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Old September 21, 1999, 09:32 AM   #1
Matt VDW
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Join Date: July 27, 1999
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This is a field report on the DeSantis "Look! I'm carrying a gun!" fanny pack holster.

My wife and I went camping in a state park this past weekend. Since I planned to carry more stuff with me on our hikes than would fit in my pockets, I crammed everything into my DeSantis fanny pack holster and wore it the whole time. (Note: since I'm a good little citizen of the not-so-great CCW-fearing state of Ohio, I didn't bring a gun, even though I did check at home and found that my SP101 would have fit nicely).

Now, the DeSantis is not a well-camouflaged holster by any stretch of the imagination. It's big, it's black, and it's probably what most folks have in mind when they say that using a fanny pack holster isn't much more discreet than open carry.

Even so, I didn't notice anyone giving me a second look. And the park was crowded, with every campsite in use and lots of hikers on the trails. There were even a few deputy sheriffs and a park ranger on patrol. Then again, I didn't see anyone who looked like a predatory criminal scouting for victims, so perhaps my walk in the park was not a good test of concealment.


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Old September 21, 1999, 02:14 PM   #2
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Honestly, I think the idea about fanny packs screaming guns is a bit overblown. If a bad guy picks it up, so what? It'll serve as a deterrant. If a good guy picks it up, so what? You're not breaking the law (or so I assume). Of course, it would have been kind of annoying if some chump came up to me and said, "So, what kind of gun is it?" But that never happened to me in the 2 years that I've worn a fanny pack regularly. But I think the fact that it was only big enough to fit a mini Glock with a spare mag helped quite a bit.

Of course, that doesn't mean I like them either. I've moved on to something better since then. But if the fanny pack is the only practical way to go for you, then I wouldn't worry too much about the gun-screaming factor.

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Old September 22, 1999, 06:51 AM   #3
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The biggest thing I see that screams gun, is the folks who carry a fanny pack with a gun in the main compartment and still carry their wallet, change, cellphone, etc. in the regular places on the body. If you want to be discreet, carry all that other stuff in the extra pocket. That is why a non-carrier has a fanny pack!!

Otherwise I agree that a fanny pack screaming 'gun' is not a big problem. In my area I regularly see all kinds of people with fanny packs. Senior citizens, joggers, moms with multiple kids, yuppies, actual shoppers, even mall security wears them. People wear them because the fanny pack frees up the hands, especially when coats are not worn. I do not feel labelled anymore then when I carry IWB under a shirt or jacket or vest. The big deal for me is getting over the feeling of the gun sticking way out, or printing, all the time.

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Old September 22, 1999, 05:32 PM   #4
Chuck B.
Join Date: March 19, 1999
Posts: 50
I've been carrying a Glock 23 in an Original Tommy's for almost a year. It's black with a blue front panel, it's kind of big, but it's padded so there's no chance of printing. I carry other stuff in the front compartment. I make a point of carrying it (sans gun) in all sorts of prohibitted places in the hopes of a chance to make a stink when challenged ("What about that woman's purse over there? How do you know she's not toting a gun? Are you going to demand to see inside it?" etc.). So far, I've never been challenged, but I have noticed people's eyes trained on it from time to time.
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Old October 15, 1999, 08:08 PM   #5
Covert Mission
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check out this site for an alternative to regular fanny packs:

Fanny packs generally scream GUN! to me, but mostly in locations where you are less likely to need a full-sized one. On the trail or in the woods, they blend in.

For smaller guns like my 640 S&W or Glock 27, I like Uncle Mike's Gunmate belt pouch. Doesn't look like a gun pack, is small, and has a separate hidden compartment for the gun. Then, you can make a show of accessing the main pouch for your wallet, keys etc in front of people. They'll never suspect.imho
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Old October 15, 1999, 11:42 PM   #6
Bennett Richards
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I have been carrying tons of stuff in my Galco concealed carry fanny ( or waist ) pack for 5 years here in Kalifornia and have YET to be asked if it was hot ( had a weapon concealed ) EVERY cop knows the Galco pack.. I have always been surprised I was never frisked.

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Old October 16, 1999, 06:21 AM   #7
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A buddy of mine always wears bianchi full size for 1911 and in couple of years has had only minor problems, and we're in kali
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Old October 16, 1999, 10:26 AM   #8
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Anyone know where I could get a look at the uncle mikes gunmate? Couldn't find it on a few searches.


Old October 16, 1999, 01:35 PM   #9
Join Date: August 18, 1999
Posts: 68
A state park is probably not the best place to test a fanny packs concealability. At State and National parks, fanny packs and other tourist/hiking accessories are the norm. You just blend right in with the other thousand folks toting wallets, cameras, etc. Hikers (I used to live near the Grand Canyon) always have them.

Now, the local grocery store is a different story.


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Old October 16, 1999, 03:55 PM   #10
Rosco P. Coltrain
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One note on fanny packs, if your fanny pack is blue and white, a Penn State patch sewn on to it makes it look less "gunnish". Or if it is orange and white, or orange and purple, a Clemson Tigers patch would be a must have. Get a fanny pack that has the same colors as your favorite sports team and sewn a patch on it, then it is fan merchandise not a gun holster.

If you are not into sports of colleges, then I suggest you get out more often. ERRR, ummm, find a similar idea. I hear fanny packs are comman at Disney World. Why not make a Mickey Mouse or Unckel Scrouge fanny pack? You could also buy your kids Huey, Louie, Dewey, and Webby fanny packs.

Basically try to customise the pack to make it less gun looking.
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Old October 16, 1999, 07:15 PM   #11
Bennett Richards
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A couple of years ago I called LowePro Alpine equipment and asked if I could have a patch with their logo. The sent me one for free and I sewed it on the front of my Galco waist pack... Now looks like a LowePro!

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Old October 20, 1999, 11:01 PM   #12
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Fanny packs are also makeing something of a comeback. They were very much in fashion 10 years ago, and never really left but lately I have seen them around much more. A local Old Navy has some on sale (clearance) for $3.99 in black. While not designed as a gun bag, they offer lots of room for items that would be inconvenient to carry in pockets.
I must agree with the comments that fanny packs would not look unusual in a park setting, or at a tourist type attraction.
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Old October 20, 1999, 11:30 PM   #13
Rosco P. Coltrain
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Fanny packs also do not look out of place if you look like you are going to or from the gym. You know, sweat pants and t-shirt, windbreaker, or those warm-up pants that only gym teachers seem to wear. Epesially if you take my advice above.
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Old October 21, 1999, 02:05 AM   #14
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I never thought much of the idea of a fanny pack until I went to Busch Gardens. Ever notice how many fanny packs and backpacks are at an amusement park? Definetly plan on acquiring one prior to the return. Or possibly a backpack for an AR with a collapsible stock.
I have a friend with a Blackhawk Industries fanny pack for his Glock that he swears by. It's as fast into action as an IWB holster. Just my thoughts on the subject.


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