Whether you’re out hiking, camping, or even hunting, you may be wondering how to carry a gun while backpacking. There’s a lot to consider – what are the legal requirements? What’s the safest way to carry? What’s the easiest way to carry?
If these questions are on your mind, then read on, as we’ll try our best to comprehensively answer them for you. Let’s take a look!
Why Should I Carry A Gun Whilst Backpacking?
Hiking or backpacking is a great way to spend your time. The views are spectacular, and you’ll be doing your body and mind a great favor. However, you may not be alone when you go backpacking.
There are a variety of creatures who may want to harm you when you least expect it. And, if you leave your gun in the car or even at home, you’re not going to have anything to protect yourself. Many people go with the option of being better safe than sorry and take the burden of a gun whilst backpacking.
It’s not just animals that can hurt you. As hard as it is to hear, humans are a threat wherever you go. A gun could really be the difference between safety and harm.
Of course, before you even think about carrying a gun whilst backpacking, you’ll need to consider the legalities of carrying a gun.
The following states allow you to carry a gun without a permit: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.
In terms of federal law, you can carry a firearm in national parks and national forests. Although further restrictions may apply, so always check your local gun laws before carrying a firearm.
You’ll also need to consider state law, which can make the previous federal rules obsolete. For example, Connecticut, New York, and Maryland prohibit firearms in their parks and you cannot claim ignorance as a defense.
Finally, most states suggest that you should keep your gun ‘unloaded until ready to use.
Always do your own local research before carrying a firearm. Safety is key, but you need to be in line with the law first and foremost.
What To Expect When Backpacking With A Firearm:
- Discomfort: A firearm can be a downright inconvenience to your hiking trip. Any form of carrying, from a belt to a purse can be very uncomfortable and get in the way of your stride. You’ll also be carrying extra weight which can slow you down and tire you out. And if you decide to keep it in your backpack, then your gun isn’t going to be any use to anyone!
- It’ll Keep You Off-balance: When you’re backpacking, you’ll want to keep the weight as evenly as possible, to reduce stress on your body and make long-distance hiking much easier. However, you can’t balance a firearm, which is going to make hiking a whole lot harder.
- Reduced Endurance: Not only will you be carrying more weight, but you’ll also be more prone to blisters and chafing when you carry a gun. Be prepared, it’s not easy.
Maintaining Your Weapon:
When you hike, you’re going to get sweaty. You don’t want any of this sweat to get into your gun. Why? Well, they’re a bit like oil and water- they really don’t mix! Always be sure to strip and clean your gun after your hiking trips. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future and also assure you that, should you need it, your gun is going to be able to perform and protect you.
Different Ways To Carry Your Gun While Backpacking:
There are many ways to carry your fun whilst backpacking. Weigh up the pros and cons of each to find your perfect style!
- Drop Holster: A drop holster allows you to place your gun on your thigh. It’s a good option for mobility, as the gun will be below your belt line and therefore somewhat out of your way. However, many drop holsters are uncomfortable and unstable, with fidgety and seemingly unstable straps. They may not be the most comfortable option for you.
- Chest Holster: Designed for hunting, this holster sits on your chest, allowing for easy and quick access to your firearm. This holster is great because the design allows bulky connections to be out of the way of any bag straps you may have.
- Hip Belt: This is a traditional and sturdy carry option. However, it’s not going to be comfortable and therefore not great for long periods.
- Concealed Chest Rig. This is one of the best concealed carry options. You’ll have great access to your firearm, and it’ll be much more comfortable than a hip belt.
- Inside Of Your Backpack: As previously mentioned, this is not a good way to store your primary firearm. Limited access really means this method is only okay for a backup weapon. If you want a backup, then this can be a good option for extra comfort.
So, that’s a comprehensive guide on how to carry a gun while backpacking. There are so many things that you will need to consider before going out and carrying a gun whilst hiking, so take ample time to plan the logistics and legal concerns of your journey.
Before you set out, check local laws and even contact your local authorities to be on the safe side of the law. Invest in a good holster to reduce discomfort and increase the satisfaction of your journey. Follow these steps, and you’ll be prepared for anything that a hiking trail may throw at you. Have fun and stay s