Concealed Carry Tips for Summer

May 12, 2016 by | Be the first to comment »

Summer is here, and for most of us, that means hotter weather and lighter clothes, which can make concealed carry more challenging. It may seem tempting to switch to a smaller, lighter weapon, or even skip carrying entirely, but I urge you not to fall into that trap because you never know how much firepower you’ll need or when you’ll need it.

Instead, I encourage you to modify your clothing and habits so that you’ll remain both comfortable and appropriately armed. It’s not difficult—I carry a full-sized Glock or Sig everyday without a problem. Outside of my time in the Marine Corps, I’ve spent most of my life in Florida, so I’m quite accustomed to carrying a concealed weapon in hot weather, and I’m going to share what has worked for me.

Wear an undershirt

It seems counter intuitive, but hear me out. A light t-shirt tucked in behind your weapon helps reduce or eliminate sweating that tends to occur when you’ve got a slide or grip pressed against your skin. It also helps your weapon slide more easily across your body as you move so that your holster doesn’t shift—this can save precious milliseconds on your draw stroke.

Wear shirts made from stiffer materials

You’re probably reaching for cooler clothing this time of year, but instead of donning that lightweight t shit, try a linen shirt or a knitted polo. The heavier, stiffer material will help to reduce printing, and you won’t see a noticeable difference in temperature. While most people are unlikely to notice when you’re printing, you will feel self-conscious about it, which generally leads to you fidgeting with your shirt over your weapon. That draws attention, and people will notice that.

Skip the fanny pack

Seriously, does anyone use these things anymore? I’ve haven’t seen one since the 90s but they’re still advertised all over, so I’ll just point out that if you’re wearing one, you’ll attract unwanted attention. To gun folks, bad guys, and cops alike, a fanny pack screams “Look at me! I have a gun!”

Skip the elastic waistband

It may be tempting to toss on a set of running shorts, but where the hell do you plan on stashing your weapon? Sure, you could go with a subcompact, but I don’t think that’s a wise tactical decision. And there are products like the belly band that enable you to carry in clothing like this, but that’s really not ideal for hot weather. Save yourself the headaches and just skip the elastic waistband unless you’re activity engaged in a sport, in which case…

Consider off-body carry

I’ll start by saying that I am not a fan of off-body carry for a variety of reasons. For instance, you weapon:

  • could be left/forgotten somewhere
  • could be stolen
  • could be accessed by a child
  • could be accessed by untrained adults
  • isn’t readily available

That being said, there are times when it’s the best/only option. I’m forced to carry off body when I take the family to the beach, or at business networking events when I’m wearing a dress shirt tucked into dress pants, but it’s too hot for a jacket.


Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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