Bernard Wache has been working on the bag for the past six years and, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, it will finally go on sale this September – news that has thrilled rock climbers, surfers and sailors alike.
But the 41-year-old designed the bag for a path less travelled – sea-trekking. His company Áetem, which will sell the rucksack, offers tailored tours along coastlines not normally accessible by foot. Sardinia, Croatia and Thailand are just a few of the locations.
All sea-trekkers must carry all they need with them in a 65-litre bag, and after more than a decade of free-diving, Wache decided to make a bag which wouldn't soak through after a couple of hours in the water.
He experimented with countless different materials, glues and buoyancy techniques in his Bavarian workshop until he perfected the “James C.” which won a “Brand New” award at this year's Munich's Ispo sport equipment expo.
Wache is still negotiating to find the perfect manufacturer, but he hopes to release a smaller version of the bag in October, which he says will cost less than the €450 price tag on the larger predecessor.
The company Áetem, similar to Atem, the German word for breath, hopes to offer people the chance to see the world a little differently - and by only being able to carry a maximum of 15 kilos of luggage, get back to basics.
Although Wache has been free-diving since the age of 24, his tours are also suitable for beginners. “Being able to swim and being relatively fit” were, he said, the only requirements. Sea-trekking was, he added, all about discovery.
Áetem explains sea-trekking