The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 28, 2019, 05:58 AM   #1
ROCK6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Location: Georgia/Afghanistan
Posts: 308
Concealed backpack carry...

Just finished up a 106 mile (un-supported/no resupply) section of the Appalachian Trail (GA/NC). I planned for 9 days, but finished in 7 days and a wake up. Weather was great, so a couple days I was able to add a few extra miles with the longest day being 20 miles in about 9 hours...

A lot of talk on the trail about the "machete killer" incident just a few weeks ago up. I always CCW on the trail where legal and my primary handgun has been my Kahr CM9. Four-legged threats are really non-existent, but the two-legged threats present the most risk; however, even that is assessed as a very low risk. Regardless, I carry because I can and I enjoy it despite the added weight. I'm no ultralightweight backpacker, but I do weigh and assess every item in my pack, keeping excess and redundancy to a bear minimum.

Since this trip was with no resupply, my pack choice and base weight were much heavier than normal. My typical "base weight" (everything in the pack minus food, fuel, and water as they fluctuate depending on the length, season, and type of conditions on the trail), is normally about 12-13 pounds. This trip, that was bumped up to almost 16 pounds with a few extra items I wanted to test.

My CCW platform has been a Hill People Gear Kit Bag for the past decade plus. My favorite is their smaller Snubby Original. These are a pretty discreet and versatile carry platform. with several advantages. I must have seen a 50 other backpackers, hung out at a shelter with a few, ate my dinner around some when at the shelters; all while wearing my Kit Bag. Not a single question or curiosity except from one lady who was prior service and thought it was some type of Army-issued bag.

Versatile, as I'm able to carry my phone, map, compass, snacks, Bic lighter, etc. in the front area that is easily accessed while hiking. While it is comfortable with a pack, it does trap some heat in the chest area, but I've found it tolerable as my whole body gets pretty soaked when trekking in the hotter/humid months here in the Southeast. The best attribute is the ability to integrate very well with a pack without interfering with the should straps, waist-belt and suspension. It's also nice as a stand-alone for when I dump my pack but have to hike up to a quarte- mile to collect water.

Access is excellent. While you can draw it one handed with either hand, it's cumbersome. However, with two hands, it's quite fast and with the proper technique zero issues of "flagging" yourself. More importantly, since I hike with trekking poles, I've done several live-fire drills with my poles and I'm able to access, draw, and shoot with my poles (pole straps are laced through onto your wrists, so they'll dangle when shooting from a standing position).

Over all, a good gut-check and the CCW is one of my acceptable-weight, "comfort items" that is just part of my standard backpacking kit. The Kit Bags are simply of the best methods I've found over the years that works perfectly as intended when you're better off carrying concealed vice open carry.













ROCK6

Last edited by ROCK6; May 29, 2019 at 05:48 AM.
ROCK6 is offline  
Old May 28, 2019, 06:19 AM   #2
TJB101
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2017
Posts: 347
Very nice ... good story and photo’s. Thanks for sharing
TJB101 is offline  
Old May 28, 2019, 06:45 AM   #3
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,555
Congratulations on a great trip. In my younger days I've done several shorter hikes on sections of the AT as well as other trails in N GA. Lately as I've gotten older I tend to limit it to day hikes. Mainly so I don't have to carry so much. My wife and I talked about thru-hiking to Maine, but I don't see that happening now.

I've been tempted to try one of those packs. When backpacking in the past I carried in a waist pack worn backwards. They ride slightly below the backpack belt and are easily accessible. Or depending on the trail just open carry. But that looks like a better option and if anyone asks it is a binocular case.

