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Topic: Tips and tricks: backpacks with no pockets?, Backpacks with no or few pockets< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PDXbrian Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 8:37 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For those of us with packs that have few or no exterior pockets:

Any tips? How do you keep gear handy? Where do you keep your water bottle (if you don't have a platypus), sunscreen, lip balm, etc? Do you rig something up on your own, wear pants with lots of pockets, use a bunch of carabiners, or... ?

Please share!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 8:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A few things I keep in my cargo shorts or rainshell pockets (knife, headlamp, compass, map, GPS). In the top of my pack under the lid, I have a "fannypack lid" that I store my main gear. I store a few snacks as well in it. My bladder is clipped to the side of my pack (outside) with biners so I can unclip and refill.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 9:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most of the ten essentials in my pants pockets.  Hip belt and shoulder strap pockets for other stuff I want handy like sunglasses, camera and water.  What's on top in the pack changes depending on what's coming next on the trail.

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"Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again...They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 10:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I used to have a pack with no pockets and I used to use a small fanny pack (one pocket type) and wear it around front. I also used to strap it on to some of the loops on the back of the pack.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are a variety of options and I've experimented with most of them.

Carrying items in pants/short pockets, wearing a fanny pack in reverse, and hanging items from an attachment point with a carabiner have been mentioned.

You can make or buy pockets for small items or a water bottle that attach to hip belt or shoulder straps. A variation that a lot of people seem to like is a wet rib. There used to be a dry rib (no water bottle pocket) as well.

You can make or buy side or front pockets for your pack that use the horizontal compression straps to secure them in place.

They all work, but how happy you will be with them is a matter of personal preference.  Personally, I don't like carrying much in my pants/shorts pockets because I don't like the way it feels when I'm walking. And I don't like the feel of a water bottle attached to a shoulder strap with a carabiner moving around while I walk. But hanging my crocs from the front of my pack with a carabiner worked okay. I like pockets that attach to a hip belt but they need to be secured so they don't slip off every time I unfasten my hip belt and they also have to be small enough and positioned so my arms don't brush against them when I'm walking. Side or front pockets attached to a pack with its horizontal compression straps work okay but tend to sag in my experience.

Ultimately, every option is a compromise and you'll have to decide whether it's worth it or not.

On the other hand, pockets built into packs are not necessarily the best solution either. My newest pack has pockets built into the hip belt. I thought they were great until I was on a long distance hike and lost enough weight that the hip belt pockets prevented me from cinching the hip belt as tight as I wanted it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Random stuff like that goes in the top pocket.  Water goes in a bladder in the pack.  Pretty much the only things I keep handy are either in my pocket (a tiny whistle-knife-keychain), or strapped to my hipbelt (camera in a small soft-case, and bear spray when I have it along).  Anything else I want (snacks, etc) goes in the top pocket of the pack, which I can pull out easily any time my pack is off.

I don't really get why folks need so much stuff handy all the time.  I tend to need very little during the day.  The rest fits inside the pack quite well.  But of course it's a HYOH thing.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 1:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use a fanny pack as a "belly pack". Water, munchies, map, thin balaclava or cap, poly gloves, maybe a wind vest, and other smallish items I want quick access to are there.

The clothing items (wind vest, poly balaclava, poly hats) allow me to "layer up", or "layer down", without taking the backpack off, nimble when you are moving in/out of the shade, wind, on non summer trips. Not unusual for me to layer a poly balaclava, two thin poly hats.

A Lowe Alpine Mesa is a model I've used for years -- and it does several things well. This model makes an excellent fanny pack for "day hikes" in the middle of your backpack trip. Compression straps make it small as wanted as a belly pack while allowing you to attach a shell or pile shirt while on a "day hike"
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like to keep a gallon ziplock, with what I might need during the day, on the very top of my gear, just under the closure.  It is the last thing I put in the pack before I close it up.  It holds lunch, sunscreen, and not much else.  I find I do not need much during the day, or if I do, I make it time for a break and take off the pack.  

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