PEI

Hiking backpacks now part of P.E.I. Public Library collection

The backpacks, created through a partnership with Recreation P.E.I., are filled with resources and equipment to keep you safe and informed on the trail, including maps, a whistle, a safety vest, and even a hammock. 

Backpacks include maps, binoculars and field guides

Gillian Mahen, a library technician with the P.E.I. Public Library Service, shows the items included in the library's new hiking backpacks. There are 18 backpacks available. (Isabelle Gallant/CBC)

Hiking backpacks are the newest item available at the P.E.I. Public Library. 

The backpacks, created through a partnership with Recreation P.E.I., are filled with resources and equipment to keep you safe and informed on the trail, including maps and guides, a whistle, a safety vest, and even a hammock. 

"This would be aimed really at anyone who is interested in hiking but perhaps has not had the chance or the materials," said Gillian Mahen, a library technician with the P.E.I. Public Library. 

"You might not have your own pair of binoculars, but this way you can try it out."

The backpacks include maps, guide books, a safety vest, and a hammock. They're meant to encourage Islanders to explore P.E.I.'s many hiking trails. (Isabelle Gallant/CBC)

The backpacks also include a pamphlet on local birds, a book on animal tracks, a book on local wildflowers, a map of the Confederation Trail, and maps of several other popular hiking trails on P.E.I. 

"We're all about access to all sorts of things at the library," said Mahen.

"We're always adding to our collection and always diversifying and we're trying to reach as many people on the Island as possible."

Mahen wearing the backpack outside the Stratford branch of the library. She expects the backpacks to be popular. (Isabelle Gallant/CBC)

The hiking backpacks, which can be borrowed for three weeks, build on other library items that promote physical activity, such as snowshoes, walking poles, and yoga kits. 

Mahen said the backpacks promote physical literacy. 

"Hiking is good for both the body and soul," she said. 

"I love being out in nature myself personally. I find it very calming and relaxing."

Library expects backpacks will be popular

There are 18 backpacks in the library's collection, and you can place a hold on them online to pick up at your preferred branch. 

"They've been very popular," said Mahen. 

"Last year we launched a nature backpack for children that had flower presses and kid binoculars and things like that. And they went out like hotcakes. So I assume this will be the same."

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