* This post was originally published on November 5, 2017*
As an avid traveller, there’s nowhere I would go without a reliable backpack.
In many ways, the backpack is an extension of my own body. It has everything I need to stay healthy, comfortable and productive when i’m on the go. And i’m always on the go.
When we decided to launch FEJ with the world’s first Hajj & Umrah backpack, it felt like a natural place to start improving the Hajj experience. If pilgrims had a backpack that could keep their belongings close at all times and be comfortable to carry, then it would be a huge step in the right direction.
It might seem obvious that everyone should have a backpack with them during Hajj, but the reality is that few pilgrims know what to expect. They rely on their travel agencies and random websites to tell them what they need and, more often than not, they don’t get the full picture.
That’s why, in Makkah, it is so common to see people struggling with their belongings. You’ll see them with plastic bags in each hand, oversized luggage, overstuffed string bags and even boxes on their head!
Unlike other trips, bringing a backpack to Makkah is not only a good idea, it’s essential. Where else will you be trekking in the desert heat surrounded by millions of people with no stores, cafes or restaurants in sight! It’s hard to imagine being in a more vulnerable position.
What you pack on that trip can make a huge difference to your experience. Making sure to bring along plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, energy bars, fruits and snacks is so important. If you take any medications, then a backpack will ensure you have them with you at all times. A first aid kit, an extra change of clothes, a resting mat - all these things can make a huge difference on your journey so it’s important to think about what you’re going to pack.
What are the most important things to take with you? For us, this question was critical to our design approach for the Journey II Hajj & Umrah backpack. We wanted to make sure that it was big enough to take everything that you need, but not too big to avoid it being bulky and overweight. The Journey II is designed to carry all the essentials you’ll need, such as:
- Pills, medicine + eyeglasses
- First Aid Kit
- Passports + Travel Docs
- Water Bottle + Energy Bars
- Extra Ihram
- Quran + Journal
- Walking Sandals
- Resting mat
- Hygiene Kit (Unscented wipes, shampoo, hand soap, sunscreen, etc.)
- Energy Bars
- Hand Sanitizer
- Emergency Cash
Two years ago we began designing, prototyping and experimenting with the first backpack designed specifically for the Hajj. Not only did we design it to fit all the essentials, but we’ve also built into it 19+ features that focus on the safety, comfort and convenience of pilgrims. We’ve obsessed over every detail from weight distribution to how the straps feel on bare skin (super soft, of course, to prevent irritation).
Today, we’re extremely excited that hundreds of pilgrims have already taken the Journey II Hajj & Umrah backpack with them to Makkah. As we continue designing innovative products to meet the needs of our Hajjis, we hope that you too will let our products serve you on the greatest journey of your life.