The Knapsack’s come back

Like everything, the knapsack has been re-invented and made more fashionable. The definition for knapsack is; a large sturdy fabric bag, often on a metal frame, worn on the back and used by hikers. This definition brings to mind the canvas bags slung over the back by people trekking in the mountains and other rugged terrain. They are not comely or attractive if this image remains, their primary function being to safely contain and transport supplies for the duration of the hike.

This basic function remains, but the bags have been upgraded and thus found their way into more fashionable circles. Interestingly, they are still carried on the back (even though I would have thought other means of carriage would have been devised by now), but are more attractive in appearance. In fact some are downright feminine looking and may look quite fragile in comparison to their forebears.

Apart from looking less intimidating, the packs are now in the possession of more females; you could say they have been feminised! Sometimes apparelled in jeans or more womanly attire, the back-pack seems to be at home. Trust women to make this practical item appear to be the IT for the season…every woman seems like she has one! The sacks are sometimes smaller in this instance and thus may not be as obvious as their male counterpart, thus completing the chic look.

On the other hand we also have the more masculine looking back-packs used by the womenfolk. For this breed, black is the more mainstream colour and we find it with women from all walks of life. This clan struts about confidently with their trusty companion snuggled behind.

Unlike the forerunners that were obvious in appearance and content, this new breed is more versatile and yet can be found toeing the traditional line of hauling about the personal computer. A padded interior protects this essential hardware and still permits other items to be included within the same space. These bags have stolen into places where they were hitherto unknown and uninvited.

At a point in time the mono-strap was the rage and seen all over the place. Emerging in various forms, the mono was THE bag to own. As with anything trendy, people and organisations jumped on the bandwagon and further prolonged its reign.

The introduction of just using one strap to carry the back-pack was another fad. Not knowing the content on various backs, it was interesting to see the bulky looking bags hauled around in this fashion. Everyone swaggered (some staggered) about carrying their knapsacks using just one strap. It’s noteworthy that these were not the mono-straps, but their conventional counterparts with the dual straps used for carriage!

As fads and trends come and go, the knapsack has come into its own and is not in a hurry to leave. It has finally found its niche not just as a fashion accessory, but also as a practical, friendly companion that has become indispensable to men AND women alike!

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  1. knapsack to me easily called rucksack (German for back bag)was popular in school days; primary to tertiary. The use of a rucksack as I prefer to call it portrayed different meanings to different people.
    1. It meant a serious student.
    2. On campuses in my days the carriage of rucksacks by male students at odd hours of the night meant danger as it could be that the rucksacks contained weapons of terror.
    I loved rucksacks and as far back as the early 2000s in my present place of work I carried a rucksack as equivalent to brief cases and hand bags which were the preferred choice of my colleagues but I was branded different names for my choice of the rucksack some called me childish, boyish, immature, student etc but today the story is different everybody adorns a rucksack now as a sign of being I.T compliant as it indicates the ownership of a laptop contained in the rucksack this popular demand has made the commodity to come in different colours, shapes & sizes and now an item of choice. Coincidentally a few days ago without a fore-knowledge of this post I thought of confronting those who called me names way back courtesy of the knapsack but I jettisoned the idea I chose to let sleeping dogs lie.

    • @Stagies: Come to think of it, you’re also right about the rucksack’s early connotations although I wouldn’t have thought about category 2. I forgot it was also called that and would have used it if I’d recalled! Apparently you’re ahead of your times! People will object when others are ‘different’, that’s the way it’s always been and will continue to be!

      What’s past is past, let the dogs lie…afterall it didn’t subtract anything from you and has shown them that you were way ahead of your time! 😉

  2. I certainly have mine. It’s easier to carry than the hand bag and everything just falls conveniently into it.

    M/W I was down with malaria so couldnt make the alumni thingie…’glad to hear it went well…

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