There are many styles of backpacks, with varying systems for carrying.
A high school or college student’s bag is his lifeline. A good bag will have compartments for books, a laptop, portable music devices and a cell phone. Additional storage for a water bottle or thermos is also common. Nonetheless, with lots of pockets to fill, weight is still at a premium when lugging your bag across campus. Choosing what to bring along, and what to leave in your dorm or at home, can save both you and your back a lot of stress.
It is a book bag, after all. If you live in a dorm, or your house is nearby, bring only the books you will need before you will have a chance to return home. Books are going to be the heaviest items in your bag, and leaving one or two behind will save you a lot of weight and space. If you plan to study between classes, bring only the additional books you need for one class. This will help focus your attention on one subject and also save room and weight in your bag.
A carried laptop or netbook will almost never go unused. Opt for a portable and lightweight laptop when choosing a computer, and keep the cost down. You can have a more powerful desktop computer back at your house or dorm, but more power comes at the cost of weight. A small netbook in your backpack adds merely a pound or two to your load; a desktop-replacement style laptop can weigh as much as 8 pounds.
Device chargers are lightweight and lifesavers when you need them. Keep a spare charger for your laptop in your bag, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting it at home. Pick up an extra charger for your cell phone and portable audio player as well. Most chargers are available by generic manufacturers at substantial savings.
First Aid Kit
This is an item that you hope you never need, but you will be glad you have it when you do. Grab a cheap first aid kit and throw in any additional items you feel you may need. The kit will have bandages; add some antibacterial hand sanitizer and topical ointment. Be careful about carrying any medications or analgesics, however, because unlabeled pills can be mistaken for drugs.
You may be able to get your essay printed in the computer lab, but finding a stapler can be a time-consuming task when you are rushing to class. Carry a small portable stapler and you will more than likely find it gets you out of a jam more than once.
A small portable umbrella is a great addition to your book bag. It can usually be carried in the slot where a drink or thermos would go, should you not be using that feature. Your backpack contains valuable electronic devices, books and your school work. The last thing you want is for the bag, and you, to get soaked. A small umbrella can help keep the rain off of you and your belongings.