Author Topic: Backpack Hobbies  (Read 4512 times)

wing117

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Backpack Hobbies
« on: August 09, 2016, 12:17:48 PM »
What are some hobbies whose physical footprint is small enough to fit into a backpack?

I recently gave up a very expansive and expensive hobby - woodworking. After 3 years of going at it, it just wasn't for me. It took up ~500 sqft of space with all the tools, wood, scrap, books, jigs, clamps, benches, chemicals, etc... And it was an expensive endeavor. I'm selling all the tools and wood and clearing the workshop out.

I wanted to replace all that time with fulfilling, but space and money efficient hobbies that'll bring me joy. I began expanding into reading, journaling and sketching.

This got me thinking that the three hobbies could all fit in a backpack with me and I came up with the term "Backpack Hobbies" or hobbies whose physical footprint is small enough to fit in a backpack. I also hike, backpack and camp (which all fit in backpacks obviously too!). What are some other hobbies that fit the definition?

Edit: The list we have so far, organized into some kind of categories!

Hiking
Camping
Backpacking

Plant, Bird and Insect Identification
Bird Watching
Wilderness Foraging
Fishing

Photography

Wood carving
Spoon Carving
Model Building

Reading
Journaling
Writing

Sketching/Drawing
Painting
Watecolor painting
Music

Boxing
Jiu Jitsu
Frisbee Golf
Rock Climbing
Sailing
Snorkeling
Tennis
Basketball
Soccer
Volleyball
Jogging/Running

Knitting
Counted Cross Stitch
Free embrodery
Hand Sewing
English Paper Piecing
Hand Quilting
Crochet
Basket-Weaving
Spinning Yarn (drop spindle)

Video Games
Programming
Arduino/Small Circuits/Open Source
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 04:43:06 PM by wing117 »

Spiffy

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 12:31:13 PM »
I am a knitter, and all of my "tools" and current projects fit into a smallish basket. As long as you don't buy too much yarn at once, it takes up very little room.

lthenderson

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 01:18:11 PM »
Of my hobbies, photography would easily qualify as well as carving, a niche of woodworking along with my pen making including my mini lathe and all the necessary tools, though I wouldn't want to carry that backpack very far.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 01:43:37 PM »
snorkeling
wilderness foraging (for food; mushrooms, berries, etc)
fishing
photography
painting

GuitarStv

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 01:52:24 PM »
- Music (harmonica, guitar, tuner, sheet music, metronome)
- Boxing (hand wraps, gloves, headgear, shorts, shoes, mouthguard)
- Jiu Jitsu (Gi, rashguard, mouthguard)
- Writing (notebook, pencil)

JoJo

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 02:23:07 PM »
counted cross stitch

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 02:47:30 PM »
Good topic.  For me, sailing has been a fairly recent backpack hobby, if you can find a cheap place to sail so you don't have to actually own the sailboat itself, which is tricky.

I don't do it but frisbee golf was the first thing that came to mind.

I like the martial arts suggestions, as I've done that and carried everything in a backpack.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 02:55:22 PM »
What are some hobbies whose physical footprint is small enough to fit into a backpack?

I recently gave up a very expansive and expensive hobby - woodworking. After 3 years of going at it, it just wasn't for me. It took up ~500 sqft of space with all the tools, wood, scrap, books, jigs, clamps, benches, chemicals, etc... And it was an expensive endeavor. I'm selling all the tools and wood and clearing the workshop out.

I wanted to replace all that time with fulfilling, but space and money efficient hobbies that'll bring me joy. I began expanding into reading, journaling and sketching.

This got me thinking that the three hobbies could all fit in a backpack with me and I came up with the term "Backpack Hobbies" or hobbies whose physical footprint is small enough to fit in a backpack. I also hike, backpack and camp (which all fit in backpacks obviously too!). What are some other hobbies that fit the definition?

Spoon-carving is a rapidly growing niche  in woodworking. The requisite tools (a couple knives, a pruning saw, and a small axe) fit easily in a backpack and cost less than $100. The material is free. There's a spooncarving group on Facebook with over 13,000 members worldwide.

Northwestie

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2016, 02:56:51 PM »
What are some hobbies whose physical footprint is small enough to fit into a backpack?

I recently gave up a very expansive and expensive hobby - woodworking. After 3 years of going at it, it just wasn't for me. It took up ~500 sqft of space with all the tools, wood, scrap, books, jigs, clamps, benches, chemicals, etc... And it was an expensive endeavor. I'm selling all the tools and wood and clearing the workshop out.

I wanted to replace all that time with fulfilling, but space and money efficient hobbies that'll bring me joy. I began expanding into reading, journaling and sketching.

This got me thinking that the three hobbies could all fit in a backpack with me and I came up with the term "Backpack Hobbies" or hobbies whose physical footprint is small enough to fit in a backpack. I also hike, backpack and camp (which all fit in backpacks obviously too!). What are some other hobbies that fit the definition?

