How do you like to carry your sidearm and mags when wearing a backpack? Back in "the day" when I was an active backpacker my pistol went in my pack as things were friendlier then, fewer people on the trail past the first few miles, and the areas I went had few predators. Naturally the waist belt on a pack interferes with holsters (and forget about IWB!) The simplest and lightest solution is a pouch added to a shoulder strap like in the video below. It's pretty limited to what you can carry but flies nicely under the radar. I've been looking at Hill People Recon and Heavy Recon chest packs. For non SHTF situations looks like a handy way to keep a pistol and a few mags handy while not attracting attention. It can be worn like shown below or can be attached to your pack straps. I like that in the standard configuration I can drop my pack and still have my sidearm handy You can also attach mag pouches to the front, but that makes it harder to quickly access a pistol. For a more obvious SHTF/Bug Out/Get Home situation, it would be nice to have a solution that makes it easier to access pistol and mags. Here is an interesting mod to a 511chest rig that allows reasonable easy access to pistol, mags and a knife: I like that it is still light weight and breathable keeping that pack in mind. Still not ideal as pistol access is a bit clumsy due to the compromise. Going with a full blown tactical vest gives more flexibility, but lacks breathability and adds additional weight. It probably gives better support to keep mags and sidearm in place. Larger folks might have problems finding vests that will fit Ideas? Thoughts? How do you like to pack heat while packing gear?