Travel Gear

Travel Gear

More like travel gear of a former road warrior – okay, more like semi-retired traveler.

Think I addressed these very issues, previously.

What I’ve arrived at is a simple system, really.

When it is work, or astrology-work related travel, be it a day-trip to Austin, overnight to El Paso, or any other of the locations I’ve worked in the last dozen years? Doesn’t matter. I’m back with an old, messenger-style shoulder bag that is fairly amorphous. Laptop, wires, and the rest of the accoutrments. All fits in the big, canvas bag, getting old, and strictly a shoulder bag – messenger style.

Not much has changed, but I have gotten in the habit of emptying out the bag, maybe once every month or so, just to make sure I’m not carrying anything that is no longer required. The other afternoon in Austin, client indicated his iPhone was out of juice, and I offered to let him charge off my laptop. When I started digging, I found that I no longer carried the old-style iPod/30-pin connectors. Don’t carry what is no longer used.

Then there are coast trips and “vacation” trips. Fishing trips, for work. No laptop required. Thus the minimalist version.

Okay, that minmalist one looks like a purse. I’m man enough to admit I don’t mind it looking like a purse. Matching material, that warm canvas, and as a smaller shoulder bag, I can’t stuff too much in it, just enough room for iPad, and maybe a book, plus the assorted gizmos, meds, and such.

The bigger shoulder bag, the longest walk I have to take is from an airplane to curbside, and to keep that bag from wrenching my back out of alignment, I carry it bike-messenger style. Once I the last 12 months, and maybe three times in the last half-dozen years, I’ve walked from the airport to the hotel. Bag never pulled my shoulder out. I’d agree that a two-strap backpack style is ergonomically superior, but I spend more time slinging the bag into overhead compartment, or the bed of a pickup rather than “Humping a ruck” through the sticks.

The trick with that bag, either one? Toothbrush, reading material, electronic leash with plugs, wires and adaptors as need be. Anymore, it’s all wireless and doesn’t matter. But I do carry enough essentials that I can get by if the checked bag never shows up.

In the last decades, I’ve traveled almost exclusively on Southwest Air, with free checked bags. Towards that end, I own three Halliburton suitcases. Two that are carry-on size, two with wheels, and one that is larger, but still fits with the “Under 50-pound” rule as well as the seemingly-arbitrary measurements. I used it once last year, and probably just once this year, that bigger case. Mostly it flies about half-full, waiting to be filled up with found treasures in exotic locations.

I keep both of the carry-on size cases packed with toiletries, t-shirts, and spare pair of jeans, as I tend to wear mostly shorts. I make a serious effort to not travel in cold weather or to places that are perpetually cold.

Part of this is habit. In the early stages of this career, I was traveling once or twice a month, but by the turn of the century, the new millennium, I got to where I was gone three, even four, weekends out of a month. I cycled through a series of backpacks, but that old, canvas messenger bag kept coming back, and that shoulder bag kept being the best. It can hold a weekend’s worth of gear, clothes, supplies, and accessories, or it can be equally useful for my odd afternoons at Austin’s Rock Shop.

The question is whether I take a laptop or not. That determines which bag I carry. Day-to-day stuff, the weird, long weekend that stretched from the Gulf Coast to near the Oklahoma Line? No need for a laptop, all done with the little bag – and some clothes in a duffle.

I’m working towards replacing a laptop, this one is 13-inch MacBook Pro, getting to a point where I can do it all on an iPad. Almost there. Then I’ll have to rethink travel gear.

Kramer Wetzel

Previous:

Next:

%d bloggers like this: