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Lists of Things You Can Carry and Not Carry in a Backpack

Updated on July 24, 2015
This is called a book satchel. I carried one similar to this in my early schooling years.
This is called a book satchel. I carried one similar to this in my early schooling years.

What I learned about backpacks.

What started, I assume, as a fad has now turned into a necessity. The backpack. Have you taken the time to notice how many students and non-students are wearing, or in need of wearing, a backpack? It's like a range fire that started from a spark. Every student I have seen (including my three grandchildren) in our school systems mostly wear backpacks.

Not to be humorous, but I was visiting with my grand kids one day last year and I, just to make conversation, asked, "Gabriel, is that your backpack?" No wonder he looked at me with a stunned look. If I had just looked closer, I would have seen his name written in black in "Gabriel" near the top flap. Anyway. He didn't make fun of me. But he did reply, "Paw Paw, see if you can lift my backpack?" I laughed and took my right hand and then experienced a surprise. The doggone backpack could serve as a means to build muscles it was so heavy.

Gabriel, the young gentleman, didn't laugh out loud, (thank God for his respect), but he did chuckle to himself. But I gained a new respect for Gabriel and his classmates for having to lug a 75-pound article around on your back for most of the day--carrying books, pencils, important memo's from teachers and such.

Boys' camouflage backpack.
Boys' camouflage backpack.

My plea to all brilliant people in the United States:

To all of our brilliant engineering minds of America, I beg you. "Please sit down with your pen, pencil, protractor and algebraic converter and design a lighter backpack that is not as harmful to the health of our students' backs. Deal? In return, I promise to give you a special recognition in one of my hubs if you will do this simple act of inventing a weight distribution and transportation vehicle. Thank you.

But for everyone who is about to enter that realm of life called "schooling" or "business," and your position requires the wearing of a backpack, I must warn you. If misused, a backpack can be a tool of danger and unbearable consequences. And if the backpack is respected and used for what it was made for, life will be busy, but good for you.

Boys' frightening backpack.
Boys' frightening backpack.
This cute couple are wearing their backpacks to school.
This cute couple are wearing their backpacks to school.
Super-models wear backpacks.
Super-models wear backpacks.
Girly-girl backpack.
Girly-girl backpack.
Group of backpacks.
Group of backpacks.
Businessmen wear backpacks in 2015.
Businessmen wear backpacks in 2015.
Ryan Goslin, actor, wears a backpack to a production meeting.
Ryan Goslin, actor, wears a backpack to a production meeting.
Couples wear backpacks.
Couples wear backpacks.

That's why I am publishing these

Lists of Things You Can Carry and Not Carry in a Backpack

(Pay close attention for the future of our nation may be in your hands.)

Things You Are Permitted to Carry in Your Backpack:

  • Books of your studies and reading assignments.
  • Manila folders for storing your papers to be submitted and graded. And stored when you get them back.
  • A number of pens, pencils, erasers, markers of all colors, and mechanical pencils.
  • Magnifying glass.
  • Ink refills if you use pens that require them.
  • A hand-held pencil sharpener.
  • A plastic storage box, (not necessarily by Tupperware), for your pens, pencils, markers and mechanical pencils. (These plastic boxes are to be used to make more room in your backpack).
  • Crayons, (not necessarily Crayola) of all colors, sizes, and aromas.
  • Modeling clay if your studies require such a remedial item.
  • Light snacks such as healthy crackers and cheese, cashews and assorted nuts (carried in a plastic container) and smaller things to eat between classes.
  • A change of socks and underwear if folded appropriately.
  • Shoelaces, extra buttons to be sewn on your shirt or blouse by someone of such expertise. Note: If your backpack is searched by authorities, needles can be considered tools of terrorism.
  • Hand cleaner, namely wipes for cleaning your hands before and after lunch.
  • Cell phone - - turned off during class and driving if you are a senior in high school or college.

Things You Are Not Permitted to Carry in Your Backpack:

  • Pesticides of all types.
  • Herbicides of all types.
  • Firearms of all calibers, shapes, sizes and national origin.
  • Gasoline.
  • All types of explosives.
  • All types of fireworks.
  • Knives of all shapes, sizes and sharpness.
  • Razor blades. No explanation needed.
  • Devices to pull pranks on classmates, teachers, or your boss or coworkers.
  • Liquor of all strengths including beer.
  • Drugs of all types.
  • Dangerous propaganda materials and books including pro-terrorism publications.
  • Week-old banana peelings.
  • Empty sardine cans.
  • Open tins of raw oysters which you have forgotten to eat due to heavy partying.
  • Poisonous insects - - fire ants, wasps, scorpions kept in any type of container.
  • Poisonous reptiles - - snakes, gila monsters in portable containers.

