Life On the Go: Navigating Restrooms with Concealed Carry

Here are a few strategies to help keep your firearm secure when you’re on the go and have to go!

by posted on April 29, 2024
Yackley Ccw On The Go

Concealed carry is a very personal decision. The choice to carry, the method of carry, and the actual gun and holster are all details that require decisions. While everyone who practices concealed carry has a gun and a holster, not everybody who carries concealed uses the same method of daily carry.

The two main options for carry are on the body and off the body—such as in a purse or bag. As people go about their daily lives with a concealed firearm, they must navigate daily obstacles. One daily obstacle none of us can avoid is using the bathroom. Here are a few strategies to help keep your firearm secure when you’re on the go and have to go!

Off vs. On
So why might on-body carry versus off-body carry make sense in certain travel scenarios? For one, it’s much easier to have your firearm within reach no matter what you’re doing, if it is actually on your body.

If you decide to carry off your body, and stop your daily routine to use a restroom, there are times it can be tempting to leave your purse or bag in the car. Maybe you’re trying to make time on a road trip or you’re late for work (and nobody wants to set a bag down in a dirty bathroom). But that might be just the time where you really wish you had your firearm on your person. Carrying using an on-the-body method is going to give you fewer variables when it comes to accessing your firearm. When you put it on before you leave home, odds are it’s not coming off until you return home—and sometimes when you go to the bathroom. This was the precise thought running through my head when I decided to write this piece.

Carry Methods in Action
It’s helpful to just think about what makes sense for women when they use a restroom. If I’m going to carry OWB (outside the waistband) or IWB (inside the waistband), that means I usually have a belt, and it might mean I need to take off my firearm, perhaps even take off my belt. I don’t want to risk my firearm falling or dropping. I’m also not a fan of setting my firearm down and risking forgetting it. That’s never happened to me, but I have forgotten my phone in a restroom and that made me more aware of how easy it can be when you’re tired and doing something outside your normal routine.

My personal preference is to have a jacket, and whether I am carrying IWB or OWB, I will generally put my firearm in my pocket and zip it. With a jacket, and I cannot leave my firearm behind, or have it fall.

I also don’t want to trust hooks over the back of the door in a public place. Heaven forbid someone wants to try to swipe my bag off a hook.

If you use a holster solution like an Enigma by PHLster, or a corset, this is another consideration. Will a corset contain your firearm if you are squatting or bent over? I defer to my jacket and usually keep things there.

A fanny pack is an alternate solution to a jacket, especially in warm weather. You could wear it like a crossbody bag, and it is a very viable alternative to a purse. I consider it almost a cross between on the body carry and off body carry. It’s on my body and doesn’t come off. Unless you are the type of person who removes a fanny pack in the car or when sitting down. Then it’s just a purse alternative. 

If it’s warm outside and I don’t want to have a fanny pack or it’s too warm to have a jacket on, I will often utilize the bathroom stall with the changing table, because I can flip that down and set my phone and concealed carry in my IWB holster right there in the stall with me.

Think First
So before you have to go on the go, think realistically about what your preferences and habits are, and how alert and mentally on task you are going to stay in the course of your travel.

If you are traveling with children and helping them in the bathroom at the same time, something like a fanny pack, or a pocket of a jacket is going to help minimize any chances that you could set your firearm down and forget it.

What I prefer is by no means the way… the way that you prefer, are comfortable with, and have trained with is going to be the best way for you to carry your firearm.

If you are not in the habit of carrying every single day, and you plan to take your firearm on a road trip, before you head out the door, unload your firearm, and take it with you to the bathroom and see what you think you’re going to do to manage that firearm on your trip. It might make you reconsider how you plan to carry or what your strategy is and develop one that is best suited for your personal situation.

 

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