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My concealed carry choice for camping

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Had to pick between
    Ruger LCP .380
    S&W 642 .38
    Kahr PM9 9mm
    Glock 26 9mm
    Dan Wesson .44mag 4"

    Nah, the 44 was not much in the running. Just too big. But wanted more power than the 380. Tough choice, went with the Kahr.

    Black bear in the area, seen them there before. Would a 9mm 124gr Gold Dot stop one? Don't know, but I'd try it if needed. If thrashing in a tent and jamming it down the throat. Better than nothing.

    Main reason to carry is the random threat of some bad guy, that you just never want to go down peacefully if it ever happened. Instead you'd fight to protect your family and yourself.

    But in an anti-gun world it is not always easy to carry. No doubt any observed printing or sight of the gun would result in cops called and a big hassle or jail trip, even if no laws broken.

    I carry everyday but the camping challenge involves time spent with inlaws with hugs. Public campsite bathrooms without locks and a guy walked in on me. Swimming and having my wife watch my bag of clothes. Not leaving my gun in a car no matter what restaurant, store, or amusement park everyone decided to go to. And not knowing if over a few days it was going to be hot, cold, rainy, dry, shirts off, or long sleeves on.

    The nice thing about the Kahr PM9 (same size as the CM9) is that it can be carried on the waist or in a pocket. I like my Alabama kydex 360 IWB holster for it. When going potty, I'd stick the whole holstered gun in my pocket. I would not easily be able to do that with my Glock. That movement of the Kahr to the pocket also conceals well for beach bag stashing of pants while swimming.

    6+1 of 9mm with a pocket carried spare mag of 7 more seems more comforting than a snubby load of 5 38's and the revolver's much slower reload of another 5 from a flat pack. While the Glock double stack mags hold more, they are a lot blockier for pocket carry. I also kept a second spare Kahr mag of 7 in my backpack, for 21 rounds total on the trip.

    I love my Glock 26, but I have to keep my belt a lot tighter to conceal the bulkier gun under just a t-shirt. So the smaller and lighter Kahr allows for a much more relaxed trip that is full of potentially unknown clothing and activity situations :)

    An interesting future gun for such a trip might be a Ruger SP101 or other similar sized .357mag for the increased bear effectiveness. Although they'd be extremely loud to let loose inside a tent :rofl: Or maybe the smallest Glock 10mm, and just work harder at concealment? I couldn't bring myself to tote the 26, so not sure a 10mm would have been with me, but maybe worth the increased power:)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

  2. TBO, got any pics of that 629 next to a j frame snubby? Sure is purty :)
  3. Gertz


    Jun 17, 2012
    Fremont, IN
    Kel-Tec PF9
  4. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    I don't own those two, but I do have a S&W 629 .44 Mag Mountain gun I am more than fond of.
    It's my EDC Field gun.
    When I go hiking/camping/exploring in the true woods (not some man made hiking trail a skip off the pavement) it's attached to my right hip. Carries very well and shoots damn fine (accuracy). I have photos somewhere, but my mainframe is down and I've been too busy to get it back up.
    I might try to look at my remote backup location later.
  5. These were not true woods in the sense of off the beaten path. That made the concealment part more important than the bear stomping part of the equation:)
  6. dhkaiser


    Jun 15, 2011
    Bear Spray. Covers all your concerns and is legal.
  7. Rustin


    Oct 12, 2011
    Central Ohio
    I don't know why everyone is so obsessed with "bear guns." Bear spray is much more effective in a close quarters encounter with a bear. It's an instant chemical reaction where with a gun a bear can soak up bullets and make it angrier before it bleeds out. Get the most powerful bear spray you can acquire and a .357 for the 2 legged critters and a backup if the bear spray doesn't dissuade the bear.

    Heck, if I had the list of guns you had I'd sell the .380, as you already have two great deepcover guns, and I'd get an SP101 or a model 19 Smith!

    And when is it camping when you have bathrooms and have to conceal?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  8. Lior


    Jul 23, 2004
    Don't forget to enjoy the actual camping experience besides ordnance choices.
  9. The bear part is very little in the whole equation, but that's what people focus on. Maybe some bear spray to have in the tent for next trip would be good idea. In the tent, in a sleeping bag, is the only time I give bears a thought. While no food in the tent, you never know when my kid is going to get a gummy bear stuck to the bottom of his shoe and attract the trouble bear you read about in the paper.

