But the importance of the camera bag to us far exceeds the value of its contents.
I bought the bag a week before driving down to Chihuahua as a crew member of a University of Calgary archaeological field team in 1992 (the bag and its contents, a Pentax K1000 and a couple lenses, had been stolen from my apartment a week earlier). During the four-day drive to Chihuahua, I met my future wife. We moved in together a month or two after returning from the field, and have now been married for 23 years (we backdate our anniversary to our first night together in Mexico).
The bag has held varied contents since then, including various film cameras and a digital video camera. One thing remains, however: there is a sizable light brown stain in one of the corners from where I put it inadvertently against a cow patty sometime in that summer of 1992. I will, of course, never clean it off.
The bag is a symbol of our relationship, one of many. Whenever we use it, it reminds us of that wonderful, care-free summer, the spirit of which remains an aspirational goal whenever we set out on any trip.