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Keeping a Gun Holster in Your Backpack


Black and brown backpack next to a white coffee cup on a huge rock

It’s important to have your firearm available any time you might be walking into a dangerous situation. This includes hiking or outdoor activities where you might encounter dangerous people and wildlife.

If you’re not able to, or would prefer not to carry a gun on your person, you have options to carry it in your backpack. Here are a few key tips:

Weapon Accessibility is Extremely Important

Your biggest concern with carrying a gun holster in your backpack will be accessibility. In a critical situation, you may need to get a hold of your weapon fast.

Backpack Pockets

While some backpacks are specifically designed for carrying a firearm, there are other ways you can take your sidearm on the trails. Make sure to get a holster that easily tucks into a front or side pocket of your pack. nylon holsters are often considered the best for backpack pockets because they keep your weapon accessible without adding extra bulk that causes a burden as you move.

Holster Attached to Strap

For the greatest accessibility, consider attaching your holster to one of the straps of your backpack, threading it through the same way you would for a belt. Outside-the-waistband holsters are good for this, and OWB pancake holsters in particular because they can attach flush and secure to the side of your pack.

Main Backpack Compartment

The size of your backpack may give you the flexibility to carry and conceal a much larger firearm than you would otherwise be able to. If you plan to make use of the main compartment of your backpack for your gun and holster, we recommend attaching it to the interior with the grip facing upward so that it’s easily retrievable and cannot be easily buried under the other items you’re carrying.

The best way to do this is by sewing a strap to the interior of your backpack for the holster to clip onto. Kydex holsters are a good sturdy choice for this.

Consider the Conditions You’ll Face

Another important factor when selecting a gun holster for backpack carrying is what conditions you’ll face. This includes terrain types, along with weather and other elements. It’s important to choose the right holster that protects your firearm from conditions to ensure it reliably works when needed.

Be sure to choose one that firmly keeps your firearm in place. This is particularly important if you’re expecting a rough landscape. The last thing you want is a holster jostling loose from its holster in your pack.

Backpack with a hunting rifle


Double Check All Carry Laws

First you need to know any laws regarding carrying on the properties you plan to hike on. This includes federal and state laws. Responsible gun ownership means being 100 percent legal at all times. Because you are carrying your gun holster in a backpack that means you’ll be concealed carrying. So make sure you have a CCW permit in advance. The last thing you want to do is wander into an area with your firearm and be caught with a holster that violates local ordinances.

Pick the Holster That Will Keep You Safe

The last thing to keep in mind is overall safety. While carrying a compact holster is great if you are walking in an urban environment, it may not be the best choice for wilderness trekking. Ask yourself what handgun has the right stopping power for the situations you’ll face. If you are likely to encounter a bear or other wildlife on a rural trail, ensuring you have a larger firearm to match the potential danger is a must. Considering these points can help you decide on the best backpack holster, but there are always other variables. In those situations, ask an expert for advice. OUTBAGS USA has a great team of firearm holster specialists who can help you determine the best holster for your needs in any situation. If you still need help settling on the perfect holster, reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to make a recommendation.

March 12, 2019 by OUTBAGS USA
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