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View Full Version : Concealed vs. Open carry while hiking


cracked91
February 23, 2009, 11:51 PM
What do you guys think of Open carry vs. Concealed carry when hiking. There are alot of factors to weigh in, for example a BG might leave you alone if he sees you have a gun, or he might wait till you are sleeping to do something. But if you are carrying concealed he might not be afraid to try to rob you in the first place? Some other info though for me it is a choice between a concealed Bersa .380 with no spare mag, a concealed P22 with 2 spare mags(I got my average reload time down to about 4 seconds), A openly carried S&W 66-5 .357 4", or an openly carried Springfield GI 1911 (no spare mags at the moment).

nazshooter
February 24, 2009, 01:00 AM
I only carry about half the time when out hiking but when I do I OC a Ruger P345. The way I see it, next to being aware of your surroundings the best thing you can do is not look like prey and I think the deterrent factor of OC is pretty high. Besides, if the BG isn't deterred by the fact that you are armed then you're probably going to want the larger caliber.

BTW. I've been noticing a lot more people carrying on the trails here in AZ lately, mostly revolvers.

KLRANGL
February 24, 2009, 01:03 AM
Yay for Virginia not allowing OC in state parks :(

chris in va
February 24, 2009, 01:17 AM
Yay for Virginia not allowing OC in state parks

Where does it say that specifically? CC is allowed with permit...

4VAC5-30-200. Firearms.

No person except employees, police officers, or officers of the department shall carry or possess firearms of any description, or airguns, within the park. This regulation shall not apply in areas designated for hunting by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. This regulation also shall not apply to the carrying of concealed handguns within state parks by holders of a valid concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to ยง 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

BTW here's something you may have missed. AG wrote VCDL back saying OC is fine in State Parks.

http://www.vcdl.org/pdf/08-043-Cuccinelli.pdf

Stevie-Ray
February 24, 2009, 02:45 PM
I always OC'd when hiking before I got my CPL. Now, I generally CC, but sometimes OC. See?:D

OldMarksman
February 24, 2009, 03:00 PM
I've seen a lot of comments here about the supposed deterrent value of open carry. I'd be interested in the bases of those comments.

A friend of mine who is a former policeman believes that a dangerous killer would simply take you out by surprise just to take your gun.

For me, were I to hike in an area in which I could carry openly, the decision to do so would be based on the choice of gun, and that choice would be driven by the fact that I don't like the idea of not having "enough gun." We have bears, feral pigs, wild dogs, and the worst human criminal element. A bigger gun would be my choice. And that indicates against CC.

Gazpacho
February 24, 2009, 05:02 PM
Carry concealed, always.

In general you will encounter fewer problems, if no one knows you are carrying a gun (assuming you have the legal right to do so).

In my (limited) experience, park rangers know even less about gun laws than the general public.

The only firearms I open carry in the wilderness are equiped with slings.

As an aside, Scandium, Titanium and Aluminum are a hiker's best friends.

troy_mclure
February 24, 2009, 06:15 PM
depends what kinda hiking im doing, and where.
if im just strolling thru the woods no pack, ill cc.
if ive got a pack and oc is legal, ill have a pistol strapped to my pack.
if oc is not legal, i have a quick access Velcro pouch in my pack thats just a bit slower than holster.

NavyLT
February 24, 2009, 06:24 PM
I've seen a lot of comments here about the supposed deterrent value of open carry.

I have never been accosted while open carrying, therefore, I am assuming it has deterred every thought of it by BG's.

How in the heck would you measure deterrment of an action? However, if you look at military strategy, deterrment by a visible show of possible retalitory force has always been the defensive strategy. The element of surprise has been reserved for offensive strategy.

chris in va
February 24, 2009, 07:16 PM
I'd be interested in the basis of those comments

OldMarksman, I've got one for you.

I know a guy in VA that went to deposit his check at a Suntrust bank near Richmond. He knows the tellers and was chatting with one of them when this guy comes in wearing a winter mask. He said the guy looked around nervously, saw his openly carried 1911, wrung his hands a few times and left.

KLRANGL
February 24, 2009, 11:35 PM
Where does it say that specifically? CC is allowed with permit...
CC is allowed with permit, but I said OC... OC is not allowed as per state parks rules...

