When it comes to survival kits, you’d think that more is better, right? But that’s not always the case. Let me explain. Lets take the Bug Out Bag for instance. It’s big enough to carry tools, shelter, food and fire making gear. But can you carry the entire thing everywhere? Can you carry it into your office every day?
You might be able to last longer with a larger backpack. But you won’t be as mobile. Also, the larger pack will be limiting. So is it all that practical?
And that’s where the Fanny Pack comes in. The biggest reason for a fanny pack is mobility. And when you bring in the right mix of gear, you’ll be able to travel far with minimal weight.
So what I’m going to do is give you four tips for choosing and filling your Fanny Pack with the right features and gear. Afterwards, you’ll have the simple framework for your own Every Day Carry or EDC in the format of a Fanny Pack. So lets get started!
FIRST FANNY PACK TIP – Compartmentalization
Fanny packs make sense. That’s because you are packing all your stuff into a small footprint. Also, it’s compartmentalized and gives you easy access around your waist. Two examples of packs that fit this model are the Maxpedition and the Sabercat. Both have this compartmentalization feature. And with compartments, you have the ability to specialize. Specialization gear might include any of these items:
- water purification/hydration gear
- fire making
- communications gear
- illumination gear
Speaking of compartments, internal cargo pockets would be nice to have. Other types of compartments to look out for are:
- external shove it pocket
- exterior side pocket
- gusseted zippered pockets
- fleece lined non scratching sunglass eyewear pocket.
So far we’ve talked about smaller items. But don’t think you can’t have a shelter compartment. With ultra lightweight space blankets and tube tents, you can have a shelter compartment in your fanny pack. It’s complete, organized, lightweight and gives you the essentials. So let’s get a little deeper into what those essentials are.
SECOND FANNY PACK TIP – Features to look for
While compartments are important, construction is key. Your fanny pack has to accept the abuse that it’s going to get. It cannot break down in the middle of bugging out. Otherwise your hands will be full carrying all the contents. So the whole point of a 1 person emergency kit (even if its a large fanny pack) around your hip is to make your life hands free.
So lets look at some features of good strong fanny pack emergency survival kit bags.
- An adjustable waistband is essential. Once you’ve been walking for a few hours, belt adjustment will be necessary.
- Built-in hip pads wouldn’t hurt. That’s in case your pack gets heavy. (Paladin has the Mission Pack Belt specifically made for this kind of use. )
- Another feature to check out is the shoulder strap. The S.O.TECH Go Bag’s shoulder strap is tactically worn over one shoulder or around the waist. This gives the operator on-the-go access by rotating the bag from back to front and quickly accessing the contents of the bag.
- Features on the pack to look out for are large YKK® zipper pull cords for quick opening and fabric made out of 1000 or more Denier nylon.
- If you can get some PUx2 water repellant coating on the main body and inside pocket flaps, that’s even better.
Finally, think about ID tags and reflective tape to give you high visibility markings. IR or GLINT tape are perfect for infra-red nighttime visibility. This will let EMS and emergency responders find you. Now that we have the basics of the pack its self, lets’ look at some essentials to include inside of your fanny pack.
THIRD FANNY PACK TIP – Essentials to include
Often, people ask “how to build the perfect bug out bag” or “what to put in your bug out bag”. Great question. That’s because without the right stuff, you’ll be stuck focusing on the wrong stuff at the wrong time. So what’s the “right” stuff to focus on when it comes to a fanny pack survival kit? The right stuff should be light, multi purpose, and great at doing its job. So lets talk about some items that fit that bill right now.
- Fanny Pack Water/Food/Hydration/FoodPrep: With water you have two options. Bring your own, or clean whatever you run into. With the “bring your own” option, water packets are the best choice. The downside is that you won’t have much water. That’s because there’s not much in each packet. One way around this would be water tablets to purify any water you do find. They are perfect because they are compact and lightweight. Another hydration option is to bring a SteriPen UV water filter. The SteriPen has a small footprint, and gets the dangerous stuff out of your water. But you’ll need a silk cloth or something to filter out rocks, dirt and sand. The SteriPen will do the rest. It eliminates over 99% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa that cause water born illnesses. Another plus is that it can do 16 ounces of water in under 50 seconds. They even have a windup model
- Shelter/Bedding: Space and weight are the keys here. Remember, this all has to fit this into your fanny pack, and leave room for other stuff. So what’s the solution? Tyvek. Tyvek makes a great shelter because it is so lightweight, waterproof and durable all at the same time.
