As we start the month of June, we can say with confidence that summer is here. That means it’s time for long trips to the lake, bike rides with friends, BBQs, baseball, and so much more. While we all love to relax in the summer, if you’re carrying a concealed firearm, the change in weather also means a change in your carrying habits.
While the extra sunshine might leave you a little sweaty, you shouldn’t sweat your concealed carry strategies. To make concealed carry a little easier all year long, On Your 6 Designs has put together a few quick tips for summertime concealed carry.
Seasonal Changes to Concealed Carry
If you live somewhere with a consistent temperature year-round, this blog might not be as relevant to you. But if you live somewhere with four, or even three seasons, you might notice that you have to reconsider what you carry, and how you carry it, in response to the weather.
Summer is no exception, and for most parts of the country, this is the time of the year when temperatures rise, and most people switch to shorts and t-shirts, shedding the layers that make concealing so easy in fall and winter. Being ready for these changes mean you can carry more effectively, and more comfortably.
Consider a Smaller Firearm
This might not be practical for everyone for a variety of reasons. Budget constraints, caliber preferences, and more might prevent you from purchasing another firearm. But if you’re looking for an excuse to buy another firearm, this could be it.
Small sized pistols are great for summertime carry. Options like the M&P Shield, the Sig Sauer P290RS or the Springfield XD(S) have proven to be popular in the concealed carry market for year round carry, but their subcompact size makes them well suited for your board shorts and tank top attire in the summer. Their lighter weight also means less strain on your gun belt, and their slim size means that you can adequately conceal them with just a t-shirt.
Don’t Succumb to Chaffing
Increased temperatures and spending more time outside means your body will sweat more during the summer. When you wear a holster close to your body on your hip, you might start to chafe in the area around the holster. Irritated skin is uncomfortable any time of the year, and if you’re constantly scratching your side, you might accidentally reveal your firearm. Plus, if your skin is agitated, you might leave your firearm at home.
To avoid this, consider wearing a light undershirt in addition to your normal shirt. You could also use products like Gold Bond or Body Glide which are designed to prevent chafing.
Mix Up Your Wardrobe
Your manner of dress will likely change in response to the weather anyway, but you might consider changing some of your style choices in order to better carry a firearm. While not always fashionable, cargo shorts make concealing a firearm easy. You can store your extra magazines in the cargo pockets, along with other EDC essentials like notebooks, pens, and pocket knives.
Also, consider the type of fabric you’re wearing. Synthetic fibers are remarkably breathable and wick away sweat. Surprisingly, wool might be a great choice for you too. Merino wool is light, breathable, moisture wicking, and can even resist odors. Wear a looser shirt in a darker color. This will prevent the shirt from snagging on your weapon or from printing.
Consider Your Holster Options
Your choice of holster can impact how comfortable you are during the summer. Leather holsters might look sharp, but in the summer, they’re sticky and slimy. If you sweat through your leather holster, you can actually start to corrode or rust the finish on your firearm, which can lead to functional issues down the road. Instead, look for lightweight materials with a sweat resistant liner, like Kydex.
Outside the waistband holsters might be great for fall and winter months when you can wear a coat over them, but an OWB holster isn’t well suited for summer carry. The larger size means more opportunities for printing and snagging on your t-shirts or light button downs. Instead, opt for an inside the waistband holster. They’re slimmer, and sit closer to your body, making it easy to conceal.
Have a Safe Storage Option Near to Hand
It can be difficult to carry a firearm with you during the summer months if for no other reason than summertime activities require increased mobility and freedom of motion. This can make it tricky to keep a firearm hidden on your body.
So when you’re invited to go on a trail run, take a long hike, or head to the lake for some swimming and rafting, you’ll need a safe place to store your firearm. There are a variety of manufacturers that offer car safes for your firearm. Off the body carry isn’t ideal, but storing your firearm in a bag that stays with you is still better than not having the firearm with you at all.
As we mentioned above, the right holster can make summertime carry much easier. That’s why it’s important to invest in a quality piece of gear the first time. At On Your 6 Designs, we offer custom concealed carry holsters that are hand-formed to fit your particular model of firearm. Browse our collection today to find the right holster for your year-round concealed carry needs.