23.12.11 by Jeff

Herschel Little America / Giveaway

Herschel Little America Pack Giveaway
How about some more holiday goodies? I’ve got six Little America mountain bags courtesy of my friends at Herschel. Who wants one?

Herschel Little America Pack Giveaway

Herschel Little America Pack Giveaway

Herschel Little America Pack Giveaway

If you would like to win one of the 6 Little America mountain bags from Herschel tell me a good backpacking story (or if you’ve never been, tell me where you would love to go backpacking) in the comments below!

(This is limited to North American residents – due to shipping costs! Winners will either get a black or a grey one depending on availability.)

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

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herschelsupply.com




Jeff
Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.








  • http://hrtbps.com @hrtbps

    Being UK-based, I’m not entering the competition, but the most fun I’ve ever had was backpacking around India for several months. Here’s the video of my trip: http://hrtbps.com/thedarjeelingunlimited

  • roberto

    Iceland

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/farfech/ Fernando Farfán

    JESUS CHRIST, I WANT IT PLEASE!!

  • Judy

    I never been backpacking before, but always wanted too. It seems like a great adventure and it would be nice hiking in nature.

  • http://cargocollective.com/michellego michelle

    I just came back from a backpacking trip around europe- it was such a great experience! I would love to go back and finish the rest of it!

  • Matías

    “limited to North American residents” ;_; I’m crying now

  • http://Www.elisewindsor.com Elise

    I know this sounds sort of weird, but Los Angeles. It’s next on my list of places to go, and I’d wear it everyday while pretending like my skin can actually tan.

  • Vera Sal

    Looks good, I’d love one!

  • http://badjonesrising.tumblr.com Roni J.

    I have never backpacked a day in my life. I have taken a backpack full of goodies (beer, krink, and a clean t-shirt for the day after) in the streets. No one can tell me that I haven’t faced the elements of nature because I have. I have slept on a shag rug from the 70’s, yes it was mustard yellow. In the stench of sex, spilled beer, and cigarette smoke, only one can imagine the nightmares I had to endure. Of course the Arizona desert would be much more ideal.

  • Hebert Cabral

    Backpacked through the old city in Jerusalem back in 2007. AMAZING! Would love this bag too.

  • Tim C

    I’ve always wanted to go backpacking in Yosemite or Yellowstone national park, it’s always been one of those places you hear about, and I’ve never really been camping mostly because I’ve never had a backpack worth doing it in although I have friends who do it, if I had one these I would definitely go with them.

  • http://www.ramblercollective.com Ryan McGennisken

    Me and my good buddy Jamie, took a 3 month road trip in a ’74 HQ Windowless Panelvan up the east coast of Australia, across the Savannah Way to the Northern Territory, up to Darwin and striaght back down through central Australia – On the home stretch, an hour from home, the engine blew – 14,000KM’s of driving, the car blew up only an hour from home.

  • Eric Poirier

    Spent 3 days backpacking in Gatineau Park in Quebec near Ottawa. At first we were just going to camp at the campsite for 3 days…first night lots of drinks were had and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to hike the mountain behind us…Easier said then done. the next morning we took off with all our gear, battled moskitos and lback flies all the way up. We found a crevace that meandered it’s way up this mountain and to our surprise the route was marked with flags but no “trail” really excvisted. Ended up at the top on this huge rock plateau with a perfect view of the Gatineau mountains. We set up camp on this plateau for 2 days and battled torrential downpours and lightening storms. It was an amazing trip. We weren’t really supose to be there and since my tent is yellow we had to camouflage it. it was an awesome mission.

    Happy Holidays!

  • http://goindark.tumblr.com Sherry

    Hello, hello! Hm, most interesting hiking story is probably when my dad only packed granola bars and dehydrated ice cream on a four day long trip and some fancy hikers took pity on me and gave me steak. *ok not very interesting but WANT THE BAG

  • Ness

    In my youth, I quit high school to backpack around Canada. I initially brought way too many things with me, and was encumbered by a large, heavy, (ugly!) camping backpack full of items with limited necessity. What backpacking taught me was how to be a minimalist, why to be a minimalist and how to have adventure, that I could take my own road through life and that my own two feet could take me there with the right motivation. I am now in University, a few years later than most and will hopefully be able to backpack around Europe once I am finished getting my BFA!

    • hey, i vote for this guy to get the backpack, hes legit,.

  • http://newyoungelectric.com Erik Grice

    Never been on any lengthy backpacking adventures but have done years and years worth small backpacking trips throughout my childhood being from Alberta and amazingly as close to mountains as I am. In the future, Europe obviously and South America! Fingers crossed!

  • Tracy

    Norwegian fjords. Definitely.

  • kate

    Oh my beans. This bag is God’s bag.

  • Joel

    Oooh, I’d love to finally do the Grouse Grind some time…

  • http://www.cassiehawrysh.blogspot.com Cassie

    It goes without saying that backpacking is one of the most incredible, challenging and rewarding forms of traveling. Freedom, the scent of adventure, the sense of achievement – it all comes in a package, or, actually, a backpack. Typically, the extent of my backpacking is done with an entire team of athletes & we mainly see the inside of gyms and high sipped iced up hallways. I would love however, to get some time to actually backpack around Ireland! The accents, the leprechauns (haha) …. And maybe even find a pot of Gold!!!

  • http://www.annagusella.de anna

    would love to have it!

  • Daniel o

    I want to go backpacking in every mid western backyard. I love America.

  • http://thebrianhart.com brian

    i’ll mail you a drawing!

  • http://karokreations.wordpress.com/ KaroKreations

    Me! Next summer I intend to go backpacking/couch surfing around California with a friend – I never travel before and THIS Herschel Bag would make that first trip JUST PERFECT!

    I deserve this so bad!

  • Ari

    I went hiking in Olympic National Park and I swear, I was actually in Ewok Village.

  • http://reverend-green.tumblr.com glenda

    i’d do anything to backpack in parts of the philippines, my parents are from there but i’ve never been. :(

  • dana

    Ooh these are beautiful!
    My dream is to go to iceland. I’d use a backpack like this to lug around my cameras. I’d die to go to the Blue Lagoon. Hopefully one day I’ll get my butt out of college and save up some money.

  • http://wyattspeightrhue.com wyatt speight rhue

    I’m seeking adventure and that backpack would be a great reason to get out and experience life!

  • http://www.tleatherandwood.com Tam

    YEs please .. again

  • Muhammadali

    I’d love this ;)

    Ps. I’d love to go backpacking through Europe – now that would be a dream come true! :)

  • Nate

    After I graduate college I would take this baby all over to music festivals all across the nation. I want to be a music journalist, and this bag would definitely help me stay classy when jamming out and not showering for days.

  • Breakfast In Europe

    Wow, those Herschel bags are incred!

    I haven’t been but I want to go hiking in and around the Gulf Islands in B.C. and this would totally be the thing to motivate me to do that!

  • Melonie

    I would love to go backpacking through San Francisco. Sounds kinda silly, but it’s enough of a city to canvass back and forth for several days and still have plenty to explore.

  • Bogdan

    I would love to go backpacking somewhere in BC, Canada. I am a student from Ukraine so it would be a very cool experience for me

  • Ashley

    I’d love love love to go backpacking across the midwest!

  • Caroline

    Moi j’en veux un !
    I’ve been backpacking by myself through India, Nepal, Tibet, China, VietNam, Laos and Thailand by myself. It was the most incredible experience in my whole life so far !
    I’d love to do it again in South America but the problem is my backpack is destroyed after my peregrinations. Plus I’ll be alone for christmas in Vancouver, far from my family in france…snif
    I think I deserve a joli present because I’m a very courageous girl and usually never ask for anything !
    Voilà, Merci !

  • http://mateush00.digart.pl mat

    that will be lovely gift for my gf :)

  • http://www.joesinness.com JOE

    WOW _ and i thought I had a beautiful sack.

    • http://www.joesinness.com JOE

      (I would take this tote to northern minnesota)

  • Elsa

    I’ve never been backpacking but it’s my dream to once I graduate from high school. I would love to backpack through South America, from Peru to Argentina to Brazil (:

  • Katie

    I would love to have this bag!!!!

  • Alyissa J

    I would love to go backpacking through Europe! I have friends who have gone and had thrilling adventures.

  • http://www.sivanaskayo.com Sivan Askayo

    Love that Bag. Seems like a stylish yet functional bag for all my travels

  • Chris

    I think it’d be great to explore the rough remote terrain of American’s west. Get a taste of the experiences of those who first came through the area in the 1800s. Grow a ragged beard and grow some hair on my chest.

    Love the bag!

  • Annika

    Once upon a time there was a little backpack named Markl who dearly loved to climb trees. It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon when he decided to attempt the tallest climb in his life: the Mighty Oak. After fortifying his senses with a snack and some juice, he tightened his straps, zipped all his pockets, and planted himself firmly in front of the tree. ‘I can do this.’ he thought in the persistent and resolute areas of his mind….

    oh not that kind of backpacking story? hmmm…then i’m at a loss.

  • http://thereisasaltyoat.blogspot.com eli

    I live on MDI, the home of Acadia National Park. Hiking is something I’m thankful I get to do every day. My graduate work is focused around exploring both physical and digital spaces, and how an environment can be seen as a database or museum.

  • jonathon

    when i finished university last year many of my friends ended up doing the classic eurotrip, i decided to head to peru. we went through the mountains, ate really local food ie ox and dumplings yum yum. id hop on another plane there in a minute

  • Sue Kim

    The best back packing place I went to was at Jeju Island (S. Korea) around Olleh Gil (Olleh Road). It was a good time with my dad before I went off to college… and perhaps the last and the longest time I’ve been with my dad. I love you dad! It’s so sad it’s been 2 years since I saw him but hopefully I’ll see him soon… Happy holidays everyone.

  • http://www.visualc.tumblr.com Mitch

    Since I was younger I’ve always wanted to backpack from Oregon to South California. Never found the time. Maybe one day…

  • http://jduron.com JULIAN C. DURON

    When I was 15-16 my friends and I went backpacking up in Maine on a large private property. We would dare each other to see who could walk out into the woods using only a video camera with night vision. I know dumb right… Using the LCD screen as a guide we’d walk out alone one-at-a-time to see who could go the furthest. Being the most daring I would try to push it. One time I was like 75-100 yards out and the battery started to die all of the sudden out of nowhere. So I turned but it caused whats called “woods shock” in the backpacking world (look it up) so I started moving as fast as I could through the brush. All of the sudden I’m certain I was pushed from behind so I yelled, but I know my friends were probably just laughing… When i got up I walked strong and made it out, but I could definitely feel something nipping at my heels. I never did it again after that.

    • http://jduron.com JULIAN C. DURON

      Not bullshit

  • tyler

    Sadly the extent of my backpacking has been nature hikes in cub scouts. Mostly I just remember being the chubby kid who fell behind.

  • Andrew

    Personally, I’d love to go backpacking through Spain, France and Central/South America. There are so many dynamics that exist in each of these places, socially and historically. Recently, I’ve really been into some spiritual pursuits including the idea of connectedness. Exploring Mayan land seems like it’d be a great place to start. We are, after all, physically\genetically bound to ancient civilizations.

  • http://artbusk.tumblr.com/ zaki

    this will save my work this winter

  • http://chasejhansen.tumblr.com Chase Hansen

    When the sun is shinning and the summer months are happening the best backpacking that can happen is around town with your skid friends. Especially when you’re too poor for gas but don’t care because thats what summer is for. This summer I spent hours and hours just getting from A to B but if the backpack is full of the necessities you’re in for a rad time. its funny how you miss stuff like that.

    -Cranbrook BC
    Canada

  • Brit

    I’ve had some awesome adventures going across England-France-Italy-Germany-Switzerland-Austria-Czech Republic.

    My favourite experience had to be going para-sailing in the alps and travelling across the countries on trains. The scenery was so gorgeous. I miss it.

    You know those crazy people you meet that make travelling a nightmare? But then you laugh about it later? I met one waiting for a bus at the train station in Pisa to take me to Florence. The train got in at 1am and the bus wasn’t leaving until 3. When we did get on the bus she kept taking phone calls. Her ring tone was an obnoxious song and she would let it play all the way through before answering it. To top it off, she wouldn’t use her indoor-on-the-bus-everyone-is-tired-and-pissy-because-its-late voice. Oh the crazy people you experience while travelling.

    p.s that is a delicious bag.

  • Sabrina

    Nice bag! In college, I spent a summer backpacking through Europe. One of the best experiences of my life.

  • Brian

    Greatest backpacking trip of my life was a week spent on North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. I was 15. The boat ride from Leland was at least an hour and when we got to the island, we walked a gang plank to the rocky Eastern shore. It was the definition of rustic. No food other than what we brought, forage or kill. No water other than what we carried or boiled from the big lake. When we weren’t exploring the interior, we combed the shore for Petosky Stones, the official stone of Michigan. Of all the trips I’ve been on, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Grand Canyon, Pictured Rocks, this was the most memorable.

  • Lisa

    Next year (September 2012 – May 2013) I will be backpacking around Europe. I can only imagine the people I will meet, things I will learn, and experiences that I will have. I would really appreciate and utilize a backpack like this!

  • Kelvin

    Went backpacking in Europe, my buddy broke his leg just a couple days before we were going skydiving in the alps, he broke it just under his knee so he was still able to bend his leg, which was all he needed to go skydiving in a cast. What a champ!

  • http://theartfuldesperado.com Gabriel

    While traveling thru the island my friend and I were looking for any available decent hostels (all booked, busy summer!) so we ended up at some “guest house” on top of a strip bar in Victoria.

    The room smelled like armpits, the pillows were non-matching 70’s cushions and we had to ask for toilet paper in reception cuz “the guests always stole it”…classy.

    As we prepare to sleep (an avoid to contract airborne herpes) we noticed that some “gifts” were left by previous guests. Such gifts were condom wrappers and ripped ladies underwear. Just what you want to find in your vacation. My friend, in an attempt to be funny (fucking stupid) stuffed the mentioned dirty, ripped undies in my backpack without my knowledge. Funny! (IMBECILE). When I got home I got the pleasant surprise of reaching in and grabbing them. The bag and it’s contents were washed so harshly that they ended up being translucent. The bag was thrown out. Please, help me recover my faith in bags and trips by having one of these beauties. I will only stuff clean undies in it. Please and thank you.

    Happy Holidays!

  • http://danielleautran.com Danielle Autran

    My best backpacking trip by far was in Mexico, during my last year at NSCAD. I went with two other great pals and the adventures had will always be memories for a lifetime. I feel like I got to experience the “real” Mexico; not the drink-filled resort vacations that I myself have been guilty of in the past. We flew into Mexico city, then travelled by Greyhound to Veracruz. Then Puebla. Met some truly amazing people young and old and tasted some delicious food and drink. We also experienced truly great design at the design conference in Puebla; really experienced a different flavor culturally, visually and edibly. I know that’s not a real word. Beyond this, I am a huge fan of the Herschel brand and it’s west coast roots. The quality of their product is second-to-none. I would love to own one of their bags.

    Danielle, Halifax, NS

  • Jason

    Friends and I planned a spring break Appalachian trail hike a few years ago. We expected it to be sort of warm, pleasant. We were planning to hike pretty exclusively on the roller coaster, which is all steep hills and switchbacks and rocks and awful. When we got there we parked one car where we intended to end, doubled back, got to our starting location and set out. It was about 45 degrees. It began raining immediately. It would continue to rain nonstop for the next three days, the temperature just barely above freezing. We were so soaked that we decided just to wear shorts and t shirts. We had two candy bars per man, which was basically our only nourishment given that we couldn’t get a fire going. The first day was pretty uneventful. The second day we ended up at a shelter, but it was occupied. We couldn’t tell who was inside because they’d hung a large tarp over the front, but we heard some rustling. We pitched a tent downhill. Later in the night, we saw four flashlights emerge from the shelter and run in opposite directions. Then the lights when out, and the figures started screaming like howler monkies. We all dived inside of the tent and brandished whatever we could as weapons. We sat in there awake for the next six hours. The entire time we heard a rustling outside from each side of the tent, like a bull rubbing its’ hooves against the ground preparing to charge. There was also this vague, horrifying moaning sound, that seemed to come and go. Eventually we all fell asleep due to exhaustion. They weren’t leaving, but they weren’t getting any more aggressive either, and I think we’d sort of convinced ourselves that we were making it up, that the noise was the wind, or some animals rustling through our packs (which we had ditched when we dove into the tent.) When we woke up in the morning the tarp was gone and the occupants of the shelter seemed to have disappeared, but outside of our tent there were four crosses made out of sticks and tied with twine, stuck into the ground in the cardinal directions. Our packs were still there, but they’d been arranged into a mound and covered in white ash. We hiked as much of the remainder as we could but didn’t make it to the car. Luckily that night was uneventful. We made it to an unoccupied shelter and watched the front in shifts. On the third day my friend sprained his ankle (all of the rocks were slippery, and he wasn’t wearing boots), and we carried him for about two miles. When we got to the car, we found that it had accrued $250 worth of tickets. Evidently you weren’t supposed to park there overnight, although no such signs were posted anywhere. I drove home and popped off my boots and dipped my bleeding feet into a saltwater tub, and fell asleep on the couch.

  • http://www.takingchancesinkansas.blogspot.com AmandaPants

    I’ve been backpacking throughout 7 cities in India and 7 countries in Europe. I’ve had some great experiences, which I always make public on one of my travel blogs. But my favorite pastime happened in Lisbon, Portugal. While somewhat lost and on a tram full of Portugese people, an American boy from Kansas introduced himself to me. We spent the rest of the day together, and 2 weeks later he asked me to move from New York City to small-town middle America. Four months later, I did. Three years later, he’s still the love of my life.

  • Greg

    The canvas rucksack is crucial for any travel. I had a black bag similar to this, quite a bit lower quality, when i went to rome for a weekend. I have a sister in berlin and was staying there for a little visit, for my birthday she got me a ticket to rome. It was the end of my visit, and i had very little money left. The night before i had gone out and not really slept. I arrived in rome only with my backpack and a few dollars. My hostel wouldn’t allow me to check in until the evening for some reason, so there i was in rome with little money, no sleep and my backpack. I traversed the city on foot, eating the cheapest pizza i could find, drinking cheap peroni and there were many moments when i felt lost in the city. At one point I was walking down a narrow street, not really paying attention, and all of a sudden there was the Parthenon, a giant structure thousands of years old. At that moment I felt like the travelers of old must have felt, a moment where media, tourism, etc. didn’t exist, it was just me and the parthenon.

  • Jamie

    I know you’re thinking trips, but I think this counts: I backpack daily through the streets of NYC & Brooklyn. My favorite is during the summer when I get to weave through NYC traffic on my trusty steed (bike). As a freelancer, I take my laptop from office to office. I love love love Herschel Bags!

  • David Hardin

    I’ve never really done a backpacking excursion, but I think most of all I would love to see Antarctica. Not only would the starkness be beautiful, but I couldn’t help to imagine how it would feel to see such extremes and perhaps something which is slowly fading away.

  • http://peonie.tumblr.com yulia

    Fine, I’ll take one. I’d go backpacking in KY with some old friends.

  • http://stopediting.tumblr.com Francis Luke

    So I flew to Los Angeles and took my friend backpacking in Joshua Tree where we both almost died, yelled at each other, and found beauty in subtlety. All before we went to San Francisco where he proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the Golden Gate and I fell in love with her friend running back across the bridge and reading poetry to her upstairs at Vesuvio. She broke up with me and I need a new pack to find a new love. Thanks.

  • Julie

    i want to go backpacking in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
    and never come back!

  • Veronica

    Ten years ago, I quit the job everyone but me thought was perfect. I gave away all my furniture and put everything I needed into a backpack and moved to Germany, in the winter. From there, I boarded a train headed east. After crossing the border into the Czech Republic, I got off the train when we reached a town whose name I could not pronounce and that I had never heard of. I wound up in a house warmed by charcoal, drinking coffee so thick with grains, it felt like soup. I traveled on foot through towns covered in snow, communicating with hand gestures and drinking beer that got colder the longer we took to finish the bottle because the taverns lacked heat. I remember rye bread, sleeping in converted prisons, and thinking it takes so little to live life so fully. This backpack I would take on my next adventure — destination to be determined.

  • justin

    On a backpacking trip to the top of Mt Baldy, My friend and I hiked through a drained lake and found an old Native American arrowhead carving area, and my friend actually found one!

  • http://superpowers.tumblr.com LP

    Most of my backpacking these days is around my neighborhood, carrying giant books, but I’d love to go backpacking through South America.

  • Sawyer

    a few cans of aerosol paint, sketchpad, pencils, a pair of boxers, patagonia rain jacket, deodarant, toothbrush, bowl piece (and bud), music carrying apparatus, hacky sack. that’s probably all i could fit in that bag, and all i would need to fit in the bag to have a stellar, undesignated amount of time in any small town or big city in north america. it’s a shame i couldn’t fit my friends in the herschel.

  • http://jesselcampbell.com Jesse Campbell

    Arriving at a trailhead just outside Canmore, a young and foolish Jesse steps out of the car with hop in his step and confidence in the journey that lies ahead. The seven hour car ride was going to be worthwhile.

    Opening the trunk to pack the bags he thinks, “Now to just go into the tub where my tent, sleeping bag and pad are…”

    Then that sinking feeling.

    Young and foolish Jesse left the tub on the couch back in Saskatoon.

    And that’s the story of how I bought my first “good” tent, and slept on the ground, wrapped in sweaters for 3 nights. Lesson learned.

    Please, I’d treat this bag with the utmost respect.

    And to answer the other question: next (major) hike will likely be the Juan de Fuca.

    Happy holidays!

  • http://pedicini.net Don Pedicini

    I am a plein air painter and would love to carry my painting equipment to the painting sites in this sharp bag.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Alex

    I went hiking with a calamitous group of 10 10 year olds for a week while working at a camp in Virginia. This group had run into some misadventures the previous week including broken canoes, soaked gear, and fractured ankles. Apparently my presence was supposed to help set them straight, but the mishaps only continued. The first two days it rained non-stop. I spent several sleepless nights due to a drenched tent and sleeping bag and/or bear paranoia. When the sun finally did shine, we had a good hike for half a day. The creek’s were running high and we did some fancy rope work at some of these crossings to get the kids across. We almost ran into a moonshiner’s trap (some sort of rusty, DIY, large-scale mouse trap) after heading down a wrong path. After this incident, it began pouring once again, and then it began to lightning. With no shelter in sight, we had to space ourselves across the trail for 1 hour in a rather uncomfortable squatting position. Once we started back up, we ran into a crossing that was too sketchy, and turning back was not really an option. Stuck, we phoned base camp on the cell phone, which was virtually dead, and waited. We waited from about 5 pm to 9pm huddled together. Some kids started having fatalistic visions, so we threw them under sleeping bags to keep them warm. With no contact with base camp, one of the other leaders kind of broke down (she ended up being mildly hypothermic). Finally around 1 AM we saw headlamps on the ridge. Thus began about a 3 hour rescue involving standing in frigid creeks, ropes, and the best damn cup of coffee I’ve ever had. None of the 10 year olds were really harmed. They got pizza afterwards.

  • http://www.danielzender.com daniel

    I filled my back pack with peanut butter sandwiches and hiked to a waterfall in Arkansas! Weeeeee!

  • caleb harringotn

    oh god those are beutifull! i really want to go backpacking in the Adirondack mountains or along the river near my house, gosh that would be wonderfull <3

  • KC

    I would take that pack to Big Bend in TX

  • http://annavictrola.com Anna

    I would love to go backpacking across Scandinavia with a Hasselblad and a Herschel bag.

  • http://work.matthewmcdonald.tv MMC

    I backpacked a section of the Appalachian trail with an uncle and his old med school roommates. I was 20, they were mid-50s. I’ll never forget it. Hearing their old stories and tales. Nothing compares to a trip with like that with friends.

  • http://www.joeybates.com Joey

    I’ve traveled around Australia a bit, but I don’t think I’d call it backpacking. At some point I’d like to backpack around Norway, most likely in the summer time.

  • Steph

    Wow, those are amazing. I’m the shame of my home state—Montana—because I’ve never been on a true backpacking trip. For the past two years I’ve promised myself that when I go home for the summer, I’ll get my gear together and head to Glacier National Park for some serious hiking and backpacking, but I’ve not yet made it. This thing might kick me into gear. With or without it, I WILL get to Glacier!

