Carry on like a lady
Hiking, backpacking, hunting, or running a simple errand all demand one item in particular with me. I always feel the most comfortable when I have a firearm with me. This may sound strange, or even a little bit paranoid. I just never wish to get caught without the ability to defend myself if need be.
The greatest struggle that I have found with carrying a pistol is the age old battle of what I am wearing versus trying to carry my pistol in a bag or purse. I have been lucky enough to find several different fabulous options in my quest for carry comfort and the ability to always have my pistol no matter the activity.
When I am running errands or just around town, then I tend to carry either in my purse or with a belly band. My latest purchase in belly band is from Tactica Defense Fashion . It allows me to carry securely against my body just above my pant line or belly button. What I like about this carry option is that my gun is always on my body, unlike being carried in my bag. I am always nervous of placing my handbag in a shopping cart or onto the floor or chair back while at a restaurant. I do not like to be physically separated from my gun, much less not have my eyes on it if it is not securely across my body.
The largest down slide to the belly band is if I am wearing a form fitting shirt or dress. I for one, would not wish for anyone to have to see me flip my dress up to get my gun! I also would like to not have to wear loose clothing every time that I go out just to be able to carry. It is times like this that I usually choose my concealed carry handbag and just keep it glued to my side. My favorite handbags are from Gun Tot’n Mama’s .
When hiking, backpacking, or trail running I have a few options that I really love. I do like the Alexo Athletica and UnderTech Undercover conceal carry tight leggings. Both have great fit and excellent retention built in to my running tights, so I always feel like I can carry with ease and not worry about the security of my pistol. If I happen to be on a longer hike or outing, then I carry a pack that secures around my waist. The greatest difficulty now is that the straps of my pack are over the shirt and make it much more difficult to draw my pistol if I needed it.
This brings me to my most likely favorite way to carry my pistol when trekking deep into the trails. I use the Stealth Gear USA chest holster when I am taking long hikes or going backpacking. This holster can be worn over either shoulder, and has padding on the back of the holster area as well as over the shoulder strap. If by some chance I get weary of wearing it over my right shoulder, then it easily transitions to allow me to carry over the left shoulder without interfering with my ability to draw safely.
If I am going on a hunt or backpacking trip carrying a full pack, then I love my StealthGear retention holster that I have mounted to a drop down piece from Eberlestock called the Hatchet Holster. It takes my pistol and lowers it down several inches off of the hip portion of my pack so that I can swing my arms freely while hiking and never strike the grip of my gun. I used to get super frustrated with hitting the inside of my elbow on the grip because I am a bit of a wild walker. My arms tend to flail about when I walk, talk, or see something exciting. The drop down holster keeps my pistol perfectly where I can reach it in a hurry, but gives me the absolute freedom to move without a nice numb zinger after striking my “funny bone”.
If this list looks incredibly long and complicated, it is. I always have to think about what I am wearing before I decide on how I am going to carry. I also have to consider what I am doing for the day before I decide on how readily accessible I need for the pistol to be. Here in Utah, it seems like there are so many sightings of mountain lions lately. I am not overtly afraid of lions, bears, or other animals (people are a different story). I do have to fess up that if I do not have my pistol, then my imagination tends to run a little wild about every twig breaking or every sound. I get nervous that something is out there and is going to jump out to get me at any moment.
There are many great things available to ladies, and these options provide us with many ways to ensure our safety. Handbags are not always a good carry option, but I would rather have it than not. I do feel much better when I can carry directly on my body, however I seldom EVER wear pants with a belt. This leaves me with a belly band, chest holster, or other type of holster on my pack. I am thankful for the many options that are available, and I look forward to trying new pieces as they get released.
If figuring out how to carry is holding you back, then do some research and talk to other women that carry. Find out what works, and then give it a try. Do not let the frustration of not knowing how to carry a pistol stop you. In my opinion, one of everything usually works!