For decades, most people have camped without thinking much about safety––but some scary things have happened to people camping over the years. Times have changed, making it even more imperative to think about you and your family’s safety while camping.
So, while you’re packing the outdoor camping cooking gear, first aid supplies and other camping necessities, don’t forget to get everything ready for carrying concealed wherever you’re going. This guide will help you get ready for camping and carrying a concealed weapon.
Things to Do Before You Go Camping
Check Local and State Gun Laws
Gun laws differ from state to state, so it’s important to research the regulations for the state you’re going to as well as the ones you’re passing through to get to your vacation destination. For example, it may be legal to carry concealed without a permit in Arizona, but what are the other regulations for the states you’re traveling through?
Some places like New York state have very restrictive gun laws. You could get pulled over there or other places within the state where firearms are prohibited. If law enforcement finds you carrying a concealed gun, you’ll be looking at felony charges. Cities and towns within a state may have stricter weapons laws, too.
So, one of the most important things to do is research the gun laws in the places you’ll be traveling to and through.
Create a Plan
Create a safety plan for your family that covers the security issues you may run into and how to sleep safely since that’s when you’re most vulnerable. Are you going to carry other self-defense weapons, like knives or pepper spray? Do you plan on keeping a weapon in the car?
If you’re taking an RV camper, you’re obviously more protected than camping out in the open in a tent. So, make sure your plan covers this. Teach everyone in the family how to be safe in any situation.
Also, make sure everyone in the family knows how to use the weapons you take with you. Everyone in the family should take some kind of firearms training, specifically on the weapons they are carrying.
Your kids should learn about weapon safety and always make sure your firearms are stored out of reach of children.
It’s also a good idea for everyone traveling with you to take a first aid class. That way, they know basic first aid skills and can help if another family member or someone else injures themselves.
Being prepared for anything is the key to protecting yourself and your family well.
Secure Your Valuables
The best way to secure your valuables is not to take them with you when you’re doing activities where they get left behind, like swimming. Sometimes, people get caught up in the excitement of a fun activity and forget that their cell phones, Apple watch and even their gun are out in the open.
For activities like swimming, always make sure someone stays behind and watches your gun and other valuables. A gun that falls into the wrong hands is extremely dangerous, especially if a child picks it up.
Choose the Right Concealed Carry Holster
Choosing the right holster makes a big difference, whether you’re carrying your gun concealed or open carrying. You need a holster that has good retention so your firearm doesn’t slip out when you are mountain biking or even just walking. You also want to ensure that no one can pull it out of your holster and use it against you.
Also, practice drawing your gun from your holster. People who don’t practice often can’t draw their firearm when they need it, and that’s a bad situation to be in.
You can practice drawing your gun even while you’re sitting around the house watching television. Just make sure you do it safely. You may even want to unload the magazine and make sure there’s no round in the chamber.
Make sure the holster you choose is comfortable, too, or you’ll end up leaving your weapon behind, which defeats the purpose of carrying a concealed weapon.
Situational Awareness Is Key
Situational awareness is vital for personal security. Being aware of your surroundings means that you see what’s going on around you, and you recognize possible threats and unsafe situations. For example, a suspicious vehicle parked next to your car, running in a dark, empty parking lot is bad.
Create a Secure Perimeter Around Camp
One of the best ways to keep your family safe is protecting your campsite with a secure perimeter. Just like your home, you don’t want to leave your camp unprotected. Set up camp with a clear boundary between your campsite and the rest of the wilderness. This delineation sends a message to your fellow campers, hikers and nearby animals that this spot is yours.
Protect Yourself from Wild Animals
Bad guys aren’t the only thing you need to protect yourself against. Wild animals are a significant threat when you take the family camping. You’ll need a large caliber gun to handle big animals like bears. The best gun to take camping in the wilderness is a .40 caliber, .45 caliber or .357 Magnum. A small-caliber gun will just make a bear or moose angrier.
You can reduce the likelihood of drawing wild animals into your camp by putting your food away at night. You may be tired at the end of a long day, but this is one task you can’t forget. Make sure all trash and food are tied up in a tree or locked up so that animals can’t get to it. The scent of food left out will draw critters fast, and you don’t want to get woken up with a bear in your tent.
When you keep these things in mind while camping, your family and friends will be safer, and you’ll have an amazing time camping. No one wants to end a fun camping trip injured or worse.
Know the gun laws and always be aware of what is going on around you. Watch your valuables and choose the best concealed carry holster for you so you can spend more time making memories and less time worrying about safety and security.