So, how many "gear" posts can I write? Apparently, a lot.
This post discusses field backpack requirements. I agree with most of them (padded back, separate water holder, clips and loops for holding awkward stuff like hammers, wallet/key compartment), but I should be honest here.
I do not have a fancy backpack. I have a backpack that I got around 10 years ago to replace the pack I got in high school. It does have a couple of separate compartments, but it doesn't have all of the modern amenities. Also, the straps have been closed in car doors a few too many times and the weight-distributing belt clips are broken.
The main compartment of my backpack collects most of the miscellaneous stuff, so the bottom is sort of... dangerous at this point. It's a mess of crumbs from lunches that leaked, semi-pulverized asprin from a big bottle that opened at some point, loose change, feminine products that are too grungy to be used except in case of dire emergency, a dead stopwatch, a mostly dead calculator, and who knows what else.
As with a lot of field gear, a new backpack would be nice, but it's also the sort of thing that I don't really think about until I'm out in the field and I have to deal with it. I don't think, "oh, I'll go backpack shopping this weekend!" and so it never gets done. I would put backpack replacement higher on my to-do list if it stopped working for me, i.e. a strap or a zipper broke. But I got it from LLBean and the damn thing's invincible.
I do, however, have a certain present-giving holiday coming up... anybody have particular brands/models of backpacks they'd recommend?