  • jbos

    i was once chased by a bull in the middle of a foggy night just northern Ontario. Hopped a fence which cut my arm. 20 stitches later, good to go. Traveled across Canada with one friend, one backpack of goods and a sleeping bag. best time of my life.

  • Jason

    One of my best was this year with my three of my college roomies to the Caribbean coastline of Colombia. We made a vow to go to a new place together every four years (every college) after college.

    pics of our trip here:
    http://photos.mtaylorlong.com/Personal/Adventure/Colombia-Hay-Culebras/16774233_ZqPwsr#1265684161_sfwmc4S

  • cailynn

    I almost peed my pants seeing this. I have been hiking through out New Zealand. I have grown up in the northwest, since I was young I have been hiking around the woods. I plan to do the Pacific Northwest Crest Trail this summer, starting in Washington and getting as far as possible into California. I have also done quite a bit of hitch-hiking throughout the states…does that count??

  • Amy

    I spent my childhood living in a state park (my dad was the park manager) and traveling to national parks in the summer, so I’ve had my share of camping and backpacking experiences.

    But my absolute favorite “backpacking” experience isn’t from Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or the Guadalupe Mountains. It’s from my childhood, when my best friend and I (we couldn’t have been older than 10-12) decided to hike from my house to the main part of the park to “spy” on the unsuspecting tourists. For some reason, we had the notion that we should conceal our identities to “blend in.” I armed myself with a bulky fanny pack and water jug, and my best friend got a little more into it, sporting a short black wig with whisps of blonde hair sticking out and a puffy vest with junior ranger badges. As if this wasn’t enough, we decided that we had to carry several changes of clothes with us in backpacks in order to keep our anonymity. While our “spy mission” wasn’t exactly a success and I’m sure we were a comical sight to anyone who passed us, we did have a lot of fun.

  • Lucas

    The most fun i ever had backpacking was in the most unexpected of places. After couch surfing through california, biking all over wine country, i ended up spending twenty days in Oakland, of all places.
    I only intended on staying there for a night before i caught a flight to the midwest, out of San Francisco, but Oakland wouldn’t quit the awesome. I saw everything from an outdoor art gathering turn into an orgy to a punk-all-girl-lady-gaga cover band show turn into a cypher! I ended up emptying my backpack into a donation box in order to make room for priceless mementos.

  • Nick

    For years it has been a dream of mine to go to Bhutan. I would be thrilled to go backpacking there, check out Thimphu, and see life from a different perspective.

  • Brittany

    I’d love to go backpacking through Yosemite! Pick me, pick me!

  • http://kohikohi.tumblr.com Chris

    I’ve never been backpacking, but would love to hiker to the highest mountains of China and pick the best tea leaves because I lived drinking tea.

  • JG

    I’ve never been! We’ve have our annual canoeing trips, but never backpacking. So I guess I’ll go with future trip! I’d love to go backpacking through Europe (or more recently, Iceland, have you seen that post a few days ago?), to visit as many art museums as I can afford and paint.

  • KL

    Easy. Czech Republic brewery tour through the countryside. Small breweries dotted around, each with a distribution radius of only a few miles. Often there are inns attached. So, you strap on your backpack, rent a motorcycle (if you’re feeling extra adventurous, as I would be inclined) and go from tiny brewery to tiny brewery through the amazing countryside that is also dotted with old churches, stonework, farms, fascinating people and beautiful women (we hope), etc. It’s my number one fantasy trip that I plan on making a reality soon. So the backpack would help, as I currently own none.

  • http://bikeate.tumblr.com Kate

    Herschel makes the best bags! They’re perfect for backpacking along the lovely Appalachian Trail in Georgia- where I’m from!

  • Sean

    The closest I have been to backpacking is flying across the country without checking a bag. Whether I’m home for the holidays or visiting friends in other cities, I try my best to never check a bag. I lay out everything I need: MacBook, Moleskines, books, clothes, gadgets and shoes. I pack my backpack three times before I know how I can maximize the space. I use every inch of the in/outside. I cram everything in so tight that I can’t fit a single extra item. It is perfect, it is precise, it is OCD at it’s best. It is, unfortunately, the most temporary perfection and far-from-true-backpacking possible.

  • Alvin Castillo

    Love Herschel and all their products! The quality of work is one of a kind! If I win I would love to go backpacking in the Phillipines! Plan on going back to my homeland!

  • http://billrisen.com bill

    Backpack backpack
    backpack backpack
    (Dora the explorer and her friend diego are successful because ther he said explore the spanish language and the world in ways that kids see their parents wanting.)
    and exploring in a new place eventually becomes routine, life in the peace corps in the drc is the same as life in washington dc. Somehow thoug life baltimore is different from both tho. so I carry my goods around in my north face in baltimore.

  • Landen

    I would love to backpack switzerland, i was there for a few days a couple of years ago, but with this backpack who knows how long i will be there!

  • http://N/a Stephanie Roses

    Here’s my favorite backpacking story!!!

    I once went on a backpacking hike in Mammoth with my current boyfriend. At the time, we were just friends. We went on this trail called “valentine” because it’s a 7 mile hike up to the top and then a 7 mile hike down (14 like valentines day!). Well we got to the top he did the boy thing of letting me talk and talk and then finally I admitted I liked him. We had our first kiss up there and we’ve been together ever since! 3 years now :)

  • jparsh

    I live in Mississippi. I would like to go backpacking in Arkansas. Arkansas is really pretty.

  • http://Revoluzik.com David

    Pacific Crest Trail from San Diego to the Canadian border! This would make my summer walk a lot more bearable.

  • http://www.mathmonahan.com Math M.

    Oh man! A new backpack would be nice for my road trip around the Midwest next summer!!!!!

  • Jennifer

    I’d love to backback in the jungles of Laos or Vietnam…it would be pretty tremendous

  • Jaque

    Dear Jeff,

    I had nothing to lose really. I was eighteen and I found myself in a challenge. I was in in love with a forbidden romance, I scraped by to study art in Santa Fe, and I was living on the streets, dumpster diving to pay heed to my hunger. Things were falling apart. I got kicked out of college because I couldn’t keep up with my tuition, my community ties were breaking, and my happiness plundered with other temptations. I had to get out.

    I sold all of my possessions, which consisted of a guitar, a microwave, clothes, and some paintings. Once I had enough funds to feel comfortable, I told my lady at the time that I was on my way out. Requiting her infatuation, she dropped everything of hers and followed the treacherous trail I led. We copped two rucksacks and threw an outfit or two inside, along with the essentials; for me a hunting knife and a canteen for her.

    We made it to Nogales in a few days. The clear issue of translation was removed once we crossed the border. I was fluent enough to sweet talk cute Mexican girls, so I already knew I had an edge. We jumped on a bus going south. It was packed and we didn’t sit together. I chopped it up with a viejita from Hermosillo, who engaged me by relating my persona to one of her mijos. The bus played an American movie with Spanish subtitles, which was what I was trying to get away from.

    The bus was a b-line to Mexico City. Four days on this bus was atrophying my limbs. While sleeping, we rear-ended the shit out of this truck. I woke up feeling like I was in the shower, realizing the water was actually windshield glass. I though it a great excuse to stop and stretch. To no avail, we kept going.

    We finally made it to the biggest city in the world, at one point of course. The first thing was to get the hell off this bus and spread out into the urban landscape. The zocalo was enroute. I was excited to see some danza Azteca in the plaza. Instead, there were local bboys showcasing some flashy sets. With a strong background in breakdancing, the irony was starting to get annoying.

    The sun went down. As once explained to me, don’t stay in the city afterdark, shit happens. We had our fill. So we jetted to one of the seven bus stations in town, looking for the next bus to Oaxaca. We bought our tickets and took a load off. I stood up to get a Coke and the only person who was at my height in the room shot a glare at me. I can’t really explain it but Native Americans know when other Native Americans are around. The only two brown guys above six feet were at a stand still. It happened to be Junior, a local of Albuquerque and one of the youngest Native doctors I knew! Crazy enough, we had tickets to the same destination, with the same bus. We celebrated with a beer, naturally, and since he was a lightweight, the bus operators gave us grief. I used my ambassador/flirting skills to make a worthy argument. My neurons have never fired so fast.

    We spent a week or two in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, and it was glorious, for the most part. In this time, we washed our clothes in the sink, ate tacos, and made friends with local graffiti writers, who looked more like ex-convicts, which they were. My lady and I were free and high on love. The hostel was more like our premature honeymoon suite.

    One night out, a saucy senorita advanced on me and she was insanely gorgeous! My neurons couldn’t fire fast enough. No matter. She was interested in other things. Feeling like a telenovela tramp, I realized my true love could never be challenged by some hussie, even though she made me feel like Antonio Banderas and she like Salma Hayek.

    Next day, we went the plaza and grabbed some ice cream. I knew I had to do the “deed” once the top scoop of strawberry fell on the cobblestone. Gesturing to pick up the dessert, I got on my knee and I asked my love to marry me. Of course, she said “for how long?” Just playing. So we celebrated and went to Chiapas to celebrate in a locked-down San Cristobal with EZLN, the Zapatista army. They were on the heels of the Otra Compana, or “the other campaign.” We were on the beginning of another campaign…

    There is a lot more I can tell, but I will leave the essence of what backpacking means to me at that. I was about being fearless, taking charge of the will, using the tools at hand, and making the most of what life brings every second. The marriage didn’t work out, but I still have that worn-out rucksack.

  • ARNOLD

    THE FJORDS OF NEW ZEALAND!!! FRICKIN HEAVEN ON EARTH!!! THAT’S WHERE THEY SHOT THE LOTR MOVIES!!! : http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&cp=14&gs_id=1u&xhr=t&q=new+zealand+fjords&qe=bmV3IHplYWxhbmQgZmo&qesig=ZkYL2b29f61PULosS30LAQ&pkc=AFgZ2tlO0vZsDXN5CwxbgRwtvk2VbBoItAp8D9O-kyKi-T47xgohKGYnjnlnSxLzUO7HKTG9JwrNlkGHRFWr6eD4QZW_PzF4ag&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=kFb1TqTXIqjs0gHTxbjGAg&biw=640&bih=275&sei=PFf1TqesI6Hg0QG1j5W3Ag

  • Vince

    My story isn’t really a great tale, but it’s a memorable hike that was incredibly fun.

    My brother, girlfriend, and myself all set out to conquer Fossil Springs over the weekend. It’s a popular backpacking trip here in Arizona as it isn’t a super long distance and has some good swimming.

    We began our hike on a pretty clear day, put on our gear and started to trek along. About a mile into the hike, grey clouds started looming in the distance. We thought nothing of it, just some light rain most likely, plus we brought panchos with us.

    CRACK-BOOM! That’s the sound of lightning striking inside of the canyon that we are walking into toward Fossil Springs. It’s insanely loud and bright as you can see it striking not that far in the distance. To top this, it is raining like crazy! There not much else you can do when hiking down into a canyon other than keep on trekking. It was truly terrifying and awesome.

    Finally, as we near our final destination, the sky opens up and we’re able to take off our panchos. We set up camp right next to the creek and start to do our camping activities. Went and chilled by a huge pond that has a rope swing to jump into it. Night came, we had a terrible dinner and a terrible fire as all the wood was wet. Still, had lots of fun, especially when a spider found it’s way inside of our tent.

    The next day, we had to hike out. Loaded up water from the spring and treated it so we don’t get sick.

    The hike out was absolutely terrible. It was like hiking a staircase for miles with no signs of it leveling off. Probably why I hate hiking in canyons, the way out always sucks. To top it off, it was stupid humid thanks to the fresh rain and a brutal sun. My girlfriend cursed the entire way up and cursed nature, it was hilarious. We made, feasted at a local diner and drove home.

    • ben

      I will probably just backpack to work and parties around Chicago and stuff like that, since I don’t really have the money to go very far at the moment (and I have too many cats at home to abandon while I go away on a long trip. Not gonna say how many, in self-defense). Having one of these beautiful bags, though, I think would assist me in my constant effort to make girls realize I exist. Please help me meet girls, Jeff, choose little ol’ me!

  • McKelvie Kuppinger

    While backpacking in China I sat down after visiting an ATM. I put my coke down beside me while talking with a friend. A Chinese man in flourescent orange pants approached us, started doing the funky chicken and murmuring rants in Chinese. After three or four minutes of this he stopped, grabbed my coke downed it’s remains and in a perfect Elvis imitation said “Thank you. Thank you very much.” I love these backpacks!

  • http://terrahlindsay.blogspot.com Terrah

    A little over a year ago a boy I had just met and I went backpacking near an abandoned mine shaft to pick berries called autumn olives. When he showed me the bush they looked just like the poison red berries your parents tell you not to eat growing up. We picked and ate berries and hiked up to a waterfall, I felt my heart rate increasing and instantly thought the berries were poisonous and this boy either didnt know anything about wild berries or must be poisoning me and leading me into seclusion to do god knows what to me.

    We got to the waterfall and hiked to the top, the views were amazing.
    We also saw some Bear poop!

    So the Berries didn’t kill me, we made several delicious pies from them, and this boy and I celebrated our one year anniversary in October!

  • http://f-ur.blogspot.com heider

    a couple of months back,i went on a solo backpacking trip around indonesia. took one of the most notorious trains in indonesia and literally lived with the locals in the towns that i visited.best trip of my life for sure.

  • Tavis

    Through the Swiss Alps would be my first choice.

  • http://blip.tv/futureretro/the-anatomy-of-a-missed-connection-325847 monicafanya

    In my late teens I used to treasure a tiny, bootleg-adidas child’s backpack. I got it at Chinatown in NYC sometime in the 90’s. Made me look something like a goofy raver, and this backpack and I went on epic neon teenage adventures all over the city of Philadelphia. In 2006 this backpack and I starred in my friend’s student film about Craigslist Missed Connections – shooting that was quite the adventure (and, be warned, immensely silly)! I included the link to the video as my “website.”

    Good backpacking times!

  • Lizzie

    I’m about to graduate from college so when I can’t find a job, I’m sure I’ll find some great backpacking trip to spend some time on my thoughts. Appalachian Trail would be my first pick, but I’d take on some international travel after the experience in the states!

  • Luis

    Last summer, before going to live and study to NY, I decided to bid adieu to my home, the West Coast. With only a pair of pants, shirts, socks and underwear in our backpack, a friend and I travelled along the west, starting at the Tijuana/San Diego border and ending in Seattle, Washington, while stopping in various cities along the way.
    The highlights of the trip were definitely San Francisco, and Yosemite Valley. I fell in love with SF’s infrastructure and people. After visiting, I know I just have to return, maybe even live there some day.
    At Yosemite, the view of the waterfalls after climbing one of the peaks (also, after having travelled from so far away and not showered for 4 days), left me with a strong sense of fulfillment. I’d really want to experience that again!

  • http://www.marialouceiro.tumblr.com Maria do Carmo

    to heaven !

  • http://www.habeinstudio.com Tyson

    I’d like to go backpacking in and around some of the small mountain towns near the border of Idaho and Montana. The characters you meet in these tiny towns are amazing. While I’d keep a few basic supplies and a change of clothes in the backpack, it’d mostly be filled with art supplies and my camera to document the journey in a mini-documentary and paintings and drawings. It’d be epic.

  • Lucas

    I was in Poland, in the countryside of Gdanski and I was walking the street with my friend trying to find free wifi. We were in the middle of nowhere in a small town so our chances were slim. We saw a little girl come out of her house. We started yelling from a distance because her house was gated off. We ended up getting her attention but she had no clue what we were saying ( WI-FI!!! WI-FI!!! WI-FI!!!) She gave us a funny look then eventually clued in and said “VI-FII!! We thought it was hilarious because she pronounced it with a V. Anyway, she invited us in and sat us down at her computer. Then her dad came in the room and he was a really big guy (at lest 300 lbs). He scared the bejesus out of us walking towards us with this evil looking grin on his face. Turns out all he wanted to do was give us a big hug…and he did. After that he asked us to join dinner with them. We ended up staying late that night and had a bonfire. It was quite the adventure considering they spoke absolutely no english.

  • http://seemikerun.com mike

    This would be perfect to have when I go biking with my daughter in front, Herschel on my back, sun roof top, digging the scene with a…

  • http://cinemaza.tumblr.com derrick t

    I would love to go to the Redwoods with that baby!

  • Torre

    My husband and I went camping in Idaho at a hot springs. We did some backpacking around the area, but the most extreme adventure involved a girl named Leslie and a woman named Mama T. We drove with Leslie to pick up Mama T from her trailer located in the local junk yard and then drove down to the river. We were told we were going on a fishing adventure, but alas they had no poles. Luckily, they had some branches and string with hooks. We had no bait, but they assured us that they used Banana Boat tanning spray ALL the time and it worked like a charm. So we fished for awhile, but nothing happened. Then, the ranger came by and we had to hide in the bushes because Mama T warned us if she was caught fishing again without a license she would be arrested and we’d most likely be taken in with her. At this point, we called it a night. We went to sleep in our tent and when we woke in the morning. All out beer was gone. We assume Leslie and Mama T swiped it, but they were no where to be found for the next 2 days so we’ll never know.

  • Molly Cabrera

    I DON’T HAVE A GOOD BACKPACKING STORY BUT PLEASE AWARD ME WITH THIS BAG SO I CAN GO CREATE SOME!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/posts/ Duncan

    This summer I took my backpack and skateboard from Halifax through Fredericton, Bangor, Boston and NYC where me and my friends had an awesome art show at AMO Studios. After that I worked as a raft photographer in Banff, hitched to Calgary, bused to Kelowna, hitched to Surrey and stayed with a rich family who had picked me up, then ferried and bused to Ucluelet where I SURF CAMPED. It was absolutely amazing and I had to best time ever. When I got to Vancouver I missed my flight because I was getting noodles at the Airport, so they gave me a voucher for $160.00, put me on another flight and paid for all my meals. AMAZING!

  • Shawn

    I would love to backpack the Appalachian trail

  • james

    I would go backpacking with my two best friends. While they haven’t been formally introduced, I’m sure they would get along perfectly. During our journey through Patagonia (I’ve wanted/needed to go there ever since I saw the film “180 South”) I would work on a folk-punk album with Carmen, and Lily would paint, draw, and photograph the amazing landscape. Our album would be inspired by the incredible people we knew before our journey, the people we meet along the way, and how all these people relate to the surrounding, and frankly overwhelming, majesty of nature. And needless to say, the perfect artwork for this album would be Lily’s art created along the way. Carmen and I would then produce the album out of the best takes from the countless cassette tapes we brought along, and craft copies of our album. All of which would contain hand written lyrics, unique pieces of artwork, and personalized notes to the recipient (which would of course include the magnanimous overseer of booooooom)!

  • Dexter

    i’d love to stuff that back pack full of good drugs and hike through the amazon rain forest, that sounds like the most bang for the buck i’d say … nothing beats a little HUMIDITY, RAIN and ANIMALS

  • Bruce

    My favourite time living out of a backpack was spent on a bicycle. After a relaxing time in Budapest with a friend, I decided on the fly to get down and dirty with the countryside and bought myself the cheapest old bike I could find. I balanced my bag on the rack, tied the hell out of it, and set off along the Danube river for a 600km ride to Austria. I fell over, got lost in a sunflower field, camped, got lonely, ate a million schnitzels, and rode through apple orchards in alpine river valleys. It was awesome.

  • David vitals vista

    I never been backpacking, but if I ever have the opportunity I would love to go through all of South America (to MachuPichu to be more specific).

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/55223538@N02/ Jing Jin

    I hitchhiked halfway across America last summer with a 45lb backpack (the weight fluctuated, but most of the time it was this heavy because of food/clothes/random camping stuff). I started from southern california, went up to nevada, salt lake city, south utah, wyoming, colorado, new mexico and arizona. I hiked for 1 day and a half in Rocky Mountain National Park when I was in Colorado. I have never done overnight hiking trip alone before, and camping (illegally, because I didn’t pay the camping permit since I was saving on every penny) alone on top of the flattened top mountain was something I would never forget. There was a storm that night as usual because of the temperature drop after sunset, and it was FREEZING during night and throughout the night (yes, I was up all night) I was pretty sure that I would be devoured by the mountain wind. But I got up next morning around 5am and it was the most most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. I’ve been on the road for more than 2 weeks at that point (quite different life from college haha), and at that moment all the tough moments I experienced seemed to melt away in the golden rays. What do they call it again? fleeting moments of eternity I guess.

    *photos of the aforementioned hitchhiking trip could be viewed here: http://jingphotoboxno2.wordpress.com/category/thumb-up-america/

  • Colin Ablitt

    I recently went hiking at The Chief in Squamish, B.C, Canada about 4 months ago. It was the first time in a long time I had been hiking anywhere, and my summer had been anything but physical. My friends, however, were more experienced backpackers, and had done the Chief about three weeks prior. It was my first time.

    The initial walk up was brutal for about fifteen minutes, and, as some veterans will know, your body just adjusts and accepts its fate as it’s being pushed to its limits. It was about an hour long climb, filled with many arguments about popular established artists vs. up-and-coming YouTube acts, and the general state of the music industry.

    Getting up was fun. Climbing down was interesting to say the least. All my friends decided to RUN down the mountain, thrill-seekers as they are. Wanting to keep up (and save face), I did the same. I managed to not die, thankfully. But I came close to bailing over the steep edge to the brush 50 feet below. Twice. My legs were starting to shake and give at one point, which made matters worse.

    And then, I got stung by a wasp.

    Now, I’m not allergic to bees or wasps in any way, but I hadn’t been stung since I was 10. It was rather shocking and panic-inducing, and perhaps in a sort of placebo effect, my legs started to shake more.

    Then I got stung again, in the same leg. I think the wasp got trapped in my shorts. It’s the only logical explanation.

    It was only thanks to the adrenaline through my body that prevented me from having to be carried the rest of the way down. My legs were sore for about a week and a half after that.

    And that… is my backpacking story.

  • Gabe Garza!

    I went backpacking up in Mt. Gorgonio in California, and when we summited the peak i sat there and listened to bluish by animal collective and it was one of the nicest feelings I’ve ever felt in my entire life

  • christian

    don’t have one, but would definitely go backpacking in banff or yellowstone!!!

  • http://thejnoel.tumblr.com/ Peggy

    I am generally a very shy person but backpacking around New Zealand for 6months really helped me a lot. I opened up myself more than I ever did. I made so many friends, more than I did back home. I experienced things more than I could ever experience back home. I even fell in love in someone.
    Now, I have to come back for school but I will make sure that I visit Europe one day!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/50143436@N06/ Taylor Hopkins

    It’s amazing what a mountain can do to a man. Over the summer I flew out to Aspen, CO to get away for a little and visit my brother. I had never really liked hiking and as a photographer I did more street and portrait photography. But standing on top of a mountain really did something to me, I had never before seen beauty as far as the eye could see. I couldn’t stop taking photos, I wasn’t trying to make prints and sell them, I wanted to have them to look at on dark days and remember that there is a place where true beauty reigns. I strongly urge everyone to go somewhere that is untouched by man, a place that brings you out of your convenient lives. A place where you can’t get a cell phone signal or use your ipad. If you win this backpack, use the crap out of it, don’t be afraid to get it dirty or ripping it, this backpack is meant to accompany you on adventures.

  • Joel Van Egmond

    I was backpacking the west coast when a fellow hiker stabbed a bee’s nest with her walking poles. Needless to say the bees wernt pleased, being behind her I received the butt end of most of that fury but instead of running through the swarm, I ran back. Seporated from my friends by a cloud of bees, I realized that I picked the worst day to wear short shorts. Anyways I had to run through. Had jiggaly thighs for a week.

  • JoVonna Bleach

    The closest I’ve been to backpacking was when I walked a trail at Shenandoah National Park, and I had to carry my dad’s photography equipment up and down the side of a mountain lol.

    If I were to go backpacking my first choice would be Machu Picchu, (I know this is so cliche) but my second choice would be anywhere. I caught the travel bug at an early age (when I was little I liked to look at the pictures in books about travel) and I like to take up any opportunity I can get!