    The more interesting thing to me, and what relates to carry issues, is how a few days on a camping trip can provide all sorts of concealment problems away from home. It was a kid playing with cousins in a campground, and daytrips to town, kind of camping trip. So, small crowded public bathrooms and showers make carrying interesting :)

    I ain't selling no guns, don't be silly. The trick is to get the wife to agree on purchasing a small 357 or small 44 or a 10mm, to add to the list of choices :)
  10. Yeah but for us gun nuts the trick is to do all that fun stuff, with a gun on us. The PM9 worked out pretty well. I'm now just talking, just pondering, about what more powerful choices I could get instead.

    Also wanted to mention how the ability to pocket carry the whole IWB kydex holster and gun is useful at times.
  11. LApm9

    LApm9 Silver Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    South Louisiana
    With the EXTREME sensitivity of a bear's nose, I would imagine that bear spray would be a living heck! I read that the statistics indicate that bear spray is more effective than a handgun.

    A handgun would be most useful for snakes...two-legged snakes, or feral dogs. Forget the bear thing.
  12. pizza


    Feb 1, 2008

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  13. Might be true, but it is also likely there is an anti-gun bias in the reporting and the cooking of the statistics. Bear attacks are so rare, I wonder what information there really is about it.
  14. to be honest, I would rather have a bear spray than any of those pistol you listed. with any pistol of your choice for the 2 legged attacker
  15. pizza


    Feb 1, 2008
    Agreed. We have 20,000 bears in MN but my G19 isn't for bear protection. I haven't felt the need to bring any bear deterrent spray. I've only seen a bear on the trail once and it ran away as fast as it could when it saw me. If I were to bring spray it would be a small pepper spray can. Those counter assault bear canisters are impractically heavy to be lugging around hiking.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  16. RJ's Guns

    RJ's Guns

    Dec 25, 2010

    I lived in Alaska for 12 years. Although my sampling may not reflect the general population (and I have no first hand personal experience with using bear spray as a defense in a bear attack), the few people that I know that have used it, were not favorably impressed nor did they recommend it to others. Furthermore, I do not recall anyone that I knew to be an experienced Alaskan woodsman, ever recommend bear spray. In fact, I recall a number of negative jokes about using bear spray which is, (in my experience) reflective of the general opinion among experienced Alaskan woodsmen, concerning that product.

    No way would I want to use bear spray in the confines of a tent for fear that the spray would incapacitate me and anyone else in the tent with me. Being even partially/temporarily incapacitated in a tent with a pissed off bear would be something that I would want to avoid and I do not believe that to be a well thought out plan.
  17. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    For that type of a hike i carry my Kahr MK9.
  18. Garweh

    Garweh CLM

    Aug 12, 2002
    Upstate New York
    Our scout troop regularly takes weekend-long (Friday night to Sunday morning) backpacking trips in the Catskills and in the Adirondacks. Black bears are in both areas. BSA prohibits carrying firearms on scout trips. I always have my Kahr PM9 and my Ruger LCP with me. Kahr in pack, Ruger in pocket. Council president knows, parents know, some scouts know; NO problems. Better safe than sorry.
  19. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    In the MN woods, there's really no animal that is going to come after you with malice (predation).
    My actual harm worries would be a cow moose with young calf, mother bear with cub.
    Hopefully I'll not stumble between the two(which should only be accidental, as you'd have to be a fool to intentionally put yourself in that situation).
    Other then that a sick/rabid animal.

    There's the outside chance of being attacked by a black bear, but lightning strikes claim more.

    My .44 Mountain Gun gets more carry in the deep woods for factors other than a "bear attack".
    If I need to take game to survive a .22 lr would be very handy, as red squirrel is the easiest to come by meat source, but the .44 can take large game AND is superior for signalling (at the expense of number of rounds of ammo).
    Choose what works for you. Any gun is better than no gun.
    I use to have a T/C Contender .44 Mag with internal choke that I loved. You could load your own .44 mag "hotshot" cartridges (long plastic shot capsule) and it out performed the .45 LC/.410 shotgun barrel (the .44 mag was "hotter"), but they quit making the hotshot capsules and you can only get the short ones now, so the 45/410 now is your only choice.
    I've carried my Ruger .22lr pistol many times, but again, for the vast majority of my travels, Kahr MK9 for light/reg hikes, .44 Mountain Gun for back country.