©2016, Rocky Mountain Bushcraft
Since there is little room for error, I always carry a variety of survival gear just in case. One thing I'm never without is a 10mm pistol. It functions both as a self defense tool and as an emergency signaling device.
I carried bear spray exclusively for a number of years, but after several high profile failures of bear spray, such as this one, and finding out that the famed "Bear Spray vs Bullets" study was based on flawed and biased data, I've reverted back to carrying a powerful pistol loaded with special bear protection ammunition.
When looking around for a holster for my pistol, I wanted one that I could use with a backpack that was both comfortable and lightweight.
The vast majority of quality chest holsters on the market, such as those made by Diamond D and Galco, are extremely well made but are crafted from leather. Leather is very comfortable, but it is heavier than synthetics and takes longer to dry out if it gets wet. Since I have to constantly hike up steep trails carrying lots of test gear, I look for every possible way to reduce pack weight.
After a bit of searching, I found an up-and-coming veteran-owned holster company out of Washington called Gunfighters Inc. Gunfighters makes a high quality synthetic chest holster designed for hikers, hunters and fisherman called the "Kenai Chest Holster," pictured in the main photo. The Kenai Chester Holster is available for a wide range of popular handguns.
Photo courtesy of Gunfighters Inc.
I have been using a Kenai Chest Holster since last summer, and it is absolutely fantastic. It is comfortable, durable, and very light weight. It holds my pistol securely during mountain adventures, and makes it very easy to draw out quickly. There are 3 adjustment points so you can adjust it for a wide range of body sizes as well as for different types of clothing (i.e. summer shirt vs winter coat, etc). The nylon webbing straps are hand sewn and coated with a waterproof agent.
The Kenai Holster has become one of my favorite pieces of gear and I never head into the mountains without it. At $150.00, the Kenai is not exactly cheap, but it is a hand-crafted, well designed product that's 100% made in the USA. Highly Recommended.
For more information or to purchase the Kenai Chest Holster, visit: http://gunfightersinc.com/?page_id=251
About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft and the author of Edible & Medicinal Survival Plants of the Rocky Mountains Pocket Guides. Jason has written for the The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)