It seems that people are always looking for innovative ways in which to carry gear. Sometimes it is for the sake of efficiency, effectiveness, concealment, or just for fun.
When I was younger, I remember seeing older guys wearing fishing hats. The outside of the hat would be littered with fishing hooks, flies, and other lures. A few of the guys did it simply for the look but others did it as a means of carrying extra gear.
Over the years I have experimented with this technique and I have been surprised at what can be carried on or in a simple ball cap.
There are all sorts of different types of hats available. Some will provide more space over others in which to stow gear. Since I have always, primarily, worn a ball cap, that is the type of hat I will be using for this article.
A hat like this does not offer a lot of space to store gear and you must be creative with the type of gear you choose. This is the trick because not any piece of gear can be put into a hat while remaining comfortable to wear.
I have broken up the items that can be stowed in a ball cap into two different kits, a fishing kit, and miscellaneous items.
Hiding a Fishing Kit in a Ball Cap
Since this kind of hat was the first type I encountered, naturally it was the first one I tried out. A hat lends itself quite well to carry a decent amount of fishing supplies. This can be done both on the outside of the hat or the inside.
When it comes to carrying fishing gear, I have always been a minimalist. That is not to say that I have not used my fair share of bobbers, weights, and an assortment of other items.
However, if all I have is a fishing line and hooks, I can catch fish. So, I tend to pack heavy on these two basic supplies while leaving everything else in the tackle box.
If you do not care about the appearance of your hat, then you can absolutely cover the outside of the hat with them. To provide more fishing options, I suggest using an assortment of different hooks sizes, flies, jigs, and lures. Depending on the sizes you choose, you can easily place upwards of one hundred hooks on the cap, which includes using the brim.
However, if you care about appearances then there is a spot on the inside of the hat that can be utilized. If you turn a ball cap over, you will notice that most of them have a small flap that goes around the interior edge.
The flap on my hat is one inch deep. This is not a lot of space, but it is just enough where several hooks can be placed. The smaller the hook placed inside, the more comfortable the hat will be to wear.
The hook can be secured by piercing it into the hat material or several hooks can be placed into a small resealable bag before storing them behind the flap.
There are a few ways that this can be stored on the outside of a hat but to be honest I do not care for them.
The best way I have found to store the fishing line is by putting it behind the inside flap. I have used a monofilament line on several occasions, but I have now settled on using a braided line. This is because it is much easier to work with, a larger amount of higher tensile strength can be used, and it stows away easier.
I can get about fifty to seventy-five feet of braided line behind this flap by tightly coiling it and tucking it inside.
Securing it All
Once fishing hooks have been pierced onto the outside of a hat, they are quite secure, and you do not have to worry about them falling off.
However, items that are stored behind the inside flap of the hat, do have the potential of falling out. I have not had many issues with this because once the items are in there and the hat has been worn a several times they tend to stay in place unless of course, you start flinging your hat around.
To keep the items better secured you can create a simple pocket out of the flap by sewing the flap shut.
This is incredibly simple to do, and you do not have to be an accomplished sewer to complete it.
To start, I suggest putting the items you want behind the flap. Then take a sewing needle and thread and begin adding a seam to the top portion of the flap.
Towards the back of my hat, this flap doubles back on itself and by sewing the top of it I can create a small pocket where I placed a ferrocerium rod, but you can add anything you like.
As you can see, my sewing is not anything special to look at, but it holds. I would also like to point out that I used pink thread to better illustrate where the seam is located. I now officially have pink camo.
I do not recommend fully sewing the flap shut around the item because that will make accessing the item more difficult. A small seam is all that is needed to help hold the item in place.
Of course, if these items are solely meant to be emergency items that you will not use often, then I do recommend sewing the flap shut. This way there is no chance of the supplies falling out from the hat.
The following is not a specific kit like the previous fishing hat was, but there several items that can be stowed in a hat. Almost all the following supplies are best carried by placing them behind the inside flap. Here is a list of a few items I have carried:
This is a good way to carry a little extra dry tinder for starting a fire.
Braided Fishing Line
Can be used as a fishing line or as cordage.
It is best to cut the tape to fit behind the flap and to wrap the tape around itself several times. The tape can then be used for repairing gear and it also makes a great fire starter.
Miniature Ferrocerium Rod
Due to the round shape of the rod, this item can be slightly uncomfortable to carry. It is also best to sew the flap shut around this item to keep it from falling out.
Well, there you have it. Whether you are looking for an extra way, a discreet way, or a fun way to carry a few extra supplies, an ordinary ball cap can help you in that pursuit.
I hope you enjoyed this fun little project and as always, thanks for reading, and stay prepared!
Have you ever stored supplies on or in a hat? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know about it!