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Two years ago, I made a promise to myself and my best friend. I promised that when (not if, but when) I overcame the chronic pain I was battling, I would go on a hike with her. It may seem like a simple, even insignificant promise to some. For me, it was an inspiring goal I used to push myself through my recovery.

After a lot of hard work, setbacks, and perseverance, I made good on my promise and called her just ahead of National Take a Hike Day (November 17) to plan a hike on a trail my friend is familiar with!

While planning our hike, the discussion eventually turned to self-defense. Although I successfully incorporated one of our holsters into my experience, I also learned that even as an employee of CrossBreed, I can still learn a thing or two about our products!

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Gearing Up For the Hike

In addition to the obvious hiking gear to pack like a compass, map, extra hydration, and emergency supplies, our plan included self-defense. As an avid hiker and no stranger to the very real dangers on the trail, my bestie also appreciates the ability to carry concealed.

Blessed to have enormous resources available to me, I recently purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P 380EZ Shield and had holsters made to fit a wide variety of outfits and carry positions. While I always strive to be aware of my surroundings and am armed when running errands in a sketchy part of the city, I typically don’t carry on a regular basis.

That being said, I decided that as part of my promise to my friend, I would definitely be armed for our protection (including a spare magazine) for our hike!
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Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

Realizing I would be carrying for an extended amount of time, I knew my method of carry had to be comfortable, flexible, and safe. Unlike others on the market, the CrossBreed Belly Band System is designed to provide customers with safety and comfort equally. By integrating a modular holster into its design, it also ensures a safer reholster should you need to draw your firearm.

"The other advantage of the CrossBreed Modular Belly Band over its competitors is the Kydex shell, which makes drawing and reholstering your gun much easier than with an elastic band only. This becomes especially important during practice," according to a review in Shooting Illustrated.

"Other belly bands require the support hand to open the elastic on the belly band to reholster a gun. With the CrossBreed belly band, this is all done with one hand, since the Kydex holster shell retains its shape when empty."

After checking the gun laws of the area we planned to hike, we were good to go. Armed with a plan and outfitted with the right gear, we hit the trails!

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Putting Myself and my Gear to the Test!

Gearing up for the hike, I questioned whether I’d be able to carry all day without getting frustrated or uncomfortable. Encouraged by the figurative mountain I had already overcome, I made a conscious effort to remain cognizant of how strong my body was and note the performance of my Belly Band throughout the day.

Even though I work for the company who makes it, I can't tell you how many times I was genuinely impressed with the lack of movement of my firearm and the belly band itself as I went up and down the trails! I actually stopped a couple of times just to check it because, to be honest, I couldn't believe how secure it remained no matter how much I stretched, climbed, and moved.

Rationally, I'm sure this was also to reassure myself that I was actually carrying my gun comfortably and safely. But after successfully reaching the top of the trail, I celebrated being able to take a hike with a friend while remaining fully capable of defending myself and others the entire time!

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My Takeaway From the Hike

At the conclusion of our impressive 3-hour hike, my CrossBreed Belly Band was just as comfortable and, more importantly, safe and secure as when I put it on! While our Belly Band has always been my go-to carry system, wearing it hiking some pretty impressive trails helped solidify it at the very top of my list. Whether on a day hike or running through the grocery store, I will definitely be wearing my Belly Band more often!

What's more, I'm even prouder to work for a company that provides quality, handcrafted, purposefully-designed products that are not only made in America but now shipped out by someone who believes in them even more.

And while my personal triumph on the trail will stay with me for years to come, that professional realization will fuel me each day as I ship your orders out to you.

...and that is absolutely priceless!

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How About You?

Do you worry about personal protection when you're out on the trail? Do you carry your firearm when you hike? How do you prefer to carry?

Sound off in the comments below!

About the Author:

Brandi Easterday is the Shipping Manager here at CrossBreed Holsters! She and her husband Kevin have one son and when she's not sending out quality products from our shipping bay, she enjoys writing songs, worshiping Jesus, spending time with friends and traveling.