The title, How To Pack Like A Rock Star was meant to be fairly self-explanatory and obvious, but how did you interpret it? Did you read it as, how to pack like a ‘rockstar’ (as in, a slang reference to something being done in the best possible manner or to “describe something good”). Or did you interpret a little more straight-up as it reads, ‘Rock Star’ (as in “Someone who is in a popular rock band”)? That space, or lack of space between the two words, makes a big difference to me. So how did you interpret it?
(thanks urban dictionary for these)
The truth is, there is no wrong answer and both ways are right. Officially I was referring to the musicians in the book who contributed their expertise (so the Rock Stars), but in saying that, I also fully intended and expected for more people to see it the other (rockstar) way… because it is after all (in my opinion!) a far superior way in which to pack. So then why am I saying this now? To remind you and me of one key point: You don’t have to be a musician to pack like a pro!
I was reminded again of this when professional soccer player Matt Watson of the Vancouver Whitecaps sent me a picture of his suitcase packed with pure class and elegance. Its obvious, and yet I still forget that Pro athletes can travel just as much as musicians, so doesn’t it makes sense for them to be pro-packers as well? Don’t be confused, I’m not saying that it makes sense for all athletes to ‘support Green Bay football’ (Get it? “pro-Packers”. Sports joke. Hilarious, I know…) but what I am saying is that there are a lot of other professions that travel for work. So athletes, musicians, business people, travellers and vacationers alike, let this be a good reminder to all of us that we can all be rockstars within our travels. And as much as I really dislike the use of the word and term ‘rockstar’ (true story), I think it’s fine if you use it in this setting… cause after all, we are reproducing the methods brought forth by true rock stars!
So yes, the Rock Star (aka ‘Rockstar’) pack method is expanding to the world of athletics, thanks to Mr Watson. Will you be the one to rise up in your world? Keep in touch if you do :)
I just got back from a 10 day vacation with my family and it was amazing, BUT for a moment there, before we left and as I was packing my suitcase, I felt as though I forgot how to pack for that length of time?! Or worse yet, I could barely remember my own rules to packing! Sure it’s been a little slower of a year musically for me and sure I haven’t been touring as much but I’m almost embarrassed about my packing skills feeling so rusty! To be honest with you, I even had to go back and reference my own book to review my packing checklist!
This is sad for me… but lucky for you, because it’s made me realize that more people need a chance to brush up on their own packing skills for their own vacations or upcoming getaways and so in order to help you in your journey I though I’d put on an End of Summer Sale! I’ve lowered the price of the book to $17.99 (plus shipping still unfortunately… unless you live in Vancouver and wanna meet up :P )
OK ok, in reality it’s not that I forgot how to pack, but more that I got a little caught up in trying to take pictures of a new pack that I forgot what to pack and most importantly, where I was traveling to! I was heading off to Hawaii! I had no need for multiple pairs of jeans, multiple dress shirts, etc… just a couple pairs of swim trunks, a few v-neck shirts and a couple tank tops and I woulda been set… but the picture looked cooler with all the rest so I left it in there. Ha. Right before I left my home, I did unload the items in the top picture with an ‘X’.
Let this be a good reminder,
Have a look at the weather report for your destination, and pack accordingly!
SO basic, yet SO easy to forget :P
PS. this is my list (from the book…)
Or too literally in this case.
I was recently at the Vancouver International Airport (or YVR in airport speak) flying out on tour and I saw some great art work that I thought I should share with you. It’s also quite fitting and sooo close to being exactly what I’ve been talking about for years now with How To Pack Like A Rock Star. I call this, (and I hope the artist did too!) How To Pack A Rock… and no, I won’t be writing a book about this one, most likely because it’s now so obvious just how to do it; Find a nice rock, drill a couple holes on top, screw in a handle, put on the baggage tags and take it over to special baggage to get it x-rayed…
Ok, obviously this is a joke, but just like this cool display at YVR, packing your suitcase can also be a form of art! So don’t forget to have fun with simple tasks in life! Stop taking menial tasks so seriously and start putting the right side of your brain to task! Better yet, instead of getting a new brain-teaser-type app and staring into yet another computer screen, try re-organizing your cupboards or closet. Do it by color then test your memory by trying to recall how many blue shirts you have or how many colors over from the right is your red shirt?! I think you’ll feel much better solving smaller tasks like this in real life than killing 5 minutes in the Matrix… but then this is coming from a guy who writes about suitcase packing so… Compromise? Maybe enjoy the game first, then use it practically in your home, ha!
