I started wearing a fanny pack on the job a few years ago, and haven't looked back. It's one of the best decisions I've made as a farmer, as it has saved me countless times from unnecessary trips to the toolshed or house or office or wherever to grab an oft-used tool.
Sure, Jordan, but what about pockets? Well, yeah, but my main problem with pockets is that I have about four different pairs of pants for working, and without the fanny pack, I'd have to transfer my crucial tools each time I switch pants. I used to do just that, and it frequently resulted in me not having my knife or keys or vice-grips on me when I needed those things, so, many needless trips to go and fetch them.
With the fanny pack, all my oft-used tools stay in one place, and travel easily. Let's take a look at what I carry.
1. Smart phone holster. Essential for enjoying music and podcasts on the job.
2. Essential keys. Well, for me, key. For my landlord's tool shed, where all manner of awesome tools are kept.
3. Pocket knife. This one's an Opinel. Love it.
4. Pen. For jotting down farm-inspired haikus.
5. Mini-shears. A new addition this year. So useful that I may stop carrying the pocket knife. Cuts through irrigation hose, twine, and lots of other stuff. They're tiny. Like, 5" long.
6. Mini-Vice Grips. Like, the smallest size you can find. You have no idea how useful they are until you carry a pair at all times. They're basically a universal wrench. If you have never used vice grips, learn how to use them (simple), then carry a pair. Always.
7. Bullet, old bolt, irrigation part. Stuff ends up in there by accident.
8. Hose washer.
9. Oft-used drill bits. I frequently switch between your standard robertson and the ones in the photo, which are used for loosening the bolts on hose clamps. One stays on the drill; the others are in my fanny pack.
10. Wire. For unplugging clogged sprinkler heads. Doesn't need to be as long as you see in the photo.
Try it, if you can find one, which is getting harder to do. You won't regret it.
I've had a few readers/listeners write in with comments and suggestions. Here are two sources for new fanny packs online:
Victoria provided that last one, and also brought my attention to the wikipedia entry for Fanny Packs, which features this opening sentence:
A fanny pack, belt pack, belly bag, chaos pouch, buffalo pouch, hip sack, phany pack, waist bag, waistpack, butt pack (US), fanny pack, waist wallet (Canada), bum bag, Snatchel, hip pack (UK), belt bag (Philippines), bum bag (South America, Ireland), Kangaroo and Koala (Australia, New Zealand), or moon bag (South Africa), is a small fabric pouch usually secured with a zipper and worn by use of a strap around the hips or waist.
Thanks to Victoria and Jose for those emails.