I still do some woodworking and hope to do more in retirement, but I have never invested in the big power tools.  I don't have the space and they would just sit idle most of the time anyway.  When I have a project I take a class at the local community college and in their fabulous woodworking studio.  They have a cabinet making and boat building program so for $180 I get access to any machine I can imagine.

mustachianteacher

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2016, 04:32:42 PM »
Hiking or backpacking. (Sorry, had to!) Ultralight backpacking is even less intensive, as long as you don't get sucked into spending tons of money on ultralight stuff. Once you've got your gear, you're basically set. Aside from food and toiletries, you can use the same stuff for years.

bridget

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 04:58:26 PM »
Hiking or backpacking. (Sorry, had to!) Ultralight backpacking is even less intensive, as long as you don't get sucked into spending tons of money on ultralight stuff. Once you've got your gear, you're basically set. Aside from food and toiletries, you can use the same stuff for years.

Lol, I was hoping to be the first one to suggest actual backpacking. :) Although my backpacking stuff doesn't technically fit in a single backpack in my house, because not all gear is best stored in the backpack and sometimes you have different gear for different types of trips,* it takes up a small amount of closet space and a single under-the-bed box in my 450 sq ft apartment.

*For instance, I have two sleeping bags depending on temperature, both of which will last longer if I hang them in a closet while not in use rather than stuffing them into the tiny 1L sacks I use on trips.

ETA: I have absolutely been sucked into spending tons of money on ultralight stuff.

meg_shannon

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 06:03:30 PM »
Watercolor painting - there are lots of travel sets. My daughter really likes to paint, so we bring some paper, a watercolor paint palette, a cup for water (filled from a drinking fountain or water bottle), and some brushes. Of course, she's six, so perhaps a serious adult hobbyist would require a bit more.

Cross stitch and free embroidery as was mentioned upthread. I stitch a lot in parks. I can still keep an eye on the kids and keep my hands busy.

Hand sewing, including English paper piecing. There are quite a few quilters who slowly work on these hand projects when they travel or don't have access to their machine.

human

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 06:29:05 PM »
Hiking or backpacking. (Sorry, had to!) Ultralight backpacking is even less intensive, as long as you don't get sucked into spending tons of money on ultralight stuff. Once you've got your gear, you're basically set. Aside from food and toiletries, you can use the same stuff for years.

I had the exact same thought, but you might wind up buying a three season tent, a four season tent, a two person tent and a solo tent. Then different rated sleeping bags. Of course it doesn't have to get to out of control . . .

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 06:44:35 PM »
All my rock climbing gear fit nicely in a backpack.  I can fit all my sport climbing gear plus water and lunch in a 25L pack, but I need something closer to 45L if I want to fit my traditional climbing equipment, which includes all sorts of rock protection.

yuka

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 07:01:52 PM »
First of all, pretty much anything with a computer. These can go from pretty unsatisfying, like playing computer games, to 'normal' programming, to adding an Arduino and a small circuits kit. If you go with the last option, you could probably fit it in the space of a small leftovers container.

I've also been making a model sailboat recently. It takes about a shoebox of space for tools, and then another shoebox of space for the box that the wood comes in.

Also, a small musical instrument. A facebook friend recently posted this thing called Otomatone. I think it sounds super annoying, but it could nonetheless be a fun hobby.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuqCiDIuTnc

GuitarStv

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2016, 05:51:44 AM »
I like the martial arts suggestions, as I've done that and carried everything in a backpack.

The beauty of most martial arts that use a gi - there's a way to put everything inside the gi, then use the belt to tie it all up into a mini-backpack . . . so you don't even need the backpack to carry everything!

sparkytheop

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2016, 06:09:36 AM »


Hand sewing, including English paper piecing. There are quite a few quilters who slowly work on these hand projects when they travel or don't have access to their machine.

This.  I've recently started quilting (by hand).  If you do baby quilts, you can get buy with needles, safety pins (to baste things in place), thread (one for piecing, one for quilting), scissors or a rotary cutter (if using the rotary cutter, you'll want a cutting mat, as big or as small as you like), thimble(s)-- I like leather with a "coin" for piecing, a metal one for quilting, and your batting/fabric.  I also use a lap hoop stand and an "Aunt Becky"; a little piece of folded metal to protect my underside thumb/fingers from needle pricks.

I wanted a portable hobby, to take with me for any "found moments".  I have a 14" lap stand quilting hoop that fits in a bag, quilt included, with a pocket for my thread and sewing items (which fit in an eyeglass case to keep together).  Eye glass case holds extra needles, thimbles, Aunt Becky, and folding scissors.  Sometimes I move the thread to a bobbin to make it more portable, fitting into the eye glasses case as well (just remember to thread from the cut end rather than the free end).  When I get close to the edges, I don't need the hoop.  I actually don't need the hoop at all, but I prefer quilting with it rather than just lap quilting.

I'll need a little bit bigger bag when I move on to queen sized quilts, but I'll make that one.  The piecing can all be carried in a smaller bag though, the larger bag not needed until I put the quilt on the hoop.

