What Goes Into a Fanny or Chest Pack?

What Goes Into a Fanny or Chest Pack?

Fanny packs are designed to hold the essentials. Their purpose is to give you easy access to the things you need, while hiking, so you don’t have to stop and rummage through your pack. Simple, right? BUT WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS?!?!? While discovering the perfect mix of items for your fanny pack is certainly a process of trial and error (see further down the page for more suggestions), we’ve polled 120 Thrupack fanny pack owners to get their opinions. Is it rude to ask what’s in another hiker’s fanny? That answer is a mix between “no idea” and “who cares!”

Here are our findings!

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Other responses: Trash (4), water filtration (3), utensil (3) sunglasses (3), dog bags/snacks (3), hopes and dreams (3), bugnet (2), toothbrush/toothpaste (2), power bank (2), gloves/handwarmers (2), hat (2), toilet paper (1), ziplock bags (1), hair ties (1), cool rocks (1), rubix cubes (1), pez dispensers (1), and tacos (1).


  1. Try it, change it, and try it again. To start, pick 5-10 small pieces of gear/apparel/food that you think you typically use or consume while hiking. Remove them from your pack and place them into your fanny. Each time you are hiking, take note of what you are using and what you aren’t. After a while, reevaluate what you are carrying in your fanny pack. Keep the things you actually use, and swap out the things you don’t. Repeat this a couple times, and eventually you will have a a very functional and convenient fanny pack.

  2. Its not a junk drawer. Keep in mind that your fanny pack shouldn’t hold EVERYTHING. Sure its tempting, but If you cram your fanny pack full of too much stuff, ultimately it’ll become disorganized, bulky, and significantly less practical.

  3. Its great for hiking and in camp. The essentials that you need while hiking can be slightly different than the essentials you need while in camp. While fanny packs are convenient in both elements of your trail life, think about the easiest way to transition your pack between the two experiences. Do you carry the same stuff all the time? Or do you add items like headlamps and lighters only once you are in camp?

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