I used to occasionally backpack a Ruger SP101 .357 with 3" barrel loaded with Buffalo Bore hard cast ammo. I carried it in a El Paso Saddlery leather Tanker Holster, which sits securely on your chest above the waist belt between shoulder straps. Perfect setup for hiking, fly fishing, etc.
I usually leave it at home now, because I've had multiple close encounters with coyotes and bears (3 different black bears) in Colorado. Coyotes just lope away and every bear I've encountered has huffed at me a couple times before running at full speed into the forest. I don't backpack in heavily impacted "tourist" areas where problem bears might be encountered. If I lived in Montana or similar - wolves and grizzly - I might think differently.
Still, it's fun every now and then.
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm leaning towards the 44 mag, but I don't know if the carry weight is worth it.
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