BTW here's something you may have missed. AG wrote VCDL back saying OC is fine in State Parks.
Ive seen it, but the AG's opinion does not make it law. Right or wrong, the VA DCR website says firearms to be carried by concealed carry permit holders only.

cracked91
February 25, 2009, 12:14 AM
Yeah I live in AZ too and when I go hiking on the rim with my friends I usually just pack my .357 on my waist but loaded the thing weighs in. The P22 I can't even feel wherever it is fully loaded, which is also why lately I have preferred it. There also seems to be an emotional issue with hikers on trails closer to the city, people seeing being carried by someone who does not look 35 or older seem to get uncomfortable (im 21 but I have been open carrying my revolver on the more remote trails since I was 17, here in az anyone 14-17 can carry a weapon as long as it is legal hunting or target shooting, so if anyone asked i was hunting.) But the main concern for me was mentioned above, if the BG sees your gun he might just wait till he can catch you with your guard down

nazshooter
February 25, 2009, 01:07 AM
I've seen a lot of comments here about the supposed deterrent value of open carry. I'd be interested in the bases of those comments.

On this and pretty much every other gun forum you'll find people recounting experiences where a BG backed off once the good guy displayed their gun. Beyond that, it just seems like common sense that criminals, just like any other predator prefer easy prey.

A friend of mine who is a former policeman believes that a dangerous killer would simply take you out by surprise just to take your gun.

Well, that's the classic argument against OC but I've never heard of it actually happening, have you? Seems like a tough way to make a living.

One reason I prefer OC in the woods is that it's generally a lot faster to draw. The one and only time I ever felt threatened the guys never made any overt threats that would have justified me drawing but they were close enough that I probably couldn't have gotten to some zipper pouch on my pack if they'd tried anything. I could however get to a gun right there on my hip.

treo
February 25, 2009, 03:19 AM
I can't see how you could CC W/ a backpack in such away that the weapon would be readily available.

I'd hang the pistol right on the pack

The Great Mahoo
February 25, 2009, 08:25 AM
I generally carry concealed, simply because I find it a bit easier on me. My pack has a gun-pocket on it, so I just keep the gun in there. I carry a .45colt revolver N-Frame with some extra ammo, mostly.

I am in favor of open carry, I have just never done it much. Its just easier, in my oppinion, to have it in a ready-access spot on my pack, rather than bouncing on my hip while carrying gear. I suppose if I carried my smaller, daily CCW while hiking, I might be more inclined to keep it on my person.

if oc is not legal, i have a quick access Velcro pouch in my pack thats just a bit slower than holster. I'm curious as to what pack you have. I have a Camalbak Demon that has this kind of feature, but am wondering if there are other packs like this.

ActivShootr
February 25, 2009, 09:28 AM
Carry concealed, always.

I can't think of a reason not to.

troy_mclure
February 25, 2009, 10:24 AM
great mahoo, i have a demon, and a swiss gear ruck that has a convenient pouch as well.

swman
February 25, 2009, 10:27 AM
Always carry concealed. Never show people what you really have.

NavyLT
February 25, 2009, 12:15 PM
Quote:
Carry concealed, always.

I can't think of a reason not to.

Because it is easier to deter an action from happening in the first place rather than defend against an action that is in the process of happening.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 25, 2009, 12:19 PM
I believe that Platt and Matix went to shooting areas in Florida and killed those folks for their cars and gear. So that's at least one case where the presence of guns was not a deterrent as compared to the surprise factor.

Also, the Hmong individual went and killed other armed hunters when he snapped.

Sparks2112
February 25, 2009, 01:38 PM
The last time I went hiking I carried a .45 in a thigh holster, and a Glock 31 IWB under my jacket. Different tools for different problems and all...

armsmaster270
February 25, 2009, 03:25 PM
I have always carried a mountain gun openly and a hideout CCW

coondogger
February 25, 2009, 04:00 PM
I spend a lot of time in the woods. I'm either hunting, scouting, fishing, or roving. During hunting season handgun carry isn't a factor. I'm already carrying a rifle or shotgun. But when fishing or scouting I generally open carry unless it's cold and I'm wearing a jacket. I carry not for protection against human predators (where I go, there usually aren't any), but for protection against rabid animals or just plain aggressive animals (which are rare).

