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How to Prolong Your Backpack's Life on the Road


By Lauren Juliff

If you're setting off on a big adventure, you'll know how important your backpack is -- it's arguably the most important item you're going to purchase. And the most expensive. 

When you're splashing out so much money on one item, you're going to want to take as good care of it as possible. The last thing you want is to spend all of that money and end up with a broken pack after six months! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prolong the life of your backpack. 
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Don't Overstuff Your Backpack

I'm a huge proponent of packing light, and one of the advantages of doing so is that it reduces strain on your zippers -- one of the first places to fail after time. If you don't overstuff your backpack so much that it's a struggle to keep it closed, you'll find your backpack will last for several years longer. And, after all, a backpack is a huge investment -- you don't want it to fall apart after a year of use! 

Additionally, carrying as much weight as you can possibly fit in your backpack causes an added strain to the straps while you're carrying it around.

Your backpack has likely been designed for a maximum weight, and you don't want to get anywhere near it -- the last thing you need is for a strap to fall off while you're lost in an unfamiliar city.

[post_ads]Clean Out Your Pack Between Trips

It's not just about making it look nice -- it's about washing off the dirt and dust and sweat that will have worked its way into the fabric while you were traveling the world. This may not cause your backpack to fall apart, but if it starts smelling like a gym locker, you're not going to want to take it on your next trip with you!

Don't put it in a washing machine or tumble dryer to clean it, as this will most likely damage the backpack. Instead use some warm water and a mild soap, dampen a cloth, and wipe all over, paying particular attention to the zippers -- you don't want those to fail! 

Buy a Protective Cover for Plane Journeys

The place where your backpack is most likely to be damaged is in an airport. There, baggage handlers will be chucking it on and off planes, people will be dragging it across floors, bags will be falling on top of it -- yet another reason to travel carry on, I guess!

If you don't travel carry-on only, then it's a good idea to pick up a protective cover for your backpack for when it's traveling through airports and in buses. You can pick these up quite cheaply, and they'll keep your straps away from danger as well as keeping your bag clean. 
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Keep Your Straps Tied Up

On that note, you should tie the straps of your backpack together during a travel day (although not while you're wearing your backpack!), to keep them out of the way. When you check in for a flight, make sure to tie all opposing straps together. This will help prevent them getting snagged on something and getting torn off -- a backpack doesn't function very well without straps!

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Travel Magazine: How to Prolong Your Backpack's Life on the Road
How to Prolong Your Backpack's Life on the Road
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