The world is divided into two groups: Bag Guys and Not Bag Guys. (I am using “guy” as gender neutral.) I am a Bag Guy. I am always looking for just the right backpack, computer bag, luggage or duffel bag. For example, I’ve got this special bag, a backpack, that I use for hauling my portable VHF/UHF radio gear. You might call it a Go Bag but it really only has radio gear in it.
My gear for Summits On The Air (SOTA) has expanded a bit, so obviously it was time for a new bag. I decided to buy this backpack because it has solid construction and plenty of pockets. I don’t plan to actually use this as a backpack, it will be more of a “toss the gear into the back of the Jeep” bag…but having backpack straps on it will come in handy. This bag will carry spare cables, chargers, batteries, etc. that I want to keep with the radios but won’t take on the trail.
I chose the “Coyote” color for two reasons: 1) my kids keep making fun of me for always buying black bags and 2) it doesn’t show the dirt as much. This bag came with a US flag attached to it, which was a nice bonus. I kind of like patches but I don’t actually attach them to my gear or clothing very often. My interest in any particular patch changes with time and location. And I don’t want to put on so many of them that I look like a Boy Scout with a sash full of merit badges.
Well, the military has solved this problem through the use of hook-and-loop attachments (“Velcro”) on tactical gear. Feel like a little flair? Slap on a patch. Get tired of it, just take it off. Brilliant. For a little background on proper flair, see this video clip from the movie Office Space.
I thought the US Flag was pretty cool, so I found a Colorado flag to add to the collection. Then I got to thinking about using patches to label the bag. I noticed the many vendors that make custom text patches (often referred to as “Name Tapes”). These work great for labeling bags, pouches, etc. I ordered mine from a third-party on Amazon: 3 Inches/Hook Fastener/ Personalized Custom Name Tape
Of course, another option is to put my name on the patch. By name, I really mean name and call sign. If there are a pile of radio bags, everyone will know which one is mine. This is where it can get tricky because my call sign has a zero in it and not all vendors know how to handle the slash-zero thing. I decided to give it a try by just inserted a slash-zero character into the entry field on the web page. As you can see in the photo, it worked out just fine.
Do a little websearching and you’ll find plenty of military/tactical gear that has hook-and-loop fasteners built into the design. But, you may already have your favorite backpack that doesn’t have this feature. No problem, go ahead and attach a strip or two of the fuzzy (loop) material to it and you can slap your favorite patch on it.
I can already see how this
may will get out of hand. There are so many packs, pouches, bags, hats, jackets that could use some proper labeling, or maybe just a little flair.
73, Bob K0NR