Crochet is also very portable.  A spool of yarn, hook, and folding scissors and you're good to go.  Oh, and your pattern if you're following one.

thd7t

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2016, 06:48:25 AM »
Plant, bird, and insect identification are kind of relaxing adds to a hike and give you something to learn about when you get home.
This thread seems super appropriate for this forum and I love the answers!

wing117

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2016, 07:34:52 AM »
These are all great! Keep them coming! I'll curate an organized list in the main post for future readers as we add more.

Hiking or backpacking. (Sorry, had to!) Ultralight backpacking is even less intensive, as long as you don't get sucked into spending tons of money on ultralight stuff. Once you've got your gear, you're basically set. Aside from food and toiletries, you can use the same stuff for years.

I had the exact same thought, but you might wind up buying a three season tent, a four season tent, a two person tent and a solo tent. Then different rated sleeping bags. Of course it doesn't have to get to out of control . . .

Yeaaah, this is definitely the hardest part of camping. Not becoming a gear head! A couple months ago I pared down a lot of my equipment and now we are down to two packs, loaded for three season, and a 36x24x12 rubber maid tub that has my cold weather and spare equipment. I'm set for just about all conditions now, so I don't even let myself look at camping equipment anymore.

bobechs

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2016, 07:41:48 AM »
Space travel; as long as someone else supplies the spacecraft and launch vehicle all you need is the watch, the sunglasses and the mission baseball cap.

mskyle

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2016, 08:39:43 AM »
Ooh, I am very interested in spoon carving now! I see there are a couple of intro classes in my area; maybe I'll give them a try.

Basket-weaving supplies will fit in a backpack so long as you're making baskets that will fit in a backpack - obviously you can go as big as you want. You will need a large-ish bucket or bowl to soak your materials but it doesn't have to be dedicated to the purpose - you can put it back in the kitchen or whatever when you're done. I suppose you could even use a heavy-duty plastic bag or folding camp sink or something for the soaking if you really wanted to save space.

bobechs

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2016, 09:33:10 AM »
Ooh, I am very interested in spoon carving now! I see there are a couple of intro classes in my area; maybe I'll give them a try.

Basket-weaving supplies will fit in a backpack so long as you're making baskets that will fit in a backpack - obviously you can go as big as you want. You will need a large-ish bucket or bowl to soak your materials but it doesn't have to be dedicated to the purpose - you can put it back in the kitchen or whatever when you're done. I suppose you could even use a heavy-duty plastic bag or folding camp sink or something for the soaking if you really wanted to save space.

If you've got basket skilz you don't need no stinkin' backpack!

Looks like good bucks in these too, if they sell for what they are advertised for.



vortenjou

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2016, 09:49:12 AM »
Spinning yarn on a drop spindle.

yuka

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2016, 01:41:31 PM »
Basket-weaving supplies will fit in a backpack so long as you're making baskets that will fit in a backpack - obviously you can go as big as you want. You will need a large-ish bucket or bowl to soak your materials but it doesn't have to be dedicated to the purpose - you can put it back in the kitchen or whatever when you're done. I suppose you could even use a heavy-duty plastic bag or folding camp sink or something for the soaking if you really wanted to save space.

A fellow basket-weaving major?!?

sleepyguy

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2016, 01:48:25 PM »
Cool topic, I agree some hobbies take up WAY too much space.

Now these listed can get out of control, but also you can be very frugal about them and be fine 99% of the time.

Hiking/Camping
Carving
Tennis/Basketball/Soccer/Volleyball, any sport that doesn't require a TON of equipment (Golf/Hockey/Football/etc)
Anything on a laptop... programing, gaming, web dev, etc, etc
Jogging


Exhale

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2016, 06:34:45 PM »
sandcastle building
guerrilla gardening
volunteering
dance
yoga
tai chi

forumname123

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2016, 06:43:40 PM »
Some that I like:

Gold panning
Geocaching
Ultralight fishing
Magnet fishing

I like to search for things apparently.

BeautifulDay

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2016, 07:14:06 PM »
Ooooh... Love this thread

I am taking up ultralight backpacking.  Ultra light gear so I can still carry my other small pack of camera equipment.  I HAVE A Nikon DSLR chosen because it was the lightest DSLR with the specs I wanted.  Also cheaper than the other cameras I liked. 

I try to keep all my gear down to the essentials.  Few items are worth being carried around.  Having too much weight is a sure way to ruin a good walk. 

My DH paints models - little figurines.  He has a bag that he carries his modeling supplies in and brings it when we travel.

NorCal

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Re: Backpack Hobbies
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2016, 09:09:52 PM »
Rock climbing:  Like any hobby, this can expand to any budget.  But you can do a lot with only a backpack worth of gear.

As a fellow woodworker, I know what you're saying about tools and budget.  I've done a lot of small lathe work as a middle ground.  It won't fit in a backpack, but a midi-lathe takes up minimal space, and you can do a lot with it.