- Along with the Tyvek, you’ll need some line to tie the corners down or attach to a tree. So a paracord bracelet will provide you with all the line you’ll need. One tip, if you can put grommets in the corners of your Tyvek tarp, it’ll make attaching it to things easier.
- Another item to add to the Shelter/Bedding compartment would be a Medical grade self warming blanket. The Heat Treat® self-warming, disposable, medical grade blanket is your ticket. It has been developed out of efforts between medical acute care people and is the world leader in self warming products The Heat Treat® is a self contained warming blanket that gives you critical heat up to 104F once its exposed to air. It keeps it there for up to 12 hours. This blanket has proven itsself with hospitals and medical offices.
- Fanny Pack First Aid: Bandaids are pretty simple to understand, right? But what happens when someone in your group gets a wound that’s more than you can handle? QuikClot® Combat Gauze™ is the answer. QuikClot has helped first responders, safety teams and the military to save many lives. It has stopping power like nothing else. QuikClot is also easy to use. No mixing or measuring. It does have some downsides. But in an emergency, it can save lives.
- For Hygiene here are some great ideas that are compact, and lend themselves well to a fanny pack. mini towel tablets, canned clothes, paper shampoo, pocket shower
- Fanny Pack Illumination/Lighting: Its one thing to bring a flashlight. But what happens when your batteries run out? What if you could recharge them… with your body?. Or with something as common as water or urine? There is a battery called the AquaCell that runs off of water. Forget about solar or recharging things. AquaCells come in double or triple A sizes.
- Fanny Pack Communications: I think that the best you can do in communications would be a HAM radio. And the Yaesu VX8R is the winner. It is handheld and easily fits into your pack. Also, its submersible. So water won’t be a problem with this baby.
- But lets say that you don’t have a HAM license. And you dont have a radio. What then? The SAR eclipse signal device will be something to check out. It’s a mirror with features to allow you to fine tune where you are shining the mirror. You can signal people 10, 20, 50 miles away on a sunny day. Airplane pilots have been known to see signal mirror signals from 100 miles away
- Fanny Pack Fire/Tools: You cant have a survival kit without firemaking ability. Two items that I’ll never go without are the BlastMatch and WetFire blocks. The BlastMatch is a one handed firesteel device made for all weather use. It will light in the wind, rain or snow. It puts out a stream of high heat sparks. And when you combine it with WetFire Tinder, you can start a fire in the middle of a hard rain. Another addition to bring is Camping Matches. These are unique because they stay lit under water. That’s right.
Alright so we’ve got our list of essential items to bring in the Fanny Pack. So what’s next?
FOURTH FANNY PACK TIP – Examples to check out
Again, no one pack has every feature I just covered. But here are the top ones that I’m choosing.
- Rothco nylon butt pack is simple and durable with water repellant fabric and cinch straps.
- Fannypack survival kit
- Remora Gearslinger isn’t really a fanny pack. It’s a sling pack. But its loaded with almost all the features I listed above.
- Sabercat Versipack is big, but believe it or not, it can be worn as a fanny pack. It has plenty of compartments, molle straps, zippers, etc
- Proteus Versipack is a slightly smaller version of the Sabercat Versipack with much the same construction.
When I think of a survival kit, I usually think of something I have to hand carry around. But when I looked into these fanny pack designs, it became clear to me that keeping my hands free when I’m bugging out is a big deal. A backpack might be too much in some cases.
One idea would be to carry a fanny pack and a backpack. So you can quick release the backpack and move with the fanny pack for excursions. But still, these things are pretty impressive. Especially the Remora Gearslinger.
This week, go visit WalMart or KMart, and see what they have. Buy some cheap waist pack just to experiment with. Try incorporating some of the gear in this article.
Once you have your fanny pack, then start putting items and supplies into your kit. A great start would be the BlastMatch. And when you check it out, give me a shout!