What are you packing?

I have had several conversations about how to pack for a detail within CONUS. I tweeted yesterday and received several comments about, what I referred to as, Prima Donnas in the industry that pack as if they are going to fashion week. Packing should be left to the essentials needed to do the job. Irrelevant extra wardrobe occupies too much space forcing you to add extra bags. In these times, extra bags is an extra charge. It is irresponsible to force those charges on a client. Secondly, bringing unnecessary charges on yourself is not being a good steward of your hard earned money. The biggest fear of traveling with checked baggage is whether or not your bags make it to your destination. Having more bags does not make this unknown fear go away. In fact your chances of missing a bag is higher when you bring more.

What I do is look at the shcedule and wargame what attire I will need. If the schedule is heavy in business attire, I then look at how many days I will be operational. Then I choose my suits. I never travel with more than 4 suits depending on the amount of days I am on the road and I have traveled with as few as 2 suits for a 4 day detail. If the weather coupled with where the events will be I will take in consideration sweating which will cause me to up the number of suits, but never more than 4. When it comes to dress shirts, I will pack 1 for each day I am on the road. The exception to the suit and shirt rule is if and ONLY if there is a laundry clause in the contract. If there is a laundry clause, I will only take 3 suits and rotate them in the hotel dry cleaning as well as only 4 white dress shirts.

The key to any of this is the tie. Changing your necktie everyday gives you the impression that you have on different wardrobe. I rarely travel with printed dress shirts because they are easier to remember. People will remember a shirt repeat before they remember a dark suit. Ties are the same, in that, just by the nature of what they do to your appearance, they are normally the first thing someone notices when they see you. Then they compliment you on your suit. Now, if your suit does not fit well, meaning you are standng on your cuffs, or your sleeves are hanging below your knuckles, people will remember it.

I take one pair of shoes. I have a specific pair that I have purchased that are very comfortable and hold a good shine. They have air sole bottoms and feel like tennis shoes and if they get lost or damaged I am not as bothered. Note: These are different from the shoes that I wear to meetings. I take 2 pair of underwear per day, one for my post workout as well as a pair for work. I also pack 1 undershirt per day and 3 pairs of dress socks that I roll up and pack inside my dress shoes to save space in the suit case.

When it comes to packing I always work towards a carry on bag. But if I can not fit everything I go to my next size bag. I never choose my largest bag because I don’t want my clothes shifting around during the flight, nor do I want to subconciously pack more just to fill the bag. Luggage is very expensive however I buy my luggage for durability and not fashion. I have 3 Blackhawk roller cases, 1 blackhawk garmernt bag. I know that luggage in and of itself is nother sign of fashion, but for me operational luggage does not fall in the Luis Vuitton line.

When I pack my luggage I pack everything that I don’t have any conern about wrinkling, like underwear and undershirts at the bottom, then any a pair or 2 of jeans along with a couple casual BPI polos, gym shorts and workout shirt. Then I box fold my dress shirts, insert them and end the packing with my suits that I fold. I put my dress shoes in shoe bags and put them face down alongside my clothes along the perimeter of the suitcase. What I wear during travel is always considered as part of my travel wardrobe. For instance, if I am wearinf jeans and tennis shoes or my Merrells I don’t have to pack 2 pairs of jeans nor do I have to pack my tennis. This is all part of my packing formula.

Operational tools are another packing optionIf I am packing my leatherman MUT or my Emerson Commander I put them inside my shoes and pack my socks on them to secure them. Packing weapons is a blog all by itself and I will dedicate a blog to that on another day. Operational tools are not always necessary but most of feel empty without them and as Mr Murphy would have it, the first time you don’t bring them, you’ll need them.

I will put together a video that I will put on the BPISecurity Youtube channel so that you can see how I do it. The lesson here is less is more and less is faster.

1 comment

  1. Russ Anderson

    I like the way you think Mr. konohia. My dry cleaner asked if i owned any other shirt color besides white and blue not because I have clearly defined professional reasons like you, but because I have a very poor sense of fashion and if I try to be fancy I know I will fail miserably.

    As usual great blog please keep it up!

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