Some people use chalk buckets instead of chalk bags, and one obviously wouldn’t wear a chalk bucket. Chalk bags, though…those are somewhat more versatile. Many boulderers use chalk buckets and some use chalk bags. Sport and traditional climbers wear chalk bags. Competition and gym climbers may or may not wear their chalk bags inside, but one thing is for certain – there are a variety of ways and places to wear your chalk bag!
First, there are a few different ways that you can wear your chalk bag, as in attaching it somehow to your body or gear. Some use the belt provided with the chalk bag or buy one to go with it. If you don’t want to purchase a belt for your chalk bag, you can simply buy some accessory cord in the appropriate length section and use it to tie your chalk bag around your waist. Whether or not you use a harness, those two methods will work. While wearing a harness, some clip their chalk bags to their harnesses using a carabiner in the back loop. That’s all good and well as long as that’s where you want to wear your chalk bag.
What do I mean by where you wear your chalk bag? I mean what position you want it in on your body to best facilitate its use while you’re struggling against the pump on a crimp and gasping for air near the top of a route or problem and need some chalk fast. Where do you wear it? If it’s attached to a carabiner on your rear gear loop or behind your back on your belt, you have to reach all the way around to your back, find which side it’s slid to, get your hand into it somehow, chalk up, and resume your epic battle with the forces of nature. That seems very difficult, and it is indeed very difficult for me personally. An alpinist friend of mine taught me to wear my chalk bag in the front to one side or the other of my groin so that it’s right there in front, visible, easy to get into, and doesn’t require much fuss. At first, I thought it was a ludicrous idea, but upon trying the method out, I found it to be my favorite! He said many alpinists wear their chalk bags in this position, and it really makes a lot of sense! The farthest it ever slides is to the outside front of your thigh on one side or the other, and is easily repositioned.
In terms of where you wear your chalk bag, though, it is truly your preference, and whether or not people laugh at you, think you’re odd, or tell you you’re just plain wrong, you can always simply smile and continue your climb as long as it works for you. I would recommend the alpinist’s method, just as an experiment. Humor me… Try it. Tell me what you think!