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HISTORY OF BACKPACKS 1
History of Backpacks
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HISTORY OF BACKPACKS 2
History of Backpacks
Introduction
Many people have a lot of things to carry with them that they utilize in their day-to-day
work. Such people include soldiers, athletes, travelers, and students, among many others. In the
ancient civilization, there have been inventions of instruments that allowed people to carry
various belongings simultaneously (Ribeiro et al.,2012). The invented instrument was the bag
tracing its roots back to the 1920s. In the olden days, hunters used a backpack to carry large
games and different types of prey. It was a much easier way to transport them than other forms
of transport. Bags have existed in different centuries. This starts from the age of Egyptians who
wore string bags around their waists, 4000 years ago, which is evidenced by their hieroglyphs. It
was inventions in the 1970s that gave rise to the backpacks we use today. In the 20
th
century,
backpacking was considered a part of recreational activities.
People of different races and age groups have their bags in today's age. Since the
invention of bags, many modifications have been made, which have been enjoyed by the current
generation (Lashway et al., 2017). In line with is, different varieties of bags are available in
markets across the globe. This is mainly a result of man's innovative mentality. Most people tend
to purchase bags that are tailored to fit their needs. Because of this reason, bags can be classified
into more than fifty different types. Some of the bags are backpacks, handbags, paper sacks, and
suitcases, to name a few.
History of backpacks
Among the different types of bags mentioned above, backpacks have popularity in the
bag industry. Between 3100-3400BC, the oldest backpack was discovered in a mummy and was
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HISTORY OF BACKPACKS 3
made from animal skin and a wooden frame. This was between 3100 to 3400BC. The name
backpacks came from the Americans but were previously called rucksack, packsack, or money
bag by the Germans in the 1900s. Later in 1910, the word backpack was added to the dictionary
and later used as a verb in 1916. Lloyd Nelson changed the game of backpacks in 1924, the
father of the outdoor sporting industry. Lloyd invented "Trapper Nelson's Indian Pack Board,"
the first prototype for backpacks. Wooden sticks and animal skins were the products used to
make the backpack (Zafra, 2018).
The first backpack with an internal frame was invented in 1952 by Greg Lowe. Before
this, only the military and a few passionate consumers used the external backpack. Dick Ketly
invented backpacks with an external frame made of lighter materials and thus changed the game
of backpacks. He marketed these bags directly to the consumers, and until today, he remains one
of the sole manufacturers of backpacks with external frames. The National Scenic Trials act is a
huge part of the history of backpacking. The act encouraged people to explore the outdoors and
was proposed by president Lyndon Jonson. The act was later passed in 1968. The National
Scenic Trials influenced the Pacific Crest Trial and the Appalachian Trial.
In the 1920s, cities grew, and people felt isolated from nature. This led them to start
camping and hiking. In the 1960s, the outdoors movement began, and later in the 1970s began
modern backpacking. In this era, Patagonia was founded, one of the greatest outdoor companies.
In the 1990s, people began to go light when going for these adventures. The idea of packing light
bags was not new as it was seen in the year 1924. In the 1990s, backpacking was made easier
with several advancements in technologies. There were travelers books that backpackers used
and cameras that allowed them to take pictures on the way. Today, the internet and social media
have paved the way for backpackers to use google maps and discover new places, thus enhancing
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HISTORY OF BACKPACKS 4
their general experience. Communication with fellow travelers and family members back at
home has been made much easier.
Conclusion
Technology advances have reduced the burden of carrying materials. An example of such
advances is the digitization of many educational materials. This idea, however, faces a threat to
the industry. Companies need to know what affects consumer demand to dictate various
products. Therefore, the backpack industry should conduct a lot of research to understand the
impact of several microeconomic variables.
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HISTORY OF BACKPACKS 5
References
Lashway, C., Aqlan, F., & Ford, M. (2017). Ergonomic assessment of backpack carriage among
high school students. In IIE Annual Conference. Proceedings (pp. 1175-1180). Institute
of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).
Ribeiro, L., Miguel, R., Pereira, M., Lucas, J., & Trindade, I. (2012). Evolution of fashion
accessories: bags design and the use of woven fabrics.
Zafra, N. (2018). Backpack reporting of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines: Implications of
convergent technologies on disaster journalism. Pacific Journalism Review, 24(1), 102-
122.
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