Note: although this is only a partial list of both what not and what is permitted to be carried in your backpack, I need to mention that although it is not illegal to carry a photo of me in your backpack, I advise you to please do not do this for I do not want a gang of strangers visiting or calling me at all hours with foolish questions as to what my photo is doing in your backpack.



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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Genna East,

      Before I go any further, you have an author's name. No, you didn't steal your name. I just mean that I can see your name on exciting novels. I am serious.

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment--it really made me feel useful on HubPages.

      Visit with me anytime you like and you have a safe and cool day.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "It's like a range fire that started from a spark." Lol...yes, it is. What a clever write and an enjoyable read.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      12:59 a.m., cdst, July 26

      Suhail and my dog,

      Great. I always like to read your comments, thoughts, and other things that you like. And thanks for making my night.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Yes, surely, I will be coming back for more of your hubs.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you kindly for the interesting comment.

      I wonder too what the answer is to this backpack weight problem may be, but I like your idea of the waterproof shopping trolley to pull. That could be a new thing if you worked it right and you could have a lot of money.

      And I couldn't agree more about the backpacks being too heavy for these young bodies. I hope someone with the right connections to backpack manufacturers or designers will read your comment and start a needed-change.

      And you can visit me anytime.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Fashions come and go. When my mother went to school, it was a leather satchel on the back, which was quite heavy in itself, but at least it was not as big as the ones they have today. We had leather bags worn on one shoulder (I'm still slightly lop-sided!). Much to their chagrin, I insisted on my daughters having waterproof shopping trolleys to pull, so they didn't have to carry the weight of all their heavy books. Even with laptops, kids bags seem to remain too heavy for young bodies. What is the answer, I wonder?

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, dear Suhail and my dog,

      Great to hear from you on this gorgeous Saturday evening. Thank you every so much for the creative comment. And YOU PASS! Photography paraphernalia and such are accepted and other day-long hiking/survival items such as ribeye steak, Little Debbie snack cakes and Slim Jims by the dozen. Oh, how cute. Your dog has his own backpack. Wow.

      Oh, the bear repellant doesn't happen to be a 12-gauge shotgun by any chance? If so, I didn't read this. And yes, mosquito repellant is fine.

      You have a great and safe time in the wilderness and one of these days I would like to accompany you and do a Hub-a-Mentary on you.

      Come back and visit me anytime.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Useful, funny and awesome!

      I am a big fan of yours just because of your writing style and the knowledge you give.

      This one was fantastic. Btw, I usually carry my camera and photography paraphernalia and day long hiking stuff in my backpacks (I wear a backpack and a shoulder bag at the side. My dog carries his own stuff in his doggie backpack.

      The most dangerous (well, potentially) items we carry are bear repellent and mosquito repellent ha-ha.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Long time. No you. How are you and where've you been? Thanks for your comment also, but since you had your heart set on carrying your poisonous reptile in your backpack, I have the solution. Disguise your poisonous reptile as a NON-poisonous reptile and if you are checked at the gate, then you should be hearing a few apologies.

      Your robot pack mule idea is super! Get the blueprints together and watch HLN with Robin Meade early in a weekday morning. At the show's end, there is always an ad featuring George Foreman talking about his "friends" at a company called "Invent-Help." There is your next step; calling them to find out what is next.


      Loved the comment and idea. Visit with me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thanks for your sweet comment.

      If you are still into backpacking, forget the laptops and important banking papers and JUST take the things for your hair. The people you serve will surely understand.

      But in all sincerity, like my grandson, Gabriel proved, these things are, in my opinion, way too heavy for young people to carry around all day long.

      If I do not stop here, I will get irritated and I hate to be irritated on the weekend.

      Thanks again for your comment and visit with me anytime.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I especially liked the poisonous reptile reference. What if I wanted to take my poisonous reptile in my backpack.... I guess I'm out of luck now. Sad. But I have noticed how heavy these things can get. My father used to remark that I needed a pack mule to carry all the books I used to take from class to class (before backpacks), perhaps we should consider robot pack mules for children. Just a thought.



    • lctodd1947 profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      One great explanation for backpacks. I used to take a briefcase full of laptop, pens, paper, whiteout, the whole office on trips to the Bank around the USA to audit loan files. They can get heavy as you sometimes add those other items for the hair and face.

      Great article!


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