Dude Must Be Packin

"It's Texas...everyone in this whole dang place is packin'."
For those of you out there who find yourselves residing in a place somewhere on the outskirts of the Lone Star Republic or perhaps even find yourselves living outside of its border country known as the United States, allow me to put your minds at ease--all of the rumors you've heard about us are true. We've all got guns, and as a friend of mine is fond of saying, "That's the reason we drive our trucks with one hand on the steering wheel--the other hand's gotta be on the revolver." It's also true that if it's not a truck we're driving to work, then it's probably a horse or longhorn. We each own at least one set of spurs for everyday and at least one pair for weddings and funerals. Free holsters are handed out along with koozies at football games, and there's never a week that goes by that you don't hear of some poor, stupid Yankee that got shot for trying to knock-over a PetsMart. Yeah, even our dogs are packin' heat.

But as skilled as we gentlemen down in the always-secession-ready Tejas may be at the art of "packing the heat," I feel we often have no idea how to carry around anything other than that Desert Eagle and Swiss Army knife strapped next to our keys.  And if that wasn't enough, the fashion world at large seems to consistently push the idea that the man-purse is the wave of the future.  All kidding aside, my red-blooded American soul just can't even consider that an option.

So I figured, what better time than around the Holidays--when nearly every gentleman around the globe will be packing up for some light to heavy travel at one point or another--to finally nail down the basics of packing up your stuff like a grown man.  Here they are in ascending order...or like a giant set of Russian nesting dolls:

1. The Smallest but Most Important Stuff
Packing begins with the stuff you tote around with you all day, every day.  It's also the stuff that, if left behind on a long trip, can leave you feeling royally screwed. So get a head start on the packing fiasco by keeping the daily important stuff neatly organized all the time with accessories like a slim wallet and modern money clip.  On the wallet front, I continue to recommend the Mighty Wallet.  I've had mine now for nearly 3 years and it's still going strong like the day I bought it.  If you work or travel to places in which you need something a little more profesh-looking (although Dynomighty now allows you to design your own custom Mighty Wallet), then I suggest going with a streamlined card wallet like these.  Also, if you're the guy that carries around so much cash-Munay! that your wallet's always bursting at the seams (it's 2013, dude, get a debit card), then try investing in a super modern horn money clip that will actually turn heads in an intrigued sort of way rather than in the drug lord diamond-encrusted-serpents-on-my-belt-and-fat-stacks-homes sort of way.

2. The Medium but Still Pretty Important Stuff  
If you're going on any kind of trip longer than a couple of hours, you'd best bring your electronic devices to keep you company.  Ipad, laptop, Kindle, original Gameboy, that novel you've been trying to finish since senior year--whatever it is, it's imperative you pack it up and protect it.  For your tablets, I absolutely love vintage leather, beat-to-heck cases that make it seem like you're carrying around the lost scrolls of Mordor rather than a host carrier of the infuriating iOS7.  For your laptop, novel, and gradebook (sorry, that's the teacher in me) try investing in a vintage leather briefcase that comes pre-loaded with all of the weathered, bad-to-the-bone coolness factor of a history teacher/archaeologist that just happened to stumble upon a Nazi plot to find the Ark of the Covenant.

3. Let's Make This An Overnight Thing  
I remember the moment I first caught a glimpse of this wickedly cool canvas backpack from Target....yesterday, and it was love at first sight.  When it's time to head on over to Auntie's or Nana-in-Law's for just a night or two, break out the medium artillery with a simple canvas backpack and dopp kit.  Change of clothes, shoes, iPad, sunglasses, coat, few toiletries, and Boom! you're done.  All without having to clear out the backseat of the car--or even the passenger seat.

4. Christmas at Mom and Dad's 
It's here. Sure you haven't even finished putting up those Christmas lights you promised your wife you'd nail to the side of the house yet, but it's the week of the 25th and you know what that means...it's off to family.  But whether it's your parents or hers, you know one thing is for certain--you're going to need to pack nearly everything you own.  Who knows? Her dad may need help with a tractor.  Work clothes.  Your mom may want a family photo of you and the dogs.  Ugly Christmas sweater.  You may go out for your birthday because it's the day before Christmas (no one else? Just me? Ok.) Oxford shirt, sweater, and chinos.  You see?  So ditch the idea of having to be the "man's man who only packs a paper bag for a 2-week stay" and just grab a super durable rolling duffle.  My wife and I have personally taken ours on all of our 2- to 3-week long trips to Africa and they've never let us down.  Of course, if you're the kind of guy who hates the idea of packing a large suitcase in general, another option is just to throw your entire wardrobe and every other worldly possession you own into a giant FedEx crate and just ship it to Mom and Pop's beforehand.  You get to fly or drive worry-free and breaking out the crowbar once you arrive will feel like Christmas morning all over again.

Alright, safe travels and blessings my friends!


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