Retro WON: IWB Potty Break Tips

Here’s the deal … we need to be honest and open about concealed carry and going to the bathroom. Yes, everyone one has to do #2 and depending on your schedule, this may involve a public restroom. Recently I started using an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster and found myself struggling a bit in public restrooms during my potty break. Now, surely there are others that have the same questions and concerns as me, so here you go …

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Family restroom

Look for a family restroom.

IWB Potty Break Tips

Finding a Place for Your Potty Break

When you realize you need a potty break, take a minute to choose the best place to go. If a family restroom is available, use it. These restrooms usually have a single toilet and a door that locks, which is perfect for privacy. When these aren’t available and you have to use a public restroom with stalls, choose the one at the end, against a wall. This minimizes your visibility a bit since you only have a neighbor on one side. Always check the stall situation on your way to the farthest one, to see if you can spot any men’s footwear, or other suspicious stuff. If you see anything that raises the hairs on the back of your neck, exit quickly.

Bathroom Stall

Choose your stall wisely.

Avoiding Detection

Now it’s time to get tricky and creative. These tips will help you avoid exposing your gun to others while during your potty break.

IWB-Potty-Belt IWB Potty Break Tips

Use your belt to hold up your pants.

Whenever possible, keep your pistol in its holster. If you avoid letting your pants fall below your knees it will help keep people outside the stall from seeing your gun. When you have a belt on, re-buckling it will help with this step. Also, spreading your knees apart and pushing on the belt will make it easier. By all means, don’t let your gun touch the floor … gross!

Gun on Hook Cerino

If you have to remove your pistol from its holster, NEVER hang it on the door hook by the trigger guard. I personally know of someone who had an accidental discharge (and not in the toilet) or AD because of this. Needless to say, he scared the crap poop out of those also on their potty breaks (pun intended). Also, if you decide to put it on the back of the toilet or on the toilet paper dispenser, don’t. Consider how slippery the surface is. Plus, no matter how responsible you think you are, you might forget to take the pistol with you. It’s happened to many professionals who carry guns for a living.

Hammock-IWB-Cerino IWB Potty Break Tips

If you have no choice, make a hammock.

So, what could you do with your gun if you absolutely have to take it out of the holster? There’s a little trick I learned from my husband and it’s been working for me. Let’s call it the underwear hammock. If I can’t keep my pistol in the holster, I lower my pants and underwear to above my knees. Then I set my pistol in my underwear where it safely sits until I’m finished. I know, sounds crazy but try it at home with an UNLOADED gun. This is also a great place to rest your pistol if you carry appendix or right in the front. I started using the HERS by N82 Tactical holster. It allows me to carry on my waist without wearing a belt. Plus, I can switch positions whenever I feel the need.

Gun on Toilet Paper IWB Potty Break Tips

If Your Gun Falls During Your Potty Break

Don’t panic! Pick it up, finish your business and re-holster. When you get home, rethink what went wrong, and why it fell. If it fell out of the holster, you may need to check the retention or consider purchasing a new holster. Unless you spend a ton of time in public restrooms, potty break ease shouldn’t be the most important criterion for choosing a holster. However, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

This Retro WON, IWB Potty Break Tips, first appeared January 22, 2018.

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, first entered the firearms industry in 2011 as co-owner, president and trainer at a national training company. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.


The Conversation

  • Tionico says: January 18, 2020 at 4:48 am

    I wrestled for a long time with HOW to get my britches back up and refastened, and organised again. It finally hit me… I typically carry a full sized pistol in an IWB holster and I use a fairly stout belt. Once I;m done, HOW to get it back up and refatened? I finally figured out a couple things. First, instaed of grabbing the trousers and hoping the weapon stays properly oriented on its way up (it jumped out ofits holster and clattered to the deck more than once….thanksfully I was the only one in the loo at the time) I thought to try grabbing the holsterd gun itself, and usling that to guide that side of my pentaloons to its proper place.MUCH better, as I now retained full control of the gun itself. It being the heavy part, the rest easily followed it. The next issue I had repeatedly ks HOW to hold up the weight of the gun, make it rest on the correct part of my waist, AND simultaneosly refasten the buttin or slip that joins the two halves of the waistband into a continuous ring round my waist? The heavy gun kept trying to bring it all down to the floor again. Frustrated one time, I saw the ADA mandated grab rail, turned and backed up against that as I held the britches up from each side, pressed against the bar, and my weight against the bar held the entire back half of the belt/trousers/hoster/gun assembly very solidly until I got the clasp fastened and the belt buckled again. Places where there IS no ADA bar, I simply back up against the wall and do about the same thing. Makes it easy and quick, and reliable. I get everything back in its place quickly and easily firs ttry.