deputy tom
February 26, 2009, 08:08 PM
swman said it right,"Always carry concealed. Never show people what you really have.".I don't even let them see my pocket knife clip.The element of supprize is worth ten fold.tom.:cool:

indiandave
February 27, 2009, 10:12 AM
Back in the 70's and 80's I did a lot of backpacking. I never carried a gun and never had a problem. Today the world is a different place. I would carry. I have a camara pack that sits in front of my waist. I would carry an Airweight revolver(S&W 642) plus a reload there. I use to be pretty fast with a camera. I think I could get my gun out fast. Every oz. counts going up hill so the little S&W would be light.It just seams the hills are longer and steeper today:rolleyes:

BoulderTroll
February 27, 2009, 05:05 PM
One more vote for concealed. I prefer if nobody knows I'm armed. Good guys, bad guys, and everyone in between.

A/C Guy
February 28, 2009, 02:50 PM
That guy that killed all the hikers on the Appalachian Trail targeted unarmed hikers. A guy like that would wait to catch you off guard and steal your weapon after ambushing you. I think it is better to keep the weapons concealed to give you the element of surprise instead of getting ambushed and being disarmed. Also, there are cases of anti gunners confronting armed campers. Better to walk softly and carry a concealed weapon.

JohnKSa
February 28, 2009, 03:15 PM
Well, that's the classic argument against OC but I've never heard of it actually happening, have you?Yes, it has happened. Do an internet search using the words newton patent tavern carrying openly.

Sort of silly to have to provide an example given that everyone already KNOWS that determined criminals are willing to brave armed defenders. Gun store robberies are one example, banks with armed security guards are another.

Pbearperry
February 28, 2009, 03:38 PM
I think open carry is fine if you are playing cowboys&Indians.For reality,I believe concealed is the way to go.That way you don't scare the sheeple.However,if I owned a few 1000 acres,I would not think twice of open carry,esp. if I was on one of my horsies.:)

pax
February 28, 2009, 03:46 PM
Gun store robberies are one example, banks with armed security guards are another.

Law enforcement departments generally require their personnel to carry firearms in Level Three retention holsters for this very reason, and officers are also trained in how to keep control of their firearms if they are attacked. Despite this, every year, officers are assaulted, disarmed, and murdered using their own weapons.

Weapons retention when open-carrying is not a trivial concern.

pax

odsixer
February 28, 2009, 04:06 PM
In some areas(even remote ones) you have to carry concealed because carrying either way is a no no:eek: (not that I'm advocating breaking the law mind you).

Nnobby45
February 28, 2009, 04:39 PM
What do you guys think of Open carry vs. Concealed carry when hiking. There are alot of factors to weigh in, for example a BG might leave you alone if he sees you have a gun, or he might wait till you are sleeping to do something.

This subject is the source of many an argument and has been discussed ad nauseum.

Without the slightest doubt, many, if not most, criminals would be detered by an open carried pistol.

Also, without doubt IMO, giving up your tactical advantage to the smaller but more dangerous % of criminals is only likely to contribute to your demise--even to the extent that it attracts those who may not have been planning to attack you until they saw your nice gun they'd like to have.

Since some people, like gun store owners, jewelry store personel, and others, are likely to be armed anyway, there isn't really (at least it could be argued) a tactical advantage in concealing the weapon. I'd still prefer carrying concealed, however.

In some instances, there are maturity issues with those who insist on open carry.

In other instances, one has no choice, since CCW isn't legal.

Lastly: When carrying in isolated areas while hiking, I'd have no problem carrying open. You put your coat on, you take it off, depending on your physical exertion level. In more populated hiking areas, I'm still a blend in, don't attract attention to myself, kind of guy.:cool:

redhart
February 28, 2009, 06:34 PM
Concealed both primary and backup

tblt44
February 28, 2009, 07:04 PM
I am all for concealed carry it gives you a little uperhand because they don't know you have a gun.On the other hand open carry would be good to defend yourself from a wild animal because you can get your gun faster.I say carry one concealed and one o.t.w.If a bad guy gets the uperhand on you and makes you disarm then you still can defend yourself when the time is right.If a bear or other animal charges you you can pull your firearm quickly and if you need it you have your back up gun.

Milspec
February 28, 2009, 07:34 PM
Concealed always. I don't want to be stalked by some idiot who thinks he wants my gun.