  • http://hhex.tumblr.com Danielle

    i want to go backpacking so that i can be on my own and finally think

  • http://Mon-goose.tumblr.com Angus

    getting to the ferry terminal, and my buddy throws me the rest of the tent poles. and he says “this is ganna be one hell of a trek!”

    Once me and the other 3 make it off the ferry, at salt spring island, its scorching hot. and with our 65pound Packs, we travile about 12km by long board to ruckle farm and camp out there for about a week.

    it was brutally fun bombing the hills and push up the next one.
    but ripped up the side of my bag on the way back, the rope wasn’t tight enough. havent got it replaced.
    And these bags look like a perfect size!

  • Tristan

    I would love to go backpacking in Peru or anywhere in South America.

  • http://www.justin-lee.ca Justin Lee

    Never been baackpacking, but I would love to backpack around Asia! :)

  • KAY

    Me and my three friends went to a large camping grounds at one of their grandparents’ place in the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia. We whisked the night away with cheap beers and thawed meat cooking on the grill trying our best not to be too loud so we didn’t wake the grandparents of our friend. We explored the untouched forest and went swimming in a lake that was unfortunately infested with leeches. But burning them was quite the interesting experience. We stayed up the entire night creating a two-story high bonfire while searching for more sticks in the pitch black night. We saw the sun come up and stuffed our stomachs with three Waffle House waffles each. One of the greatest times of my life.

  • Andrew

    Backing packing through mexico the bus i was on broke down in the middle of the desert in 45 degree heat and it took 4 hours for another bus to come past. one of the more painful experiences of my life

  • Kayrl

    I want to go backpacking all over the world! My friend did that after high school grad and he had so many amazing stories. I wish I have more to say so let’s wait after I go on the trip : D

  • Margo

    The day I attempted to “backpack” my way to the Davis Mountains. I was 10, fully equipped with my purple vinyl satchel.

    I made it 2 blocks from my house.

  • Amy

    I’ve never been backpacking, but I just spent ten days in Nicaragua volunteering for a housing project, and was blown away by how beautiful the land was there. I’d love to return and backpack through the country, and throughout Central America.. And that’s just the start.

  • Elseline

    Want! Need! Don’t know how I could ever lived without it

  • Nich

    True story:
    Fall 2008, I’m in Italy, more specifically Florence. I was staying with a local I met through couchsurfing.org south of the city about 40 min. by train. So I meet with him and put my stuff in his place then head back to the city to explore for the day. Great place to see art and the fall is a beautiful time in Tuscany. Then I get the last train out to head to my couch for the night and get out at whatever station, wander around for a couple hours cause I was totally lost and ended up sleeping on a park bench. It got a little cool and I was definitely uncomfortable. Moved around a lot and eventually even got another bench to call home and somehow made it through til the morning. Call this guy in the morning when I figure he’s up and told him how I got lost on my way to his place…I don’t think he bought it. So strange. Either way glad I didn’t she’ll out for a hostel that night!

  • http://catamarancat.tumblr.com Catherine

    STORY: Biking along the Sea of Galilee in Israel by morning – with my ex boyfriend, while on my period – all I could think about was how we needed to catch a plane in the country next door (Jordan) to get to the other country next door (Egypt), that afternoon. After fighting off overheating, running out of water, arguing with boy, hormones/emotions, we make it to a taxi to drive us to Aqaba. With just enough borrowed money to pay the driver, we barely made it after being stalled by a wedding caravan (everyone hanging out of windows, shouting, cheering, honking madly, blocking traffic) and a herd of goats with shepherd crossing the road. Amazing Race moment of running through the airport, and we managed to catch our flight and be in three countries in one day. Success.

  • http://catamarancat.tumblr.com Catherine

    (PS. That back pack is amazing, I’d like to take it on my next road trip/hitch hiking trip to California from Vancouver)

  • Seb

    I don’t have a backpack story, but I went on a bicycle trip from amsterdam to paris and it was horrible. So this summer I want to go by foot!

  • https://risd.digication.com/mikeeeww/Welcome/published Michael

    I went backpacking in 2004 when I was 14 to Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. It was a long uphill journey and I was carrying lots of clothing and camping equipment which I had used for outdoor staying around Sabah, Malaysia during the previous days. While scaling the mountain with my backpack, there were moments when I felt completely awful because the villagers would climb quicker and with heavy rice sacks and huge jugs of water to supply to the inns at the top of the mountain. My legs also started to cramp about midway up. I still remember being helped by a friend or two up to the summit because my muscles kept cramping up.

    When I reached the summit I had to cook spaghetti for dinner. It was one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had because it tasted nothing like spaghetti.

    The following morning we climbed a few hundred metres up to the peak and it was a glorious sight to see the sun peeking over the mountain caps.

    That was one of my best backpacking trips.

  • Krista

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a backpacking story to tell you. In short, I would like to experience the world. Brazil, Peru, Bali, India, Australia, Thailand, Argentina, Philippines… I can keep going, but you get the picture. I’ve only traveled to a handful of places. One day, I hope to change that handful into a plethora. :)

  • http://www.wondvocht.com martin

    if you got one for me it would be awesome
    greetings from the netherlands
    happy holidays!!

  • Karla

    I would love to backpack through Barcelona, Spain. Besides visiting my mother country, I would love to see some Gaudi buildings, museums, and graffiti. Being a painting and art history major, this is one of my dream destinations!!! :D

  • Haley M.

    I’d love to backpack around New Zealand and pretend my life is as epic as some Lord of the Rings-esque shit.

  • Fran

    I’ve been planning on the semester before going to film school to go backpacking either in South America or Northern Europe and go all over and meet the people in each town I stay at and do a 5 minute short on them. Once I get back to America I would put it together and showcase all these interesting people through my journey. This backpack would be perfect.

  • Campbell sibthorpe

    I think if I was to go “backpacking” I would hope that my adventure would be a cross between, “tin-tin”, “Indiana Jones”, “Aladdin,(most surely with the a magic carpet)”,and more. I think if I was lucky, half way through my great epic adventure, my life would turn to black and white and some great love tale and desire to marry the girl walking a head of me would unfold. Then out of no where it would be like “Bill & Ted’s bogus adventure” and then we would time travel to the end of the backpacking trip…..there would be no planning involved whats so ever,(bonus)because, then I would wake up.oh.

  • Nora

    i would love to go backpacking in summer in sweden. worked in Stockholm for 3 month and i wont to find more about this beautiful conuntry. :):)

  • https://twitter.com/snooksarmy Snooks

    I have trekked the earth for many long, lonely years, in search of a lair from which to launch rockets. These sacred rockets, when detonated in the lower atmosphere, will blanket the planet in a light, frothy cloud of aerosolized semen, cloned from sperm samples collected by a prostitute Screamin’ Jay Hawkins hired three days before his untimely death. Hawkins died before he could realize his dream of a humanity united in illegitimacy (barely 57 bastard children are credited to him at this time), but the members of my Order have sworn to see his work completed, and we will not rest until ALL WOMBS ARE INFILTRATED.

    Having a cool backpack would help a lot. Thank you for your consideration.

  • http://shore.reflera.org JJ

    I’d love to go backpacking in New Zealand! I’d love to see the harbour at Wellington and the shopping streets at Christchurch as well as visit Hobbiton, haha.

  • paige

    Well backpacking wasn’t the most appealing option but i gave in to the peer pressure that defines young adulthood and me and some friends took off on a sorid little adventure from vancouver bc to the town of nanaimo bc to the wee island of gabriola. The plan was to walk and run and ride our way to a little cabin on the south western shore of gabriola but as my luck would have it we ended up doing the exact opposite of backpacking. We cabbed the whole way. We did walk onto the ferry from vancouver to nanaimo. But somehow in the tiny town of nanaimo we got lost and in order to make our ferry to gabriola we had to hail down the one of likr ten cabs. He dropped us off in 5min at the ferry terminal. When we finally arrived at our final island it was pitch dark and there wasn’t a car or bus or person not intoxicated in site. The terminal pub informed us that our walk would be a good 2 hours. So instead we decided to wait for the ONE taxi in gabriola to go drop off a mother and daughter (a 40min trip) and return to take us to our cabin. In all we probably did the least amount of walking compared to sitting on a boat or in a car but the journey was a grand adventure still. The bonus was that the cabin was right up on the beach and had a mini pony in the neighbouring yard

  • MICHAEL WANTS A BAG PLEASE!

    So Backpacking huh? The closest I’ve ever come to that is an 11 mile hike as a boy scout. That was an experience.

    Ideally, I would opt for backpacking through the highlands of old france. So much ancient history! Maybe some ruins, old war lands. So much culture and history!

  • http://www.cliclacboum.com/ TOMA

    Few years ago I made a hitchinking trip in Ireland, between Dublin and Cork. I was with my friend Amandine. He only had one backpack for the both of us. I’m a boy, she’s a girl so I keep the bag for the trip. We took 11 cars, 3 bus ans one boat. It was just 5 days in Irland but we did so many things.

  • Eric Stevens

    I went backpacking in Ecuador in 1998 with my friend Thomas. I ended up getting a face tattoo from a guy named Taco. All in all pretty stellar time.

  • http://www.fabriziomingarelli.com/ fab

    oooh yes i deninitely want one of this !!

  • Corinna

    I was backpacking with friends of mine a few years ago. We traveled through europe and slept at trainstation or the beaches. We’ve seen Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Italy and Germany in three weeks. Some nights we didn’t know where we’d end up at the end of it, but we continued. Once we almost got robbed, once we almost got killed but still those were (amongst others) the days of my life. In Spain we were looking for an internet café and ended up getting the same tattoo, so we would never forget what it felt like. I’ve learned more on this trip, then I’ve ever learned before in my life. So whenever I see a group of people with backpacks on their shoulders, I think back, touch my leg and smile.

    To proove my crazy little story (I’m in the middle):
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/24/16556617989986606461410.jpg/

  • Gogo

    Want thisssss

  • Yael

    I’m planning to backpack through Iceland with my camera, and this little beauty would be a great way to carry gear.

  • Cristine Smith

    After working three 12 hour overnights at a very busy county ER I decided I was going to follow through with my intentions of hiking not one but two 14ers in Colorado. So I completed my last shift, picked up a rental car and started to pack. I encouraged some friends to come along and by nightfall we were on the road, two with sleep two without. Dallas to Colorado done by noon the next day. Exploring the small mountain town we stayed in and eating good pizza completed our day. The next morning we were up and out the door to top a dream. Only one of the four made it to the top but we were all happy. I learned it is the journey not the destination. (side note: 4 women ranging in ages from 37-49)
    Backpacking is a mindset. You can go on a walk or grab your pack and be good for a few days if you choose. Allow yourself permission to take that new path, to take a few more hours. In the city on foot, suburbs on bike or back roads on foot, hoof, two/three/four wheels life is better with a pack.

  • Antonie

    THAT’S SOOO COOL!

  • Kasper Aavad

    it’s now the number one on my christmas wishlist!!!

  • harlan chamberlain

    northern new england appalachian trail

  • http://www.t-sides.com Taylor

    Some guy friends of mine hike a section of Vermont’s Long Trail, which runs the entire state, every year. I’d never backpacked before in my life, but they invited me to come along, and I agreed. I didn’t even have a pack, but luckily I friend of mine let me borrow hers from her backpacking trip around Europe. I was nervous because we were doing a portion of the trail that went over Killington (second highest mountain in Vermont), and my friends are pretty serious and very regular hikers. I spent a lot of time in the gym, trying my best to train. For a warm-up, we hiked Mt. Ascutney, a rather small mountain in their hometown, and they hiked so quickly and effortlessly, while I held up the rear, huffing and puffing. We got to the cabin (which was only 2/3 the way up the mountain), and I spent that night, most of the rest of the day, and the week between the warm-up and the Long Trail hike wondering if I’d collapse on the trail, or not be able to finish. I had images of myself being helicoptered away, or sent down a ski lift on Mt. Killington. But all told, to my surprise, by the third day of the hike, I felt incredible, like I could’ve hiked forever. Meanwhile, the guys (most of whom had spent the weekend trying to hike as fast as they could/race each other) were exhausted.

  • http://www.wix.com/philipmaniaci/film Phil

    I have never been backpacking so if I got this sweet backpack I would pack it to the brim with clothes and food and a tiny pup tent and backpack up into Central Park and get a nice nights sleep under the stars as I heard the taxis and people all night. Hopefully waking up with all of my belongings and my shoes still on my feet.

  • Ophelie

    Hello – this bag is really cool. Love the colour !
    I’d love to go backpacking with my boyfriend. His first holidays since …4 years. We’re near Spain and we want to explore and discover new landscapes. And take the time. We’re exhausted and need this.
    Thanks for sharing and have a good time with your friends/family. Merry xmas.

  • Santiago

    dude, if it is little american, should come to River Plate Region (Argentina and Uruguay, Latin America), summer here, everything is starting at Punta del Este and all the Rocha’s coast… come to me baby!!!

  • Taz

    hmm. walking off campus into the woods. or off the road into the hills, in this small town of walmarts and malls. yeah! nature!

  • ian

    thru hike the Colorado trail, my backyard rainforest.

  • http://www.drawashleydraw.tumblr.com Ashley

    I’ve never had the chance to go backpacking, but if I did, I’d plan a trip around Sweden or Switzerland. Some place with cool weather and mountains is a must.

  • Christopher

    I’ve never had the opportunity to backpack, however if given thus, I’d pack my things and hit the lost coast of northern california and travel by foot, as well by bicycle along the grey, untouched coastline.

  • http://www.twoeightnine.com twoeightnine

    I’m well on my way to backpacking/hiking up all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks in NY. Personal challenge to see more of the state I grew up in.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/51922354@N07/ Ben

    I just got back from a trip to Belize! The rainforest and Mayan ruins are tough to beat!

  • http://wyndhamblagden.blogspot.com/ Wyn

    I just blew out my knee skiing for the THIRD time! I am going backpacking in South America in February for 6 months and I think this pack would totally speed up my recovery time ;) not to mention lift my spirits!

  • http://stevenharwick.com Steve

    Through woods outside Kyoto in Japan. After reading several books by Murakami, the romanticization of forests in Japan has since had me craving to be walking through them with nothing but a backpack – leaving everything else behind.

  • Nanoe

    I went to iceland last year.
    and i went to the in Jonsi’s house on new years eve!
    And Reykjavic exploded.

    I will tell the whole story , with that bag on my shoulders.

  • Jaka

    Limited to North American rezidents… Damn, I’d like to go to North America than!

  • ayo

    I wanna go backpacking in Nigeria

  • http://clarissime.tumblr.com Catherine

    I want to backpack through france and the swiss alps. I have been wanting to travel around france and go to the alps for my entire life. I live where there are no mountains, and after watching The Sound Of Music as a kid i have always wanted to travel through the Alps. I could store my camera and all my film and everything i need for a good day exploring :)

  • patrick

    I’ve never been backpacking before but I would love to take this bag camping with me in northern Wisconsin this winter. I’m currently reading David Vann’s _Legend of a Suicide_, a story about a young man and his suicidal father who live on a remote island in Alaska. As sad as the story is, it’s really meaningful to me. When I think about cooking mediocre food over a fire with logs that my friends and I have found, my heart just about breaks.

  • http://lifelostinreverie.tumblr.com/ Armando V.

    I’ve never been camping but I would jump on the opportunity to backpack with Jake the dog and Finn the human. It would be incredibly adventurous to traverse the plains and mountain ranges in the Land of Ooo alongside the heroic bunch. I would make sure to pack all of the necessary goodies, snacks and first aid kit in my Herschel Little America mountain bag to keep us stocked on our adventure.

  • Mark B

    I haven’t been backpacking, but I would love to go backpacking in China. I’m a new media artist, and I’ve seen && heard great stuff coming out of places like Shenzhen. This guy would be a perfect pack to bring a laptop + light clothes/supplies to traverse the new media && natural landscapes!

  • caitlin

    i am going to glacier national park in the springtime to see the glaciers before they are all gone!

  • Steph

    I’ve never been backpacking, but it’d be awesome to travel and hike in Europe with my boyfriend. None of us have been to Europe before, so this would be a great way to see the sights and even do some geocaching!

  • R J L

    Being die hard hockey fans, we had to visit the hometown of some of our hockey heros. After two trains, a bus, and a taxi, we finally arrived in Ornsköldsvik, the home of Markus Naslund, Peter Forsberg, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin. It was no Stockholm, but we were happy to finally arrive at the training grounds of these Swedish elite. Unfortunately for us there was no vacancy at any of the hotels or hostels in the town. At 2am in pouring rain with heavy backpacks on, we finally consented to sleeping in the lobby of a business that randomly forgot to lock up. We decided that as long as we were out before opening hours, we should be fine! Luckily for us, a tall tipsy man stumbled out of a bar and passed us fumbling through the door, and offered us a place to stay. A night in the lobby of a business or in the apartment of a man with a crazy 3 ft.-long, braided viking beard ? It was an easy decision, and we promptly followed our new friend to his place where we slept on the floor of his kitchen, our backpacks making great pillows for the night.

  • http://www.arrowandapple.com Joshua

    I once backpacked in the woods.

  • carolyn

    Once we went hiking/backpacking in a temperate rainforest north of Vancouver. There’s a tall barrier surrounding the perimeter of the park. We found out later that a large bear and his big, fat ass had scaled the fence. Glad I wasn’t around to see that. Probably would have peed myself.

  • http://momofboyswithtoys.blogspot.com edmontonjb

    I have never been backpacking but after my kids are grown I would love to backpack through Australia.

  • Emily

    I have never gone real backpacking before but one time when I went fake-backpacking in Yosemite with my family for my 21st birthday, my sister fainted from dehydration while we were in line for the showers and while I was worried, I was also somewhat irritated because we were SOCLOSE to the front of the line. So I am a monster but I would still like a free backpack so I can go real-backpacking and if my sister faints on me again, I can use this lovely Herschel backpack to cushion her head while I keep my place in line.

    Thank you.

  • Chad

    I was living abroad in Oxford for a few months, and between terms some friends and I decided to take a trip to Greece. The four of us were relative strangers, but we were all hungry for adventure and knew that friendships would bloom. With very little cash and a backpack with two changes of clothes, I was ready to go.

    After our late night flight, we slept in the Arhens airport for a few hours, before we could check into our hostel. Giddy with anticipation, we ended up leaving to roam around as the dawn came. We found our hostel and left to explore the narrow, windings street. In the early morning, old men were greeting the sun with their accordion music. We found some cheap coffee and lunged deeper into the city.

    With little to distract us, we had an abundance of time for conversation. We talked about our families, our lives in the states and this strange experience of living in England but being in Greece. After two days in Athens we went into a local travel shop and decided to spend our final few days on a Greek island not too far away.

    The island of Poros is a beautiful one, and in the off-season of backpacking, it felt like a secluded getaway. We spent the evenings sitting on the roof of our hostel, watching the stars and talking deep into the night. But perhaps the best memory is the day we went to a local market, picked up some wine, cheese, bread, and fruit, and found a beach entirely empty, where we spent the afternoon swimming in the warm Mediterranean waters under a piercing blue sky. It was that moment, those brief hours of unexpected paradise that I felt most at home in this wide, wide world.

  • jenna

    i would love to go backpacking in Indonesia with my best friend who is originally from there. the landscape seems gorgeous from what i’ve seen and i love Indonesian art. I would go to the small markets outside and find some of the local art and also go to see some of the giant statues in the middle of the beautiful forests. and of course the beach would be amazing. oh man, now you’ve got me daydreaming about traveling, honestly anywhere in Asia!

  • http://naward.com Nathan Ward

    Was doing some hiking in the Appalachians one day a few years ago and almost broke my legs. It had been raining a couple days before so the ground was still pretty slick and I slipped on a stone and almost fell over the edge of 20-30 ft. ledge but my backpack caught on some branches or something like that and kept me from going over. Other than that scare, it was a great hike!

  • http://www.flickr.com/sevorbeupstry Cameron

    I just moved out to Portland and my pack broke on the trip :(
    I could really use a new one

  • http://callil.com Callil

    I want to go backpacking in the mountains of china. I want to ride a horse along desolate ridges with birds of prey circling overhead. I want to look at weird rocks and find remnants of human life where you wouldn’t expect them. I want to be freezing and shivering in the early early morning only to be warmed so much I have to strip my jacket off to a t-shirt around midday.

  • http://katielikesbees.blogspot.com katiebird

    Dream backpacking adventure? Mars.

  • http://www.ariellieberman.com ARIEL LIEBERMAN

    although i have been backpacking around europe, the backpacking story that stands out in my mind is when i went to visit my best friend in orlando florida. she moved to orlando to do trapeze in the cirque du soleil show down there. i got off the airplane and found the public bus and made my way through the maze of downtown disney with the same backpack on my back that had done me so well across europe. this trip was by far the most foreign feeling.

  • Zach

    I have never been backpacking out of the US, but I have explored the wonderful mountains of Montana extensively. The Bear Tooths are a very particular range that has a dear place in my heart. I have stumbled upon more pristine lakes than I had intended and every turn of a corner leads to a more breathtaking view than the last. Wild mountain goats are even known for keeping friends up at night, grazing on shrubbery near their quiet tents. There are many places I intend on going, like Iceland, the Patagonia, Sweden, and New Zealand, though it is hard to think of anywhere else while living in the shadow of these gentle giants.

  • Rihards

    I’d love to go backpacking in New Zealand!

  • Angelrey

    The Adirondaks is a magical place to go backpaking. Would love to have this baby to make my trip thru the valley, across the river and up the highest mountain.

  • Delma

    Many people don’t think of Texas when hiking and backpacking. I love my state and have the ultimate Texan pride. I’d love to finish exploring everything it has to offer, starting with Big Bend National Park, and the Guadalupe Mountains. This could also double up as a great aide while volunteering in Austin during SXSW.

  • http://cankerbane.tumblr.com/ Nathan

    There’s this great little backpacking store in Berkeley, CA called Young’s Backpacking & Mountaineering.

    My uncle bought his first backpack there, and it lasted one trip.

    We went up into Kings Canyon, and my uncle’s friend said we wouldn’t have to worry about bears at our specific location because of either the tree line or the altitude.

    My uncle’s friend turned out to be wrong.

    Our very first night out a bear came through and destroyed our packs. It ripped them apart and ate everything except for two things: plain oatmeal and plain pasta.

    Looking back in retrospect, it’s funny. But at the time, heading back down the mountains with just those two foods was definitely less than enjoyable. Because we all know flavored oatmeal is ten times better than plain.

  • http://curseofthemultiples.com Evan

    3 words….Holland Bicycle Tour. I’ve always dreamed of taking a cycling vacation!

  • Ateanna

    Hopefully, I’ll be doing some backpacking in the nearby villages in Shanghai!

  • mark

    kolob canyon, Utah – in the spring while the wild flowers are in bloom!

  • Rhett

    Oh, man, I just want to live out of a backpack, talking as minimalistic as possible. Leonardo DiCaprio’s angel on my shoulder whispering, “You got air in your lungs, a few blank sheets of paper, you got everything you need right here with you.”

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/avacuouszenith/ Ryan

    Awesome those backpacks come in handy on trips!
    I went backpacking this summer with some friends. We found a campsite infested with squirrels but they were docile enough they didn’t bother us much. After setting up camp we went down and bathed in the river, which was freezing. We hiked along the riverbank and stopped a few times in calm spots to wade in the water. We had to go to the bathroom so bad so we all peed in the water next to a group of people down stream from us. The next day we went hiking in the meadows looking for deer or bears but we only saw one deer.

  • http://www.uncoolshoes.tumblr.com Simon Vanderveen

    I’d like one!

