CA wilderness: Why you should *always* have your carry on you

here’s one on why you should always have your carry on you:

In the middle of nowhere and there’s a guy with a knife and bad intentions.


As a backpacker this is something that I’ve worried about as well. Luckily nothing has ever happened while I’ve been out on the trail. Not saying that it couldn’t happen. Not all of the states my beloved Appalachian Trail goes through will allow me to carry in.

One of the biggest complaints by thru hikers on why not to carry is the weight. Let alone where are you concealing it at on you. Wearing shorts or a hiking kilt you’re not wearing a belt. The hip belt from the pack is right where someone would typically wear a belly band. Along with a whole lot of other issues on where would you carry at on yourself. Unfortunately, I do not have a good answer for all of it at this time. I am not saying that someone shouldn’t be carrying while out hiking or other outdoor recreational activities. Sometimes it’s just plain difficult to, like in a bikini on the beach lol.


I’ve seen chest rigs that would work well with a backpack for guys, or very flat chested women.

It’s been a while since I did any hardcore backpacking but there are molle holsters that might ride well on the lower right side of my pack, secured to the compression straps. Dropleg might work too, and that would stay on even with the pack off.


@Zee I would hate to attach it to with a Mollie holster or put it in my pack. With a chest rig I couldn’t carry under my top as the pack itself hinders access. With both the shoulder straps and hip belt keeping me from getting under my top. The drop leg is a possibility if worn under a kilt but the lack of wearing a belt comes into play as well. Not trying to be difficult just haven’t come up with a good way for me to carry while backpacking.

The pack I currently have and the one I plan on upgrading to don’t lend themselves well to attaching something like a holster to them. I would definitely want it on my person and concealed. The best I can come up with is a larger additional pocket that can be clipped onto my utility kilt. Using a pocket type holster concealing it in that. These pockets can swing because they only clip at the top. The question is will a handgun banging against my leg all day long every day for 5 to 6 months not get on my nerves? Lol

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I have seen pouches that attach across the chest along the sternum strap similar to the tool bags that go on motorcycle handlebars. Depending on the size of your carry weapon, it might be an option.

Not sure what would work with your setup, but I have an old-fashioned hi-capacity external frame pack. This is the chest rig that would adapt to my pack, but its definitely not concealed.

This is a different one:

Those might be adaptable to ride on my abs, such as they are, below the girls, supported by my pack straps.

This is the type of leg bag I was thinking of, it would minimize knocking about and flopping but wouldn’t work with a kilt… I usually hike in long pants. This isn’t firearms specific but I’ve seen similar ones that are, and this would need to be dropped to get it below the hip belt… I might look to see if there’s one customizable to serve better.

Alien gear has this but its definitely OC:

I have their shapeshifter kit and I like it, might add this option to my set.

And their article:


This is the other option that is on my radar, it’ll fit on the backpack hip belt, and I’d probably wear it apendix, and its non-obvious as a carry option.

This is a pretty good article assessing different options


I use an internal frame pack. Currently I am trying to upgrade all my gear to get into the lightweight category, base weight under 20 lbs. Along the AT there are several restaurants, grocery stores, etc that don’t allow hikers to bring in their packs where I would be doing a resupply. Which makes attaching to my pack not a good idea. I hike in shorts or a kilt. On cold days it’s a pair of leggings but that is only on really cold days. Thank you for the suggestions. I definitely do need to ponder on my options.


That was a dilemma for us but long ago we all attached cross draw holsters to our pack belts and have an alternate belt and holster for once we’ve dropped the packs.

Back in the 70’s my dad and a couple of buddies would spend 2-3 weeks in Colorado Wilderness areas on combination backpacking and fishing trips. On one of their first trips they encountered a couple of hard cases that seemed to be of a mind of relieving them of all of their expensive backpacking and fishing gear.

One of his buddies had a pair of ultralight aluminum framed 1911 customs and dad carried a snubby .357 ostensibly for bear encounters but that incident set the precedent for the future that none of them ever went into the mountains again without carrying.


Chest/abdomen rigs can be very practical but depending on your build can really interfere with your pack straps.

Leg/thigh rigs look very practical but in truth they’ll beat you to death over the course of a long day if they are not fitted exactly right and can be very difficult to access while wearing your pack.

Unfortunately the most comfortable and practical ways to carry while packing don’t give you quick access other than a shoulder rig built into your pack strap or hip belt holster.


just gonna say that with my build the chest rig is the one that’d beat me to death. any firearm riding there is gonna shake apart before I cross the first day’s trail. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
ab rig could work though.


If I was only hiking in NC there wouldn’t be a problem. My dilemma is the trail I hike goes through 14 states consisting of roughly 2200 miles. I will eventually do a thru hike from beginning to end in a 5 to 6 month timeframe. Of these 14 states only 9 of them do I have reciprocity in. Not all of them allow open carry so I must conceal. The 5 states I don’t have reciprocity in are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. New York doesn’t issue to non-residents. The other 4 who knows how hard it is to be issued a non-residents license.

Being someone that abides by the law it isn’t as simple as figuring out where or how to affix my handgun on myself. There are 343.3 miles of trail in states that I cannot carry in. It’s not like I’m going on and planning for a hiking/camping/fishing trip. All of my preparations and hikes I’m doing currently are to be ready for a long distance trek. All the while trying to find the most practical and comfortable way to carry doing it. Roughly 2200 miles in one go is no small task.


It is possible I could use my Can Can thigh garter holster with the utility kilt. Just wondering how many times I will hit my Sig with the trekking pole lol. I’ve never hiked with it like that so not sure how long being that slightly off weighted will wear me down.

Just not 100% positive I could conceal with that and still be able to access with my pack on. I know that I can’t for the days where I hike with just a sports bra on :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Burly, It seems a little crazy, right at the moment you we’re peeing, the big burly bad guy shows up, it’s kind of creeping up on the outrageous so called feminist talk to me…
The idea of Carry is great, but the story is kinda bull to me though and seems to throw negative connotations on men, as it seems a lot of females seem to do…
But if you are going out in the wilderness first aid, a gun, a knife/ machete would be great, Flint device to start a fire and food is the norm…


Isn’t the whole of the Appalachian trail National Forest or National Parks land?

If not, I’d definitely consult with an atty on the portions running through those states that don’t have reciprocity because in most cases the laws for carrying while hunting, backpacking, fishing etc are going to be quite different from the regular carry laws within the state.

This is another great example of why we need a national reciprocity or “right to carry” law, with federally issued carry permits.


Most violent crime is committed by men and catching someone with their pants down (literally) is an ideal time to launch an ambush attack.

Predators will seek prey at their most vulnerable state whenever possible.

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Actually, no. It does go through 8 National Forests and 2 National Parks. It does mainly stick to forests and wild lands but also goes through towns, some small sections are on roadways, and through private farmland, and through one zoo in New York (Trailside Zoo).

Consulting an attorney would be nice. Most if not all of them won’t give me the information that I want our of the kindness of their heart. Currently I can’t afford the consultation fees for five different lawyers in those states I mentioned. Anyways laws change all of the time. My thru hike isn’t planned until 2025 which is when I’ll have enough saved up to afford my on and off trail expenses and cover for me until I can get another job after finishing the trail.

It would be nice but don’t see it happening any time soon.