Hi Harland,
Know you mentioned you don't want another belt around your waste, (I'm assuming besides the one that is keeping your pants up?) but have you tried wearing a 'bum bag/fanny pack' belt? I've always worn one with bag to the front and find it unobtrusive. I keep stuff readily needed in it - compass, pocket knife, camera, whistle etc. Saves having to keep taking your pack on and off. Guess if you were carrying a phone or emergency locator beacon thingy it would be a good place to keep them too. You might not be able to access your pack (for whatever reason) in an emergency or accident. Don't think I'd want any 'sensitive' kit attached to the outer side of my pack - it tends to get a rough life at times!
Some of these belt bags are better made than others, so maybe check a few and see if they suit.
Cheers, George.

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Dances With Marmots