Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

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Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Sledgecrowbar » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:33 pm

I'm going to present a lot of hypothetical (but not maliciously unlawful) situations, here. First, the setting is a disaster of such scale and type that you would have clearly decided to bug out with a weapon, which thus far hasn't happened (I hope) to any of us, but certainly could happen.

The situation isn't clear, but you must leave your home, and you have reason to be concerned for your life and the lives of others. A handy example would be the zombie apocalypse.

Peoples' awareness of the situation is inconsistent from person to person, misinformation runs rampant in virtually every version of the story you might hear, literally* no one knows all the facts about what is going on, not even you. You are fighting with yourself between disbelief and panic on whether or not to go full Red Dawn.

The answer to my question is going to be wildly different depending on geographically where the answer comes from, but I'm looking for the big picture. If you're carrying a rifle OR a handgun, do you carry it openly, slung across your chest or in it's holster, or concealed, broken-down in your BOB or in a concealed carry holster? If you carry both, do you conceal none, one or both? If you carry more than two firearms, is one a backup that is concealed?

Do you think the best course of action, in this scenario, is to appear harmless, or confident?

I know we all have a loadout designed to be part of the BOB, but to prepare for any number of widely varying emergencies, how is it possible to know if you should have a vest covered in mag pouches (unlikely), a high-powered rifle with a suppressor (slightly more unlikely), or a concealed handgun and the bare minimum of magazines, because you won't use a gun at all and will need to run away from... a meteor tsunami (still unlikely**)?

I'd like to carry my handgun and carbine, but carry isn't an option in my AO, so short of Khazakstan invading the East Coast (and somehow being even mildly successful at it), aliens or zombies, I'd have to risk carrying concealed and hope that if it's an overreaction that I'm never dumb enough to whip it out like a retarded, suicidal vigilante. Because I'd look like I'd lost my marbles and planned to cause a massacre, and I'd deserve to be arrested, imprisoned, or killed by the police.

This is not the reality in all areas, but neither is it hunky-dory to tool around town in camo with your AR. You'd still look like you're a few feet short of a full roll of tin foil, to mix metaphors.

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:53 pm

Concealed. FL doesn't have open carry.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by SIX20 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:08 pm

Being that I open carry and conceal carry on a day to day basis. I think it would depend on where I was and what I was wearing at the time. If I was in a place that didnt allow open carry to begin with, I would conceal and take my chances.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Brock Meatstone » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:12 pm

Yeah, my vote would be for concealed. Especially in a high stress disaster situation where you would most definitely be rubbing shoulders with other refugees while high tailing it out of wherever you are, you don't want some guy or gal to freak out over the fact that you have a gun, which in turn would freak everybody else out.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Rev » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:16 pm

I live and operate in the Tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. A pistol in a open carry holster doesn't draw any attention, and in this situation no one will blink at a slung rifle.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by phil_in_cs » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:29 pm

LEO and deployed Guardsmen are likely to be skittish. Whatever causes you to bug out has them separated from their families who very likely need them desperately at the moment. If they've had rumors going crazy like after Katrina someone walking with a carbine is going to get a very high level of attention and possibly detained until he can prove he's a good guy. Which, if you're violating an state carry law will be very difficult.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by jaowens76 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:17 pm

This is the best part about smallish mid west towns. I could walk with a Barrett over my shoulders and no one would say much except "damn that's a big rifle".
I think most of us by the very nature that we are prepared will receive greater scrutiny . Due to this I see a visible firearm as a deterrent.

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by maldon007 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:56 pm

Whatever way you normally carry & practice, maybe?

I don't normally carry, but I practice & do IDPA with a high belt holster & "cover garment" so probably be that way.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Trebor » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:28 pm

I wrote a long post on this a couple years back. Basically, in most emergencies, concealed carry is going to be the way to go. This will avoid unwanted attention from the authorities and still give you a way to defend yourself if needed.

Now, if it really is OMG! ZOMBIES/RUSSiAN PARATROOPERS/THE END OF THE WORLD, yeah, a full war kit with rifle, open carried pistol, etc, is fine, but most emergencies are going to fall far short of that.

Remember, in a localized disaster it might not even be "bugging out" so much as having to temporarily evacuate or even just having to leave your home on some errand that can't be avoided, no matter what preps you had in place. Or even just working around your home clearing debris, removing downed trees, etc. In all those instances concealed carry is much less threatening to your neighbors, the cops and possibly the local National Guard and is much less likely to single you out for any special attention.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by lokifz1 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:21 am

You also have to realize some people may see your guns and want them. Be part of the landscape as long as possible the nail that sticks out gets hammered.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Hoppy » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:44 am

Bug in.

if that is not an option i will put my pistol in my OWB holster and throw on a jacket or over shirt if weather permits.

im not playing this game of drug mule style concealment some people think they need to carry.

sooo. pretty much my daily carry 8-)
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by MacAttack » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:45 am

I'm lucky I live in Ohio.
The local officers like the people with CCW's. We just don't give them any trouble, as they say.