I say all this for only one reason, to encourage you to go out and appreciate art, support art, and find ways to enjoy creating it yourself! I can’t explain to you how much I’ve enjoyed creating How To Pack and the conversations I’ve been able to have with people I may not have normally encountered and it’s all because of this quirky little BOOK. I encourage you to stop saying “No one will care if I make something or not…” if you are passionate about it then do it, make it, create it, and I’m POSITIVE there’s someone out there that will appreciate what you’ve done!
If you need inspirations first, no problem, there’s plenty out there, try starting by perusing the pages of Kickstarter, it’s a great place to check out cool art projects and a place to maybe even start supporting people and their passions! If you need extra help or advice, then you should check out my fave blogger (I call him my buddy despite the fact I’ve never met him in person… but he’s just that great!), Seth Godin. Or even better yet, try to get involved in your own local art scene? All I’m saying is GET OUT THERE AND HAVE SOME (or CREATE some) FUN!
Let me know what you’re passionate about and working on!
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve added a bunch of photos of my suitcase from one of my last tours down to LA and back with my friend Steph MacPherson. You’ll notice that there isn’t much change in the look of the pack because I’m only moving the position of one item each day… well three including my underwear and socks that live in the mesh pocket above. And in general, a reminder, when you take a shirt out to wear, place the other one up on top of the stack as its easier to place it back in from there. This is also assuming you haven’t sweat through it and it doesn’t stink and you are ok with putting it back with the other ‘actually clean’ clothes!
Anyway, have a look at the different days, become mesmerized by all the different and revolving bedsheets or duvets colors from city to city, hotel to hotel.
Side note. You know you’ve been touring too long when you can recognize which hotel it is by the color or pattern of it’s bedcovers…
PPS. I’ve add all the photos to the ‘sent in’ section of the site, check them out here and let me know what you think! Email me your pictures too!
It answers all of life’s tough questions, GUARANTEED*!
I spoke a little about it earlier but I’ve been spending the last few months with a couple of brand new Arc’teryx travel bags. I was given the opportunity to test them out and I’m thankful for that as I’m a big fan of demoing and testing anything, but especially suitcases, tennis racquets and ice cream! Actually I’m kind of lactose intolerant so let’s sub out video games for ice cream, my apologies Ben and Jerry… sorry, back to talking suitcases and Arc’teryx bags!
Ok so the first trip was a 5 week tour with my band Rococode. Now since I don’t like bringing too much on tour I opted for the smaller ‘carry-on’ sized bag, the Arc’teryx Covert CO. The following trip, a vacation family to Hawaii, I thought I’d pull out the big guns and use the larger sized, Arc’teryx Covert CI. Two different excursions, two different needs.
On a side note, after spending the past few years only touring with a carry-on sized bag for whatever length of trip, I’m still trying to figure out how I filled the larger one up on only a two week vacation?! For the sake of my reputation, let’s just call it thorough testing…
Let’s get straight into it and talk about their features…
Aside from the size and color, the features and designs to these bags are the same, both feature very sturdy zippers, super high strength fabric, plenty of gripping handles, and then straps for converting into a backpack. They don’t have wheels, but they also don’t have an inner spine so in return it keeps the weight to the bare minimum. After filling up the larger bag with all my entire closet, I’ll admit, it was a little heavy for those straps, especially if you were hoping to walk comfortably across an airport such as Heathrow or O’Hare, but then I’m talking about the Covert CI, and the CI stands for ‘Check In’ for a reason! The plus to having a spineless bag that converts into a backpack is that heavy or not, it feels comfortable against your back. It’s build-in inner compression straps keep everything inside tight and together, helping it conform to your back. It made me feel ‘one with my bag’. You do start to feel the weight on your shoulders over a longer haul due to the thinner shoulder straps. But it seems as though nothing was done without a reason, and the reason behind the thin shoulder straps is because they can be removed and slid away into a sly pocket near the top handle. I like this feature and it makes the bags look so slick. Clean lines. I’d take a slimmer shoulder strap that tucks away from a larger clunky strap any day. Maybe it’s just my love for suitcases but the word sexy comes to mind when I think about this feature.
