arms..... and that matters.
     
  19. Hamilton Felix

    Hamilton Felix Marblemount, Washington Active Member

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    I'm one to carry Commander size IWB behind the hip, too. It's those full sized external frame backpacks with the big padded waisbelts that interfere. A small/short pack with just straps is OK. I'm not about to change my EDC for a day pack.
     
  20. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I'm trying to remember how I did this back in the 70's in Kali. with my old red Kelty pack.
    As I recall I had a Walther PPK that was carried in an inside pocket of a cotton vest. The pocket was slanted downwards and it was an addition to the vest, angled so that it was deep and easy to access right handed. The pocket and the vest were designed so they were below and in front of the straps waist band as a cross-draw 'rig'. It was not a perfect solution. Perhaps a Belly Band holster could hold a small handgun in the space between shoulder and waist bands?
    Full sized? I carried an M-29 6.5" with that pack in Alyaska but never "concealed"
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015