Should I Take My Gun with Me when I Go Hiking?

As long as you’re a legal gun owner, you should be able to carry a gun while hiking in Texas, although there are a few exceptions. Below, we’re focusing on whether or not you should actually do this. There are some valid justifications for carrying your gun as you go on a hiking trip and some equally compelling reasons not to do this. The firearms education experts from Online Texas LTC, the pros to turn to when you want to take a premier LTC class, offer some things to consider.

Reasons to Carry Your Gun while Hiking

With handguns you carry openly or concealed, personal safety is the main reason to consider bringing one with you while hiking. If it’s a solo hike for a fairly long time, having a properly holstered handgun can provide some added peace of mind.

If you’ll be hiking as part of a trip that will include hunting, a justification for bringing a gun with you can also be made. This is true as well if you’ll be hiking and camping in the same area and you want some protection against possible animal threats. In either instance, you’ll need to bring an appropriate firearm for the intended purpose. Also, if you’ll be hiking in a more remote area, a case can be made for carrying your gun in a comfortable, accessible holster.

Reasons Not to Carry Your Gun while Hiking

If you’ll be hiking in what’s generally considered a safe area, you should be fine without carrying your gun. You can still bring your phone with you if you’ll need to access the trail map or get some help for other reasons. Also, if you’ll be hiking in a group or with a buddy or two, you may prefer to go without your firearm.

You may also prefer to forego bringing a gun with you while hiking if you’ll be coming with others or hiking in a highly visible or generally safe area. If you’ll be hiking in a multipurpose outdoor area, there are usually well-marked trails that are fairly well populated by other visitors. In this instance, there’s some natural degree of safety and peace of mind.

With the above being said, you can never know or predict when a firearm may be needed for self-defense. Even in the safest and most populated areas, although unlikely, instances could occur where you might potentially need a firearm.

What’s Permitted Needs to Be Kept in Mind

When hiking on any lands managed by the National Park Service or the U.S. Forest Service, you’ll need to follow the laws for carrying guns that apply in the state. The potential issue here is if you start a hike in one state and end in an adjacent one if you follow the entire trail. In this instance, be aware of the laws governing firearms that apply in both states.

If you’ll be hiking on privately owned property, be aware it’s up to whoever manages or owns the property to determine if guns are permitted on the premises. Also, firearms aren’t allowed in National Park Service buildings. If you do opt to carry a gun while hiking, also be prepared by:

• Bringing a gun you’re comfortable using
• Wearing an appropriately placed holster
• Keeping safety in mind as you carry
• Knowing what firearms guidelines apply in your designated hiking area(s)

Whether you own a handgun for hunting, self-defense, or competition, make sure you have the proper training to carry it safely. You can count on the firearms education pros at Online Texas LTC for the highest-quality training available. Whether you’re looking for LTC proficiency testing or you want to take a Texas online LTC course, call us today at 512-675-2124.

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