Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Thro'n'Go Backpack

Revival of an old idea might make travel cheaper.
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The backpack was once a square of thin blanket spread on the ground. You dumped your stuff on it, tied the opposite corners together, poked a stick through the loops formed, hoisted the bundle to a shoulder, pot and frypan dangling, and strode off into the sunrise. The stick has become a complex frame. The blanket has turned into a pack festooned with flaps and straps. The whole lot costs a bundle, and added to rising airfares helps decrease the chances that billions of poor young people will ever go touring. Hence my halfbaked dream - using the many new materials and some ingenuity to revive and redesign a supercheap Thro’n’Go pack, dispensing with the stick and devising a shoulder-strap tying system. I can even see a global marketer giving logo’d Thro’n’Go’s away in a 1000 colourful prints, chosen by means of a global pack-art competition. Making tourism more accessible is a good thing - isn’t it? Maybe ... maybe then the armament makers might find there’s more money in tourism than in making weapons.
rayfo, Sep 01 2000

(?) African Nomadic Architecture http://www.powells....000/1560987561.html
What you can do with four branches, a camel hide, exactly the right knots, one beast of burden & a great deal of skill. [hello_c, Sep 01 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       The type of tourism you're describing requires a more intimate contact with the local culture than the insulated bus tour 12 countries in seven days "it's almost like they have a different word for everything!" type of tourism. With enough of your type of tourism, the arms makers will run out of customers.
beauxeault, Sep 02 2000
  

       I don't think it's the cost of a backpack that's holding the world's youth back from adventurous touring.
egnor, Sep 02 2000
  

       Presumably you haven't tried using an old-fashioned backpack from before the manufacturers really started to understand the ergonomics of it? They're extremely uncomfortable, give you sores on your shoulders within hours, and most importantly, the thing is "heavier". Modern backpacks, with well-designed straps (hip-belts most importantly) can reduce the apparent weight of your load by up to 80% over the old-style 'large bag with two bits of cord for shoulder-straps' backpacks. I would count that as one of the really important things that has enabled modern back-packing tourism, second only to the cheap air-fares.
vincebowdren, Sep 08 2000
  

       Thanks vincebowdren et al, that's another halfbaked idea I can throw on to my mental compost heap where its breakdown will provide nutriment for the green shoots of ... who knows what?
rayfo, Sep 10 2000
  

       maybe you could design a backback where it has a spring loaded system in which you choose the trajectory (school)and you catapult the backpack
the extreme baker, Apr 02 2007
  
      
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