Fanny Packs for Backpacking? An organizational dream!

Lloyd Vogel

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! 

Fanny Packs for Backpacking - Thru.
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)
-Eating Utensils
-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.

Fanny Packs for Backpacking - Thru.
That said, it should be noted that there can be logistical difficulties associated with wearing a fanny pack and a backpack simultaneously. Packs with larger hip belts can make it difficult to find room for a fanny pack, and fanny packs with big buckles can be uncomfortable when positioned between your backpack and your back. Fanny packs, such as The Summit Bum by Thrupack (available for sale on Garage Grown Gear)., eliminate the buckle issue by allowing the buckle to swing to the front side of the pack!

Still not loving the idea of hiking with your fanny pack on? You can always clip it around your pack, attach it to your sternum strap, rig it up using a chest rigging system, tuck it in your brain, or place it at the top of your pack. That works too. Also many fanny packs (such as the aforementioned Thrupack fanny pack) can fit through your preexisting backpack's hip belt.

A closing thought on fanny packs for backpacking: 

While many larger expedition packs have brains that turn into fanny packs, these huge honking monstrosities are not what I am referring to in this post. The fanny packs I am endorsing and advocating for are small, minimalistic and able to stand up to the elements! They do not exist to hold your raincoat, sleeping bag, and tarp, they exist for the basics.

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 ... 

Fanny Packs for Backpacking - Thru.
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Hike & Ride

Hike & Ride

I’d like to see how you’d mount it on your pack, so it’s a chest pack. Also, I’d like to see it on someone when they have their backpack on, where’s the best place to wear it, seems like it would get in the way of the hip belts.

Lloyd Vogel

Lloyd Vogel….0……0i22i30k1j33i22i29i30k1j33i21k1.0.wupIIJ9rtaI#imgrc=eUsXB1_TcrhCJM:

Matthew Hasday

Matthew Hasday

What type of knife/multi-tool is that?

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