The AT isn't the safe place it used to be. Meredith Emerson was abducted and eventually murdered while hiking on the AT near Blood Mountain several years ago.


https://www.google.com/search?q=mere...hrome&ie=UTF-8

And drugs have been a MAJOR problem on the trail. Dealers are setting up where the trail is crossing roads. And they're selling more potent stuff than Marijuana.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 28, 2019, 09:14 AM   #4
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 12,242
I'm sure those are beautiful photos, but they're twice the width and twice the height of my screen. Not only is there no way for me to view any of the photos in their entirety, I also can't read your post without scrolling back and forth to read each line. Which, candidly, I'm unwilling to do. In the future, please use a photo size that will fit on everyone's screens.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old May 28, 2019, 12:58 PM   #5
ROCK6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Location: Georgia/Afghanistan
Posts: 308
Sorry about the photo size. I will try and get them resized...I hate large photos as well.
ROCK6 is offline  
Old May 28, 2019, 03:20 PM   #6
greentick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2011
Location: Deep South
Posts: 201
Great Georgia pics Rock. In my rotating group of hiking buds I'm usually force-pro and primary (usually only) photographer. Another bud is "class 6" w bourbon and cigars. Etc

I've carried my G26 on all the GA AT. The first time I through it went in a camera type bag (with the camera). As I kept sectioning up and changed out gear I was able to ditch that bag. I've been using an ULA circuit pack for over a decade now. The G26 fits in the hipbelt pocket. I put a loop of 550 through the zipper pull for ease of access. I keep an uncle mikes IWB that I use when in camp, walking for water, etc. Never had an issue with flashing someone or being "called out" but then again most hikers aren't in that mindset, at least on the AT.
__________________
nous défions
greentick is offline  
Old May 28, 2019, 06:53 PM   #7
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,555
Quote:
Four-legged threats are really non-existent, but the two-legged threats present the most risk;
The threat is quite low and I agree two legged threats are the most risk, but I'd not call it non-existent. Springer MT (the beginning point of the AT) is right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management area and crosses through others.

That entire region is heavily populated with bear. I hunt them every fall and that is the prime area to kill a bear in GA, as is eastern NC. I wouldn't hike there without properly hanging my food at night and carrying a load suitable for bear. I think 9mm can work, but I'd recommend a magazine of these.

Scroll and read to the bottom of the page.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=388

Using common sense certainly helps, but you cannot control what the hikers who came through an hour, a day or a week before you do. If they were careless and let a bear get into their food they have trained a bear to take food from humans. And if you're the next human along the trail, then it is your problem. In the last 10 years or so I'm aware of 3-4 incidents n those areas involving bear and one small child was killed near where GA, TN, and NC come together.

I think it was you who posted a photo of a hike in the Cohutta Wilderness a few months ago. You, or someone, posted a photo standing next to the sign on the right leading to Rough Ridge trail. I've seen a dozen bear within a couple hundred yards of that sign over the years while hunting or hiking there. One sow and 2 cubs walked right under the sign a couple of years ago.

https://www.cohuttawildernesshiking....h-ridge-trail/
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 29, 2019, 06:07 AM   #8
ROCK6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Location: Georgia/Afghanistan
Posts: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
The threat is quite low and I agree two legged threats are the most risk, but I'd not call it non-existent. Springer MT (the beginning point of the AT) is right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management area and crosses through others.

That entire region is heavily populated with bear. I hunt them every fall and that is the prime area to kill a bear in GA, as is eastern NC. I wouldn't hike there without properly hanging my food at night and carrying a load suitable for bear. I think 9mm can work, but I'd recommend a magazine of these.

Scroll and read to the bottom of the page.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=388

Using common sense certainly helps, but you cannot control what the hikers who came through an hour, a day or a week before you do. If they were careless and let a bear get into their food they have trained a bear to take food from humans. And if you're the next human along the trail, then it is your problem. In the last 10 years or so I'm aware of 3-4 incidents n those areas involving bear and one small child was killed near where GA, TN, and NC come together.

I think it was you who posted a photo of a hike in the Cohutta Wilderness a few months ago. You, or someone, posted a photo standing next to the sign on the right leading to Rough Ridge trail. I've seen a dozen bear within a couple hundred yards of that sign over the years while hunting or hiking there. One sow and 2 cubs walked right under the sign a couple of years ago.

https://www.cohuttawildernesshiking....h-ridge-trail/
I don't disagree about the actions of other hikers. There was a group of three women who had their food stolen by a bear at the Standing Indian Shelter. I'm not sure how they had it hung, but chances are, it was done improperly.