  • Mike Neal

    Less is More
    I lived for a time in Flagstaff Arizona, at about 8000 feet elevation. During the winter of 1995 due to circumstances beyond my control I became homeless. I had met some Hippies at an art show and they let me stay in a hallway in their building. I was constantly looking for a job, but there was not much out there, getting day labor every once in a while, enough to barely scrape by. I played chess at a coffee house on Mondays and I knew Navajo guy named Mike who was part of our chess club, he had heard of my predicament, and asked his boss if I could do some painting at a hotel at the Grand Canyon so I could get some regular work and a roof over my head at the same time. His boss agreed and Mike gave me a ride to the hotel. By now it was early spring. After three days of painting, drawn by the allure of the Grand Canyon, I decided to hike down and camp. I had a school backpack, some clothes, a few blankets, a plastic sheet , some power bars, and of course water. I headed down the Bright Angel Trail into the stunning Grand Canyon about twilight I wrapped up and slept under the stars. I got at least 3 hours sleep. The rest of the time I shivered, curled up in the fetal position. My power bars were frozen solid. The glorious morning and view transformed this into a sublime experience. I hiked to the bottom of the Canyon to look down about a thousand feet at the Colorado River. I spent the day down there hiking and then back up the Bright Angel Trail. I was so exhausted I kept pace with a guy who had heart surgery. I got to the hotel well after dark where I then immediately passed out.
    This is how I got into ultralight hiking. Years later I hiked over the Sierras on the John Muir Trail with a 15lb pack. I was a little better prepared for this sublime experience.
    My night in the Grand Canyon was a moment of glory.

  • Min

    Backpacking in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, my two friends and I took the advice of the front desk volunteer to hike his favorite trail to Sky Pond. We hiked the 10 miles, including a climb up a waterfall to continue on the trail, and then decided to go off the trail to see if we could find another pond beyond the canyon. Unfortunately, I strayed off from my friends and ended up on the edge of a cliff as they were searching for the non-existent pond…Luckily I was saved. We haven’t had the chance to go backpacking together since but I would love to again one day.

  • http://www.twitter.com/coconutfan2010 Areta

    I would would love to try backpacking in Montana, USA. I heard that a popular place is along the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone trail in the northern Rocky Mountains. It has amazing scenery and lots of interesting wildlife along the way.

  • Megan

    When I about 12, my family took a backpacking/canoe trip in Minnesota. We had to suspend the backpacks that contained our food from trees so that the bears couldn’t get to it and in the middle of the night there was a tiny stampede of shrews through our campsite.

  • http://neonhands.com Becka

    Quite a few years ago I was working at this horrible camp in North Carolina. During training we hiked 25 miles a day in the Pisqah Forest in the Appalachians. It was someone’s birthday so someone had brought some beer and a water bottle full of vodka. It was pre-dinner, post hike, and they took out the liquor. For some reason I decided to, after hiking 25 miles that day, drink about half of the vodka straight (it may have had something to do with a recent break-up). During dinner I had to stealthily stumble into the woods and vomit for 20 minutes before passing out under some trees. Someone came and got me and the next thing I knew it was dawn and I was under my tarp. Needless to say I was summoned to a serious sit down chat with the boss before being fired two weeks later :)

  • Jon

    I just stopped school to travel. This will be a great addition for my voyage on the tracks across the states.

  • Ethan

    with this backpack: i would fill it with all my pens and moleskines — probably watercolors too — then i’d throw in some apples, oranges, and plenty of water, lettuce and a lighter, jeans, a blanket, and old, unfinished crosswords.

    then i’d leave my front door with no destination in mind. i’d take my time wandering wherever the wind blows me and grab inspiration from the experience.

  • http://maaaax.com Max

    Old girlfriend and I were going to go on a 3 day hike in eastern Washington. Drove 4 hours or so and when we arrived we ended up just having sex in the back of her Oldsmobile for a bit, drove back into town to have dinner and then just ended up driving back home.

  • http://odez.tumblr.com Joel

    Real talk,I go hiking everyday to my job, back and forth, because thats all i can afford, i live vigorously through my imagination fuck that. silverspoons up yo ass.

  • Myles

    Best backpacking trip? Lost Coast in home area of Northern California! Seclusion, home brew, fording rivers at night, and waking up next to the beautiful Pacific. Bag or no bag, I’ll remember the friends and experiences of that trip forever.

  • Agnes

    In the winter I studied abroad in Paris, with finals on the horizon, I heard the call of adventure. I’d had the train schedule website open in a tab on my laptop the entire weekend … and when Sunday arrived I couldn’t resiste anymore … there it was, a train to Amiens leaving in 40 minutes. Super cheap tickets. Super quick trip.

    DANG. Can’t beat it. I grabbed my day purse threw my class notes in and rushed to the Gare where the train was leaving from. With seconds to spare I got on the train and arrived at this town. Home to the tallest Cathedral in all of France. Gorgeous, towering, and the spires — open to the public. Looking over the edge, next to gargoyles and handful of other tourists I felt alive. Miss those days — gotta stretch my legs again soon.

  • Chris

    I’ve never been backpacking before, but after watching the camping video the accompanied the Napsack, my friends and I have felt to urge to go. This will be all of our first times and I am very excited to go. Plus, living in Maryland gives us access to the Appalachian Trail for this kind of stuff.

  • Jobia

    Oh please I want one! I want to go back packing starting in Chaco Canyon in the four corners region, up to Serpent Mound in Ohio, while visiting reservations, all they way up to Minnesota to visit my boyfriend’s family the Chippewa Grand Portage Tribe.

  • Brendan

    In the summer of 2009, Me and five of my closest friends set of to Death Valley. Our objectives where simple, we where going to conquer Mt. Whitney. Said to be one of the largest mountains in the continental United States we where stoked. Me being the artist I am i brought along a little moleskin sketchbook, I was in need of some inspiration. On the fourth day of our journey my friends and I came across a flat land, a pasture, a…..sanctum of solitude that stretched out as far as i could imagine . It was single handed the largest, and most beautiful moment I had ever had and I’ve been hiking for eight years prior. Caught up in the moment I told my friends that we need a break, I got out my small sketchbook, and my camera.I began drawing. Later after we claimed the mountain as ours, and returned to all of our normal schedule’s at home I found that there was a local art contest with the theme of “external beauty”, I immediately signed up and scurried to fine my little moleskin sketchbook and stared re-planning, and painting the scene as best as I could remember it. I went on winning “most relative to the theme” they’re wasn’t any extraordinary prize, just a ribbon. But its is my best hiking related story :) hope you enjoyed it.

  • Alexander

    I would love to go backpacking through rural Japan, visiting Shinto shrines, walking among the same lands that my ancestors did. In this time of extreme turmoil for the Japanese people, I feel like now is the time I need to be closest to my roots. I may have been born in America, but I feel an innate connection to my Japanese heritage. Both times I have visited Japan, I have never felt more at home, however, I think that I’ve only ever seen the more commercial side of the country. I want to return to the land of the samurai, to explore, to find myself, but above all, to help those who are in need to most. I had friends in Japan, some even in Sendai, and to feel so helpless sitting safe at home on the other side of the world was incredibly difficult. In short, I want to backpack across Japan helping those in need as I go, to learn where I come from, so I can know where I can go.

  • http://www.ads-studio.org.uk/packaging.html Packaging Designer Harrogate

    I can’t enter because I live in England but love the bags and if the winner wants a guide for any North UK leg of their European backpacking trip give us a shout! : )

  • http://www.yourmusictoday.com/ Levi

    I will use this bag to backpack from my house to my friends house… with my monitor in it.

    CHEEEERS

  • http://www.jorge-gutierrez.com Jorge

    I have yet to go backpacking…if i was to win such a backpack i would go to presidio park in old town in san diego…this would be a great way to travel with all my paints and small canvases to paint outdoors…thats what i would do with this backpack.

  • jaycie

    ive never been backpacking but maybe going through denmark would be sweet.

  • http://tcbte.blogspot.com/ Sean

    I’ve been to a few Scandinavian countries before (Denmark, Netherlands) But Finland, Sweden, and Norway would be my next visit…and would be freakin’ amazing. Also I’ve been obsessed with Czech. Republic. Mmm and finish it off with a trip to Iceland. Perfect.

  • Ashley

    I have never been backpacking but I once went camping with some friends and, despite locking our supplies in a food locker, raccoons managed to break in and devoured everything. One of the guys packed 3 pound salmon to BBQ and in the morning when we surveyed the damage the he nearly cried with disappointment.

  • Alex K.

    I used to backpack in and between tiny New York City apartments, a traveller from the tender age of five. I navigated canyons of hoarded boxes, waded the hallway carpet rivers, traversed the echoing lobby caves, and descended steppes so steep that for years afterward I would dream of a descent so hastened that I lose my footing and fly.

  • Jacob

    My best backpacking experience was hiking on Mt. Adams in Washington state with my Grandpa. I was fourteen, and it was my first experience sleeping outdoors with no amenities whatsoever. We went for three days, and hiking around forty miles in all. We traveled over lava flows, through blooming wildflowers that filled meadows to the brim, purified water from a stream and drank it, cooked over a campfire, and really just appreciated the beauty around us. It was a great trip and it really cemented my love of being outside.
    Next summer I plan to backpack through Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Norway, and Amsterdam with one of my best friends. She has already bought her backpack, and it would be great to get a reliable pack of my own!

  • http://www.sayhellotoanna.com Anna

    this one is so similar from the one i got from my grandpa, who was a good walker… i wore it till it fell into pieces. it would be a great treasure. i would love to go everywhere with it. :)Anna

  • http://www.stephaniecraigsays.tumblr.com/ Stephanie

    I sadly have to say that I have never been backpacking. I am a photography student, and will be graduating in June. I have never been overseas, and have become incredibly tired of this area, as I have lived here my whole life. I live in Western Massachusetts, and I want to go! After I graduate I plan on spending the first few months of my real life backpacking through Sweden, Norway, and hopefully to Finland. I want to see mountains, and kayak through gigantic lakes. Please, please, please give me this backpack. It’s beautiful! I don’t have a backpack for traveling and to get this would be great.

  • http://nihaobrian.blogspot.com Brian

    i would love to go backpacking through Yunnan province in China!! get lost, go back in time, forget about my normal real world for a while.

  • Rachelle

    These are so beautiful! I love Herschel! I’ve never been backpacking, but I would love, love, love to go in Europe. All that history! Glorious! :)

  • Rhonda R Roman

    In my teens and 20’s I packpacked all over California. I love the Trinity Alps, Antelope Lake, anywhere in the Redwoods… I can’t choose a favorite!

    Rhonda

  • http://www.behance.net/sevanszekely sevan

    It happened when I went packpacking around Europe in 2005. I was hitchhiking with my friends towards Barcelona. It was extremely hard to get a ride. First we got into a car with loud Paco de Lucia, and then a Jethro Tull fan stopped. We got both casettes. Arriving to Barcelona, we had no money whatsoever, so we went to the beach. After a night of partying on the beach with different peoplewe ended up seeing the sunset together with a Japanese couple and an African medicine man, listening to French Radio.

  • Alban

    Back home. I lived near the Rockies my whole life and never went on more than the occasional camping trip. Now I live in a big city I’m trying to get back first chance I get.

  • Micaela Neumann

    Backpacking is something I did a little of this summer, but I have big plans for the future. I’m motivated by my eldest brother, who backpacks through India every two years, meditating in the mountains and enjoying a glimpse of a life much different than ours.

    However, if I could backpack anywhere at any time, it would be through Spain in the 1920’s, in the settings depicted in The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. I’d go through the Basque country, stop in Pamplona for the running of the bulls, and make friends over cheap wine and fresh-caught fish. The 1920s would be the place, and I might have to take a cue from Woody Allen and go through Paris as well, to see the city in the rain at a time where there was no greater feast than a plateful of art and good literature. Or maybe I’d take a blank sheet of paper and backpack through the world, drawing up a map that tells the story of my travels, organizing it the way Cusack organizes his records as Rob Gordon in High Fidelity — autobiographically. That’s the purpose of a backpack such as this — it’s a symbol of the possibilities a simple pack can hold and the mobility it offers.

    Thanks! And Happy Holidays!

  • Anders

    Zion National park in utah with my best bud. If a picture says a thousand words, heres 9 of them to give you an idea!

    http://nurmi.ca/zion.html

  • http://theborderca.wordpress.com Jireh

    Not a true “backpacking” story, but I’ve been on a hike/boonie stomp back home in Guam. I went with my aunt’s environmental sciences class to a freshwater pond called ‘Lost Pond’ and it was a rigorous and fun trip. We walked along the beach and dodged giant boulders, climbed over trees, and one of my aunt’s friend’s caught an octopus on the way. It was real neat to experience something true to nature while learning about our environment!

  • Mishka

    My favorite camping moment was during a road trip to Portland, Oregon a few years ago with my two friends Meagan and Martin. After spending a year far south of my hometown of San Francisco in (I’m ashamed to say it) Orange, California, it was cathartic to venture north and be reminded that California is not just an infinite number of strip-malls, highways, and suburban sprawl. You can see and taste the air get cleaner and clearer the further north you go. Martin and I have been best friends since childhood, but Meagan and I were never very close friends in High School. That summer though, Meagan and I became very close friends and by the end of summer I was hopelessly in love. This road trip was at the culmination of my feelings for her, but I was scared of rejection, especially since the rest of the road trip would be ruined for all of us if I made things awkward with Meagan. One night we arrived at Lake Marie campground near the Oregon Dunes and it was pouring rain. We decided to forget dinner and just build the tent and sleep. Martin crashed fast since he had been driving, but I asked Meagan if she wanted to share my iPod so we did. I got pretty nervous deciding what to listen to but I finally settled on Sufjan Stephens, she liked Sufjan but she had never listened to his album Illinois all the way through so I figured it was a safe bet. I should have been relaxed, Sufjan’s gentle acoustics in my left ear and the patter of the rain on the tent in my right, but I was so nervous. I wanted to make a move so bad, but I couldn’t face the thought of her not being interested. I could just picture her rejection of me; so kind, so gentle, as if nothing had happened at all, and it killed me. Finally I decided the safest thing to do was to place my hand, next to hers casually, but so that the sides of our fingers were just barely touching (I know, I’m a wimp), our hands touched though and she seemed to be cool with it. “Casimir Pulaski Day” came on and I decided this was the moment to go for it, but ‘going for it’ for me, moving my pinky just a bit so that I was stroking her pinky. She pulled her hand away. That’s it. I blew it. She wasn’t interested. I just laid completely still, my heart thumping in my chest from all the frustration, trying to breath as quietly as possible. Suddenly she grabbed my hand and the biggest rush of joy and relaxation and excitement came over me. We didn’t even look at each other but I knew we felt exactly the same, and had felt exactly the same way about each other all summer. I just remember wanting to live in that tent for the rest of my life. Anyway, Meagan’s been my girlfriend for two years. Camping is awesome!

  • Love Birds

    Just got married and would love to backpack through Europe for a honeymoon. Two young newlyweds here saving for the ultimate trek to the westernmost getaway.

  • http://flyillustrations.blogspot.com jade

    a one week hike through the appalachian trail. starting in GA and heading up to TENN

  • Callan

    the sun. duh!

  • http://naward.com Nathan Ward

    Was doing some hiking in the Appalachians one day a few years ago and almost broke my legs. It had been raining a couple days before so the ground was still pretty slick and I slipped on a stone and almost fell over the edge of 20-30 ft. ledge but my backpack caught on some branches or something like that and kept me from going over. Other than that scare, it was a great hike.

  • Charles M.

    One of the places to go on my bucket list is to Mt. Huashan. I saw this place on tv once and ever since I’ve been dying to go. I can’t wait to look down when walking across those 7in wide boards! Here’s a little vid of the trail.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPXyk0VaaMw&feature=related

  • http://norakreml.blogspot.com/ Nora

    There are so many places on my list, but in the immediate future is Africa. I currently have a nomination for the peace corps for english teaching in sub-Saharan Africa leaving in June. Once I get my invitation (which should be within the week!), I plan to explore as many of the neighboring countries to my site as possible, and hopefully, a few more as wel!

  • http://www.twitter.com/beakholder Xing

    I would like to go backpacking in the Philippines. There are over 5,000 Philippine islands, and most of them are accessible by plane from Manila. Each island offers different terrain and unique scenic ocean views!

  • James Guan

    I’ve never been backpacking before, but I’d love to go backpacking in New Zealand!

  • Phu bui

    Im’ma go backpacking IN mah new swagalicious Lil’ America mountain backpack 2 avoid tha North-American Winter o’course!

  • http://mytastefulpleasures.tumblr.com Ndidi

    Oh my gosh, I’ve never been backpacking but it is on my bucket list. Being from the US and only traveling my plane and/or train, I would love to backpack through Europe or if I had to choose smaller, Italy. Such a beautiful country

  • http://www.suekatz.typepad.com Sue Katz

    When I was young, I was a martial arts master – one of the first women black belts in Tae Kwon Do. Naturally personal security was often on my mind. I carried a backpack then so that my hands would be free in case I needed them. Now that I’m in my 60s, a backpack is essential if I’m walking around an urban or a rural setting – just for my balance and to use my hands to steady me if necessary. Backpacks save my back from problems – in contrast to a purse slung cross-body, and allow me to carry whatever else needs transporting – like groceries or an Occupy Boston protest sign. Now I teach both fitness and Latin dance to seniors and elders – and my backpack holds my iPod and my dance shoes and my iced tea. I sure would dig a new one, that’s for sure. Thanks for reading!

  • Kyle

    There’s a place in the Poconos that no one seems to know, where, if you venture about a mile up an inlet, you’ll find a supremely serene and secluded waterfall. Once every few years, I find myself in the area, grab a bag, and make my way down the trail. Crawdads, skinny dipping, rock skipping, and sunning on large, flat rocks.

  • http://lilaburns.com/work Lila

    So my highschool was all about outdoors trips. those Outward Bound trips or NOLS trips that several troubled kids were sent on. well our school went on them electively. one trip, my class was sent to utah to go on the colorado/green rivers with outward bound for a week. basically we would wake up at dawn, eat our quinoa, go on a hike, raft for a few miles, go on another hike, raft a little more, set up camp and hike hike hike until dark. everyone i knew had these amazing REI contraptions that shrunk their sleepingbags and raincoats into the size of a rolled up sock. whereas i was equipped with Costco’s finest/thickest sleeping bag, and my parent’s old backpacking equipment (circa 1974). they handed us those waterproof bags that you fill one-third, fold over the top and roll it till its sealed. my gear, and sleeping bag surprisingly fit just fine. my pillow was the last to go in the bag… it didn’t fit… there was no way. i looked around to all my classmates and their amazing REI gear who were filling their sealed bags exactly as directed… ditched my pillow in the van and used my jacket the rest of the trip. safe to say, after that trip, every bag i pack now is immaculate.

  • http://mimibiyaobai.com mimi

    Once I was hiking in Connecticut with a friend/lover. We reached the top of the summit and notice the fog had gotten so thick that the huge lake below was obscured. It felt as though we were alone in an old Chinese painting of mountain peaks emerging from beneath thick swirls of clouds. We sat on a cliff that jutted out into nothing and contemplated a beautifully gnarled tree. Then out of no where my bright blue hat flew off my head, rolled off the side the cliff and bounced off into the abyss.

  • http://www.zacharyzezima.com zachary zezima

    I spent the summer of 2010 backpacking and working on farms in Ireland, Finland and Italy. In Ireland, I explored castles, rode a mountain bike to the ocean, and met men who had been to my tiny hometown. In Finland, I picked blueberries, slept in a tool shed and went nude cliff jumping in the southern archipelago. In Italy, I met a master marble sculptor, experienced ferocious ghosts (aka sleep deprivation) and slaughtered a beautiful goat. The only way it could have been a better trip is if I had a Herschel.

  • http://mariekallen marie

    Backpacking Haiku:

    In Colorado
    I backpacked through some small towns
    Got drunk with a bear.

  • Grace

    This isn’t really a backpacking story as it is a tiny hiking trip from this past halloween. A few friends of mine heard about an old cave-like tunnel in southern Ohio where men (back in the day) would transport bricks to and from the kilns. Well we didn’t really know where it was, so we made a day of it. We drove the 2 hours south of us and started our search. Since it was halloween we thought it would only be appropriate to look for this “semi-haunted” cave/tunnel. Well our journey started when we arrived in the general location (or so we thought). It was an old grave yard with limestone tombstones dating back to the early 1900’s. We made many different paths in the hilly woods beyond the grave yard heading towards dark patches where we thought the tunnel would be. We were out there for a good 3-4 hours. Needless to say, we couldn’t find it.

    So after taking a small break we decided to turn the other direction and there it was. The tunnel. With a nice truck path leading up to it. We completely drove right past this path as we entered the “general area”. We got a good laugh out of it, but all the thorn bushes we unnecessarily went through still brought tears! ;)

    I would love this backpack to store essential items in for our next adventure—I don’t know, like a MAP or something! ;)

    Happy Holidays!

  • http://www.stephenmccombe.com Stephen McCombe

    When I think of backpacking, I think of all the times we would go out on missions… with backpacks. One time we were blazing a trail in the woods so it could be dirtbike-ride-able. Our backpacks had machetes and loppers and beers in them. My friend had a machete that belonged to another friend’s grandpa, which he had used while fighting in WWII. One part of the trail went alongside a highway but we were hidden well enough to not be seen by drivers, or so we thought… We were feeling happy and full of strength until a truck pulled up to the trail from the highway. It was a parks policeman who responded to a call saying that we had bolt cutters la di fuckin da.
    Anyways we didn’t get arrested, but we did have backpacks, machetes, beers, and lots of fun. Oh Yeah, and we had to ditch the WWII machete because we didn’t want to be seen with large knives! I’m certain that the Herschel will fit the loppers perfectly, so as to not be mistaken for bolt cutters next time.

  • NoSecretsBetweenSailors

    does filling a backpack with krylon and going bombing around LA count as backpacking?

  • Ellen

    I was once backpacking in the Sequoias and my cousin (about 14 at the time) was trying to assert himself. He put up his own tent at the very edge of our site. In the middle of the night, we heard rustling, but thought nothing of it, until morning, when we woke up and found his tent sandwiched between our tent and the campfire. Grizzlies are common around there and, although he said he moved it because he had to take a piss, we’re all sure he was secretly terrified of encountering a bear.

  • Alienrace

    Once when I was a little kid, I went backpacking with my dad on a path near the Tatra mountains. It was the first time that we were caught in the middle of our walk by sundown, and the only time that we neglected to bring along a flashlight. My dad apparently could see fine in the dark, but I could not see the tip of my nose. It was pitch black to me. It was only by holding my father’s hand that I was able to know which way to go. I reached base camp safely thanks to that trust I placed in him.

  • http://brittney.bearhat.tumblr.com Brit BH

    Back packing is one of the things i did more, but I’ve been in Northern British Colombia in the pink mountain region. Most beautiful thing i have ever experienced, breath taking. I plan on doing the hike again but on horse back next time. and one of these lovely bags would go great!!

  • Nick

    Last year two friends and I road tripped from our university of Ohio to the Grand Canyon where I camped and backpacked for the very first time. Sure, I had hiked before – I lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota for a few years when I was little, so we explored the area, Devil’s Tower, and sometimes went as far as Yellowstone. But I had never been so ambitious in an outdoor adventure.

    As grueling as it was, I hardly noticed because I was so mesmerized by the beauty, especially on our second day when we hiked the South Kaibab trail. Starting at the top of the South Rim, we made it pretty far down the seven mile trail given our lack of expertise. We went a decent way past Skeleton Point (not as scary as it sounds) but not to the river before heading back up just in time to see the sunset from atop the Rim.

    The rest of our five day camping/backpacking was spent exploring the Rim and smaller portions of other trails. On our final day before heading back, we rafted the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, where the water is smoother than in the adjacent Grand Canyon. It was the perfect, calming yet still new experience to serve as our spring break capstone.

    In my backpack during that vacation were the essentials: water, Wheat Thins, a camera, extra batteries, flashlight, and a hammer just in case we got lost and met a hungry coyote at night. My friends made fun of me for the hammer, especially as it was juxtaposed by the water bottle I bought last minute at Target that had Cruella De Vil printed on the outside (hey, it was on sale for $1.50!).

    Now I’m looking at our upcoming spring break. Perhaps we could go to the Black Hills or Yellowstone and I could have a more adventurous experience than I did as a child. Or maybe we could go to Banff National Park in Canada, mainly because I could then title a Facebook photo album ‘BAMFs in Banff.’

    Wherever we go, I will always have the Grand Canyon to thank for being my first camping and super outdoorsy trip. Writing this on Christmas Eve verging on Christmas Day is particularly special, as it brings back the memories that I’m so thankful to have had. One day after this college degree has landed me a high-paying job, I’ll be able to have a giveaway of my own, one that sends college kids to inspiring parts of the globe. Until then, my friends and I will stick to proudly presenting the 40-minute slideshow of our combined 800+ photos from the Grand Canyon.

