Where would you be without your backpack? That uber convenient pack helps you carry your load to places where you could never carry it using only your hands and arms. But people have certainly been carrying large loads for thousands of years, so what did they do during ancient times?
As I touched on in the Blog post about the history of duffel bags, the predecessor of both backpacks and duffels, the rucksack has been around for thousands of years. Before there was a Kelty or JanSport to manufacture backpacks, they were made with the skin of an animal or wool if it was handy.
These carrying bags were primarily used by hunters to carry back their prey. You could carry them by hand or sling it over a shoulder. They were usually strong enough to carry a good load but didn’t have a very long lifespan or the ability to stand up to the elements of the outdoors. These bags came to be known as rucksacks—simple and rough but essentially a backpack.
Some time around 1915, more modern times and more modern methods of producing backpacks led to more efficient bags themselves as well as the official name ‘backpack’ that finally set it apart from its early beginnings as a rucksack. These backpacks were still far from examples today, but suitable as well as popular in the military.
Still, optimum comfort, quality, and convenience had yet to be discovered until the very end of the 50’s. Before that, backpacks were made using heavy material and crude design. It was Mr. Dick Kelty who set out to make a backpack that was lightweight and easier to carry (with a hip belt).
Thanks to Kelty’s vision of what backpacks could be, kids now use backpacks regularly in everyday life. Backpacks have become a handy means of transportation for carrying books to and from school, daily necessities for a sleepover at a friend’s house, or camping gear that’s good to have along on a hike!
Peruse our impressive collection of backpacks here at Everything Summer Camp on our main site to find great buys on these extremely useful bags. From basic book bag styles to the external frame packs, we’ve got backpacks to meet all your camping gear needs.
As always, thanks for reading, Campers!