Flying frequently is never easy, and for Tim Mislock, touring guitarist for Brooklyn-based indie rock band The Antlers, packing can be even more difficult when he has to decide between the band's essentials and his own personal extras.
"With flying and all that stuff, obviously we try to check as little as possible because we have so much gear to bring. So I need a small bag that can hold a lot of things. Being a guitar player I have to have extra strings, tuners, and string cutters. But I also need the fun stuff like my laptop, Kindle, and earbuds."
Mislock uses his Bleecker Legacy Suede Courier to keep it all together. "Thankfully it's wide enough that it fits my 13-inch laptop," he says—adding that his laptop is not only a crucial Skype connection to his family while on the road, it also serves as a mobile recording studio on the go. Plus, "the pockets in the front and back can fit my iPod, Kindle, all my headphones, chargers, European adapters—kind of all the things that I need to bring."
While on the road, Mislock values the time he gets alone, however few moments they may be, and often spends them doing something productive. Whether it's working on other projects or reviving the art of old-fashioned letter writing, he says, "I bring envelopes and stamps and try to write my friends letters as much as I can. It's kind of a weird, romantic thing to do. On tour, if you've got 45 minutes to yourself, writing a letter is probably a more productive way to pass the time than seeing what's on YouTube... or drinking more," he says.
Touring can definitely take its toll on the body, though, and that's precisely why Mislock makes sure to take precautionary measures against getting sick and packs supplements in his bag. "There's two pockets on either side of the back where I store Airborne, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and all the things you need on tour to stave off illness. We don't really get a whole lot of sleep. We've only been home for three days and all of us have a cold."
A great bag made of premium materials also makes him look more professional and adds the right amount of polish without ruining his casual style. "I used to work at a magazine in Times Square and I always felt like a recent college grad because I was always going in with my nylon messenger bag or a backpack, and it always felt kind of youthful," Mislock recalls. "Walking around with a suede and leather messenger bag, you feel a little more adult."
Now, even though he's usually on the road, at a show, or in a plane, he's able to take everything he needs with him, as well as a little extra luxury.