So You’re Leaving for Drum Corps Tour? Pack These Things.



The A-Z (sort-of) of stuff you’ll want to pack. It’s a long, hot summer, kids. Be prepared.

Anything you need to bathe. Except for privacy. You’re not going to see that again until you go home. Sorry. (Allegedly, you will feel lonely in the shower when you get home. Maybe it’s rumor. Maybe it’s true. You’ll know pretty quick.)

Bedding: You’re going to want an air mattress. Most people go through several. Pack a couple. Pack a few pillow cases. Be prepared for hard gym floors. And the desperate need for a clean sheet (or pillowcase). At least the pillowcases don’t take up much space (and a spritz of Febreze will make it seem new when it’s totally not).

Booze. But only if you are over age 21 or on staff. Use responsibly. And watch the dehydration. You’ve been in the sun all day, every day. Be careful.

Bug Spray. You’re on a field all the time. Mosquitos love people. Spray accordingly.

Caribiner Clips: These are “gold,” according to one pro. You never know when you need a caribiner clip. So pack some. (If you’re hyper cheap and pack scissors, one supposes you might make do with zip ties.)

Change (Spare): You will eventually need to do laundry. Pack some quarters.

Clothes: Okay, you’re not going to forget those.

Coffee Press and Coffee: If you love coffee (need coffee, and who doesn’t?), it can be difficult to come by. With a French press, all you need is some coffee grounds and hot water. 8 cups of delicious coffee can be yours, no standing in line or begging required. (PRO TIP: You can also make friends with the food truck staff. They will sometimes hook you up.)

Equipment: This includes your weapons, your flag, your horn, your drumsticks, your gloves, your music, your drill, your spare bottles of valve oil. You’re not going to forget these. So…

Febreze: You can’t begin to imagine how bad everything’s going to smell. And that’s just on Day 2.

Glade: Seriously. You stink. Your bus stinks. Your seat mate stinks. Everything smells bad.

Gold Bond Powder. Devil, thy name is ‘chafing.’

Hand Sanitizer: Because you don’t always have soap. Or water. And germs are everywhere. Google it.

Lysol: Have you smelled the bus? It stinks. Spritz it. Spritz it good.

Mobile Phone. And all Charging Supplies. Obviously.

Snacks: Swedish fish, candy bars, and beef jerky are popular choices, according to the corps veterans who participated in the research for this article. Pack some dried meat, some gummy/fruity, and some chocolate. And cheese flavored. You’re going to want snacks. Pack ’em.

Sun Care: You’re going to need max SPF, waterproof, sweat-proof. You’re maybe going to want zinc. You’re going to want lip balm with SPF. You’re going to be sunburned anyway (yes, tan person, you too). So pack aloe. It’s a long summer. Try not to end up in the hospital or with blisters covering your skin. Sunglasses? Yes.

Toilet Paper: You’re occasionally pee-ing into a Gatorade bottle. You’re peeing in over-crowded restrooms, strange cities, and bus bathrooms. You don’t want to sacrifice a sock. You don’t want to be without a spare roll of TP or two in your backpack. Save the socks. And your dignity.

Water Jug: Yeah, you can’t imagine the thirst. A water jug will hold more than one of those dumb Dixie cups someone will try to hand you. So, you know. Thermos. Or whatevs.

You can always order from Amazon for these things. If you join Prime, shipping is free. (We’re an affiliate.)

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