I have the right to both CCW and open carry. Its not uncommon to see someone carrying a long arm down a street going some place and people in camo are an every day thing, it's just not a fashion trend.

The worst thing might be traffic jambs in a bug out. But we have enough ancillary roads to cover that problem.

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Browning 35 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:42 am

We'd bug in for the most part.

If that's not possible (flooded, house destroyed, a huge chemical cloud making its way from the train tracks after a derailment or whatever) then if we had enough time we'd grab out preps and guns and we'd bug out in our vehicles. Lots of different roads around here, no need to take the interstate and end up in gridlock. I have a few different routes to our bug out location mapped out on a Mapsgo.

As far as guns the vast majority of the time disasters aren't going to require guns. However if we were bugging out I'd still take them and my ammo, mags and parts anyway simply to prevent looters/burglars from stealing them. Not because I generally think that I'm going to get into some shootout to end all shootouts. I'd keep everything out of sight and hidden until it was the time and place to actually use it.

The only time I've ever kept a gun out the whole time in plain view while driving somewhere in an urban area was driving home from near Compton during the LA riots. Running around with a gun in the city tends to get you noticed in a bad way, so I'd do my best to avoid that.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by LivelyToaster » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:59 am

I always kind of figured I'd walk around with all my shirt sleeves cut-off. Wearing a poncho, and OC a crossbow everywhere I went.


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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by URBAN ASSAULT » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:05 pm

SHTF, I'm think I'm gonna get nekkid, 'cept for my big black leather belt. I gonna carry my .45 Mexican-style, using the holster as a kind of codpiece.

Being around 6'2", 450 lbs., with a decent amount of ink on my arms, a shaved head and bare-assed to boot should chase most anyone well away before they determine if I'm carrying open or concealed.

It's the folks who might decide to stick around after my stunt that make me nervous.

:shock:

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by maldon007 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:33 pm

URBAN ASSAULT wrote:
It's the folks who might decide to stick around after my stunt that make me nervous.

:shock:

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Boris » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:45 pm

There's no reason not to go concealed in any scenario (for me, at least). We have open carry in my state, so I guess I would have to see what the natives were doing. If everyone was carrying openly, I would probably do that but try to stay out of sight. I would conceal carry in any situation, though. Either on my body or in my pack.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Teqnikal » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:38 am

I would say how ever you are permitted to carry in your AO. My problem with a bug out situation is that I'm a LEO (Correctional Officer). At what point to I not go in to work and protect the public? I swore an oath to keep those guys behind the fence. I suppose if it were ACTUAL ZOMBIES I may not show up for work. Other than that I have to hope that I have given my wife and kids enough training to know how to protect themselves, since I would be working 12-18 hour shifts. Also, the prison I am at does have all kinds of contingency plans for evcauations and pandemics. I guess I would have to stay untill my part was done.
Sorry, didn't mean to go that far off topic. Yeah, carry how you are allowed to, and blend in with the people in your area. If everyone is carrying a rifle with them, you wouldn't be out of place I suppose.

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by nathat » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:17 am

I would carry open drop leg (yes I know the hate for that here on this site). Reason being my walking bug out route is mostly through back trails and wooded areas. I want to be able to get to my weapon quickly, without issue of backpack/belt, if I need it. Plus in Ga carrying on a trail would not scare anyone who would be back there.

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Smash05 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:24 pm

I would almost always remain concealed. People with visible guns, ( including Leo) get my attention all the time, mainly because if shtf bullets may be going inbound to or outbound from those people. It's going to get noticed, however common it might be in your AO, if for no other reason than circumstances have changed. I owe it to my family to be as grey as possible.
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by fidalgoman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:04 pm

It has been said already there are those who will want your guns if they see them. I think anybody with a few friends could figure out how to make it happen. Also as in Katrina I believe if authorities see your guns they will likey take them for their own safety and not worry about yours. IMHO I'd say keep it hidden or "risk" loosing it. Also If everything is in total chaos I don't think having anything to do with the authorities is wise. If you have an incident keep on moving if you can. Who wants to spend a few days in jail (and loose everything) during a major incident.

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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by Dawgboy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:01 pm

Well, If I'm bugging out, I am De Facto, armed, as I am not leaving them all at home to be stolen/looted/destroyed. So on the loadout into the car, one of the first things going in is ammo and a couple rifle cases. And If on foot. probably just the XD... It really depends on the situation, but I do adhere to the greyman principle...
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Re: Bugging Out: Concealed or Open Carry?

Post by LivelyToaster » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:25 am

Dawgboy wrote:Well, If I'm bugging out, I am De Facto, armed, as I am not leaving them all at home to be stolen/looted/destroyed. So on the loadout into the car, one of the first things going in is ammo and a couple rifle cases. And If on foot. probably just the XD... It really depends on the situation, but I do adhere to the greyman principle...
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