    (Can you tell I’m a Communication/Art double major? We never stop talking about the things we love.)

  • thomas

    I was once backpacking in the city at night. I had aerosol cans lining my backpack. I tore a wall up, and as I was fleeing the scene, this monte carlo comes around the corner. Since I didnt have enough distance from my vandalism to establish reasonable doubt in the people in the car that I didnt do it, they definitely knew that I did. I began to run, and since I was on their turf, they opened fire at me. I heard one of my aerosol cans empty into my back pack after they fired at me. My aerosol cans actually saved me from a bullet! unfortunately my backpack was completely covered in paint, but atleast I can tell people a good story about the bullet hole in my backpack!

  • TOASTRANDER

    Last time I backpacked was In the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Lots of bugs, hail, lightning, and falling trees, but overall a good trip.

    Next trip I think I’d rather go to somewhere warm and bug-free… maybe California? :) But first I need my BACKPACK!

  • http://katieanello.com katie

    My father has recently accomplished hiking the 46 highest Adirondack peaks in New York and I have always wanted to become a 46er along with him. Unfortunately due to school I haven’t been able to go as much. I have 10 out of the 46 complete and I’d love to finish hiking the other 36 peaks to become a 46er like my father. I am graduating in the Spring from college so my time to get back on the horse is right around the corner, and having a nice backpack to keep my stuff in would help out so much!

  • Sage

    I went backpacking in Yoho a few years ago. It was my first time camping by myself and I hiked for five days in the area, backpacking for a few and staying a few at a nearby campsite.

    I hiked one day up the side of the mountain and walked along the mountain range. I was above the trees and the path was sparse. To my left, the mountain dropped into a valley and I could see the valley stretch behind me and before me. To my right there was a glacier that had been receding since the last ice age. It was brilliant white in the hot sun. And close… Maybe a hundred meters up the mountain. As the glacier had receded it left debris. One rock in particular was as big as a van… I imagined it as a petrified whale, beached from an ancient, imperceptibly moving tide, waiting for it to come back in.

    Thanks for reminding me of the story. Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.jasonvivona.com vivona

    my well loved, and faithful Ortleib roll down pack that has given me a supportive hug, as well as shelters my meager belongings during my travels all over the continent via bike, skateboard, van and train has finally decided to go the way of the dodo. i have been travelling for over a decade, and have no intention of stopping. New Year’s Eve is my birthday, and then i begin travelling again. ….. xo

  • http://trulyawk.tumblr.com/ Alexandra

    The summer after my senior year of high school my best friend, Savannah, and I went on a two-month backpacking excursion through Europe. It was our first time away from home, it was our first time experiencing european culture and it was our first time truly being free. We hitchhiked, trained and flew across the continent gathering memories and souvenirs along the way. It was an experience that I’ll never forget and remember always. It was a beautiful, glorious, trying time and I will be forever grateful of that experience.

  • http://ianwinship.wordpress.com Ian Winship

    As a rock climber I have been around when it comes to the “great outdoors.” I can’t say that I have done a whole lot of backpacking. Here is a short climbing story. A group of friends and I were out bouldering in the desert in New Mexico. Up over a hill we noticed a cave in the side of this rock face. We talked about how Native Americans probably stayed in the cave on cold nights. We got very excited and decided we would try to climb what seemed like a very far distance to see this cave. So, we walked over and found out that it was only about eight feet above the ground and too small to fit even one person in. Oops. This has nothing to do with backpacks but, I like it and that thing is stylish. Have a Happy Holidays and an Awesome New YEAR!

  • http://jaystern.weebly.com Jay Stern

    When I was 14 my family and I went backpacking in the Arizona mountains. We are from Ohio so this trip was a stretch and was for sure a risk on many levels seeing that none of us had ever climbed anything but a tree in our lives. We decided to climb Camelback mountain in Sedona, Arizona which is a very popular mountain to climb. We decided to take a backpacking trip to the top of the mountain and stay the night on this mountain. Well, about halfway up, my mother who was holding my hand at the time decided it would be a great idea to take a picture of me and the mountain underneath my body. She stopped holding my hand to grab her camera, while in the meantime I lost my footing and all consciousness and started to fall down the mountain I had just climbed up! As my body fell against the red rock of this famous mountain and others watched me fall down past them, I just remember seeing my mothers face filled with fear. All she wanted was a nice picture of her son on this mountain and to look back one day and for me to feel proud, and all she got was a nice trip in a helicopter to the hospital! Which I am sure wasn’t visually that awful. As I woke up at the hospital the next day and realized what had happened, I started to laugh because I had scabs all over my body, and just remember thinking “this is AWESOME!” After a few days of sleeping off the pain medicine I decided it would be a good idea to jump in the hotel pool, which stung like hell. However, it was the cure to my scabs it healed them right up in a few days and was the best medicine I could have asked for! If you decide to pick me for this contest and the bag I would use it to maybe one day go back and climb that stupid mountain and when I get to the top, I will go in the bag and get my camera and take a good picture of myself on the top of the mountain. Thanks for the time, and I love this site more than anything! Have a good holidays! PICK ME!

  • http://www.artcaveuno.tumblr.com Joshua Nissen King

    Ahoy there, from Merchants of Reality artist collective San Francisco! I am a oil painter and freelance artist, a jack of all trades. I am pleased to announce I quit my day job and am skimming by solely on my art which has been my dream for far too long. This also has given me the opportunity to jet out on my bike in search of trails. I have been planning a cross country bike tour and finally saved enough to be leaving the country for the first time!!! My family has never been in a position to schlep all us kids around and I recently graduated college and am itching to run away for a bit. I’ll be working on magazine cover design in Melbourne AUS and working with a collective in Denmark come 2012. I am super jazzed to be traveling and know it’ll just enrich my current body of work , no doubt about it.

    It’s also quite romantic to be traveling about in the year everything might end. We all secretly invite the apocalypse. We all secretly want to be survivors. It is a beautiful thing. I believe everyone should make a point of leaving the country in 2012 regardless of whether or not you feel the “big black wave” approaching.

    Anywhoo give my work a peep @ http://www.artcaveuno.tumblr.com

    Even if I don’t see a beautiful Herschel on my doorstep I’d love for folk to view/critique.

    Thank you

  • http://theurbanistablog.com Diamond D.

    I would love to go hiking at The Grand Cayon! That would be a great getaway and a great place to shoot and film.

    -D.

  • http://jellyboness.tumblr.com Cheyanne

    When I was 17 I moved to the Sierra Nevadas near Lake Tahoe, CA with my mom and I was pretty bummed cause I was so far away from the city. We decided to go hiking one morning to try and cheer me up and we planned on being home in time for lunch. However, it didn’t really work out because we ended up getting lost and we had no food and only one bottle of water. We ended up walking around for around 5 hours aimlessly and saw a bunch of dead animals and ponds and junk. Eventually we got home around sunset, it was pretty crazy. My story isn’t as cool as those people who got to go to Europe and stuff but I am poor and maybe this backpack will lead to cooler backpacking experiences some day. I finish college in a year and I am going to save up money to go backpacking in Thailand and India! :) :) :) :)

  • http://jacksonepstein.com Jackson

    I would take that backpack on my hike through the the Graveyard Hills.

  • Anish

    I went backpacking a few years ago in India, and it was by far one of the cooler things I’ve done with my life. I mean being Indian helped out a little where I could pitifully tell the “taxi” drivers where to take me and my two friends, but I know I was getting jipped since most people in India just haggle with the drivers to take them places rather than using the conventional taxi meter. And I use quotes around taxi because literally the auto rishka, as their called in india, is literally a three wheeled scooter that zooms around the city. Plus at one point during the trip this tranny just jumped on my rishka right when I boarded the thing demanding I give him money or otherwise he would curse me. This literally scared the bejesus out of me so naturally I forked over some dough, and I feel pretty confident he didn’t curse me, thank god. It wasn’t until after that experience though that I learned that transgender people in India are considered to have mystical powers and this is how they can get some more cash. Funny now, but I damn near shit my pants then. Also later on during the trip we visited this sweet temple where they had an elephant who would place its trunk on your head as a form of blessing, I guess as a representation of the god Ganesha, whatever the case it was tight. And damn don’t even get me started on the food. I mean I guess I can understand the negative stereotypes surrounding Indian food (my mom’s cooking is foul), but good lord there are all these street vendors that sell a bunch of fried indian food that is sooo damn good. I’m literally salivating as I type this. *wipes drool off keyboard*. Seriously though India was sick. Being brought up in the States I’m so spoiled but once I got their it really had me thinking of how much I take for granted. That might sound cliche or stupid, but in all honesty it’s the truth. Seeing kids holding younger kids begging for change is never a fun sight, but it’s sights like that that make you appreciate what you already have. So yea packing everything I needed into a bag was tough, tiring, and even at times irritating, but I’m glad I did it and it’s an experience I know I won’t ever forget.

    • bob

      literally you use literally too much..

      • Anish

        haha i guess i did. I didn’t even notice that i just kind typed it up without bothering to look over it again. whoops.

      • Anish

        see there i go again. i probably should look over my writings.

  • Amorette Visser

    I haven’t been to too many places but friends have told me of places.. I’d love to go backpacking in Oregon. I heard about how huge and beautiful the trees are. Mother Nature must live there because even photos of Oregon are always so astounding and I can only imagine the godly smell of the trees! It’d be great since I live in the desert, which I hate..

    Oregon just sounds like all around beautiful goodness.

  • http://kikipeeters.nl kiki

    I just got my favorite bag stolen from the train when I fell asleep for a brief moment. Luckely my keys, wallet and phone where in mij pocket. But my favorite moment with the bag would have been when we traveled to Berlin by train. It took us forever but the bag was packed with nice food and drinks wich we shared with other taverlers who became our friends after.

  • Katie

    I would grab this backpack and my boyfriend and head up to Starved Rock in Illinois to spend a couple days hiking and relaxing by the fire. I have always wanted to go there and this would be a great excuse!

  • R.asha

    I climbed up Mt. Sinai in Egypt with some friends, and some strangers (including a group of Korean nuns, and pilgrims from Brazil.) We climbed in the darkness, but we saw everything clearly, because without light pollution, the stars were all the light we needed. When the sun rose over the horizon the nuns and pilgrims separately broke out into a hymn that rolled off the mountain and into the desert. I was and am still pretty damn grateful to have been on that mountain top.

  • http://urhajos.tumblr.com David Gorzsas

    Hey! I’d love to come around the baltic countries(Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) with my backpack.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas, Jeff!:)

  • kate

    I’d go here: Dismals Canyon in NW Alabama – they have these things that glow. Not sure if they are animals or plants but they are MAGIC.

  • http://photosbyem.tumblr.com Erin

    I’ve always wanted to hike the lovely Appalachian trails of North Carolina,particularly in the fall.

  • petersellerz

    went hiking in my home country norway along the fjords. probably the best hiking experience you will ever be a part of.

  • http://GenesisCrespo.com Genesis Crespo

    ☾☾ Backpack to the moon of course! ☽☽
    Well, realistically, I’ve barely ever left the east coast so it would be somewhere in the south west. I live in New York City, and go to MICA in Baltimore. NYC is never dark, and the sky in Baltimore is orange (weird!). If I went backpacking in the southwest, I’ll go where it’s completely dark, sit by a camp fire and witness the night sky without any distraction. If I have the money I’ll like to visit Walter De Maria’s Lightening Field somewhere along my southwest trip. Yeah, that sounds perfect.

  • Paul

    Georgia!

  • Emily

    I’ve never been backpacking. I’ve always wanted to go trainhopping, so I’d backpack/trainhop all over the US!

  • Taylor

    every since i was young i always wanted to go to greenland.

  • http://midweststartingline.tumblr.com Nathan Myers

    It’s vague enough, but I’m half korean and before my mom sick she used to tell me about the splendors of her youth in Pusan, in Korea in general. I never really paid attention to these stories, I never learned the language, despite her urge for me to do so. Being twenty one now, I don’t think there’s any better time. I want to go to Korea, not necessarily because I’m obligated, but because the mountains and cities there flow through my blood, yet I’ve never seen them. I have this fear that because of this I may never know completely who I am–where I came from.

    So, I want to go to South Korea, I want to go to Pusan and see these places my mom grew up forty years ago in, I want to go to the mountains where her kin are from, I want to move my feet and I need to, I have to, I’m going to.

  • Cassie

    This is so cool! Give me one~

  • http://Andyreach.weebly.com Andy Reach

    I would go cross country with my girlfriend on our bikes with nothing but undies, granola bars, a sketchbook and maybe a harmonica. I love her and wanna get the hell out of the city with her. YAY FOR THIS AWESOME BAG!

  • http://fletcherchancey.tumblr.com fletcher

    Isla del sol, Bolivia

  • Nicole

    I would like to win

  • Jon Jon

    Pagosa Springs, CO

    Last August I worked at a Bistro and lodge in southwest Colorado. I lost my job–and thus my place to live–and decided to rough it in the woods. I packed up my gear and lived beside a creek in the San Juan Nat’l forest. I was alone save the coyotes who cried and called at nigh, and a bear I amiably named pooh who ate berries off the nearby bush and played in the creek. It was a time of being alone and utterly relying on my gear and nature. It was then and there that I realized how very natural everything is. My synthetic tent, my stove, were made from by-products that at some point came from this earth.

  • http://cassiewallace.net Cassie

    These are the greatest.

    I’ve never been backpacking, and I’ve never been out West. Anywhere! I’d love to take off through parts of Yellowstone and explore, seeing something totally new in a totally new way.

  • Nick

    Hiking the John Muir Trail through Yosemite down to Mount Whitney.

  • chris

    next spring i plan to go backpacking in Northern California, cant wait!

  • http://www.taryntrousdale.com/ taryn

    I went backpacking in Lander, Wyoming the summer I graduated from high school. We came across a 20 foot waterfall and took turns jumping into it, where the water was freezing cold. I could only handle the plunge a few times before I had to lay out on the rocks to defrost. It was the most phenomenal time and I hope I get to adventure like that again sometime.

  • http://muuvies.tumblr.com David Nguyen

    I wanna go backpacking in China!
    RAhhhhh

  • http://lilashull.com Baylor Marie

    I am going backpacking in Europe this July with 4 friends I met while I did a four month study abroad in Finland a year ago for painting and printmaking. I’ve maintained great friendships and can not wait for more adventures!

  • http://cargocollective.com/neilspencer D E L A R G E

    One time I went backpacking in the woods behind my house.

  • http://1946.brofu.com/ Kasey Brianne Williams

    I’ve never gone backpacking, but I’d love to in Japan. There’s something strangely haunting about their forests.

  • Arthur Lee

    I’ve been wanting to go to Big Sur this winter and take pictures of the fog rolling in the coast. I would love to have this pack, thanks.

  • Shea Quinlan

    I’m going to Spain and Ireland this fall and plan on hiking/backpacking a ton! :)

  • claudia

    travelled arround Asia two Years ago lived in Vietnam for 6 Month!
    back to Switzerland was to small went away again…… know I live in Paris! great City!
    Im a big Fan from Cycling gonna cycle from Paris to London next Year April would be great to do that with my new bag:))

  • http://ryan-louis.com Ryan

    My boyfriend is going abroad for 5 months starting in May 2012 to work on various farms throughout the UK as well as nomadic sheep herding in Austria to gain experience for the farm we’re going to hopefully own sometime in the near future. This backpack would be perfect for him (or for me when we meet up halfway when I join him on his trip!)

  • kevin mummery

    If I won I’d probably hike the Koolau Range (since I live in Honolulu), then try some other hikes on Oahu. You wouldn’t have to ship the backpack to me either..I just work a few blocks from Fresh Cafe, so I could walk over and pick it up!

  • http://www.dylanderose.com Dylan

    Something I’ve always daydreamed about is the fanstasy of my little brother and I getting lost in the woods and becoming hardcore survivalists. Well this summer we decided to hike out to a little plot of land 20 miles from our house with only one can of beans, a knife, water, and our sleeping supplies. We ended up eating the beans right when we arrived and forgot to collect wood for a fire. So with nothing to do in pitch black and not knowing what time it is (since, we purposefully left out clocks at home) we decide to go to bed. But I thought there were too many spiders on the ground because I saw them when it was light out. So I had to hop in brothers hammock. In the hammock we had to scissor for balance and talked for a while. That is until we heard animal outside our brotherly cocoon sniffing the can of beans. Scared out of our mind we decide to book it out of the woods on the count of three.
    When three came we ran as fast as we can until we found an IHOP parking lot. Which is where we slept for the remainder of the night. When coming home the next day we made a pact the never speak of this again to anyone close to us.

  • http://smaomao.deviantart smaomao

    japan![=

  • http://Www.sergiybarchuk.com Sergiy

    I went backpacking in India a few years ago. It was great fun, my friend and I stayed in the mountains up north, a little town called McLeod Ganj, the place where the Dalai Lama has his residence in exile. After a few days of being in the country I had the misfortune of eating a dirty mango. My stomach did not take that well. We were boarding a bus to get back to Delhi but earlier that day everything that I had been eating started making it’s way back…very rapidly. I had to be near a bathroom constantly as every five minutes I was in a dire need to use one.
    However, the tickets were already purchased and we had to embark on a six hour, very very bumpy ride in the mountains. There were no bathrooms on the bus…or anywhere along the route…not that the driver would be stoping for me every minute or so.
    While everyone was on the bus waiting to depart, my backpack was already loaded, I was in a nearby grocery store unloading and freaking out about a trip that I had to take, walking was too much movement for me and I was not sure how I could last all the way to Delhi.
    Not sure how it all worked out but we got to Delhi that night, I didn’t shit my pants (although I used up almost a whole roll or precious toilet paper to make a makeshift diaper) and ended up having a great month in the country, with some similar stories throughout my trip.

  • Sam Landsberg

    I went on a backpacking trip this past summer, right before my first semester of college started. It was a program that was sponsored by the college. I went out onto the Superior Hiking Trail (around Lake Superior) about a mile from the Canadian border in Minnesota with five complete strangers. We carried all our food on our backs and were out on the trail for five days. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, being completely dependent on people I had just met and connecting in a very basic way with the state that is now becoming my home. It’s a beautiful place. One night, we were in the tent and we all started singing the remix to Ignition by R.Kelly and we sang the entire song together. That was the moment when it all clicked. The people on that trip have become some of my best friends at school and I absolutely love them. We emerged out of the forrest completely changed people and jumped into Lake Superior which was unbelievably cold.

  • Lucia

    I’ve never been hard-core backpacking, but I did some light hiking in the Grand Canyon during winter with my family. The sights were breathtaking. There was so much snow and the hike turned into a snowball fight. This was my first time seeing snow, so it was incredibly memorable. Merry Christmas!

  • Emily

    The last time I -seriously- went backpacking, I was in the southwest with my dad and I was eight years old. I had lyme disease and had to wear zinc oxide all over my face as I hiked. All in all it was a sad experience and I have been somewhat turned off to the idea up until recently. When I finish design school I want to plan another backpacking trip across the country, one in which I am not sick/looking rather ridiculous. What better way to look even LESS ridiculous than having a beautiful piece of design to wear on my back!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Andrew

    I’d love to go backpacking in Machu Picchu.

  • ERIC

    One time a few friends and I biked the Kettle Valley Railway: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3467/3891738517_690c82664d_o.jpg

    I took this picture on the last day of our three day ride and at this point we are just about to enter Naramata. The lake in the photo is Okanagan Lake. Where the lake ends off in the distance is Penticton, our destination. This is the first view we got of Penticton and throughout the day we would occasionally get glimpses of it as we moved closer and closer.

    Throughout the three days we experienced two flat tires, a gang of chipmunks(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2643/3888579221_9edcf4827e_b.jpg), almost running out of water in a desert, saving an old dog from being stuck in the mud (http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3527/3902470603_c5b3ba3aba_o.jpg), swimming in a high elevation lake during an electric storm, three discrete climactic regions over three days, and some of the most impressive geography I have seen in my entire life (http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2645/3889371804_781c8128d4_o.jpg)

  • http://guyflagg.com Guy Flagg

    I was backpacking through the national forests all through Arizona for a while. I stopped near Canyon De Chelly in Navajo land on my way to the Hopi Reservation and we started talking about skin walkers (Native american spirits that can manifest any animal) and i totally scared the crap outta myself. Made a fire and cooked some snacks. I was sleeping in a clark jungle hammock so i had to find 2 small juniper trees which was kinda hard in the middle of the desert. So after i made some snacks and was gettin ready for bed, 2 dogs from the reservation were sneakin around and scaring me, one totally looked possessed and i was scaring myself so bad thinkin about skin walkers. So i went to bed, and left my bag clipped, tied and secured closed when i went to bed. I heard some noise at night slung my hammock open to catch some kinda creature running away from where i was, and again scared the shit outta myself thinkin about skin walkers again. A few hours later i was woken up by some animal smelling my butt hangin down in the sleeping bag. I was hung up pretty high so i got freaked out again because it was too tall for a dog to sniff my butt. I woke up in the morning my back pack was unclipped, untied open, and 10 feet away, the food was gone, but the messed up thing was that my sketch book and tied art supply kit was gone and i found it under a tree and open with a pencil out. I never saw the dogs again, so i think they were spirits, and i packed up and made my way to Second Mesa Hopi reservation. NO JOKE! I love back packing!! PLEASE GIVE ME THIS BAAAAAGGGGG.

  • Eleanor

    It’s Christmas day and I just went on a long all day hike with my mother and grandfather through the Sandia mountains in New Mexico. Best way to spend a holiday, ever.

  • http://Work.jsoat.us John Soat

    Backpacking in Vietnam from Saigon to Hanoi. Absolutely breathtaking country.

  • http://mid-atlanticridge.tumblr.com Anjali Alm-Basu

    I’ve never been backpacking, but my mother trekked across Nepal when she was in her twenties. She had bought hiking boots for the trip but they were so new that they gave her blisters. The first day there she bought a pair of rubber flip-flops and proceeded to climb mountains in them. I would love to follow in her footsteps, given the chance (though probably in more suitable footwear).

  • MEI FONG

    OMG, I WANT IT!!! It’ll be my perfect Christmas gift this year!!
    I love hiking, especially with my uncle and cousins when I visited Switzerland last summer.
    It was between 1000-2000m high up in the mountains- GORGEOUS scenery in every direction/angle you turn, it’s really THE utopia…all those snow mountains & the alps were close by too! What made it memorable is that my uncle doesn’t like taking the roads provided for hikers…we rolled/walked down those mountains through the most scary and dangerous paths..right by the cliff sides!! Not to mention there were no fences too! It started raining right when we walked down the mountain that day..I must admit, it’s one of the most scary/dangerous things I’ve ever did & I loved every minute of it!! I hope I can visit that place again soontime and be in that utopia again..maybe this time we’ll stick to some “path”.
    I need to find some places to go hiking around where I am (Canada), but man! I’ve been dying to get one of these bags!!!!

  • Chris Fortney

    I dream of backpacking from the East Coast (MD/PA) to Colorado. I’ve never been west of Maryland, and the dreams of vast night skies and yawning mountain ranges beckons me westward. I know that I’m an idealist, but I’d like to see myself backpacking it from here to there, so that I won’t miss any of the fine details in between.

  • Stephanie

    I haven’t done any backpacking…yet. My friend Meda & I are planning a trip for the summer before we turn 40 (birthdays are in the fall & winter). I have done some canoeing with a group of people in Wisconsin when I lived there. It was an overnight trip down the Wisconsin River & with the exception of feeling like a misfit with this group I had a really good time.

  • http://jboedecker.ruhosting.nl jasja

    Once I’ve been hiking through the Green Mountains with some of my mates from the states an i taught them that german christmas song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEQ-h7Glbk , that was the most hilarious hiking trip ever!

  • Casey

    I go camping tons, but never backpacking. Hopefully I’ll get to give it a try sometime and when I do, I’d love to go to Banff!

