Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Knapsack On My Back

Seven years ago, when my oldest son was a baby, I carried the typical diaper bag. It was square, squat and bulky. It was appropriately baby blue and required a fork lift (or our mammoth stroller) to move it’s mass.

As baby turned to toddler, I moved to a backpack (also blue). The backpack was less bulky and didn’t hinder my movement. This was essential, because I frequently found myself sprinting after a runaway toddler. The hands free feature was also a bonus, especially as sprinting toddler was joined by baby #2.

I’m still a fan of the backpack. Only now, instead of diapers, I carry an odd assortment of gear. A year or two ago, I decided since I carried the thing, it should be in my color. So, our backpack is now pink. I actually have two.

Version 1

1. Yes, I know, it’s Vera Bradley. What can I say? I had a gift card and who said a day pack had to be ugly? This backpack barely qualifies for the name. It’s more of a purse. But it leaves my hands free and is just right for trips where there are amenities and I only need to carry the basics:

2. Directions, pamphlets, and maps for the day’s itinerary.

3. Wallet/change purse

4. Camera in camera case. As you may have noticed, I am not a professional photographer. When I purchased my camera I was looking for decent quality photos, reasonable price, and a sturdy casing. I carry my camera almost everywhere, so size was also an issue. When not in this case, it’s usually in my pocket (Note: always check pockets before you put pants in the wash. This is not my first camera).

5. Cell phone

6. Tissue

7. Snacks

8. Notebook and pen

9. Nifty hand sanitizer spray (for use before eating snacks)

Version 2

1. This is the quintessential academic backpack with three main compartments. I use this for when we go hiking or on day trips far from home. Besides the basics, it also carries:

2. Mid-Atlantic Field Guide. I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to looking things up. I like to know. At least one of my boys has followed in my footsteps.

3. Mini First Aid Kit. Contains antiseptic wipes, Tylenol, a thermometer, eye wash and a large supply of bandaids.

4. Frisbee. You never know when you might need to run some energy off. I keep a kick ball in our car as well.

5. Field glasses. We’ve used these to spot eagles and air planes and our waitress at TGI Fridays.

6. MP3 player. This is mainly used in the car. The boys have their own playlist compiled of the usual kid stuff, Elton John, Queen, and the Bare Naked Ladies.

7. Zip lock bags. Essential for the transport of cool shells, shiny rocks and wet socks.

8. Bandannas. Or in this case buffs from Park Quest. My mother (daughter of an Eagle Scout and District Chairwoman in our local Girl Scout Council) taught me that a bandanna can serve as a hat, ground cover, bag, wash cloth, you name it.

Not pictured: water bottle, chap stick, and several pens in various colors.

Eat your heart out, Mary Poppins!

No comments:

Post a Comment