A Few Reasons to Wear a Waist Pack!
Get Your Snack On!
According to a Thrupack survey, one of the primary things backpackers store in their Thrupacks are snacks. Keeping food easily accessible means you can consistently fuel while you hike, allowing you to maintain a high level of energy throughout the day.
If you have a big climb coming up, you can easily fuel up to keep yourself from bonking.
Why would you wait until you are famished and cranky to eat?
Fanny-pack snacking will make you feel better physically and emotionally, and honestly, many of us schedule our eating times around traditional "frontcountry" times instead of around our own personal dietary needs in the backcountry: Eat while you walk, walk while you eat, and keep it all within arms reach.
Plus, eating snacks makes any unpleasant stretch of miles a million times better. In fact, snacking makes pretty much everything better.
I recommend an unreasonably large supply of chocolate!
Just the Essentials!
Sure fanny packs are excellent at holding snacks, but they also can hold a wide variety of other essentials.
As backpacks continue their trend towards minimalist designs, many ultralight packs are reducing the number of internal and external pouches, pockets, and general spaces for keeping things compartmentalized. While this reduction of built in compartments reduces the overall weight of the pack, it can lead to more chaotic and dysregulated organization.
Simply put, a fanny pack is a helpful pouch for keeping all of your essentials in one place. Conveniently located directly in front of you, a fanny pack allows you to keep all of your most important stuff in one easy to find location. Map? Lip-balm? Phone? Knife? Lighter? Fanny packs essentially turn us into more organized marsupials.
Fanny packs make your essentials easily available. Swap in your spork, lighter, and headlamp, and swap out your snacks, maps, and other specifically trail items. Going to bed? Stock your fanny pack with everything your might need easily accessible for tent time. While the majority of your gear flows in and out of utility depending on the time of day, your fanny pack can truly be utilized from sunup to sundown.
Stop Digging Through Your Pack!
Some people have their packs meticulously organized with dry bags, pods, and strict structures to where things go and how things are positioned.
For others, organization is an oppressive vestige of their old life that they eagerly left behind at the trailhead.
Regardless of where your personal organization falls within that spectrum, having a fanny pack allows you to reduce the number of times you need to dig through your pack. While opening and closing your pack doesn’t necessarily need to be a huge ordeal, it certainly can be.
Sure opening your pack means you have to stop hiking, but it can also mean an unwanted compromise of your carefully established packing system.
For those without much of a system to begin with, digging through your pack can force you to confront the disorganized mess you’ve just barely contained within the confines of your pack. While rocking a fanny won’t ensure that your backpack will remain perennially unopened, a properly stocked fanny pack will most certainly reduce the frequency at which you are forced to dig.
Plus, It also sucks to dig through your pack when its raining.
It's a Lateral Change in Base Weight!
If your pack has a lid or "brain" most of the items typically kept inside can and should be moved into your Thrupack. It's a lot more convenient than a pack top, it keeps your vertical height lower underneath low branches, and you won't have to do the reverse chicken-wing dance to get your bug net out.
It’s Great All Day!
Incredibly useful while hiking, fanny packs maintain a high level of utility while in camp. The items that you stock your fanny pack with might change over time, but the essential purpose remains the same: keeping important items accessible.
Most backpackers like talking about gear and, while we can all agree on many of the finer points of backpacking gear, nothing sparks original banter quite like a fanny pack! What do you keep in there? Why a fanny pack? *insert cheeky pun*