Over the years, my fly fishing carry system has evolved through a series of mutations. I’ve tried everything: vests, vest packs, chest packs, waist packs, hip packs, sling packs, backpacks, flapjacks, minimalism, maximalism, antidisestablishmentarianism–you name it.
They were all adequate. But the combined addictions to tackle and curiosity compel me to avidly revise.
My current setup is a complete departure from previous incarnations–the most radical mutation yet!
“Nothing on my back, nothing on my chest, nothing dangling. Total freedom of movement, customizable, versatile, and everything you need is always readily at hand”.
If someone asked me to describe how I carry my gear these days, that’s what I’d say.
I’m calling it “beltpacking” simply to mean: a belt-based method of carrying one’s gear afield.
I searched and couldn’t find any reference to the term, so on this May the 17th, 2023, I hereby coin the phrase “beltbacking” (© Jason Klass/TenkaraTalk, a subsidiary of Klass Enterprises, LLC, Ltd., Inc., esq.).
The advantages of beltpacking are so blatantly obvious, I’m somewhat disappointed in myself for it not occurring to me before.
Through my research, I found lots of options for putting together your own beltpacking setup. You can buy belts fully loaded with all kinds of configurable attachments and accoutrements, or put together your own from eclectic sources.
Mine is a hodgepodge mostly of gear I already had with the Fishpond South Fork Wading Belt as its foundation.
I researched countless belts from Simms, Patagonia, Frogg Toggs, etc., and the South Fork seemed to be the best value with the most features–and all the ones on my list.
The video shows how I have it currently setup, but if I know myself, it’ll undoubtedly evolve into something different.
But for now, “beltpacking” is the pinnacle of my system’s evolution. I don’t know if he fished or not, but I like to think Darwin would be somewhat impressed. 🙂