My New Trail Handgun

I do not live in Alaska nor do I hunt or fish there, so why would I need a trail gun?.  My home is Colorado and therefore I would usually hunt, fish, hike, or camp in the back county of Colorado. The likelihood of coming in contact with a ferocious grizzly bear here in Colorado is very slim so I do not need to carry a .44 magnum, .454 Casull, or .500 S & W magnum when I go in the outdoors.  But I like to carry a handgun with me wherever I go so the outdoors is no exception. A person never knows what or who they will come in contact with and what type of force will be needed to fix the issue.

Is There A Need For A Handgun In The Outdoors?

There are people who feel there is no need to carry a firearm with you anywhere and that includes the outdoors.  I saw a post on Facebook from a very good holster company and they were advertising some of their holsters.  There was a comment left by someone who was ranting that there was NO need to carry a handgun in the outdoors and you must be a real pansy if you did (the language was more explicit, but you get the idea). Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that’s why we live in America.  But I do not agree with that individual, I would rather have a handgun and not need it than need it and not have it because I was too worried about some idiot’s opinion!.

Would You Want A Small Caliber Or A Large Caliber Handgun?

We first need to distinguish between small, medium, and large calibers. When I think of small-calibers, I think of .22LR, .22 magnum, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP.  Medium calibers would be .38 Special, 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45ACP. And then large calibers would be  10mm, .357 mag, .44 mag, .454 Casull, and .500 S&W.  There may be some disagreements with my breakdown and I am open to further discussion.

So then what should you carry? That question is for each person to decide, what works for them.  My thoughts are a  small caliber is better than nothing at all, but a large caliber is better and gives you more protection.   

What Is My Handgun Preference In The Back Country

As I said earlier, I do not feel I would run into a Grizzly Bear in Colorado so one of the heavy magnum revolvers would not be necessary.  My caliber of choice is the 10mm when loaded correctly it has a lot of knockdown power that will give you what you need in a trail gun.  There are quite a few good handgun manufacturers out there that make the 10 mm, and the decision was a bit difficult. I have chosen the Glock 20, it is the full-size version with a 4.61-inch barrel that holds 15 rounds plus one in the chamber.  They have a Glock 29 which is one of their subcompacts with a 3.78″ barrel and it holds 10 bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber.  While it is also a great handgun, I like the full-size handgun with more rounds in the magazine. Some people insist on carrying a 44-magnum revolver with 5 or 6 bullets in the cylinder.  They are more powerful then than a 10mm but I like having 15 bullets instead of 6 in my trail gun. Plus I can shoot a 10 mm better than I can a 44 mag and that is more important to me. A well-placed 10 mm round means more to me than a shot from a 44 mag that is not where I wanted it to go.

What Kind Of Ammo Would I Carry In It?

There are many different handgun calibers to choose from but as I mentioned, I like the 10mm as it is one of the most powerful semi-automatics available and I like the idea of having more rounds in my magazine instead of just 5 or 6 from a revolver.  If I carry an extra magazine, that gives me 30 rounds of 10mm ammo if I need it.

Before the 10mm, I used a 45 ACP (45 ACP on the left and 10mm on the right), while it is a great self-defense caliber and greater diameter bullet, it is fairly slow-moving and does not have enough energy to cause great damage to a predator if you need to use it.  With the correct ammunition, a 10mm having a 180 gr bullet would go 1350 fps and have 728 ft. lbs. compared to a 230 gr 45 ACP bullet would have 830 fps with 455 ft. lbs of energy.  If you were in a situation where you needed protection from a predator the 10mm would give you better odds.

How Would I Carry My Trail Gun?

There are many types of holsters available on the market today. Outside the waistband, inside the waistband, appendix, shoulder holster, and chest holster, to name a few.  When I am hiking, biking, horseback riding, backpacking, hunting, or fishing, many of those above-mentioned holsters will not work.  If you are being very active or wearing a backpack there is only one type of holster, in my opinion, that I see working in these situations, it’s the chest holster.  The chest holster is a holster that is mounted on your chest, held there by a harness system that secures your handgun very well.  There are many different manufacturers of a chest holster but there are two that I would stand by, Gunfighters, INC, and Diamond D Leather.  Gunfighters.INC makes a Kydex chest holster named Kenai Chest Holster (upper picture) and Diamond D Leather makes a leather chest holster named the Guides Choice Holster (bottom picture). They both are fantastic!  I was told once that if you had a polymer handgun go with Kydex and if you had a stainless steel handgun, go with leather. I am partial to Kydex and therefore the Kenai Chest Holster gets my vote.  They are a bit pricy but well worth it.  They fit your handgun perfectly and are extremely secure.  They are an all-weather holster that works over the top of your jacket or just under an outer shell.  They have an extra magazine holder on the harness strap which is easy to get to.  These holsters are ideal if you wear a backpack while in the outdoors.  Just put on the holster and then put on your backpack and off you go.  When it is time to rest you can remove your backpack and keep your handgun on your body.  If you need your firearm they a very fast to get to and so very comfortable as your shoulders take all the weight of your handgun.

Down The Trail We Go

In this article, you found out why I carry a handgun in the outdoors, that I like to carry a Glock 20 (10mm) as my trail gun.  And that my holster of choice in the outdoors is the Gunfighters, INC Kenai Chest Holster.  I hope this article helps you to think about this subject matter and gives you the opportunity to form your own opinion on this subject.  I would welcome any thoughts or comments about this subject and whether you agree or disagree with me.  So until then, get outside, enjoy the outdoors, be safe, and be aware of your surroundings.

If you have any questions about this post or anything related to Everyday Carry (EDC), feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to get back to you.

All the best,


Founder of EDC Essentials


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