Friday, July 06, 2012

Packing it in

Today, of course, backpacks are a drug on the market. The late summer L.L. Bean catalog sported 13 pages of various choices out of 52 pages. One wall of a department store aisle had those colorful versions shown above.

 Growing up in the late 1940s in Hanford, Calif., though, the only choice a child had for a pack was afull-sized WWII Army surplus green one, or some sort of canvas rucksack. As a 7-year-old, I didn't have the money or the physique for such an esoteric piece of equipment. 

And I wanted one badly. Somehow I had been infected with the fishing and camping bug, possibly because I had joined the Cub Scouts and garnered a 1948 Boy Scout Manual somewhere. I dreamed about going fishing, and the only nearby water of any size was the King's River.

Dad, a veteran of the war, wasn't very interested in the outdoors. So, since I couldn't talk my parents into taking me, my brother and sister I camping and/or fishing, I decided to take matters into my own grubby little fists.

On page 147 of the Manual it had a solution to my packlessness: a way to make a pack out of a sack or, in my case, a pillow case.
(To be continued.)

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