Sportdog
February 28, 2009, 11:20 PM
Before I got my CPL I would open carry. I was usually carrying for use on four legged critters, not for self defense. I think that in high risk areas such as trailheads, a hand on the weapon would do a lot to discourage a possible attack and you would be able to bring your weapon to bear in the quickest amount of time. As with most possible scenerios, the details are endless. Besides, it isn't that easy to CC a six inch barrel, Colt 357 Magnum revolver.;)

TraderJack
February 28, 2009, 11:54 PM
If I'm scouting or just out for a stroll on a beautiful evening I carry concealed.

But if I'm out fishing or some other activity where I might be 'engaged in a battle royal with a bass', I carry open with Galco's Phoenix. Gives me the option of crossdraw or strong side.

Everyday street carry is 45 ACP, but woods carry is 10mm with loads from Mike McNett.

petemo
March 1, 2009, 04:26 PM
Well hiking or out in the woods I guess for me the weather may determine open or concealed carry. Cold weather coat and so on. About a month ago I was in Sam's Clup and a guy, I guess close to 70 walked in with a pistol strapped to his hip. Sam's has no sign prohibiting concealed carry in the store and under Georgia law if you have a permit carry is ok in places like that. Point I am making he made even me worry. Places and circumstances should dictate concealed or open carry not comfort.

Mannlicher
March 3, 2009, 04:24 PM
In the first place, I am rarely, if ever, surprised by another person when hiking. Almost always, I hear or see the other person long before I am seen or heard. I think the many years I have still hunted deer help with that.

I have been carrying a J frame Smith .38 special in a pocket holster. That satisfies the State of Florida's requirement to carry concealed, as well as keeping the revolver at hand.

If I am hiking in a wilderness area, and not on a designated trail, I usually carry a different handgun, and use open carry.

If I were in Sam's club, and saw an old timer with a pistol or revolver in open carry, I would smile and pat him on the back. :) Trust me, he is the LEAST of your worries among gun packers.

Careby
March 3, 2009, 04:33 PM
But if I'm out fishing or some other activity where I might be 'engaged in a battle royal with a bass', I carry open with Galco's Phoenix. Gives me the option of crossdraw or strong side.

Wow, sounds like the bass in your neck of the woods must be pretty dangerous!:D

CAP1
March 3, 2009, 06:09 PM
When I'm backpacking the AT or the like, it's usually with 3-4 other large grown men, so I don't worry about it.
We all carry big knives.

Michael Bane
March 4, 2009, 01:28 PM
Interesting thread, and one dear to my heart (as the author of the soon-to-be reissued TRAIL SAFE and the episode of THE BEST DEFENSE, airing today, on carrying in the backcountry).

I live in rural Colorado and spend a lot of time in the backcountry. Depending on where I'm hiking, the time of year, etc., I alternate between CCW and open carry. On USFS/BLM land in Colorado I generally open carry a .44 Special S&W revolver in a Simply Rugged pancake holster (which makes the relatively heavy Hamilton Bowen custom revolver carry pretty easy).

On trails where I'm not sure what land is being crossed, I go to concealed carry (often just my regular daily carry gun, a Para Carry 9 semi).

As a rule of thumb, if I'm hiking in a new area or someplace I don't know, I will go with concealed. I've come across rather unpleasant poachers in some areas, and it was comforting to have my hand on the concealed pistol while having conversations with same. My Sweetie asked me why I violated my rule and got closer to the poacher than I would in an urban situation. I told her he had a long-barreled shotgun which he carried at a high ready with both hands, and I wanted to be able to step inside the radius of the shotgun barrel to block/grab the gun if I had to shoot.

In the winter, I often opt with either a concealed chest holster (from Survival Sheath Systems) or a cheapie old shoulder holster from Uncle Mike's...that allows me to access the gun through the vents on the front of my shell jacket...and what's more natural in the winter than tucking one's hand inside the jacket to keep them warm?

Michael B

grymster2007
March 4, 2009, 04:42 PM
and I wanted to be able to step inside the radius of the shotgun barrel to block/grab the gun if I had to shoot. That's a good point and in my case I could get my gut inside the barrel radius, while still maintaining plenty of maneuver room with the rest of my body outside the barrel radius. You might have that same luxury.... unless of course it's just all those camera's on you... :)

Big Bill
March 5, 2009, 09:37 PM
Get at least two speedloaders for the S&W .357 and open carry it or the .45 with a couple of mags. You may need the more powergul caliber for wild animals (cougar, bears, or wild boar).