Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fanny packs: An alternative to backpacks

Hikers with a child carrier on their back may want to pick up a fanny
pack in lieu of a backpack. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Also known as a belt bag, a fanny pack is virtually a must for anyone with a baby carrier as you can’t otherwise carry a backpack. If your significant other is with you, he or she can carry the backpack, of course. Still, the fanny pack also is a good alternative to a backpack in hot weather, as it will reduce back sweat.

If you have only one or two kids on a hike, or if they also are old enough to carry daypacks, your fanny pack need not be large. A mid-size pouch can carry at least 200 cubic inches of supplies, which despite this book’s seemingly extensive list of sundries you should carry, is more than enough to accommodate them all. As Mary W., of Asheville, N.C., notes, “The fanny pack is the easiest way to carry anything on the trail. Mine has one zipper that opens to a single pouch, in which I’ve lined up everything needed, from first-aid kit to trail mix. I have one with canteens on both sides of the pouch, which makes getting water convenient.

Some fanny packs even come with a CD/MP3 player pocket and headphone port, but there’s really no need for such add-ons. You want to be able to hear your children at least for safety purposes, and you might even want to talk with them. In any case, if one of the points of the hike is to commune with nature, how can you do that if the latest music of our highly technical world is pounding in your ears?

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.