A backpack, in its simplest form, is a cloth sack carried on a person's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders.
In the Hunger Games, backpacks were typically found at the Cornucopia at the start of the competition. Tributes used them to carry and store provisions, tools, and other items needed to survive in the arena.
50th Hunger Games
In the 50th Hunger Games, Haymitch Abernathy was not mesmerized by the beauty of the arena and was able to secure weapons and a "backpack of choice supplies" before most of the tributes had even stepped off their plates. Maysilee Donner obtained a backpack containing a blowgun, 24 darts, a bowl, and some dried beef. It is unknown how she obtained this, but it is assumed she got it in the bloodbath.
74th Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen obtained a backpack at the Cornucopia during the 74th Hunger Games, which she had to fight the boy from District 9 over. However, he was killed during the struggle by Clove. Clove then threw a knife at Katniss, but she was able to block it with the backpack and flee, gaining a knife as her first weapon since her backpack did not contain one. Nonetheless, it was essential to her survival. It contained one thin black sleeping bag that reflects body heat, a pack of crackers, a pack of dried beef strips, a bottle of iodine, a box of wooden matches, a bit of coiled wire, night vision glasses, and an empty black water bottle. A drawback to this backpack was that it was a bright orange and could be easily seen. Katniss realized this and used mud to camouflage it. Due to the limited amount of provisions in the pack, Katniss had to do some hunting right after the bloodbath. She also was not aware of the night vision glasses' function, mistaking it for a pair of sunglasses that cannot block out the rays of daytime, until Rue explained to her their purpose.
Rue's backpack at the time of her death contained her slingshot, an extra pair of socks, a water skin, iodine, some nuts and roots, a bit of rabbit, and Katniss' sleeping bag which she had given to Rue as a contingency. Katniss took Marvel's backpack after she killed him and found that it contained several knives, two extra spearheads, a flashlight, a small leather pouch, a first aid kit, a bottle of water, and a pack of dried fruit.
At the feast, there were four backpacks laid out on a table near the Cornucopia. Each was marked with the respective district number and contained what the remaining tributes needed most. There was one each for Districts 2, 5, 11, and 12, although there were
six surviving tributes at the time, with two each from Districts 2 and 12. The District 12 backpack was small compared to the others as it only contained the medicine needed to help Peeta's leg infection. The District 2 backpack is believed to have contained body armor which was later used by Cato. It is unknown what the other backpacks contained, although Katniss assumed that Foxface's had food. In the film, however, every district's backpack is the same size, and the only difference was the district number. Foxface was the first to obtain her backpack by camping in the Cornucopia then darting out and grabbing it. When Katniss tried to obtain hers next, she was attacked by Clove a second time. After Thresh intervened and killed Clove, he took his own backpack and District 2's to draw Cato away from Katniss.
Backpacks were not present in the 75th Hunger Games, due to the Cornucopia only containing weapons, making the 74th the final Hunger Games in which they appeared.
Backpacks may include:
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Extra clothing
- Tools and gear
- Food and water
- First aid kits
- Catching Fire, Chapter 14
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 18