Backpack Safety Guide

Thank you for purchasing your new backpack. Please read the following safety guidelines thoroughly. Twice if you’re particularly dense.


Your backpack is a device that can, when properly used, provide years of trouble-free service. When improperly used, however, it can cause serious injury to yourself and others. To encourage the safe use of The Company’s product, we recommend the following safety exercises:

Exercise One

  1. Take off your shoes.
  2. Fill your backpack with several heavy textbooks, a laptop computer or whatever you might have lying around the house.
  3. Zip up your backpack.
  4. Pick up your backpack with both hands and, with your arms in front of you, lift it to shoulder height.
  5. Drop your backpack.

Did your backpack land on your foot? Did it hurt? Good. Now you know how people feel when you board the Uptown 6 train and clumsily drop the thing on someone wearing sandals or open-toed shoes.

Exercise Two

  1. Fill your backpack with items, as in Exercise One.
  2. Place your backpack on your back, carefully slipping your arms through the straps.
  3. Stand to the left of your mother’s china cabinet or display cabinet containing valuable breakables.
  4. Turn left abruptly.

Did you smash the crap out of your mom’s stuff and cause several hundred or thousand dollars’ worth of damage? Good. You’re now becoming familiar with what The Company refers to as “The Counterweight Effect.” You see, humans typically aren’t used to carrying large loads on their backs, and when use quality backpacks from The Company, they often become oblivious to the fact that they have a giant, hulking mass hanging behind them on their backs. Sudden turns can cause injury to innocent bystanders. Said bystanders may retaliate by kicking the living shit out of you. Now that you’ve decimated your mom’s collection of rare Hummel figurines, you have learned your lesson and will be careful to avoid ham-handedly and/or absent-mindedly swinging The Company’s product around with no regard for life or limb.

Exercise Three

  1. Follow steps (1) and (2) of Exercise Two.
  2. Attempt to use the revolving door in front of the Waldorf-Astoria.

Did your backpack get caught, causing you to become jammed in the revolving door? Were you nearly choked to death by your backpack’s straps? Good. This exercise teaches you to be cognizant of the space your backpack takes up while it is on your back. In this way, you’ll learn to avoid getting your backpack caught in subway doors, turnstiles, and such, holding up everybody’s commute.



  1. If your backpack is a full-frame model…
    a. Do not use it solely to carry a fresh t-shirt to the gym. The Company’s full-frame products are made to support loads of up to 125 lbs. In other words, overkill is making you look like a total dork.
    b. Do not use it in an attempt to pick up girls with the “I’m visiting from an exotic country and I’m staying in a hostel” look. (This will void your warranty.)
    c. Do not exceed the load limit of 125 lbs. On the subway. With clearly unnecessary items. The Company’s Products are for serious outdoor enthusiasts, not urban fucktards who want to carry everything they own with them at all times.

  2. If your backpack is a regular model…
    a. Using black magic marker to sketch your favorite band’s logo on your backpack is a highly personal statement – one so unique that just about every person under 18 years of age with a backpack has done it. Kudos to you on your individuality, but this will void your warranty. Especially if you sketch a Misfits logo. Man, we’re so fucking TIRED of the Misfits.
    b. Same goes for buttons and other pieces of “flair” purchased in head shops.
    c. Fake carabiners not rated for climbing suck, too. You’re not fooling anyone, you know.

Tips and Tricks

  1. If you’re a teenager, always be sure to write your name on your backpack so that pedophiles on the subway can call you by your full name.
  2. The Company’s larger models can accommodate an acoustic guitar. But this doesn’t mean you can actually play.
  3. Always leave zippered pockets open at all times for easier access. Both for you and for the pickpocket standing next to you.

Well done. You might consider adding a rule that was popular when I was attending college (not that I necessarily subscribed to the rule).

“If you are a college-student, please only use one arm-strap at a time when carrying your backpack. While this makes carrying the backpack more difficult and places an undue burden on one of your shoulders, the powers that be have decided that it has the effect of making you look ‘cool’, and less like a kindergartner off to his first day at school.”

I agree with your OP. With the exception of this one. A backpack typically sticks out from one’s back what? A foot or two? If someone is standing INSIDE the typical “personal space”(personal space is an average of three feet) area of another person, then they DESERVE to get wacked with whatever that person is moving within in their OWN personal space.

Sorry to hijack, but this drives me crazy! It seems to happen to me all the time even without a backpack. Give others reasonable personal space!! Do NOT stand two inches from their backside when in line at the store and so on. This one actually has happened to me a few times. One, an old man, was standing so close behind me, that when I put my heel down (I’d been standing with my right toe slightly behind my left heel), I stepped on his foot, if he’d been any closer at all, his crotch would have been up against my butt). Another was a lady who pushed her shopping cart right into my butt and then kept pushing it in an effort to hurry the clerk up I’m guessing. When I asked her to remove her cart from my ass, she actually complained saying “why? it’s not hurting you” :eek:

And if you’re next to someone who has a backpack on, and they say “excuse me” and start to turn, MOVE!!!, don’t continue to stand in the line of fire. Good grief.

But on a crowded train, who has room to give three feet of personal space? You’re lucky to have three inches. Likewise walking down the aisle of a store. Do you really give three feet of room to people on the other side of the aisle? When the aisle is only four feet wide to begin with?

Nope, Exercise #2 is entirely accurate. As anyone who’s ridden public transportation or walked in a store with idiots wielding backpacks can attest to.

I sort of laughed at the OP, but sort of growled. Funny thing - I’ve been using a backpack for over 25 years and it NOT so far caused damage to people or china.

(Of course, now that I have said that, Bad Things will happen tomorrow, I know they will.)