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The "Manly" Fanny Pack and Why You Should Consider It

Thursday, 09 August 2012 21:17

The fanny pack was one of the most memorable fashion trends of the 80’s. While this fad has endured the years, it is usually a tell-tale sign of an out-of-place tourist or an old person carrying their medications. In 2006, Weird Al Yankovic released a song named “White & Nerdy”, where he mocked the wearing of the unfashionable fanny pack (Need a laugh, Watch the video). While the stereotypes continue to this day, fanny packs have become popular once again for the shooting and tactical communities. Whether you call it a fanny pack, bum bag, belt bag, belly bag, hip sack, waist bag, or hip pack, the unfashionable fanny pack can play an important role in your survival system. 


Extend Storage Capacity

A fanny pack is a great option for your Get Home Bag (GHB), Every Day Carry (EDC), vehicle jump bag, or a Short-Term Medical Kit.  If you are short on room in your Survival Bag, you can use a fanny pack as a storage extension. Think of it as an alternative to another pouch, which can provide even more capability. If you are using it in conjunction with your Survival Bag, ensure the fanny pack can rest comfortably on your waist, and does not interfere with your Survival Bag. 

Keep Survival Items on Your Person

You can use a fanny pack to store items that are frequently used, or are required for survival. I use my fanny pack to store my fire kit, fishing/hunting kits, spare batteries and miscellaneous items, a portable water filter, emergency blanket, poncho, SAS survival guide, maps, head lamp, multi-tool, cordage, small first aid kit, and a Sawyer Extractor. On the outside, I carry a Becker BK2 knife, a dump pouch, and a folding saw. I have the basics for survival covered, and most items are contained inside of my fanny pack for added security. Additionally, if I need to drop my Survival Bag while working, the survival items in my fanny pack can remain with me. 

Conceal Handguns, Ammunition, and Knives

A fanny pack can be used to conceal a handgun, ammunition, and knives. This is helpful if you are in an urban environment, or regularly conceal your firearms. A fanny pack does not look out of place in modern society, and no one would ever know what is inside. There are several manufactures that currently make fanny packs for this purpose.


A fanny pack can be used as is, but there are two modifications that can improve its capability. You can install suspenders to assist in weight distribution. Suspenders also provide additional mounting points for other gear and equipment. If you use the suspender method, ensure it does not conflict with your Survival Bag or body armor. Another modification is adding additional pouches to your fanny pack. If your pack has molle attachments, most molle equipped pouches can be used. Additionally, most pouches that are designed for belts can be used on the belt portion of your fanny pack. 

Packs and Accessories We Like

Maxpedition Sabercat Versipack – The Sabercat is the largest Maxpedition fanny pack. Fully packed, it will extend to most individual’s mid back, so if you plan on using it in conjunction with your Survival Bag make sure it will not interfere with the proper wearing of your backpack. 

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack – The Proteus provides the best bang for your buck, and should fit under most 24 hour backpacks. I use it comfortably with a 5.11 Rush 24

Maxpedition Octa Versipack – The Octa is similar in size to the Proteus, but does not have as much storage capacity due to its shape. 

Maxpedition Janus Extension Pocket – The Janus Extension Pocket is useful if you have a large waistline. Additionally, it provides another pocket which can be used to store small items.


Why not a current fad or even stylish, there may be a place for a fanny pack in your survival system. For the price and features, they are practical for an EDC, GHB, medical bag, or vehicle jump bag. Be Prepared. Get Connected. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 18:14
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White & Nerdy "Weird Al" Yankovic
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