No holsters yet (Update: There are holsters!)
What was once bad new and good news is now entirely good news: there are hotkeys! In a recent hot patch, developer Endnight Games has added the ability to bind your gear to hotkeys.
To do so, all you need to do is bring out your back-mat and hover over one of the items. Press a number between 1-0, and it will be set to the key. Now you can pull your hatchet out of your pants, rather than having to pull out all your gear with it.
The previous options are still there, so here they are:
Keep in mind is that if you whip out your magical backpack in Sons of the Forest, everyone takes a break while you search for whatever it is you want or chomp back a bottle of pills. You can take as long as you want, and even if you’re in the midst of getting slapped, the world will just wait.
However, if you don’t want to stare at your placemat, your other option is just to hold out your backpack. If you hold the inventory button rather than press it, your character will pull the backpack out and hold it in front of you, where you can quickly select from a small number of items. Sons of the Forest will auto-populate this, but you can also add it to the combination area of the back-mat and swap out what’s attached.
Just note that this method will not pause enemies. It’s quicker, in theory, but you’re leaving yourself open to getting slapped. Strangely, it’s probably the most dangerous way to pull out a weapon in combat, but it is more efficient when you’re just walking around and need to suck back some pills.