Concealed Carry in The Cold

concealed carry in the cold

Concealed Carry Holsters

You are never too old to learn, and yesterday I learned a lesson. I found that I was completely unprepared for the unexpected snow that fell leaving thousands (and reportedly hundreds of thousands) stuck on iced over highways. Unprepared that is, from a concealed carry perspective.

Bundling up to withstand the frigid temperature left me with the dilemma of where to carry my pistol that provided easy access. It was too cold to leave my coat open. In fact I had to wear two coats, a light one and a heavier one.

You are likely wondering why I didn’t just wear thermals. The fact is I am allergic to the manmade material of thermals. I have to wear 80-100 percent cotton against my skin.

I wore sweat pants plus pants, thick cotton wicking socks with leather hiking boots, a sweat shirt, two coats and gloves. I felt like a stuffed duck, and walked about like one. My outer coat pockets wouldn’t hold my pistol. If I wore a belt holster access was delayed by two zipped coats, an ankle holster was out period, my carry isn’t a derringer (though I do have a little .38), and even if it had been, my boots would have prevented the carry.

Insulated coveralls would have kept me warm without all the layers, but I couldn’t conceal a weapon, nor could I carry a rifle around in public view without scaring people to death. My goal was to help stranded motorists, not frighten them. Besides, the zipper had broken on my coveralls.

A thigh holster would have worked but I have never bought one. My Ranger vest wouldn’t fit over two coats and was useless under them. With a proper winter coat I could have worn the Ranger underneath. Not ideal, but at least usable.

In the end I broke down and pocketed the little derringer and was off into an icy nightmare.

This spawned an online investigation of holsters for a winter concealed carry, and a decision to update my winter closet to accommodate an icy Deep South. While items such as backpacks are an option I am only including those that provide fairly easy access. The following is what I found that should accommodate a concealed carry in the winter months.

  1. Concealed Carry Coats-Offer pockets designed with concealed carry pistols in mind and provide easy access. Great solution!
  2. Cargo Pants-These have pockets on the thighs, some of which are very large and deep. The ones my son wears would easily hold a full sized pistol. Most of them easily accommodate a concealed carry pistol. Personally, my arms are too short for fast access to cargo pockets.
  3. Coats with Pocket Sleeves-I can see it being difficult to access but it would be better than no access at all.
  4. Faux Pocket Coats- Coats with a false pocket that allows access to belt or shoulder weapons. Another great solution!
  5. Fanny Packs-Any well-constructed fanny pack will work, but concealed carry fanny packs are made for a weapon and provide ambidextrous access unlike a typical fanny pack. Many that I saw provide storage for extra magazines.
  6. Tactical Vests-Great as long as the coat is open. My Ranger vest would have been fine if it would have fit over my coats. I generally wear it in the woods, under an open coat in the winter. Winters are being redefined for the south this year however, and require some creativity.
  7. Hunters Vests- These vests are a potential possibility with their pockets. Years ago I had a hunter’s orange quilted fur lined vest with removable sleeves. Warm with deep pockets and much longer than most. It was oversized enough to wear over a coat.

In my region snow and ice are rare. We don’t get enough snow plinking to count but we do get cold. You have to adjust to shooting with gloves, if you aren’t used to gloved shooting, choose the gloves lacking finger tips, it will help but won’t stop a sliding gun. Be cautious of gloves, some cause slippage when trying to handle a gun.

You may ask why bother carrying when transportation is limited and most people are being helpful. As I wrote this a four wheeler approached a neighbor’s house. None of my neighbors made it home and are stranded in fuel depleted vehicles on the iced roads. The rider was a little too interested in my neighbor’s unoccupied house to suit me.

I went out on my porch, though I didn’t bother to pull my concealed, let’s just say I was carrying something far larger and very visible. The rider lost interest in the unoccupied house windows and left in a great hurry. I have been watching this stranger ‘visit’ all of the unoccupied houses on my street. Law enforcement are unable to investigate, they are too busy trying to reach people stranded in cars with no fuel on the highways in sub-freezing temperature. We are on our own.

My next observation is that I will no longer listen to the local forecasts or those of the national weather service for my area. All predicted a dusting with no travel problems.

I thought I was prepared for anything, but this degree of a disaster has never occurred before in my state. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles were stranded, and tens of thousands remain so. Children were stranded at schools, and buses were released too late leaving children stranded on the roads in buses that ran out of fuel. Churches and business’ opened their doors to the stranded, but no shelter was available for most people.

With all of the abandoned cars on the highways and people walking to get to warmth, food or home, it looks like a walking dead episode out there on the highways. They are alive however, very cold and hungry. Lacking an appropriate conceal pocket seems minor when compared to their situation.

GrabAGun has a large selection of gun holsters, including a great selection of winter options including tactical vests, thigh holsters and much more for your concealed carry pistol needs. We offer one of the largest inventories of guns for sale online, optics, accessories and much more. Give us a call, we will be happy to assist you.

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