  • http://pressedbloom.tumblr.com Tyler Rizzo

    I’ve never gone backpacking before, but I’d love to more than anything. I’ve never been able to get enough time off of work, but if and when I do, backpacking through Scandinavia would be a dream. I’ve seen so many images of the Norwegian countryside and to WWOOF my way through there, Denmark, and Sweden. Greece would also be incredible :] This backpack would be perfect in carrying all the things I love and need on a trip like that, and might get me a step closer to seeing the less industrialized and overdeveloped parts of the world [I live in San Diego and have the hardest time finding anywhere far from a freeway or a suburb].

  • H.Q. Brannon

    I haven’t been backpacking, yet. I can think of no better reason to go then to have one of these fine backpacks and hike the many scenic areas of the Great Northwest! Thanks!

  • Charley

    I will be traveling from Shanghai to Berlin by train this spring, most of it along the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Siberian railway. It’s kind of a post-Communist tour 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Shanghai–Beijing–Ulaanbaatar–Irkukst–Yekaterinburg–Moscow–Saint Petersburg–Berlin

  • James Hazard

    I was a leader of an outdoors program at my college. On my first trip I lead 10 young women along the A-T for several nights. We were on a steep sections of trail and needed to move quickly to make sure we caught the bus awaiting our arrival on the last day to pick us up and bring us back to the college. One day, after our lunch break, we were walking on the trail and heard a rustling noise–it was like leafs blowing in the wind but louder and more distinct. As it got more audible we could see a mass of black objects moving on the ground ahead of us on the trail. The young women I was leading began to get scared and started freaking out. I tried to calm them down and told them we would be safer if we were quiet. I approached first, slowly and trying to hide my own fear. Finally it became clear that we had stumbled upon a heard of about 100 baby piglets wandering the New England woods! They were all about the size of very plump cats, but hairier and more noisy. Their snouts all raised at the sight of us and they wobbled away like penguins across the trail in front of our feet. We just stared in amazement and tried not to anger them. (Though they were small, 100 of them was still fairly intimidating.) In time, they passed and we finished our trip safely. My most bizarre camping story!

  • http://marydyja.blogspot.com/ Mary

    I would like to go with that backpack to visit my parents in Belarus, summer 2012. That been two years since I moved to Canada and never yet got a chance to visit my home place. What a joy it will be to my parents to see me with such a beautiful backpack :D

  • lee

    i love this backpack! i just moved to nyc to start graduate school and the amount of stuff i need to lug has become over whelming this back would be perfect to make my way through the crazy city.

  • http://the-outside-girls.tumblr.com/ gillian

    how to almost vaporize yourself and crash a motorbike in 30 seconds without even trying

    my boob and armpit are a lovely shade of plum, dashed with a glob of green envy. the title says it all. i crashed our motorbike, and i didn’t even want to. this act was in no way premeditated for your sympathy. throw out your kleenex and raise up your sandpaper (and not the fine grade). this is kon tum, vietnam.

    our intention for the day was to rent a motorbike, go and see all the “authentic” and “unspoilt” villages of vietnam and return to a meal of vegetarian pho and a saigon or three. ellen and i arose from our slumber at 7pm, only to find all of the hostel’s bikes had been rented. grumbling followed on our end. our hostel’s manager, quick to rectify the situation (as i had recently complemented her on her recent pedicure) yelled into a phone for about 20 seconds. five minutes later a man appeared with a bike. presenting us with the keys and two helmets, he made eye contact only to say “5pm.” we correctly assumed that this was the hour that the motorbike was to return to it’s owner.

    ellen had trained on motorbike under the tutelage of yoven, a friend we made in da lat. she was to drive us to the villages, where it would be safer for me to experiment on the petrol-fueled vehicle. for those of you who don’t know me…i don’t have a driver’s license. i ride bikes.

    our first stop was actually a pastel colored church with the usual ave maria hanging around. a little nervous, i agreed to take the motorbike around the parking lot in a complete circle. success was mine and i was feeling pretty good. i was still a little jerky on the gas, but it was a clean circle and nothing was damaged.

    after passing through four villages, ellen climbed down from the bike and asked if i was ready. since the parking lot pre-run had gone so swimmingly, i figured, what the hay…there were no people or livestock on the road, so they only thing i could hurt was myself.

    lunging forward, things proceeded to go quite nicely. stopping a comfortable distance from ellen, i tried to turn the bike around. a temporary dose of la-la-land made me forget that this was not a bicycle and gripping the handle bar, aka the GAS in a certain manner would make the bike move forward. halfway through the turn i crashed through larger-than-gillian branches and plummeted down a small slope into someone’s field. i officially maiming my sandals and a toe. all my other pieces were in check, although some sore and discolored. the familiar “i’m okay, i’m okay,” hung in the air as several villagers, whom i presume owned the field rushed over to help.

    i had beat the reaper once more! however, my smile quickly faded once ellen pointed out the keys were no longer in the ignition. minus shoes; myself, ellen and the villagers frantically tossed foliage and the damaged branches aside looking for the keys. i was in a bit of a panic. we were very far from our hostel and well, we were very far from our hostel. and i had no shoes.

    one of the villagers dashed off to their abode, only to return with a key in hand. it fit into the ignition…and it fit into the hole to access the gas…pure luck. we thank youed and kam oned our way back onto the bike; with ellen in the front and continued on our way.

    shaken by the incident, we stopped for some sugar cane juice and i stuffed my bra with ice. one foreigner with yellow hair and one without shoes attracted a lot of unwanted attention. failing to explain ourselves, we hopped back on our steed to explore further.

    the highlight of the day had to be discovering a school house, under which children, apparently on their lunch break were milling about. already turning a healthy rock lobster red, we snuck under the school for shelter. the curious little ones shrieked in excitement and i quickly shifted into english teacher mode and did my normal routine with the kids. we sang, we danced, we piled upon one another, that is until their teacher returned, looking a bit confused. i still wasn’t wearing shoes. we quickly made our exit and returned to the road.

    riding along the waterfront, ellen let me man the bike once more. i did a clean line forwards and backwards, and that was enough for me…for now. my mother would be happy to know that the whole time i was wearing my helmet, which was appropriately decorated with a decal on the back that said, “enjoy your life.” even with a purple boob, i definitely am doing just that.

  • Rareform

    I’ve never really done any legit backpacking. I’ve always dreamed of backpacking around Iceland or Nepal. The landscapes of both regions are just beautifully secluded. I’ve always been a person who enjoys spending time by myself, or 1 or 2 other people. Besides the millions of photo-ops, I feel like Nepal and/or Iceland would be the ultimate place for me to backpack, and have a life changing experience!

  • Emily

    Paddle, walk, train, bus
    The necessity to move
    Learning languages

    Discover new lands
    My whole life inside my pack
    The world’s my oyster

    I have never been backpacking, but after my undergrad I have a plan. Last year my family and I traveled to Panama City where we met three amazing individuals. They had journeyed from New York, through Mexico and Central America, and were heading to Colombia next. They planned to continue down through South America. My dream is to follow a similar path, but to start in the Canadian North!

  • Maggie

    The most fun I have ever had was backpacking around South America. I ended up in Ecuador for New Years, in this tiny beach town called Montanita. By day it was a sleepy little surf town. Perfect sandy beaches, beautiful waves, awesome day activities liek ziplining through the mountains, but at night this place was the definition of the den of inequity.
    New years was amazing. Fireworks on the beach, people passed out by 12:03. Incredible.
    Too bad I lost the camera I had with most my pictures from that night on it.
    I’ll never forget it though. Nor will I ever forget the friends I made while I was there.

  • http://www.nicoladefina.blogspot.com Nicola

    I would love to back pack into a jungle, so I can draw the crap out of all the wild life and flowers that grow within the amazon. The question is, If I encounter an amazon tribe will I have enough gifts/chocolate bars/nic nacs packed in it to offer them before they kill me???

  • Mischelle

    I’ve never gone backpacking but I can imagine myself with everything I need trekking across the land of Iceland. It sounds typical because everyone wants to go there but it really is a beautiful country. My high school sophomore earth science teacher got me interested in it ever since he came back from Iceland himself and told us his stories. Then Urban Outfitters’ recent catalog got me a lot more interested. I was imagining me carrying my whole closet with me snapping photos of every abstract scene I saw composed by ice and steam and the sky. The trip would conclude in a nice hot springs treatment. With this bag or not, I will go to Iceland and do these exact things.

  • http://UT Horace, Jr.

    There once was a great mountain man named Horace. Horace lived off the land and never took more from Mother Earth than he needed for the the time being. Horace thrived for years (106 to be exact). One Fall day Horace ventured out on his weekly 4 hour hike to his favorite peak to pay his respects to Mother Earth. Horace always packed light so he could travel quickly and this day a swift cold front brought a surprise blizzard. Horace was stranded for days with no food. Horace managed to live off melted ice for 4 days before passing away.

    Even a mountain man could use a Herschel Little America pack.

  • Dylan

    My father took me back to the mountains/hills in Sudbury that he used to climb with his brothers back when he was a kid. Back when he would wake up, eat, go climbing,and be home for dinner. No phones, no safety gear at all, just him and his brothers.

    He took me and my brother there and we visited spots he still remembered. Just a backpack full of odds and ends and a lunch for the three of us to enjoy on the rocky hillside.

    It was nice.

  • Jonathan

    PEREIRA, COLOMBIA! That backpack would be perfect for a miniexcursion with my grandfather back in my home country. I never get to see him, but if I told him I would want to go backpacking with a sweet mountain bag such as this, he would probably go cray lol I miss him, and bonding with someone is always something I look forward to. This backpack would be of much use if I got hooked up. I would love this backpackkkkkk!!

  • Gabriel T. Martini Alves

    1998. Streets of Amsterdam. I was supposed to stay at a hotel for 4 nights then head to Paris. Lived out of my backpack and dwelled on peoples couches for ten moons instead. Loved every minute of it. I’m especially thankful for my trusty backpack… she is no longer with us, may her soul rest in peace. We were inseparable; things have never been the same. That backpack even got me laid once (I’ll leave that story or another time)! BOOOOOOOM, help me get over my loss?

  • http://www.jamiecampbellphotography.com jamie campbell

    Last summer I bought a Tilley Hat, anticipating backpacking, but I couldn’t afford a backpack after purchasing such an extravagant hat. This would fill a much needed void.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffjkim/ Geoff

    i’d love to ride through wyoming again but not before i get to alaska. it’s pretty up there when you’re picking wild blueberries and eating salmon caught off from the river.

  • http://wewerepromisedmore.tumblr.com/ Paul

    Never been but would love to. Just moved to Virginia and am about an hour away from the Blue Ridge Mountains. They have about 500 miles of trails to hike and camp along. This bag would get some good use and I’d totally send a postcard.

  • http://dylanengland.carbonmade.com dippy

    When I was 14 my friend Tim took me hiking in the Adirondacks. It was October and there was a foot and a half of snow for our hike. I tried not to complain because no one else was, and when we reached the top of the mountain his Dad boiled some awful hot dogs for lunch. That was the best meal of my life.

  • David

    I met my first girlfriend about 2 month ago, so far these past weeks have been incredible, all the adventures we’ve been on and the many more that we’ll have with this mountain bag. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

  • http://shouldercat.blogspot.com Shoulder Cat

    Last August I had some solo hitch hiking adventures in South Eastern BC. I took photos of all my rides and wrote a little about the sketch bags that picked me up. Read about in this blog post:

    http://shouldercat.blogspot.com/2011/11/hitch-hiking-adventures.html

  • marie

    I want to go backpacking on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on Vancouver Island. Yay!

  • B. Feral

    Last summer, riding freight trains and hitchhiking the U.S. from coast to coast, carrying not much more than a sleeping bag and a pocket knife stuffed into an old jansport backpack. Feeling the wind whipping against my face while rolling through a picturesque forest that most people will never get to see. Watching the sun rise in the Appalachians as a heavy mountain mist dissolved. The meditative feeling that is a mixture of both helplessness and the freedom that is experienced when riding an iron giant on an unknown route to an unknown destination. Running the gamut of emotions where euphoria, fear, despair, and hope are all experienced within a single day . Spending nights sleeping in an empty storage unit, on a downtown rooftop, or cuddled up under a canopy of trees with some new friends who share a similar outlook on life. Hitching a ride with the most unexpected of people, weather it be from a kind hearted ex-convict or a young family taking the kids on a road trip. Meeting incredible new people that you know will be a part of your life forever. The adventure that affirmed the following: the world is full of amazing people, and certain things are best left to chance.

  • doumpe

    I’d love this..greece

  • Michelle

    would love to backpack around in japan!

  • http://mitztakahashi.com/ mitz takahashi

    I had to go to USA border from Canada for Immigration process. I had to step outside of Canada and come back into for “landing” process when I received Permanent Residency status for Canada.
    So I went to the border. With my really crappy backpack filled with all the important documents for immigration. Found a guy through craigslist. He seemed like a really nice guy. looked kinda like a Family Guy character. I paid him but oh well..it was cheaper than renting a car.

    drove like Alanis Morissette “ironic” music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v9yUVgrmPY

    got there in 50 minutes. went into us border. i had a home made bomb so i threw that away right before going in. also shaved my unabomber beard.

    border guards are surprisingly nice when I kept saying “yes! we can!” to all the questions they asked.

    thanx god. obama made everything happier. I entered into the land of freedom. just went into the office and waited for my proof document of “i went to america and got outside of Canada”

    Good thing I watched 1988 Classic film, “Coming to America” featuring Eddie Murphy(Criterion Collection) night before, I did know exactly what to do in America. I stayed calm and never screamed like Tyra Banks on ANTM season 6, 8, 11 or Wild out of control teens on Maury Show.

    They took my finger prints and picture of my face. I made it sure it was “easy breezy beautiful cover girl.”

    after 20 minutes or so, went back into the land of freedom except guns.

    on canada side, i went into immigration office there. handed all my documents that had soy sauce stains all over just to show my roots.

    their vending machine sold frozen pizza and pasta. gordon ramsey would yell, “fxxking bullock” and he would start a grunge band from anger.

    the officer was nice. he had nice bi-ceps and tri-ceps but no cheekbones like mine. got my documents back and now i had to go to the other officer for something else. this one had no definition or toned muscles. i sat with him like we were in sauna pretending after fake work-out. i would make a good friend with him.

    he handed me back and said, “Welcome to Canada” that moment, I was so happy I almost made out with him. he explained my rights etc. and asked me if i had any question, I asked ” Yes! Weekend?”
    got a song in my head from that moment to the rest of the drive home.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2W4-0qUdHY&feature=related

    we are the world

  • Sean

    Living in upstate New York, I’ve been able to go on some fantastic hikes in the Adirondacks that I am so partial to… Yet unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go backpacking and stay in the mountains for more than a day or two. I would love to do that this coming summer! A quality backpack would be more than appreciated!

  • http://ejsullivan.net Emily

    Im lucky enough to spend my summers living and working in denali national park, Alaska (and winters abroad or in Virginia!).. The park is one of the largest expanses of trail-less designated wilderness in the US. Of course I’ve had tons of great backpacking trips by taking off into the mountains in Denali with little plans and a good map, but the most memorable trip to date is the one in which 3 grizzly bears decided our campsite was an interesting addition to the mountainside, and approached us slowly but surely while eating berries on the way. We had literally JUST finished setting up our 3 man tent, bear canisters, etc… And we had to pack it all up and move. But we had a great (albeit a little scary) time watching the bears through field glasses from a safe distance.

  • Briel

    An accidental trip while on a rafting trip in Mexico. All the rafts but one got destroyed in some unexpected low white water, we had to hoof it out, it took about a week and we got lost twice. Some good times. :)

  • http://kparkerdesign.wordpress.com/ Kaitlyn

    The words every ultimate backpacking/adventure enthusiast loves to hear on an 8-hour trek in the middle of the Austrian Alps – “this is a ‘no-fall’ zone”.

    As part of a 6-week backpacking escapade throughout Europe a friend and myself joined a professional Austrian world-pilgrim whom I’d met earlier that year in Northern Sweden (hah – the people you meet in the strangest of places). Arriving in Bad Aussee, the mighty Alps awaited us. Our grand venture brought us through endless green meadows, along harrowing cliffs, and within winding river beds and canyons – 8 hours later, we reached our little haven – an abandoned shepherds shack; never a more welcoming sight to the weary traveler. The discomforts and rewards of this journey were vast – we experienced sun, rain, and finally, a substantial amount of unexpected snow.

    But alas, my favorite moment remains in my opening sentence. I’ll never forget how my little Austrian friend often joked along the way about ‘fall-zones,’ often stating cheerfully, ‘well if we fall here, the worst result is a bit of a return hike up’…thus our most certain dread when he turned back that instance, stern faced yet almost morbidly jocular – “girls, this is a ‘no-fall’ zone”.

    From KP – cheers to an incurable case of wanderlust.

  • Ted C

    Possibly a strange desire, but I’ve always wanted to backpack between small towns in Iowa. It might even be considered anti-backpacking, but there’s something about the complete lack of scenery that makes me think that it might be something worthwhile to do.

  • emily

    I’ve backpacked before but nowhere too exciting. I’ve always wanted to go up the Apalachicola east&west forest trails, they’re beautiful.

  • michelle mateo

    I’d hop trains, like the Midnight Ghost in Dharma Bums, around the coast of California and hike mountains.

    If I had a chance to go to the Philippines again, I’d backpack up and around Bagio to see how much it has changed, but I’d go during the summer, when it is raining, because it’s gorgeous then.

  • http://kifkidailan.blogspot.com Dailan

    Oh, I noticed now that the giveaway is limited to North American residents due to shipping costs, but I can cover them if I win! :D

  • http://laflammeauvent.wordpress.com Julien

    I would go from Montreal to Fairbanks (AL) to see where Chris McCandless died. Also, maybe go down the west coast to see California in the summer. Hitchicking. My god. Hitchicking. F*ck yeah.

  • juan luis

    i was backpacking around catalunya. on my bag the only thing i had, hundres and hundreds ballooms and my clown dress. Maybe it wasn’t a very long (in distance) trip, but that 3 weeks making ballooms figures for kids on the streets of diferents citys were unforgetable!!

  • http://ihavetoappealtoeverybody.tumblr.com Jesse Wilcox

    I was hiking in kananaskis, in Alberta, and we were crossing this river, over a log and I my foot got caught on a twig that was pointing up, and I tripped and fell in the water.

  • http://www.alessiabellisario.com Alessia

    I’d love to go backpacking through Norway…

  • Hanniel Shariat

    I’ve always dreamed of backpacking through New Zealand. The landscape looks so beautiful and untouched. Sometimes when, I’m stressed out or going through a hard time, I close my eyes and imagine myself on top of a green hill, breathing the fresh air.
    It works, try it!

  • Lauren Kuester

    Once when I was seventeen, I went on a trip to Costa Rica with some school-mates for nine days. We traveled all across the country and discovered the crudeness the natives felt about america and it’s citizens through the leadership of Bush at the time. One day we went backpacking through the rainforest where we were supposed to horse-back ride for some of the day and zip-line for the latter part. In between, we hiked on foot and the tour guide who was with us for the day pointed out the costa rican army ants, which are the worst of army ants because they travel in a pact that subsequently turn into one big fierce creature with a terrible bite worse than fire ants. We were instructed to tie all openings of our clothing to prevent those suckers from seeping into our clothing and terrifying our bodies while deep in the rainforest. I was scared shitless the entire time we traveled near these beasts. Of course with this terror in my mind and surroundings, I was bit by one and cried for at least an hour. Yet, that time passed and we spent the rest of our day traveling on horse’s back in the muddy forest after and long rainfall and zip-lining through the trees. I cannot say it was the best day, but it was full of memorable experiences.

  • Amanda

    I’ve never really been backpacking but the closest though would be probably on family visits to the Philippines where we would be hiking in the mountains to get to some relative’s houses. I would love to go backpacking around Europe as I have never been.

  • http://facebook.com/ddkkpp David

    First time hiking with my then girlfriend, now wife was crazy.

    we went up the “wrong” side of the mountain – following what seemed in places like a wildlife trail… It was supposedly a hard hike, but I never expected it to be as hard as it was. Especially with packs loaded for overnight.

    We finally reached the overnight hut with a tiny bit of daylight left. We had been hiking more than 12 hours straight, but we made it. the whole time I kept a confident face on, but had absolutely no idea when we’d reach the overnight spot, and was not prepared to just camp in the wild.

    My wife thought it was all a grand adventure with everything under control! Boy if she knew!!

    (she knows now…) heh – taught me to underestimate hiking in Japan!

  • Ashley Tollefson

    I recently backpacked my way through Ireland and Scotland. The trip was amazing, however, supbar equipment did put a damper on it at times. Specifically, my bag was an old army surplus bag held together by safety pins and compression straps. This lead to several fiascos, including but not limited to- a rain damaged journal, the bag getting stuck in baggage equipment at the airport, and a skirmish breaking out between me and the French man sleeping in the hostel bunk below me. The fight happened when a croissant I was saving for later slipped through a hole in my bag and down onto the Frenchman, hitting him square on the head and spraying flakey bits of day old bread all over him and his sleeping bag. He woke me up irrate, cursing in french and yelling “le pain le pain”. Who knows how smoothly my adventures could go (or how many international friends I could not lose) with functional equipment!

  • http://www.seanminogue.com/ Sean M.

    I’d love to get one of these bags!

    I’m not at all a typical backpacker — much more Woody Allen than Magellan — but when I discovered my great-grandparents hooked up when they were missionaries in Ecuador in the 1920s, I decided to dig up the family roots on a whirlwind backpacking trip that took me from snorkelling with stingrays in the Galapagos to digging through musty, centuries-old cathedral basements to hiking at high altitudes with pokerfaced llamas.

    The adventure peaked, I think, when I was dumped off a bus three hours south of Quito and got awkwardly strong-armed into a pickup truck for an hour-long bumpy ascent into volcano and condor country.

    The trip gave me a tangible way to align my ancestors’ diaries with my modern, oddball life. Hoping a sweet new backpack would encourage me to get back out there for another trip!

  • Willy Chong

    Well, I would like to come by the woods of northern america for a stay, so I could atleast participate to this contest, because I think that backpack is gorgeous. Had my eye on a navy one back a while.

    Good luck all you lucky americans! :)

  • Maggie McGrath

    I would love to backpack through Europe, and enjoy the various cultures and terrains that its diverse landscape offer. The only opportunity I have had to backpack was through Tennessee in the middle of a storm. It was a learning experience, and gave me a true appreciation for nature and its power.

  • kim

    i would like to go backpacking in germany, australia and new zealand! due to lack of funds, i’ve never been able to go on trips like that… but it sure is nice to dream. and with a lovely backpack like this, i feel like i could have many adventures in my future!

  • Gabrielle D.

    Backpacking through South America would be great!

  • brittany

    i would like this for when i move to washington state in a couple of months. there is a lot more areas out there to backpack than here in wisconsin.

  • Jeremy

    went backpacking in ecuador once. we wanted to go white water rafting so we took this long bumpy lump bus ride into the jungle. leaves and branches were attacking the bus all over. the windows were down so branches would just whip in and out and smack us. the path stopped and they let us out and we trekked behind our guide. and he eventually led us tthrough this huge mud field in the middle of the amazon. when you stepped in it your feet would just sink into it and your leg would get swallowed up. it was almost like quiksand but you couldnt die. i loved it so much that i just twisted myself in one spot til i made like a little pit and then i buried myself in all the mud. it was so gooooood

  • Orlando Arroyo

    I would love to go with the backpack to Italy :)

  • January

    I would love to go backpacking through South America-Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and earn food and board through teaching English. OOoh then return to the states and save up enough money to then go backpacking through Southeast Asia, Thailand, Laos, Mayalsia, Viet Nam. That backpack will be chock full of patches from the different countries, can’t wait!

  • http://scumstachemilitia.blogspot.com loon

    id take it on my motorcycle tour after i graduate and after my trip to china seeing the country side where my parents grew up. seeing my roots. seeing what my parents left behind to give us our start in america.

  • http://stephenaman.com stephen

    I’ve never been backpacking but I’ve had a fantasy for years of hiking through the redwood forests of Oregon. Northwest is where I’d go.

  • http://byjonmartin.tumblr.com Jon Martin

    After traveling through Scotland, England, Spain, and France, my friend and I were happily trekking through Italy. The two of us, both young artists happily photographing our little hearts out, were wandering through a small town outside of Venice.

    As we turned a street corner, we were met by an elderly woman – a beggar. She was holding out her hand and demanding that we give her money. “For your foto!” she would say over and over again. I was very confused as my friend rushed me away from her, explaining to her that he had no idea what she was talking about.

    He later explained to me that he had photographed the woman while she was sitting on the street much earlier in the day and was surprised that she had followed us so far.

    Only two days later, we both began having nightmares involving the woman. In one of my dreams, I opened the fridge to find her there yelling at me, “For your foto!” amidst Kraft singles and expired milk. These dreams ensued for weeks, both of us. Almost nightly.

    I’m convinced to this day that the gypsy woman cursed us for what my friend did. I will never photograph a beggar without paying. Ever.

    The rest of the trip was totally fun, though! Gypsy magic aside …

    If I win the bag, I’ll do an amazing impression of the woman for you and post it online …

    JM

  • sd

    id totally go to vancouver.

  • http://www.louisechen.com Louise

    I’ve only gone backpacking once; in the western sierras. I just remember waking up to wolves howling every morning and it makes me want to be there all the time!

  • Janice

    I literally just got back to San Francisco from Big Sur. My friend and I hitchhiked down on the 21st in the quest of a non capitalist Christmas. We hitched to Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel and slept in an arboretum, at a protest campground, and near a traffic medium. Then on Christmas eve we ended up in Big Sur near the beautiful blue ocean and saw the Henry Miller Library. The sun was setting and we slept on a cliff and watched the fiery pink sunset and watched hummingbirds that sounded like wild pigs. On Christmas we hitched further down the California coast, walked all along the cliffs watching the curvature of the earth in the ocean, and ended up searching for jade rocks at a cove with some old hippies. Best non-materialistic holiday ever.

  • Rapolas

    Been backpacking in Germany with my friend. An elderly couple caught us up in the highway, took for ~500 km and we ended up in drinking wine in their garden with nice view of vineyard in Schwarzwald.

  • Sandy

    I was tired and careless, hitchhiking home from a backpacking trip in interior BC when I forgot my full-with-everything pack in the back of some hippie strangers van. Wallet, journal/sketchbook, camera, clothes and more – all gone : (
    Sometime a few months later the bag was anonymously returned to my porch, with the cash still in my wallet and goods intact, plus a big smiley-face badge pinned to the front!
    Planning to travel lots this spring and summer, will promise to take good care of the Herschel…

  • Hunter

    I grew up hearing my father tell stories of his years motorcycling and backpacking through Europe in his heyday. Whether it was getting run off the road in Bitburg by a hunchback Canadian or witnessing a revolution in Greece, he has always had had a story about his times in Europe to entertain his friends and family. After graduating from high school, my father’s present to me was a 60-liter backpack and a plane ticket to Europe. His intentions, obviously, were for me to enjoy similarly unforgettable times abroad as he had 35 years prior.

    When he gave me the backpack and the plane ticket, I immediately started planning meticulously for my adventure ahead. This planning resulted in a day-by-day agenda that included all of the sights possible for a 27-day trip, spanning 5 countries and hundreds of miles. I felt that I had planned a trip that Rick Steves himself would be jealous of. This planning, however, left little room for “error” as a traveler. High pressure for an 18 year-old traveler trying to have the time of his life, right?

    A week into my trip, I had taken my backpack through the pristine hillsides of Tuscany, along the canals of Venice, and the… rainy streets of Munich. I kept to my travel plans, but was not enjoying those “unforgettable times” that my father so colorfully reflected upon throughout my childhood. Frustrated and exhausted, I went for a beer in Munich. It turned out that Germany was playing in a big soccer match that evening, so I ended up meeting several friendly Germans over a few beers at a public viewing event (catered by the Hofbrausaus, no less). In a conversation with an especially intoxicated Bavarian, I elaborated on my plans for the rest of my time in Europe. His slurred response was simply, “It sounds like you’re too organized to have any fun.”

    At that point, I realized the reason that I wasn’t accumulating those “great stories”. I was using my backpack as a suitcase—a device for structured travel—rather than using it for its intended purpose, which is spontaneous, unencumbered adventure. The backpack is meant to be able to go anywhere its owner wants, on a whim. I was too busy seeing everything that I had read in the travel guides to really enjoy traveling on my own. This encounter with a drunken German allowed for me to realize that traveling was as much about learning about myself as it was seeing the world around me, and that my backpack (and my willingness to use it) was the only thing that would allow me to do that.

    After changing my philosophical outlook on the bag strapped around my shoulders, I tackled the rest of my trip with a vestige of my previous priority of planning, and a new willingness to take the adventurous, unplanned path as I came upon it. Much thanks to this new outlook, my final weeks in Europe churned out some of the best memories of my life. From Germany, I hiked/camped through the Alps where I lived off of the best cheese I’ve ever had in my life, went to Rome where I randomly met an alum of the college that I’m currently attending, and ended up spending the last night of my trip celebrating Bastille Day in Paris. I met some amazing people, saw some amazing things, and pushed my backpack to its limits both physically and philosophically.

  • Eli H.

    Backpacking in Estonia,through swamps and thick forests!

  • http://kalaeallday.blogspot.com kalae all day

    I was writing something long and awesome about Machu Picchu that would have been as entertaining and delightful as anything you could have read innn lets sayyyy an old issue of MissBehave Mag. But guess what? It somehow got deleted.. So, I’m taking it as a sign. Give me a bag. Im gonna be famous one day. And I’ll tell everyone about how dope this blog is. While I back pack in Peru with BBC recording my each and every inhale.

    Danke
    KALAE

  • http://www.mattiasleutwyler.ch mattias leutwyler

    while backpacking from seattle to LA we made this wedding song and clip for friends:

    (not english, but fun to watch):

    http://www.mattiasleutwyler.ch/hochzeitssong.wmv

  • Pamsie

    I always go backpacking in holidays!! holidays are not real holidays if you take your whole house with you!!! I’ve been backpacking in Scandinavia last year for 12 days, nothing booked apart from the flight and a car to go around. It has been one of the cheapest holidays of y life (and there is very difficult) but we managed to spend less being host of some of our friends, sleeping in the car in the mid of the fjords and couchsurfing!!! We’ve been through Sweden, Norway and Denmark, each day deciding what to do!
    It has been very exciting!!!!
    I know I’m from Italy but I have friends in USA so if I win it they’ll send me!!!!
    :)
    PLEASE i want it!!!

  • Ronks

    One beautiful day in mid-february 2007, me a friend of mine and his girlfriend decided to climb the nearby mountain.It wasn’t long ago since my first meet with the striking harsh beauty of the winter mountain, so I felt curious like a little boy, I just wanted to get lost in it, to understand it. So me and my crew decided to go for the top, go for it without using the standart tourist path, we wanted to go through the most beautiful rocks, which are visible from the city I live in. The thing we didn’t know was that this is an alpine route, requiring special equipment, but we soon ended up in a crack, without having the possibility to turn back, or go ahead, as the passage was getting nearly vertical. I decided to call the mountain rescue, because otherwise hypothermia would put us to our last sleep, or fall down into the abyss. While waiting and praying for my life I observed one of the most mysterious and beautiful things I have ever seen-reflected in the white ridges of the nearby mountain range the sun was setting. I suddenly felt happy. I suddenly felt humble, I felt true LOVE for the first time… Something deep inside of me was telling me that THIS is God. I was crying of happiness. I was full of light. They rescued us.
    Later that year I bought climbing shoes and equipment. I climbed all the highest peaks in Bulgaria, I hiked the longest route which passes through the longest mountain range, 16 days falling asleep with the sunset, waking up with the rise. I climbed the two highest peaks in Europe, Mont-Blanc and Elbrus. Every time I go into the mountains I look for it. Every time I look at the sunset I get reminded what is it all for…

  • VG

    raining outside. stayed at home

  • http://zlonk.tumblr.com/ Abi

    Ohhh!!

    First of all, I visit your blog every day from Spain. It’s fantastic. congrats!!

    I love thebag. :) I would like to travel to USA some day. But for now, my best backpacking history was every day going to my childhood school.

    When I was a child, I use to do a very big bag with a lot of unnecesary things to go to my school every day.
    For example one day I don’t realized, and in the rush I went with a lettuce in the bag. :S

    All, only because I love to wear a very big backpacks.
    My mother always hates me and my bags. :P

    PD: Sorry for my English

    Bye!!

  • pia

    i whant !

    puss / pia sweden!

  • Danny

    When you use the ‘hug a tree’ method when nature calls, just make sure that the trail doesn’t wrap around right next to your tree. You can trust me that some awkward/shameful glances will be shared by all.

  • Phaedra

    After doing a university exchange to Perth I decided to do a road trip to Melbourne, on the other side of Australia. It took me and my eight friends eight days in two small rental vans to get there. We drove straight through the desert, where at many points along the way we almost ran out of gas before the next station, or had to spend the night in a gas station parking lot and wait for it to open. At every point we stopped at, we would make sure to get out of the car and do a dance before anything else. We did a dance on the longest straight road in the world, in the desert, on some cliffs, near a waterfall, on the beach, near some kangaroos and at some wineries. When we finally arrived in Melbourne we didn’t make the rental place before it closed, and had to pay for another day plus a late fee. Since everyone blew their budget on the high gas prices through the desert I had to foot the bill for all of it. But, even though I ended up poor at the end of the trip, I’m glad I did it and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Sam

    Hey Jeff. You’ll sure make some amigos very happy with these. Too late? I’ll chance it anyway. During my ‘amazing gap year experience’ in South America I spent a month in the Amazon in a tiny place near Tena, by the Rio Napo deep in Ecuador. Some peeps were disgustingly mistreating a local baby spider monkey taken from it’s mom in the wild as a local play thing. This included ritual humiliation such as chucking him into the river rapids then collecting him in a net. tried to do the best I could for it by feeding him and playing with him a bit, but it clearly needed more. He started following me around everywhere and clearly needed a mother figure and started suckling my nipples. PS I’m a guy. Thinking I needed to give it some clear lines for it’s own good, and I was a bit weirded out, I gently pulled the poor confused guy off me. At this time, clearly distraught, he was screeching and pooping on me hoping I was it’s mom. Not just because of the poop didn’t see it too much after that. I hope he’s ok.

  • http://www.brevki.com Brad

    As a kid, my backyard went on for miles, literally. Living in the country afforded me the opportunity to backpack, imagine, and fulfill my wildest dreams without ever leaving the “safety” of my own “backyard”.

  • Kayla

    So my first true backpacking story isn’t full of wonder and it doesn’t take place in a far off country such as Ireland or Australia. Oh no, my story takes place in a tiny town that I actually forget the name of at the moment. It’s about a ten minute drive from Woodstock, New York and the mountain’s name… was Overlook Mountain. I was on vacation with my family and my best friend and one of the things everyone wanted to do was to hike this mountain. My friend and I had different ideas of fun however. Hiking up a mountain while sweating and working our muscles to their limits did not seem like a good time. But my family convinced us and we started on a journey that would not soon be forgotten.
    There’s one thing you have to understand… I am not an athletic person. I love being outdoors and I love the freedom that you feel when the wind blows on your face and you just feel invincible to all around you. And that’s what ended up happening on this hike. Sure it was painful because I was so out of shape, but at the top of the mountain there was a beautiful old abandoned hotel… very reminiscent of the Overlook hotel in the Shining. Being in a place full of so much history was worth the aches and pains that I felt for the next few days and I would do it again in a heartbeat to feel like I accomplished something great.

  • tal

    When I was seventeen, I spend a bunch of months in Israel. Israel’s really narrow, so a common backpacking trip is to hike straight across the country, from the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean Sea, a hike which takes about three days. There are a number of different routes to take, and they sell maps that show all of the various routes. Unfortunately, my friends and I did not have much foresight at the time. We decided to take the trip the night before, and the six of us quickly scrounged together the few supplies we had and threw them into the largest bags we could find. We brought what we thought was a good amount of water and food, and figured we’d be able to navigate our way to the various springs and fountains along the way.

    We couldn’t. By the second day, our water was used up, and the one spring we were able to find was dried up. Fortunately, the route we were taking was commonly used for single day trips as well, and we passed by several elementary school classes who were out on shorter hiking expeditions. We wound up begging water off of elementary school kids who had a lot more water than they needed and didn’t want to carry the heavy bottles any more. Not my proudest moment, but I made it home to tell the tale.

    Oh, and we ran out of food on the third day, and if we hadn’t managed to find our way to a road by nightfall, we’d’ve been in serious trouble…

  • http://doctorpeppersketchbook.wordpress.com/ Tara Holland

    I am a freshman in college and I am going to study abroad in Florence this summer, and on the weekends I plan to backpack around Italy one of my first stops being the Vatican then I plan to take a ferry from Venice to Greece and spend some time drawing in Santorini. I’m going to try and push back the date of my flight so I have a few extra weeks to backpack to Portugal Spain and Amsterdam while carrying my sketchbook along for the ride, if I needed to make some extra money I plan to do caricatures of people and sell them. I can’t wait! and I would love to backpack with that bag.

  • Brandon

    Me and my friend were back packing along this trail up to Needles fire look out. Clear weather all the way up; we had lunch up there when out of no where we see storm clouds coming in. So I say, ” time to book it,” we start running down the trail (the trail is roughly 2 and a half miles long) and as we get a quarter mile in its starts raining and hailing golf balls. We see a flash of light 100 ft away with an almost instantaneous boom. We start running faster. A good portion of the trail is up hill and the rain was coming down so hard, it starts to create mudslides coming at us from the trail. All my clothes were drenched and I went to the side underneath a ponderosa and created a quick little shelter so I could protect myself and my friend from the worse. It wasn’t getting better so we started to run through ice cold uphill waters for a mile and finally we reached the car.

  • taylor

    in the summers, my wife and i trundle our kids off to a cabin my wife’s great-grandmother had built. my kids run around, throw pine cones, and sharpen sticks; my wife regains her sense of stability away from the phone, email, and the rest. we hike up to some high mountain lakes – this coming year, the two oldest children and i will go on an overnight hike to the yet-unvisited lake catherine.

  • anya

    italy please

  • sheena

    I haven’t done any proper backpacking but of all the places I would love to see, Hawaii is first. Recently some friends and I shared “bucket lists” and one friend said he wanted to throw something into a volcano. I’ve decided to put plans in motion to make it happen in the next year. So I would use the bag to backpack up to a volcano

  • http://flavors.me/tiffanypatterson Tiffany Patterson

    I have no grandiose backpacking trips under my belt as of yet…but my partner and I are hoping to do a Oregon Coast Bike trip (this summer or next) – hitting each beach along the way. Should be lovely. ♥

  • Linda Meyers-Gabbard

    Ive never been backpackin unless count hiking in the woods in grandpa’s farm when we were kids. We would pack a lunch and spend the day playing and walking around. We’d pick a bucket full of blackberries, they grew wild all over. We’d climb trees, swim in the creek. Better than any video game.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/maximillianphoto/ cody turner

    my brother and myself once went backpacking from vancouver to washington to go see the Sasquatch music festival. we did not have tickets or a tent or blankets. but we figured it would all work out in the end. well to make a long story short, we managed to make the staff of the event believe that we were media and they gave us both all access media passes for the remainder of the festival. so not only were we allowed to get in for free, but we were also allowed to bypass all the lines, and get to the very front of every show!

    Jeff, send me one of those backpacks. Please please please!

  • http://www.ajavery.com Andrea Avery

    I spent a few months living out of a backpack across the UK. I was 21 and it was my first time abroad. I didn’t know that I had to tell my bank where I was going so they froze my check and credit cards. I was in a hostel in Oben, Scotland and it was thanksgiving in the US. I was broke, home sick and hungry. I went for a walk and all the folks I had stayed with decided they wanted to celebrate an American’s Thanksgiving. They all took different “duties” when i returned they made a “thanksgiving dinner”. With a fire in the hearth and a harm chicken and veggies on the table. I sat with my new traveling friends and for one night we drank and ate and I felt more at home than I had in months.

  • http://jgress.com Jeffrey Gress

    I take surf trips all over with just two bags; a backpack and a boardbag… this bag would take some epic trips, hook it up!

  • TK

    A bit boring answer but I would love to backpack around Europe.

  • ross

    I was doing a section of the john muir trail with two friends of mine. We had stopped at one of the scenic vista points, miles away from anyone (or so we thought) and decided to have a “success joint”. We couldn’t have been smoking it for more than thirty seconds when a ranger comes barreling around a bend in the trail. He approches us with a frown and says “What do we have here, a bunch of potheads looking for a citation?” To which my best friend responds to by grabbing our large cooking pot off the side of my backpack, placing it on his head and shouting back, “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t know there was anything wrong with being a pothead, but you see we have not pans.” Everyone broke down in laughter, including the ranger. He found it so funny he let us off with a warning, promising we wouldn’t smoke anything else we might have on us until we had hit the higher ridges without dry brush. Fantastic trip.

  • Becca

    I’ve never been backpacking but I plan on it as soon as I get my ass to europe, I will!

  • http://maniknakra.tumblr.com Manik Nakra

    Last summer my buddy and I took a week long camping trip in Yosemite Park. After a few days of hanging out together 24/7 we decided to spend the next day apart. So the next morning, he went east and I went west. When we met back up at the campsite that night he asked me what I did. I told him I found a stream so I followed it and it led me to a big blue lake. I swam, sunbathed, and sketched in my sketchbook. “What did you do?” I asked him. He told me he found some railroad tracks so he followed them. They led him to a girl tied to the tracks! So he untied her and they had crazy sex! Like all day, every position! I was like woah!!!! “Did she give you a blow job too?” I asked. And he replied, “No, I couldn’t find her head.”

  • Anchal Bibra

    Next March I will be traveling throughout India as a Field Fellow, bringing mobile health technology to various Community Health Workers. My family is from India, and it’s always been a dream of mine to live there and work with marginalized women in some capacity. I will be traveling two-three weeks out of every month, and mostly to rural villages in the Indian countryside. I hope my work can make a difference and bring health options to those that wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance. The fellowship will be for a year, and I’m definitely in the market for a backpack! Thanks for your consideration!

  • http://pandapandapandapandapanda.tumblr.com/ FIN

    I’d go to China and pack a cute baby panda in the bag, grr.

  • Gerard

    I want to go backpacking, not along the coast of La Digue but along your sculpted jawline instead.
    I want to go backpacking along the slopes of your temples that pulse with all your burdens, find out what they are, and knead them out.
    I want to go backpacking along the curve of your lips and almost fall inside when you smile.
    I want to go backpacking through the furrow of your brow and discover what truly makes them furrow, and make sure they don’t furrow as much when you’re with me.
    When I get tired, I want to go backpacking to that odd but pleasant place between your chin and your neck, and rest there.
    I want to explore every mountain, river and valley of your face. I want to discover hidden pieces of you – the good and the bad – that no one bothered to find. I want to get lost in every ripple of your tear, every lilt of your eyelash, and every scintilla of your dimple.
    And when I get thirsty, I want to go backpacking to the opulent oasis of your eyes.
    And there I will swim
    and swim
    and swim
    and swim
    down into them until I reach the depths of your soul.

    I know I wouldn’t technically need a Herschel backpack to do this but I am a broke college student with a raggedy backpack that is falling apart, and a new backpack would be nice. And it would be a good start to my backpacking adventures.

  • Breanna

    I would love to backpack across Iceland, because I am constantly inspired by this video: http://vimeo.com/31158028

  • DrunkUncle

    Me and my friends backpacked in the Allegheny National Forest for the Fourth of July, and it was a weekend of drunken debauchery. My friend even pooped out of a tree! It was pretty disgusting, but there is video footage if proof is needed!

  • http://www.kim-katz.com Kim

    On the hottest day in summer, when the hair on my neck is clinging to my wet skin, and the air in my neighborhood is hazy with pollen and heat, I pack a cold bottle of water wrapped in a thread-bare quilt in my Herschel backpack. I throw in some sunscreen, my 35 mm Nikon with black and white film, and a granny smith apple because they are the most tart kind of apple and biting them makes my face scrunch as though I were biting into a lemon. I throw the bag on my back, jump on my old rusty, under-used bicycle and head to the creek, to find a quiet piece of grass, to lay out my quilt, to jump in the cold mountain water, leaving my clothes tucked carefully under the bag so they don’t tumble away in a stray summer wind, one I would be grateful for. But the wind never comes.

  • Lauren Gray

    We have a preschooler and toddler so the extent of our ‘backpacking’ these days is our regular trips to “The Niagra Falls of Pennsylvania”. Love the bag, thanks for the chance to win!

  • http://www.worldsgreatestbreed.tumblr.com David

    I’m planning on backpacking through Europe. I’ve been waiting to find someone to do it with but I might end up having to do it alone. I’ve always wanted to see Spain, Greece and Italy, I have relatives in Germany and I won’t consider a life fully lived not having been to Paris. I want to photograph and paint my experiences here. If I die before I get the chance to, I’ll have myself cremated and leave the remainder of my money to my closest loved ones so they can spread my ashes in all of the places I never got to visit, to make sure the experience won’t be wasted.

  • http://www.sabrinasmelko.com Sabrina Smelko

    So I spent a summer of my life in Jasper, AB working at the Fairmont with my boyfriend and sister and there were plenty of times we hiked mountains, bear spray on our belt buckle, to come across mostly squirrels and elk. Needless to say, we were scared shitless everytime dusk came around.

  • http://r-i-p-it-up.tumblr.com/ Ashton Ireland

    Growing up in the back woods of Maine has given me plenty of time to hike around. I was with a group of friends who were hiking on the shared boarder with Canada, when one of our friends took a nasty tumble, breaking right his leg. The nearest medical center was some small hospital on the Canadian side. As a bunch of Americans it was difficult for him to get treatment due to paperwork and such. In the end they gave him a cot and set his leg in the hallway. When it was all said and done they told him they didn’t want any money except $20 for the crutches and told him to leave. 9hr car ride home, but his leg is fine.

  • http://beabulletin.tumblr.com Alexandra

    When I was 16 I went hiking in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria with my older cousins. We began the trek from their house in Blagoevgrad, which was near the foothills, and the day was pleasantly warm. Everything was going fabulously – I noticed every trilling bird, every brilliant flower – until we reached the treeline, when a fierce wind swept down on us from the mountain, carrying the frigid, stony air with it. The temperature was suddenly much too cold for the shorts and t-shirt I started the day in, but my cousins didn’t seem fazed and I was determined to show them I had some grit. Besides, I could see the cabin up ahead and assumed we would be there within an hour, so ignored the goosebumps and chattering teeth and carried on pluckily. But an hour passed. And then another, and the cabin didn’t seem to be getting any closer. And the temperature was still dropping, and the wind was becoming more tempestuous and threatening. I was hunched over against its brawn, trying to keep my footing in what felt like a particularly violent undertow. My cousins were hiking merrily along and I was trudging at a 45 degree angle from the ground trying to keep my balance and to make matters worse the air was getting thinner so I was panting and huffing like an emphysema victim. The situation was becoming dire. But what kind of novice gives up and turns around before the first day of hiking is even over? When the cabin is in sight and you can nearly smell the hot cocoa and the heavy wool blankets you can’t wait to be smothered under in a cozy bunk? Not this kid. I was determined to get there even if it meant crawling up the steps to that cabin. Which is what I did, pride tucked carefully into a remote corner of my backpack. Hiking over three peaks at 3,000 meters above sea level, who needs pride when you’ve got grit?

  • http://www.itsadryheat.tumblr.com colby

    Ive lived on the west coast my whole life. My parents were both landscape photographers and i’ve pretty much been everywhere in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and California. I would really like to see something completely different, If I could go anywhere next, I would like to go to Nepal. I would like to camp in the mountains for a month, and bring a 4X5 camera. I think my parents would have liked to do that too.

  • cam kafura

    ive been into backpacking since i was 13 when my family and i visited germany, france, and england over the course of a month. ever since then, we’ve taken countless trips to mexico, canada, south africa, switzerland, and all over the USA, some trips lasting only a few days while others multiple weeks. i’ve had tons of backpacks over all these years, some better than others, but have had a tremendous love for backpacks and backpacking since i learned to live out of backpack for a month while visiting europe with my family.

  • Lee

    Tired, hungry, and wet, I huddled in my sleeping bag against the frigid ground – attempting to sleep after a day of trudging through the ice-cold rain. Wind roared through the trees overhead, whipping flakes of snow against the tent. I ended day 1 of my first (ever) backpacking trip sleepless and thinking: Why did I ever agree to go on this hike? Two days and 25 miles of trail later, me and the four other guys were at our destination, Mt. Sunapee, NH. We finished it off by sliding down the slushy, closed ski slopes, using our backpacks as sleds. Our journey ended with the wind whipping our smiling faces as we zipped down the mountain strapped to our bags. I have forever since been hooked on taking to the wilderness with a backpack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susurrousone Susan Schmieding

    I only recently figured out that I should just go ahead and do what I love…. and that includes enjoying and immersing myself in nature and creative expression. This includes spending many hours searching and looking at art, to educate myself and for the pleasure it brings. So thank you for BOOOOOM! For helping me achieve this goal. I also appreciate that you have a wide array of art, not only the ‘disturbing’ type.. which is easily found in many blogs. (Do some people still think art must be disturbing to be ‘important’? If so, I think they must have had much beauty in their life from the beginning — so perhaps not ever having to find beauty, they see turmoil and repulsion and pain and conflict as the only important art. I suppose that is something that society only achieved in the last century, at least in great numbers…….Well, I am really getting off topic here.)

    Only in the last few years did I finally figure out the importance of bringing beauty into everyday life, in order to replenish and separate myself from the pain and suffering that I experienced around me, mostly in my choosen career. Nature, is of course, one of the most accessible ways (although not for everyone, and if we are not careful with it, not for long). My first backpacking trip was about 5 years ago. My partner and I had participated in day hikes to practice but were basically ‘newbies’ and we didn’t really pay much attention to the elevation part of the backpacking trip we planned. We started out gradually gaining in elevation, which was perfect. Our destination was a campsite at the top of one of the highest waterfalls in North Georgia. We managed pretty well as the day went on. It helped that there were streams all along the trail way and we took a lot of breaks to obtain to filter water and watch our two dogs frolick in the stream. We made slow time, but the frequent stops helped us to forget our heavy, poorly packed back packs. Towards the end of daylight we thought we were nearing our destination. At least, it looked as if we had only a short distance to go. In reality the campsite was not that far away, it was just straight up a mile or two! The final part of our hike was straight up the mountain, along side of the waterfall! I think if we had been a little more experienced, we would have stopped and camped right there, at the base of the waterfall (although it was so lush it would have been hard to find much dry ground). Instead, we took off, looking forward to the coming campfire and evening meal. Well, this was one of the highest (or even the highest… I’ll have to look that up) waterfalls, and an hour went by of climbing with no end in site. Luckily, as the light began to dim, the dogs seemed to pick up on the trail, which even with light was somewhat difficult to distinguish, and they led us up the final way. Perfectly, because we were so high up, we were able to see the last yellow and pink rays of the sun make their way through the soft clouds just as we made it to the top. After the sun set, we could also see a few sparkling lights from the Atlanta suburbs. Exhausted, we ate some energy bars, rather than cooking, pitched our tent, and went to sleep. We were so exhausted, that we slept most of the next day, a soft late afternoon rain waking us. Outside the tent, we found the misty campsite covered in an incredible array of colorful mushrooms that I have not heard of nor since seen even in a mycology specimen book. It seemed every nook and cranny of earth was full of these ‘every color of the rainbow’ mushrooms. The campside was in an old wood forest, probably with more debre than usual due to the campers. The decay is what mushrooms thrive on. At the time I did not know much about mushrooms but have since learned a few things. Having worked in the health care field, I find the herbal and gourmet qualities of mushrooms fascinating, and hope to go back some day with an identification book It will have to be at the same time of year, from what I have learned, and even then, there is no guarantee that the mushrooms will return. This has proved to be difficult though, as this campsite is now closed. Apparently the trail coming in from the opposite of the way we came is shorter and mostly flat or down hill and is very popular at certain times of the year with both local hunters and day hikers. The campsite has thus has been declared ‘over used’ and has been closed down for an indefinate time by the forest service to allow nature to recover.

    That is my backpacking story. I also ride a bike around town…. and could use a backpack for that!

  • http://www.alexpetrowsky.com Alex Petrowsky

    I went backpacking in croatia a few years back. After a long day of excitement we found that our planned campsite was overly full and just didn’t look very enticing altogether. So we figured we’ll walk a little further and just pass out wherever it feels right. After finding a location, drinking a few bottles of wine – yes, not a very long hiking trip, very bourgeois, good cheese, wine, and harmonicas – we finally called it a night.
    And now imagine me waking up the next morning, pretty much at sunrise – at that time of the year the sun gets very bright and hot pretty much immediately after rising – hungover, no, not hungover, still drunk, trying to find my glasses, and then 20 minutes later finding them, only to realize we had chosen a nudist beach as our campsite.
    Beautiful beach, we stayed for hours and made some interesting friends.

  • ed

    ive never been but would love to go backpacking in the black forest in Germany checking out the old castles and searching for wwII relics…

  • Eric

    1999, a Tuesday: I saw Blair Witch Project. I guffawed and chortled. I was not scared. I told everyone I knew not to be scared either.

    The next Friday: I went canoeing and camping in Algonquin Park with a couple of friends. It was gorgeous; we were hopeless. We got lost trying to find our first portage landing.

    On the Saturday: Nearing sundown, thanks to a general lack of attention and a series of easily avoidable gaffes, I end up separated from my friends. I cover the length of a 6 km portage trail trying to find them, still thinking those jerks are just hiding behind trees until I reach the edge of the next body of water. Unfortunately, they are carrying the canoe and tent, I am carrying the paddles and backpack filled mostly with our food. I try to laugh at this, but can’t manage to do so without a pinch of dread. Night begins to settle in, followed abruptly by a heavy rainstorm. My smile abandons me. As I wander around in the dark, dithering from one sopping trail offshoot to another, my shirt and bag sagging, my brow knotting itself, my mind ablaze with morbid possibility and my nerves shot, I realize that Blair Witch Project was actually kind of scary.

    On the Sunday morning: Reeling from a stressful and exhausting night, my friends and I call for a ride from the first ranger station we come across, unwilling to finish the canoe route we had planned at the risk of having to stick together through another nightfall.

  • Allison

    I traveled to Jamaica when I was 8 years old to visit my father’s old old friend and we traveled into the mountians and it was a blur of beauty, so I would love to go back there. I have been pen pals with my father’s daughter, Caril, and would love to see her again, reconnect with my friends and go hiking through the mountains, go down the water falls and everything in between!

    • http://www.oopsfotos.nl Arend

      I never have been backpacking.
      I probably never will too.
      But I travel a lot.
      Every day.
      I travel in and around my home city.
      Every day.
      Yet, I never went backpacking in the way real backpackers do.
      And, I never will go backpacking in that way either.
      Still, I travel. Day after day.
      Carrying my camera, my beverage, my daily things.
      Every day.
      If I were a backpacker I would have my rucksack to carry my things around.
      I than would have more possibilities to picture.
      Picture this. Picture that.
      Every day.
      So.
      Little America.
      In Holland. The Netherlands that is.
      Every day.
      Wouldn’t that be great?
      Great Little America in Great Little Holland.
      Every day.

      Right.
      Thanks.
      2012.
      Can be great too.
      Every day.
      Can. Not sure yet.
      Can.
      Every day.

  • Vid

    Wow, so many valid and wonderful entries. So why would little old me deserve one of these before anyone else? Because I made a choice. One that puts life over work. One that puts dreams over ambitions. And one where a backpack would come in handy. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to travel to South America. I think Peru in particular brought this on. The freedom, the music, the food, the warm culture… all ever so appealing. It was the place my now passed uncle spend some of his youth, learning the language and absorbing the culture. Now I’m 30 and in the midst of a unfulfilling career. Watching time pass me by. Left at a cross roads of living a socially imposed life, or throwing caution to the wind, following my heart rather than my head. And trusting above all that I will land on my feet. So I chose not to feel disillusioned, but rather to be brave, fearless, and listen to my intuition. So when I stand at the top of machu picchu, with this bag at my back. I will know that you booooooom, help make that happen.

  • Melissa Elizabeth

    Oh my goodness! Just stumbled upon this giveaway TODAY and you are choosing winners TODAY, hope I am not too late!

    I am leaving for my very first trip to Sicily in 18 days and I have been looking for a new sturdy pack to take with me for so long! I would cherish this bag greatly while I’m climbing Mt. Etna and traversing the Sicilian landscape! An aesthetically pleasing pack to tote around the beautiful Sicily, *swoon* I could not ask for more! Good luck everyone!

  • Tanya

    My next backpacking trip will take me to Machu Picchu. Because of the mudslides, Machu Picchu’s amazingness is slowly disappearing so I’m definitely hoping to go soon! And this Little America mountain bag would look great on the trip!

  • Kim

    I am going backpacking for my first time in the spring. I am going to Big Sur.

  • http://flickr.com/martinglen Martin

    When I was 4 my parents and I spent a week camped on a turkish beach, accessible only by hiking down the side of a small mountain or by boat. On the way in my rents payed some fisherman to drop us off on this deserted paradise style stretch of coast where we set up the tents and a hammock, spending the whole time swimming, fishing and chilling by the camp fire.

    On the last day, just before we began a hike up the side of the mountain, we came across a turkish man, who had ran down from the hills above and taken a swim in the sea. The man called Mamoot, a marathon runner, offered to help us with our things up the side of the mountain. We were then taken to his home, and greeted incredibly warmly by his large family, where we stayed for a few days.

    Even though I was only 4 at the time, I still remember the incredible kindness this man and his family showed us, and I wish to return to turkey one day.

  • Marie

    I fell in love one December. On Christmas Eve I decided to call sick at work, packed my backpack, put on my Santa hat and took the next flight to go see my new love in his home province. I also had to call sick at work every day of the following week. Best Christmas ever.

  • Lauren

    every year my city has a big music festival and last year i wasn’t able to go for the whole week, so i decided i was going to sneak in for the weekend with only my backpack on my back, and a fake wristband on my wrist. i parked my car at the nearest beach and walked across a bunch of fields, climbed under a fence, almost got caught by security, but made it in and stayed for a glorious 48 hours. one of the greatest weekends that summer..

  • http://www.taaosam.blogspot.com Em

    The last time I went backpacking I was 14 and with about ten friends. Someone’s mom was a yoga instructor and would periodically take off her back pack and stand upside down next to a tree to stretch out her back. When we got to the campsite Olivia fell into the river while rinsing out her shirt. I thought she was a gonner. The boys brought Kraft dinner and no milk but Julian had never made it before and put the powder sauce in the water right after the noodles. We hid from the adults in our tent playing strip poker. The next day we headed up to a glacier lake, someone fell in that too.
    I think if I were to win this backpack I may recreate the trip, more maturely maybe.

  • Deanna

    I’ve always wanted to spend at least one night in every country in the world. I’d start off in one country and trek and hitchhike my way across to the other countries. I want to walk across the United States also one day.

  • Sung Mun

    Have you read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer? Well, basically, the story is about a guy who drops out of college, donates all of his savings to charity, and backpacks around the Alaskan wilderness. He lives off of berries and game meat. How awesome and frightening would that be to do that myself? Although I have yet to go backpacking, his inspirational story has allowed myself and many others to care more about the non-materialistic things in life and to go out and adventure through beautiful creations that most of us have probably not seen at all.

  • natalie

    I am graduating highschool this summer and will need this back pack for my backpacking trip through México!

  • http://www.hannahgelderman.com Hannah Gelderman

    Last summer I backpacked the Jaun de Fuca trail on Vancouver Island. I was the lone Albertan with a crew of British Columbians. Having a landlocked sort of brain, I left all decisions regarding the ocean up to them, you know, on matters such as the tides. We hiked the first day, pleasant as ever and arrived at a campsite just in time for dinner. We surveyed the site and opted for setting up our tents on the sand, rather than in the designated forest campsites. I trusted that someone knowledgeable had consulted the tide-guides to ensure a dry sleep for us all. Evening and darkness ensued and soon we all found ourselves nestled in our sleeping bags with the distant sound of waves lulling us to sleep.
    It didn’t seem that much later when I awoke to the sounds of not so distant waves and frantic voices. Apparently the seas were upon us. We crawled out of our tents to see the tide rushing in. Very hurriedly and panicked we hoisted up our all our tents, gear thrown inside, and stumbled over to the safe, ocean free land of the forest. Luckily most of our things remained dry, the roar of the waves had woken us on time. We settled down to sleep again, and for the remainder of our trip we happily chose the forest campsites.
    I am now working on learning how to read and understand tide guides, so next time my fate will not be held in the hands of British Columbians.

  • Kyle

    August-September 2011: 35 days in Alaska
    2 pair of jeans, synthetic baselayer, wool socks, waterproof pants and jacket, sweat shirts, wool cap, rock climbing shoes and harness, bivy, and knife. These essential items get stuffed in my backpack, provisions for my 35 day exploration of central Alaska. I carry my pack proudly through small towns as well as remote alpine terrain. I sleep in hand made cabins, remote ski and hunting huts, as well as piles of leaves nestled next to the Matanuska River. One specific trip 9 miles deep into the backcountry I came across fellow backpackers in a remote, glacier surrounded hut. We share stories of our travels and while drinking bourbon to keep warm well past the suns setting. The journey, part of a much larger exploration still continues in other parts of the US. I plan on making my way back to Alaska this next summer to continue where I have left off. I understand the power of a good pack, not only in its duty to contain what few possessions I have but in its power of motivation always begging me to be packed and worn on a new adventure.

    If you choose me you can have no doubt that this backpack will be put to good use and will be toted with honor around the globe.

  • Rokas

    hey! if you didn’t picked up the winner yet, listen to my short story!

    one day we thought about having a weekend in paris, we packed our backpacks and next day’s early morning we were on the road, hitchhiking:} From Lithuania(our homeland) to paris (it’s more than 1000km), we wrote a ticket on cardboard that cost 0# , and on second day’s evening we were in paris for a a glass of wine with friends there.
    after to days we went home, same hitchhiking way, it was harder travel , had to spend one night under the bridge, second near the bridge, in the end my backpacked was broken :D, but weekend in paris was amazing!
    note:
    1. it is a bit more than one month old story, so it was prety chill weather in our side of europe.
    2. my birthday is on 30th of December :}

  • Dexter

    soooooo

    manny

    entries, soooo cool

    mooooore bpackers, the better

  • http://www.facebook.com/susurrousone Susan Schmieding

    Who won, who won?!! Such a nice back pack for the bicycling!

    • http://www.jeffhamada.com/ Jeff

      just waiting for them to select winners! if they dont, i will select my favs! stay tuned!

  • http://benste.in Ben

    Bolivian Bus Adventure

    After 3 great days in Sucre I was ready to move on to Samaipata, a town known for relaxation and rejuvinaton. An hour before my bus was scheduled to depart, I was enjoying a final beer with a fellow backpacker when Sucre was hit with a torrential downpour. I jumped in a taxi, grabbed my bag at the hostel and through the crowded streets ad fogged over windows we made our way to the bus station. Other than the wet clothes, the ride started out like many other overnight rides in South America. I took my seat in the front row of the top deck, next to Kenti from Japan and across the aisle from two young Israeli backpackers. We chatted about out travels and sharred snacks as the bus pulled out of town starting our 13 hour trip benieth what was now a sprinkle of rain.

    Althought it wasn´t a semi-cama (almost bed) seat I had become acustomed to in Argenitina and Chile, the Trans Illimani bus seemer compared to its Bolivian counterparts. An hour into the ride we pulled to a stop behind a large flatbed truck. I couldn´t see what was ahead but Kenti could. He told us, in his limited English and Spanish, that all he could see the road was washed out by a big river. We joined a few of our fellow Bolivian passengers and got off the bus to check it out. Sure enough 75 feet of road was covered by a foot of rushing water. No one was quite sure whether this meant we where turning back to Sucre or if we where going to wait it out. We waited, we took pictures, we at some more snacks and 45 minutes later after a back-hoe had taken a pass at the road it was our turn. From our front row seat we watched as the bus pulled to the rushing water´s edge then the driver hit the gas and we charged ahead. I thought at any moment we might get swept away but we made it across. Everyone cheered, we assumed the hardest part of the trip was behind us. We settled into our seats and watched the sun set over the Bolivian Andes.

    About an hour later, on one of the countless (un-guardrailed) switchbacks, we felt the back tires slide toward the mountain. The driver and his assistant jumped out with flashlights and shovels to survery the situation. 30 minutes later we had not moved. The assistant came to the top deck and told everyone to get off the bus. 60 men, women, and children stepped from the bus and into the rain. The road was muddy and hills where dark. Kenti stood with his umbrella, joined by two monthers trying to keep the young children they where holding dry. After 45 minutes standing in the rain the women and children returned to the still stationary bus. With the help of a few too many ¨cooks in the kitchen,¨ after another 20 minutes the bus was finally free from the mud. As we climbed back on the bus the floor was completely coated in mud.

    We had a hard time sleeping, we kept our eyes on the road. Another hour later we pulled toward another smaller stream of mountain runoff that had created a hole on one side. This time we where the only ones there. The assistant got out and dipped a stick in the hole to test it´s depth. The 3 foot stick nearly dissapearred. He immediately started throwing football sized rocks in the hole. I assumed it wouldn´t work but sure enough 30 minutes later the bus pulled precariously over the makeshift road and the engine roared, a sound that was becoming increasingly comforting.

    For 90 minutes we continued on through the darkness. At every sign of water Kenti and I assumed we´d get stuck. At about 2am we pulled past a couple trucks and attempted to make our way up long hill. Halfway up the bus started sliding backwards. The men all got off the bus and tried pushing the bus. No luck. We tried grateing the road with the two shovels and a pick ax. No luck. At 4 am everyone was back on the bus and the without any formal annoucement, lights where turned off. I woke up at 8am to babies crying, the smell of too many people in a closed space, and the beautiful Bolivian countryside. By 9am the road had dried and, along with the help of 20 men pushing, the bus was able to make it over the muddy hill.

    All along the road where half-build drainage pipe bridges. Instead of finishing each drainage bridge as they went, they all seemed to be at the same point in construction. At each one the road diverted around the new bridge and into the drainage mud. Not 5 minutes after our uphill battle, where stuck again in one of these ditches. It took 60 minutes and a backhoe to pull out bus back onto the road. By this point all of the passenger where becoming friends, each of these stops another challenge for us to overcome together.

    After 2-3 more stops in the mud, typical Bolivian music on the loudspeakers all day and more crying babies, I was finally dropped off in Samaipata at 8pm, 14 hours later than expected. Samaipata is a great town, lots of hikes, friendly locals and delicious food. After 3 days exploring the town, and avoiding the internet, I leave today for Santa Cruz. I´ll hopefully board a train, known as the ¨Death Train¨ because of the casualties during construction, on my way to the Brazilian boarder and on to Rio for Carnaval.

  • Rico Macias-Zepeda

    The most fun backpack trip I’ve ever been on has been a hike around the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii on trail’s along the coastline that circle the entire Island. And I live in Portland now!

  • http://www.jeffhamada.com/ Jeff

    thank you all for participating in this giveaway – your responses were so good

    the team at Herschel read them all and have narrowed down the winners – they are:

    23:12:11 DUNCAN:

    This summer I took my backpack and skateboard from Halifax through Fredericton, Bangor, Boston and NYC where me and my friends had an awesome art show at AMO Studios. After that I worked as a raft photographer in Banff, hitched to Calgary, bused to Kelowna, hitched to Surrey and stayed with a rich family who had picked me up, then ferried and bused to Ucluelet where I SURF CAMPED. It was absolutely amazing and I had to best time ever. When I got to Vancouver I missed my flight because I was getting noodles at the Airport, so they gave me a voucher for $160.00, put me on another flight and paid for all my meals. AMAZING!

    23:12:11 CAROLINE:

    Moi j’en veux un !
    I’ve been backpacking by myself through India, Nepal, Tibet, China, VietNam, Laos and Thailand by myself. It was the most incredible experience in my whole life so far !
    I’d love to do it again in South America but the problem is my backpack is destroyed after my peregrinations. Plus I’ll be alone for christmas in Vancouver, far from my family in france…snif

    23:12:11 Annika:

    Once upon a time there was a little backpack named Markl who dearly loved to climb trees. It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon when he decided to attempt the tallest climb in his life: the Mighty Oak. After fortifying his senses with a snack and some juice, he tightened his straps, zipped all his pockets, and planted himself firmly in front of the tree. ‘I can do this.’ he thought in the persistent and resolute areas of his mind…

    23:12:11 JULIAN C. DURON:

    When I was 15-16 my friends and I went backpacking up in Maine on a large private property. We would dare each other to see who could walk out into the woods using only a video camera with night vision. I know dumb right… Using the LCD screen as a guide we’d walk out alone one-at-a-time to see who could go the furthest. Being the most daring I would try to push it. One time I was like 75-100 yards out and the battery started to die all of the sudden out of nowhere. So I turned but it caused whats called “woods shock” in the backpacking world (look it up) so I started moving as fast as I could through the brush. All of the sudden I’m certain I was pushed from behind so I yelled, but I know my friends were probably just laughing… When i got up I walked strong and made it out, but I could definitely feel something nipping at my heels. I never did it again after that.

    23:12:11 Bruce:

    My favourite time living out of a backpack was spent on a bicycle. After a relaxing time in Budapest with a friend, I decided on the fly to get down and dirty with the countryside and bought myself the cheapest old bike I could find. I balanced my bag on the rack, tied the hell out of it, and set off along the Danube river for a 600km ride to Austria. I fell over, got lost in a sunflower field, camped, got lonely, ate a million schnitzels, and rode through apple orchards in alpine river valleys. It was awesome.

    25:12:11 Dylan:

    Something I’ve always daydreamed about is the fanstasy of my little brother and I getting lost in the woods and becoming hardcore survivalists. Well this summer we decided to hike out to a little plot of land 20 miles from our house with only one can of beans, a knife, water, and our sleeping supplies. We ended up eating the beans right when we arrived and forgot to collect wood for a fire. So with nothing to do in pitch black and not knowing what time it is (since, we purposefully left out clocks at home) we decide to go to bed. But I thought there were too many spiders on the ground because I saw them when it was light out. So I had to hop in brothers hammock. In the hammock we had to scissor for balance and talked for a while. That is until we heard animal outside our brotherly cocoon sniffing the can of beans. Scared out of our mind we decide to book it out of the woods on the count of three.
    When three came we ran as fast as we can until we found an IHOP parking lot. Which is where we slept for the remainder of the night. When coming home the next day we made a pact the never speak of this again to anyone close to us.

  • Kiera

    An adventure I am keen to witness, crisp sky haggling along a backpack by my side? In my element.

  • Kay

    This past May, I was living in Glasgow, Scotland and my friend and I decided to take a trip up to the Isle of Skye to camp for a few days or a week. As we were snaking through Scotland on our way north, we were really excited but as we got closer and closer, the skies got more grey. While waiting for the shuttle that would take us to the island, it started to get rainy. We carried on. It was far too late to turn back and we had hopes of sunny skies the next day. We trekked off into the woods and soon came upon a point where we set up camp for the night, hoping that the morning would show us improvement. It didn’t, and come to find out, it was a Sunday and the shuttles didn’t run an Sundays so we either had a five mile hike off the island or we had to wait it out another day. It was quite miserable, really, but I can not say that I would ever regret the experience. Really, the whole thing made me want to try again. May-June is supposed to be the most beautiful time on Skye. We just got unlucky I guess. But it was incredibly beautiful none-the-less! Other future backpacking experiences? The Appalachian Trail!

  • JANDREW

    I have not gone backpacking formally, but my two children and I walk along the Rio Grande. we walk, talk and spend time together, my son is 4 and my daughter is 1. i point out the types of native plants and the types of birds to them. it is beautiful. i would like to take my children to Ireland where we can take in the lush history and landscape. i feel this place will be one of many i would like to take my children. i want to expose them to nature, art, history and give them my time. i understand they will grow and may grow away from me but i want to show them what i love about the world and that i love them and want to aide in the expansion of their minds. Through “voyages” and adventures,I wan to spend time with them and teach them about the beautiful things around us. I would like this bag so that i can have a good bag so to carry snacks for the children and hold mementos to bring back home of our journey and time together.