Trapper Keepers: The January First of School Supplies


The sound a Trapper Keeper makes upon opening during the first class of the first day of school is the sound a hopeful heart makes at the start of any life adventure. Whether the “professional” style of Trapper Keeper (the stately navy, teal, or dusty rose nylon variety) or the “whimsical” (plastic with pink flamingoes or red race cars), a Trapper Keeper was a must for any serious student in our day.

Upon purchase, and at least three weeks before school actually began, it was imperative to lay in a store of fresh, white, college-ruled paper (remember when graduating to college-ruled was an exciting milestone)—divided by subject, of course. Also, one would tuck important items into the pockets and/or zippered pouches of the TK, depending on the degree of “souped-up” the model was. Pens, mechanical pencils, a “good” eraser, a small slip of paper with your new locker number and combination, mints, extra lunch money, a ruler…how divine, shopping for school supplies and meticulously planning for the year ahead!
A new, fully-loaded Trapper Keeper made for a promising start to the school year. Surely straight As would be earned this year, in addition to leads in school plays, making varsity volleyball, and landing a good, non-platonic date to the fall dance.

With a new Trapper Keeper glow, I start off on this blog venture. Today I can say with every confidence that I will post daily, will always be witty, and my posts will be evocative and inspiring.

What color was your Trapper Keeper?


About missblissindc

Miss Bliss lives, works, and reminisces about the golden age of her youth in the Midwest from the DC area. She’s a Scorpio, but only in the good senses of that term. To share your 1980s/1990s mem’ries, e-mail
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8 Responses to Trapper Keepers: The January First of School Supplies

  1. I had many versions — I had pink, I think I had a KISS one, or maybe it was folder that went within in it.

    Love this blog, its taking me back.

  2. pjsa85a says:

    I love Trapper Keeper! Mine was red with a big picture of a dog on it. I had it for years then the kids started to make fun of it so I tore a big hole in the plastic with my mechanical pencil so my mom would let me get a new one. I miss that Trapper Keeper.

    • That story makes me sad! Kids are cruel, but that should never come between one and one’s Trapper Keeper.

      My boyfriend told me he only just threw his Trapper Keeper (which looked exactly like the one in this post) away, and he’s 35. We should all be so lucky as to have such a great piece of childhood on hand.

      Thanks for reading/commenting!

  3. Tyson says:

    I’m 38 years old. I’m sitting here, trying to explain the Trapper Keeper experience to my 5 year old daughter. Mine was identical to the blue one in the photo you posted! Wow!

  4. Brandy says:

    I am so glad to know that I am not the only thirty-something parent out there who would love for her children to be able to experience an 80s childhood 🙂 I have told my 9 and 10 year old daughters about them as well! Mine was just like the one in the photo only red with gold trim instead of white. I would give about anything to have that thing again. They don’t make anything like they used to! Trapper Keepers and Critter Sitters are some of my fondest childhood memories!

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