There are quite a few factors to consider when storing a weapon at a campsite or on an overnight camping trip.
You should consider who should have access to the weapon, protecting the weapon itself, and whether or not you should keep a round in the chamber. This gun safety course will help you safely stow your gun while camping.
How to Safely Stow Your Gun While Camping
Camping with Guns
Wondering about ways or methods of stowing a gun safely and conveniently when on a camping trip or an overnight hunting trip? It may seem like a pretty basic concept, but many people are curious about it, especially if they are new to guns.
Gaining confidence with guns takes time, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with thinking about safety. The biggest factor to consider when thinking about storing guns is safety. Is this a family camping trip? Will there be new people around that you don’t know? What about the children?
There are so many things to keep in mind involving your surroundings and who will be around, but they all boil down to safety.
Gun Safety Course Tip No. 1: Use a Gun Safe at Night
First, you need to think about who should have access to your weapon. If there will be new people around, people you aren’t familiar with, or any children around, it is important to limit access to your weapon. This will create a safer environment for everyone.
One way to accomplish this is with a small safe. There are plenty of small gun safes available that are around the size of a clipboard. A safe this small would be extremely easy to pack, and they are generally pretty light.
One such example is the Hornady RFID RAPiD SAFE 2700, which is just over a foot long, and will fit most 1911-size weapons. The safe provides a safe and secure way to store your gun overnight, but it also is easy to access in case of an emergency.
If you are taking a rifle, your options are limited. If you are taking a truck or an RV to the campsite, there are plenty of rifle safes that you could take in your truck.
But, if you are walking to the campsite or backpacking, there aren’t many great options. You could get a hard rifle case and put a lock on it, but these are often cumbersome and heavier than you’d probably want to carry.
Gun Safety Course Tip No. 2: Use a Gun Holster During the Day
Ok, so your firearm is locked up overnight. Now what? During the day, depending on what activities you are doing, there is a good chance that you will want your firearm on your person. If you are out for a hike from your campsite, having your weapon locked up in a gun safe in the tent or truck does you no good.
For this reason, a high-quality holster is equally important. A Kydex holster for your specific firearm would be an excellent choice. A Kydex holster will essentially be custom fit to the specific weapon. They provide a very snug fit and generally outperform leather holsters, despite the fact that they are more expensive.
Similarly, if you are going on an overnight hunting trip, or going camping with other responsible firearms owners, a quality holster is going to be far more important than a gun safe.
If you’re bringing a rifle, you won’t be bringing a holster, per se. We have already mentioned a hard rifle case for the night, but for the day a soft rifle case is a good option as a soft rifle case is lighter, easier to pack, and easier to carry.
Gun Safety Course Tip No. 3: Protect Your Gun
Another factor to consider is protecting the weapon’s finish and protecting it from corrosion. Storing the weapon in a gun safe or rifle case overnight will help.
Carrying the weapon in a Kydex holster or in a rifle case potentially during the day will also help, but if you are in a very humid area, it is definitely worthwhile to wipe down your weapon each night and apply some oil.
Gun Safety Course Tip No. 4: Apply Safety and Assess Threat Level
One last thing to keep in mind is what state you should keep your weapon in, meaning whether there should be a round in the chamber or not.
For starters, it is absolutely always a good idea to store your weapon with the safety applied. This added level of safety will never hurt.
As far as whether or not you should store it with a round in the chamber, think first about what the threat level is.
If you are camping in a potentially dangerous area, or if you are hunting, it is likely in your best interest to have a round in the chamber, as long as you can safely and comfortably do so. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it. It all boils down to safety.
Have you tried camping with your gun before? Share your experience with us in the comment section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 5, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.