Carrying in the Cold in Jackson Hole

Carrying in the Cold in Jackson Hole
Carrying in the Cold in Jackson Hole
Carrying in the Cold in Jackson Hole
Carrying in the Cold in Jackson Hole

My family and I spent Christmas in a cabin just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We had a beautiful white Christmas although it was freezing. (Temperatures from 5 degrees to 17 degrees most of the time.)

Although it was extremely cold, I still was carrying concealed the entire time but I did have to make a few adjustments. The gun I was and am now carrying is a Springfield 1911 in a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 holster. (This is an inside the waistband holster.)

When carrying inside the waistband, especially in the winter, you’ll want to wear an undershirt and tuck that undershirt into your underwear. If you don’t have an undershirt on, you’ll have the cold gun rubbing against your skin and this can become irritating. If you tuck in the undershirt and then put your gun on, the gun touches the undershirt and there is no discomfort at all.

Also, I had multiple layers of jackets on and I left all of the jackets unzipped. With a jacket unzipped it’s easy to sweep the jacket back and draw the gun. With numerous layers on and zipped up, it’s very difficult to draw a gun. Before I stepped out the first day I tested this in the cabin with a safe and empty weapon. Keeping my jackets unzipped was the way to go because it would have taken an eternity to draw my gun the other way.

The other thing that inhibited my draw was gloves. I do own tactical gloves but it was so cold outside (with the wind chill it felt even colder) that the tactical gloves didn’t do a thing to keep my fingers warm so I put big ski gloves on.

Now, there are some people out there who will say, “I would never wear big ski gloves and it doesn’t matter how cold it gets I’ll wear no gloves or tactical gloves.” What I say to these people is they’re either liars or they’ve never tried to shoot a gun in truly cold weather.

See Also: Tips for Winter Concealed Carry

When I was with the Agency, I had to train in the snow and a few of us thought we were tough (AKA knuckleheads) and we didn’t use the right gloves. Let’s just say it doesn’t take long to figure out that you can’t manipulate the gun and shoot well when you can’t feel your hands or when they’re aching to the bone from the cold.

So, in extremely cold temperatures when you have to wear the big gloves, just train yourself to quickly rip the glove off your gun hand. Practice this a few times in the mirror with a safe and empty weapon and you’ll realize how quick and simple this action is.

Also, I have been in situations when I thought danger may be approaching and I took off my glove ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to waste the time to take off my glove if there was indeed something happening.

The bottom line is, since we do have a few months of winter left make sure you’re able to draw your gun with whatever clothes you’re wearing, that you’re comfortable so you’ll actually want to carry your gun, and that your hands are warm enough that you can shoot as accurately as possible.

Photo by Alan Cleaver


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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Jackson-hole?…That’s in Wyoming, You could carry a BMG over your shoulder in Wyoming and no one would notice, so why all drama on concealed carry there???..Now if you were vacationing in Sunny Detroit, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Etc….then you’d have a story.

Samuel Worstell

I devised my own system with a soft in the pant holster and some 3 inch elastic to comfortably snug my P89 neatly in my armpit. This is neither quick, nor easy to get to, but the extra second it takes to draw is better than not having the pistol at all. The SP101 in my waistband will always be my primary. If I’m feeling particularly paranoid, There will also be a .22 or .25 (Unfortunately, Ruger does not make a tiny pistol.) on my ankle. Off the point. My point is, no matter what, it’s better to have, than not.


I never could shoot with gloves on. Any kind of glove. Back when I was younger and hunted ducks and geese in below freezing temperatures I would always jerk my glove off my shooting hand before it was time to get into action.


I put up w/ carrying concealed every winter up here in Northern AZ. Actually all the winter apparel makes it easier to carry concealed.


In your article Tips for concealed carry it says never /ever wear gloves. Which is it? Thx.

Randy Crawford

(a) Wear BIG mittens (e.g. made of ski hats with elastic or drawstrings at the hat rim = near your wrist). Clue: the ski hat covers an inner cloth glove, and in the space in between you can be concealed carrying whatever you want to be holding and with the safety on or off as appropriate. If you want to get fancy, the mitten can contain its own inner pocket so you don’t actually have to be holding anything until you feel the need and feel for your protection.
(b) Mobil 1 automotive oil makes a great gun lubricant, and some weights of Mobil 1 will cover you down to sub-Siberian temperatures.


” I had multiple layers of jackets on and I left all of the jackets unzipped.”

Just choose a jacket with big pockets (no problem in winter) and stick you ungloved hand and gun in there. Problem solved and you can zip up your jacket to boot.


Interesting. I was in JH the exact same time. Perhaps (having lived in Idaho) I’m more used to the cold weather than what your experience indicates. A simple Desantis Nemesis in the pocket of my coat did me just fine…without the need for gloves. Perhaps we bumped shoulders without knowing. JH is always crowded at Christas.


Instead of an IWB holster, why not us a belt holster, shoulder holster, or some form of a pocket holster?

Bob Clooney

I like cross draw esp. in winter with a coat on. I can leave the coat halfway zipped down. I wear OWB with an Allen slide holster on my belt. Reach in with my right hand over to my left hip and I’m good to go. No fiddling with the coat at all. Gun comes right out.