View Full Version : How to carry while in National Forest on Motorcycle Dirt Bike

04-01-2009, 1:36 PM
I have done a bit of searching, and hope I am not repeating a previous discussion.

What is the best way to legally carry a hand gun for personal defense while riding dirt bikes in the hills? Most of my riding is in National Forest land on OHV trails, and I know there is a presence of illegal activity as well as 4 legged predators that I would like to be able to defend myself against. I do not have a CCW, and most likely would not be in the act of hunting or fishing. I may however be on my way to or from a fishing spot on occassion.

Is open loaded carry an option (these areas are most often OK to shoot/hunt areas)?

Would loaded concealed carry be allowed if I am riding in to a fishing spot?

Does anybody have a recommended rig for that appropriate (legal) method of carrying that would work well with off-road riding. I was thinking of a thigh type holster, but crashing does happen and I would not want to put my gun between me and a hard spot. I thought about some kind of chest rig that might be a good location. Any thought or ideas?

04-01-2009, 2:18 PM
Never heard of anything specific to a motorcycle, but when camping, hunting in federal forests, it's ok to carry. I recommend going to the Federal Forest website and emailing them. For California state land, you could go to the Fish and Game or BLM websites and ask them. The Fish and Game site has an "ask the warden" section.

As for how to carry (once you know if you can), I've used hip, thigh, and shoulder rigs. I prefer the thigh rigs, but the shoulder ones worked better for horseback. Might translate to Motorcycle.

04-01-2009, 2:23 PM
I have assumed that open loaded carry is OK as it would be while camping, target shooting, etc.

I obviously would not want me rig to be concealed, and didn't know how shoulder rigs would apply. Also, it would have to be very secure as off road riding can require a lot of movement and the ocassional tumble.

04-01-2009, 4:15 PM
flap holster with a lanyard. Or some sort of really secure retention holster.
check with local authority for the forest you intend to ride / carry in, sometimes the cognizant authorities have a different interpretation of the rules. Particularly if it's one of the blue / coastal counties. High deserts and sierras you should be fine.

04-01-2009, 4:21 PM
I ride in Tahoe NF and at Cow Mtn and usually have my XD45 in a CQC Serpa holster (with the belt attachment... I dont trust that paddle). I have yet to have any problems, whether it be losing my pistol or rangers bugging me.


I figured I add that my pistol being on my hip does cause cosmetic problems when taking a spill. I've scuffed it a little, but when hitting the dirt it did not cause any extra pain to me. However when I landed on my folding blade the pressure was not so distributed so it did leave a definite sore spot on my hip for a little bit. I have thought about a chest rig to carry (because I never really hit my chest in a crash, just rocks from other bikes hit it), but I really like hip carry.

As for loaded carry, I do it on trails. The fire roads I was never really comfortable with, because I thought roads were a prohibited area to discharge, thus no loaded carry...

04-01-2009, 9:58 PM
Loaded open carry is legal as long as you are not in an area where shooting is prohibited, which includes:

within 150 yards of any structure/development or occupied area, within or into a cave, across or on a road or body of water, or in any manner that endangers a person

Unloaded open carry is legal just about everywhere in the NF.

Alternatively, keep it in a locked case in a pack.



04-01-2009, 10:15 PM
Hey, on a related note, there was another thread here today where somebody was asking about shooting after dark in the Mendocino National Forest. What happened to that thread? Was there a CalGuns crash or something? My opinion is that there is no specific prohibition to night time shooting, but I was curious to learn more...

04-01-2009, 11:22 PM
When I was riding in Clear Creek before it closed I always LOC'd my Glock on my right hip. Some people looked at me funny but I ran into some BLM rangers and they didn't say anything so I'd say you're good to go. Check with the office where you're going first though.:thumbsup: