28 October 2005

Designing the Perfect Nomad Pack

Recently, I ran into Mariell Wichards as she set up sewing machines in her new studio annex.

Ever curious, I asked her what she was doing.

After she showed me her line of leather handbags, I begged her to come upstairs to my studio.

I wanted to discuss the nomad pack.

Years earlier, when I showed the original prototype to my friend Jason, he said, "That's great. You've got everything you need, but you can't find anything in there."

The second version, the Kipling backpack that I now own, was slightly larger, but it still held all of my nomadic necessities in a chaotic heap in the center.

The third version I made for the ThreeDayTrip show.

It's a black shoulder strap bag where the front flap unzips to reveal each item strapped to the inside wall of the bag.

It was specifically made with Jason's comment in mind.

As Mariell and I discussed the weaknesses of version three, I showed her the evolved fourth version of the nomad pack that I now carry.

The Kipling bag that I love now holds various smaller bags that divide up my urban camping stuff into sensible groupings.

Mariell liked this concept best and suggested we make a shoulder bag that would unzip to reveal the smaller bags lined up in filing cabinent fashion, each with a fancy but functional tag to label its contents: kitchen, office, bathroom, bedroom, living room.

As we each got a bit excited about the project and I showed her the minimalist contents of my pack, she said, "Don't you have any emotional items in there? It's all functional stuff? No, sentimental items to bring with you?"

I've felt guilty about that ever since.

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