Bearing the Heat While Bearing Arms: Women’s Warm Weather Concealed Carry
Written by: USCCA
This article was authored by Ariel Vitalia and is reprinted courtesy of Concealed Carry Magazine with permission of the United States Concealed Carry Association. All other rights reserved. For more information contact www.uscca.com.
»SUMMER IS A GREAT TIME OF YEAR. People are more active and happy with all the sunshine, pool parties, gardening and fireworks, but for ladies, summer also comes with sheer fabrics, shorter hemlines and sweat. Anyone who chooses to carry a concealed firearm knows that these aren’t the best circumstances for a happy gun owner.
Women already have a hard time finding places to conceal a weapon, but throw some Daisy Dukes and a crop top into the mix and you’re almost doomed to fail. So what’s a fashion-conscious girl to do?
Here are a few summer activities and their respective ensembles with a few pointers on what you can do to keep your weapon dis – creet and yourself comfortable.
This past weekend, I was invited to a tea party. Yes, you read that right, a tea party; they still have those. (I shouldn’t have been surprised since I live in a Georgia suburb where southern charm still runs deep.) I was told that the proper attire would be a sun – dress and gloves if I had any (which I don’t) and that the party would take place in an estate garden. As much as I was shocked to be invited to such an elegant affair, I will admit I was tickled at the idea of concealing a weapon under a sundress. There was only one option I felt suited that need: a thigh or garter holster.
Many thigh holsters are designed for tactical purposes. I prefer one that adds a little femininity, like Femme Fatale’s Garter Holster. This is a beautiful lace holster that is secured using only silicone and elastic with a 5-inch deep pocket. It’s best suited for a small, light gun. Unless you are one of those lucky women who have the elusive thigh gap, it might take some getting used to, and there might be some chafing if you wear it all day. When I wear this with my SIG P938, I’m adjusting it all day to find a comfortable position that doesn’t rub.
A much more comfortable option is to wear it on the outside of your thigh if you have a fuller skirt. This sexy, fierce holster is available in six different colors to accommodate any woman’s preference.
Hiking is one of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice. Living near the mountains, there are endless possibilities of trails to pursue. There are also numerous terrifying scenarios that run through my mind when I’m alone in the wilderness — a mountain lion knocking me off the side of a mountain while vigorously ripping me limb from limb, running straight into a brand new angry mama bear and, of course, the more realistic possibility of being savagely beaten on a popular trail in Atlanta like a woman was last summer. Sadly, it’s not an uncommon occurrence for female joggers to be attacked.
I know that the common excuse for female joggers is, “I’ve got enough things on my body bouncing around. The last thing I want is a heavy gun bouncing too.” And that’s exactly what it sounds like: an excuse. We need to consider our protection at all times.
I was recently introduced to the PT-2 holster by Pistol Wear. I now wear it any time I am walking, hiking or biking outdoors. It can be worn on the front or back of your body and is incredibly comfortable. When worn properly, it won’t even bounce while jogging.
One of the biggest concerns with active gun owners is sweat affecting their firearms. This design surrounds the entire weapon to create a sweat-protective barrier. It’s effective because the material (similar to neoprene) doesn’t readily absorb liquid. Unfortunately, that also means it doesn’t breathe well, which is why I prefer wearing it over my clothes. Yep, I said it. I wear it out in the open. This holster is supposed to be worn underneath clothing, but it’s a little too bulky for the petite frame of a woman wearing spandex. Though it’s difficult to conceal even the smallest of firearms under fabric designed to form to your body, to me, this holster looks like a workout fanny pack. No one passing me on the trails thinks twice about it.
Summer is chock full of exciting and fun things to do, and it seems like every weekend has a concert or festival to experience. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “10-cent chicken wings,” you can bet I’ll be there. Southern summers are brutal, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through when I first moved down here. Being from the North, I was surprised when I first looked for warm-weather clothes in Atlanta; I didn’t know it was possible to make fabric so thin. It was a lifesaver until I tried to conceal a gun. You couldn’t just see the outline of the gun; you could actually see the gun through the fabric. Needless to say, carrying on your body is tough when you’re trying to wear the lightest and least amount of fabric as possible.
I’m not usually one to advocate carrying in a purse, but I would be lying if I said I don’t do it often. Purses are handy when you are wearing clothes that will reveal your weapon (which is practically every day for me), but they also make it difficult to draw your weapon and can easily be removed from your body. Then I stumbled upon Warrior Creek’s Purses and realized I had found the holy grail of concealed carry purses.
This extremely well-made and unique leather purse can be worn in eight different configurations — from backpack to fanny pack. My favorite way to wear it (especially at a festival or concert) is with one strap across my torso and the other wrapped around my thigh to secure it to my body. No one is snatching this girl’s purse. This configuration of the bag also places your gun in the perfect position on your thigh for a smooth draw.
When I first opened the package, I thought, “Wow! This is a lot smaller than I thought it would be!” I definitely had to downsize the amount of stuff I tote around on any given day, but it still fit my gun, phone and a good portion of my makeup. Any of their purses are great for concealed carry, but they have now designed one especially for the market. The new features include a built-in sleeve for your firearm, reinforced leather and bigger compartments that hold some of the largest carry handguns on the market. It’s a great way for a woman to carry her firearm and express her personality.
SAFE IN THE SUMMER
Whether you are at a party, hiking or out at a concert, now you’re armed (pun intended) with the knowledge of some great ways to wear less and hide more. Despite the difficulty of concealing in the summer, you are taking the steps to be a responsibly armed citizen, and I commend you. Have a fun and safe summer!
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