“What is that smell?” asked my friend when she hopped in my car in Boston this weekend.
“Must be the harbor,” I said quickly, thinking guiltily of my field pack moldering in the backseat.
There are only so many times you can fling a backpack down in a salt marsh before it picks up an undeniably fishy funk. There are also only so many times you can fall face first in a salt marsh before you lose the ability to smell said fishy funk entirely, but even with my deadened senses I am fully aware that my backpack is due for a good wash. I figured unpacking its contents is not only required for due cleansing, but also an interesting glimpse into the daily necessities of an SOS intern.
Here is my backpack. I bought it roughly 6 years ago and it has served me well lo these many seasons. It has traveled roughly around the world on various airplanes, boats, and buses. It was once as white as the driven snow, and my advice to aspiring ecologists is: do NOT purchase a white backpack for your field pursuits. Realistically I owe it to myself to purchase a new one. Realistically I will use this backpack until it dissolves in my hands.