Only when the bag is well-worn with holes or tears, or the strapping can no longer be mended, do we consider replacing our bag of a thousand uses. It’s a pick-up-and-run bag, favored for its durability and well-padded straps, machine washable quality and overall comfort. In the month of August, when the quintessential backpack lines the walls of most stores, we often stop and ponder the idea of adding yet one more to our collection. Though the thought may quickly pass, we know the current bag will be hard to replace. Oh, backpack, let me count the ways of your uses!
- Emergency Bags: How often do you find yourself wishing you had extra clothes or shoes, first-aid supplies, or even a blanket in your vehicle? It’s time to be proactive with these essentials that belong either in a category of convenience or that of an emergency situation. Packed methodically, it can accommodate your future needs, and you can be thankful you packed it well. With a backpack worn on your back, you can walk freely or run, if necessary.
Tip: Consider placing a backpack in your hall closets, located on the main floor and upstairs, in case the power goes out. Each member of your family should be aware of the “go-to-bag” and its contents. A backpack will help keep hands free to keep your family close together, and calm.
- Traveling Light: Duffle bags often weigh too much to be hauled through airports, especially for multiple connecting flights. The solution is for each family member to use a backpack for their carry-on bag. To save space, tightly roll clothing and pack your essential items, such as basic toiletries, near the top for easy accessibility. Additionally, wear bulky clothing such as jeans, sweaters, jackets, and heavy shoes that would consume too much space if packed.
- Library Bag: For families who frequent the library, consider keeping a backpack in a centralized location to keep track of all books that need to be returned.
- Preschool Activity Bags: Young children love the idea of attending school just like their siblings. Preparing them for the next step, it is wise to give them a “backpack.” Filled with a crayon box and drawing tablet, board books, and letter and number cards, the backpack can be an enjoyable tool to help a young child feel excited about learning and the thought of school.
- School Book Bag: A school backpack serves more than just the purpose of holding textbooks, notebooks, folders, and materials. It is an organizational system. Students should be methodical about where to place key items, such as utensils and highlighters, erasers and index cards, for instance. Knowing where to find the desired book or accessory with ease will save the student time and eliminate the opportunity to be distracted.
Tip: Young children may become overwhelmed by the number of zippers and compartments. While kindergarten and first graders need a “large” backpack, find one that has preferably one main zippered or Velcro pocket up front. While there are various styles, the “right” one is available to every child and their needs.
- The Outdoor Bag: It’s amazing what we keep in our cars. Our favorite four-legged friend in the car can inspire an impromptu walk. A backpack on hand can supply a pair of walking shoes and socks, leads, collapsible water bowls, and pockets to hold a few water bottles.
A Bag of History
Throughout time, people have wanted to lighten their heavy loads by carrying a bag strapped to their back. In the early 1900s, the rucksack was designed to transfer the weight from the shoulders to the hips, easing back and neck pain. Today, the backpack comes in many styles and sizes, materials, accessories and with countless compartments. With the continued popularity of this versatile bag, it is understandable why174 million are sold each year. Instead of keeping your backpacks tucked away in a closet, put them to a new use!