Giving musicians the right tools for the job is what we live for, but getting said tools into a van and taking them on the road isn’t always as easy as you might think. Here are some pointers for starting as you mean to go on and getting your gear safely on the move.
1. YOUR VAN IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF GEAR
Without a decent set of wheels, you’re not going anywhere. Give your mode of transport a full health inspection before you head out. Make sure everything is working safely and can handle the burden of some extra weight. The same goes for ensuring you have the right cases. More info can be found here regarding how to keep your guitars safe.
Before you load up, make a list of every single thing you’re taking with you, no matter how small. Instruments and cases are one thing there’s also leads, pedals, stands, microphones, banners, merch, even guitar picks are worth keeping track of. Make a master list and check it daily so you’re not caught out in the event that a vital piece of kit goes missing. Also, make a list of all the places you’ll be visiting, whether it’s a venue or your accommodation, along with any relevant contact details and give print-outs to everyone going on tour with you.
3. START PACKING EARLY
Lots of cases + lots of boxes + limited space = hassle. No one wants to be playing last-minute Tetris with their stuff with an important gig only a few hours away. It’s never too early to start figuring out what to take and where to put it, even if you do a “practice” pack a few days before. You can get a better look at the sort of cases we provide here.
4. BE PREPARED, BUT BE RUTHLESS
Touring is about the essentials; if it’s not aiding you or your bandmates then leave it behind. This goes for excess clothes, luggage or anything that isn’t solely to help you play music. That being said, it’s a good idea to have back-ups ready should you need them; spare leads, plugs, even guitars. Not every place you visit will have replacements for sale so ensure you have what you need at your end first.
It can be a long, hard road from one place to the next and the happier the band is, the better the tour will be. Make some themed playlists, bring some audiobooks, or find anything to watch or listen to that will make the trip go more smoothly.