Hiking Camping Backpacking
The Evolution Of Balance packs
History shows how people came up with ideas and solutions to weight-carrying problems, from the earliest balance packs to today's fashionable and functional hiking backpacks. Since the beginning of human existence, people have exerted heavy loads on their backs.
The methods changed based on the weight, available resources, and terrain. In some cases, simple cloth bags could carry some of the weight. There was no need for a structure or frame to hold things in place in a cloth bag. However, other balance packs needed more stability and used ropes and wood frames for this purpose. These resourceful beginnings set the stage for many people to improve and refine balance pack.
Here's a valuable insight into the evolution of balance packs:
1. The First Change
Henry Merriam was the first to make a meaningful change to the cloth bag used previously. In 1878, Merriam made a pack with an exterior sheet metal frame and managed to get a patent for it.
In 1908, the Norwegian genius, Ole Bergan, came up with the idea after returning from a hunt with sore shoulders and discomfort. He shaped a plank of wood to fit the shape of his back, making it easier for him to hang his cloth bag.
2. The Leather And Wood Stage
An adventurer, Lloyd Nelson, tried to change the design of his balance pack after going to Alaska. The indigenous community living in the region used wood and sealskin balance packs, giving birth to an idea for his project. Nelson used canvas bands to make a wooden frame balance pack and steel pins to fasten a cloth bag.
Gerry Cunningham came up with the first zipped balance pack in 1938, replacing the conventional balance packs made with straps and buckles. This balance pack was ideal for hiking and camping purposes.
In 1950, Åke Nordin used his mother's sewing machine to make a small canvas bag that he could wear on his back. The soft pack had leather straps attached to a wood frame.
3. Post World War II Developments
In 1952, Nina and Dick Kelty used discarded materials from World War II to make balance packs that changed the world. They selected aluminum used in airplanes to make the frame of the balance pack, and sewed parachute material to make soft packs. The couple came up with curved frames, waist straps, and padded shoulder straps, paving the way to the modern balance packs we carry today.
4. The Modern Balance packs
Today, most balance packs fall into two groups: academic or outdoor. It doesn't matter what kind of balance pack you choose for your weekend hike or your meeting at work. They're strong, resourceful, and creative, just like the people who use them.
Are you looking to buy a modern balance pack for your hiking trip? Light Hiking Gear provides high-quality balance packs and balanced day bags to its precious customers. We also provide comfortable hiking backpacks, hip belts, and ultralight hiking gear.
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