Without a doubt, my favorite piece of outdoor gear is the fanny pack. While the fanny pack is perhaps most critically acclaimed as a holder of change, keys, phones and sunscreen, this backpacking accessory is more than just an extra pocket for the elderly: it's an organizational dream!
As someone who always packs minimally for trips, every item that accompanies me is intentional. If I ever question something's utility, chances are it gets left at home.
For a long time I thought of fanny packs as a needless accessory. However, after some poking and prodding from a fanny pack-loving friend of mine, I relented and gave it a try. There is now no going back. I'm hooked!
How to use a fanny pack right:
First off, identify 5-10 small items that you use consistently both while hiking and in camp. Some examples of your “go to” items could be:
-Headnet (if in a buggy region)
-Water purification (iodine, polarpure, aquamira …)
If you notice yourself not using one of your fanny pack item very frequently, take it out and put it back into your main pack. If you find yourself using something frequently that wasn't originally in your fanny pack, add it into the mix and see how it goes.
Through this process of trial and error, you will relatively quickly develop an effective system of “go to” items for your fanny pack. You will find yourself constantly connected to your essentials, and very infrequently rummaging through your pack. Increased organization = decreased frustration.
While in camp, I rarely take my fanny pack off. It is small and unobtrusive, and taking it off frequently detracts from the usefulness of always having your “go to” items near by. With such a fashionable and functional accessory, why would you want to take it off while in camp? Its utility is in its accessibility.
While hiking, however, you have options. I personally enjoy hiking with my fanny pack on, and I do not feel inhibited by its presence. Wearing my fanny allows me the ability to less frequently rummage through my pack, and it means I can access things quickly without the need to stop.
A closing thought on fanny packs for backpacking:
If after all this you are still wondering why I'd want a fanny pack instead of simply relying on the brain of my pack, give the fanny pack a try and see the truth for yourself. Fanny packs are at the corner of function and fashion, and these handy accessories are just looking to be reclaimed by backpackers everywhere!!!
P.S. Check out this video review I did of Thru. fanny packs ...