This is a discussion on Open Carry in Colorado within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; OfClanMcnab: I'm a backpacker as well. Out on the trails and in the wilderness I'm not very concerned with other people. It would seem a ...
I'm a backpacker as well. Out on the trails and in the wilderness I'm not very concerned with other people. It would seem a solid 50% of the serious packers I know carry - and for the four-legged reason listed before. And you are dead-on about hip-belts preventing the use of normal CC holsters. This reason alone is exactly why I own and use a thigh (drop) holster. I decided to spend the money to get a good-quality one and it will take anything: rock scrambling to running. However, be sure to secure the weapon with a retention cord. As a hiker you know that anything can and will happen and equipment eventually breaks. http://www.desantisholster.com/096.html Safariland also makes a great holster that is similar.
However, if I'm going deep into the wilderness (30 miles or so) and waaaaay away from population, I'll take a rifle and just strap it to my pack.
As for why OC... Due to how long it can take to /get/ to a firearm in your pack and why you might need it, I'd rather keep it as accessible as possible. I kinda like the wilderness packer and have considered getting one, though. I'm just hesitant to see what it can take as far as abuse goes.
I think the best way to carry while back-packing would be a holster mounted on the chest strap of the pack. I used to do a lot of off-trail back-packing in the Rockies, using a pack no wider than me to avoid hanging up in trees, bushes, etc. A thigh holster would snag a lot of obstructions too if you're bush-whacking.
Open carry is legal (and probably OK) anywhere in the Colorado sticks, except for inside a national park or national monument.