Three words: “Bring. Flip. Flops.” These are among the many humorous yet practical words of advice from musician Shaun Huberts’ debut book How To Pack Like a Rock Star. And who better to take packing advice from than Huberts, along with 30 or more of the world’s top touring musicians who have spent a better part of their years on the road, living out of a suitcase.
The book is a photo driven how-to project that details Huberts’ infallible packing techniques and provides insights into the suitcases of countless musicians Huberts has crossed paths with while on the road. The objective: “to achieve and maintain perfection in the art of packing a suitcase, so that everything is in plain view and each item can be seen at all times.”
Sounds easy, right? For Huberts, after years of touring, playing bass for Canada’s Tegan & Sara and more recently as a member of Rococode, packing is as logical as a simple game of Tetris. But now even us non-rock star folk can pack with the best of ‘em thanks to these splendid visual aids, complete with commentary from Huberts and rock star friends.
You’ll learn how to use your t-shirts as a laundry bag. You’ll learn how to fold everything from your jacket to your leather leopard print pants. You’ll learn how to determine the number of laundry loads required while on vacation using the “laundratic equation” and why “bring flip flops” are three words for touring musicians to live by.
If that’s not enough to convince you it’s worth a read, the book also comes complete with a packing checklist, advice on how to keep your clothes wrinkle-free (well, less wrinkly), and a detailed list of pros and cons for soft shell versus hard shell when making your next suitcase purchase.
What makes How To Pack Like a Rock Star more than just a must-have manual for the packing impaired are the Q&A style commentaries from seasoned suitcase packers like Vampire Weekend, Paramore, Death Cab For Cutie, New Found Glory, Sarah Bareilles, Said The Whale and others who have all been exposed to Huberts’ “Rock Star Method” for packing.
You’ll find out who prioritizes changing their underwear daily and who doesn’t, who always leaves their packing until the last minute, and who once regretted packing snowboarding gear while touring through B.C. — in the summer.
Until you’re too famous to pack your own suitcase, How To Pack Like a Rock Star is a must-read for anyone who ever plans to spend a night away from home. And for both touring musicians and regular folks alike, remember: bring flip flops.
Originally published in Discorder Magazine April, 2012