A slight personal beef with these bags are that when the shoulder straps are out and being used there is almost 2 feet of extra strapping just dangling around on each strap and they don’t really stay in the pocket that is meant for the full strap when in hiding. BUT once again, there is a reason for this too! If you only pull out one strap, zip the other one away, then you can use the extra strapping and convert it into a shoulder strap like a satchel or in my case a large murse, or ‘man purse’ . I like the idea, great versatility… but the straps still annoy me when I use it as a backpack. Nothing a simple elastic can’t solve though, ha.
One of the other features that I noticed right away was the tiny little zipper pulls. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about them at first. They felt sturdy and of good quality but I wondered if people with larger ‘mitt’ hands might find them too small? By the end of the trip I knew I liked them, the look, design and feel of them won me over.
“The logo side goes against my back?” I pondered to myself upon first putting to my back.
“Aren’t I supposed to be a walking billboard and display the bag logo to the people behind me?”
Nope. Not on these bags. The logos are small and subtle, a classy move in my opinion, and on the front of the straps, not the back. My theory is this: When you remove it as a backpack, it falls off your back and onto it’s back, straps (and logo) facing up towards the sky… so logo remains upright and more importantly I feel, cleaner as it’s furthest from the ground. Maybe I think too much about this things, but with a company like Arc’teryx, I’m willing to bet they have more reasons that that for it.
These bags are ideal for anyone wanting a little more get up and go options while still maintaining the true shape of a suitcase. Ideal for anyone hoping to trade a little suitcase weight in for a few more clothes. Ideal for anyone who wants a sleek looking bag and cares about its longevity. All in all, there’s an exceptional level of craftsmanship that has gone into these bags and if you don’t mind loosing the wheels to your carry-on or check-in then I know these will be right up your ally. I’m sold.
Thank you Arc’teryx for this opportunity.
The Covert CI in the Rocky Mountains and Hawaii
my first pack in the Covert CO
and don’t forget that the best book ever, award winning even, also fits quite well in these bags. To get your own personalized copy, go here!
How flip flop sandals can save your life, a short essay assignment by Shaun Huberts.
I’ll make this as simple as possible…
Public showers (but also including hotel pool areas, rock star arena change-rooms, guest rooms and green rooms) are gross. Sometimes even filthy.
Do not enter these places on a regular basis without expectations for developing some sort of foot rot. That is unless you wear protection. That’s correct, this is a safety message brought to you by your local podiatrist and me! WEAR FLIP FLOPS! They are so easy to travel with, they are light, they dry quickly and they’re cheap! They will protect your feet from the grime that may sleeping on the floor of that old venue shower just waiting to climb aboard your foot, dig deep into your skin or toe nails and infect the shizz outta ya! Ok sorry, now I’m going for the shock value message, but it’s only because I care. Oh and did I mention sandals were cheap?! As in even cheap enough for musicians. Yes, that cheap.
So no excuses, pick up a cheap pair for your next trip, vacation or tour, and at least save yourself from contracting swine flu? This lesson was also brought to you by the letter ‘W’… as in warts. I’ve said enough.
for more thoughts and advice, you can always browse through my book?! Until next time,
How Do You Pack?
So it’s a new year, 2013, (oh and ps Happy New Year to you all) and so it’s time to get some new packing talk, photo’s and fun from all of your favorite Rock Stars! I like my collection of this in the book BUT I think we can go deeper and further and find some of your other favorite musicians, right? Agree? Well let’s do it, so stay tuned and you’ll start to see some newer content from even more, even bigger, and who knows what else, but stay tuned!
If you have any suggestions for people you’d like to include, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org OR maybe even TWEET at them and suggest that we should get in touch :)
side note, thanks to my friends Daria, Phoebe, Radka and Griffin for sending in these great shots of their suitcases and starting us off and answering the question, How Do You Pack?!