The biggest threat is having food on your body or in your tent/hammock at night. I've run into dozens of black bears, including mothers with cubs, and have had zero issues. There's a certain amount of risk involved, so it's very much an individual decision to carry a firearm in the first place, and second if you think bears are your primary threat, to carry something big enough for them. I've focused on the previous vice the latter. It's also another reason why I often avoid and camp away from the shelters...shelters are like crack-cocaine to some bears...very addictive to visit due to poor food management practices by hikers.

That said, I do have hard-cast 9mm. I don't think 9mm is enough, even for the smaller black bears, but it beats a pointy stick and it's my decision based on weight verse most likely threat (two legs). Cohutta is only different because the black bear population is pretty significant. Smallest caliber I've hiked with there is with hard-cast .40 S&W.

Just doing my own threat assessment, the attacks from bears on the AT is a fraction of the incidents involving people over the past 50 years...it's not even close.

Again, the challenge is weight. It's hard to keep your pistol below a pound and a half (my target weight). These aren't the hard-cast rounds, but a good idea of what that Kahr weighs with a loaded magazine:



This is another reason I'm considering going to a J-Frame, possibly in .357 (M&P 340). Here's my S&W 438 with 5 rounds...



ROCK6
ROCK6 is offline  
Old May 29, 2019, 02:38 PM   #9
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,555
Sounds like you've got it covered. I started with a G20 for hiking in bear country, but when I decided it was too big tried a G23 with hotter 40 loads for a while. But in recent years I've settled on a G29. It is roughly the same size as the G23, just a tad thicker. A good compromise.

If not in bear country I either carry a G19 or Ruger LC9s. But after seeing how well the hardcast loads did on an Alaskan Brown bear I'm more comfortable carrying one of the 9mm's in bear country with a magazine full of those loads.

And these days most of my hikes are day hikes carrying less weight. I'm willing to put a few more ounces in the handgun. And I will be buying one of the chest packs to carry it in.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 29, 2019, 06:37 PM   #10
Rangerrich99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Kinda near Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,118
Nice bag. Think I can find a use for that. Thanks.
Rangerrich99 is offline  
Old May 30, 2019, 12:41 PM   #11
shafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2009
Posts: 1,441
I've heard great things about those bags from a couple of friends who carry with them. I don't own one yet, but after trying it on I can see why they like them so much.
shafter is offline  
Old June 5, 2019, 10:06 PM   #12
MillCreek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2004
Location: Snohomish County, Washington USA
Posts: 311
In the wet part of Washington state, I prefer corrosion-resistant .357 revolvers. For over 20 years, I carried a 2.25" Ruger SP-101, loaded with .357 158 grain JSP for my hiking, mountain biking, XC skiing and snowshoeing. I typically carried it in a molle first aid pouch attached to the waist strap of my rucksack. Recently, for the weight savings, I replaced the SP-101 with a .357 Taurus Protector Poly. I have pondered those chest packs, perhaps I should look at them again.
__________________
Regards,

MillCreek
Snohomish County, Washington USA
MillCreek is offline  
Old June 28, 2019, 11:22 PM   #13
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,858
I've been packing a Sig 938 legion.
joneb is offline  
Old June 29, 2019, 08:14 PM   #14
at2000
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 29, 2000
Posts: 130
I, too, have considered getting one of those HPG kit bags. Question: did it seem to trap heat against your chest?
at2000 is offline  
Old June 30, 2019, 01:53 PM   #15
ROCK6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Location: Georgia/Afghanistan
Posts: 308
@at2000

Yes, the Kit Bag will trap heat, which is why I like the smaller version. Much depends on your personal tolerance. We hike mostly in the high temps and humidity of the Southeast where sweating is unavoidable. I have tolerated it quite well, but you will sweat, no issues feeling major heat build up though.

ROCK6
ROCK6 is offline  
Old June 30, 2019, 04:15 PM   #16
ratshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,436
Great thread. I wish I was young enough to have the stamina to walk a trail like that.
__________________
"Those who cannot cleanly dispatch their game using a .30-30 are either shooting too far, hunting inappropriate (too large) game, or are simply incompetent." Mic McPherson

I can understand your anger at me, but what could you possibly have against the horse I rode in on?
ratshooter is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07650 seconds with 8 queries