Touring, complete: what gear survived four months of hard-wearing book-tour?

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I had the last official stop of my book tour for my novel Walkaway on Saturday, when I gave a talk and signing at Defcon in Las Vegas. It was the conclusion of four months of near-continuous touring, starting with three weeks of pre-release events; then six weeks of one-city-per-day travel through the US, Canada and the UK, then two months of weekly or twice-weekly events at book fairs, festivals and conferences around the USA.


I’ve decided to forego the expensive luggage; opting instead for cheap Costco hardside luggage. I got mine for about $90 and spent three years traveling internationally twice per month. At the very end of that stent, one of the handles broke. I still haven’t had it fixed( there’s a handle on the side as well), but I’m pretty sure it will cost about $15 at the local leather shop.

I do, however, have a $450 Tumi backpack that I bought at the Las Vegas airport. It’s probably the single most indulgent purchase I’ve ever made, and it’s completely worth it. I’m not worried about the warranty part (hopefully I’ll never have to). What sold me is the fact that it’s just a really well designed backpack. Well balanced, spacious enough to use as my only bag on 2-3 day trips, holds all my work and grad school stuff, and looks professional enough that I don’t look like a kindergartner going to his first day of school when I wear it to business meetings. I seriously went through eight or nine backpacks, messenger bags, and briefcases before finding this one.

The BetaBrand pants are tempting. It’s important to have comfortable balls when you’re spending 14 hours on an airplane.

I’m about to replace my Trayvax wallet, would be interested to know what someone who knows what they’re talking about carries.

So sorry to hear about your chronic pain, I have a similar situation 18 yrs ago drunk teen crashed into me (multiple back surgeries/3 level spinal fusion) dealing with chronic pain since then. Last month my wife bought me a Quell - Pain Relief Starter Kit -I was very skeptical as I have tried many different treatments over the years but I had my first night of actual good sleep in 18 years! So I have been using this treatment everyday, all day long for the last month and it works well enough that I cut my pain meds by 2/3 in the first week. It’s worth checking out

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These are terrific recommendations, thank you!

I’ve got a bunch of pairs of the Uniqlo underwear myself – for the price, I think they’re some of the best you can get.

A friend tipped me off to the bags made by eBags awhile back, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Their house brand of backpacks & daypacks are very smartly designed and incredibly durable, and very affordable, though there’s nothing at all cool about the prominent eBags name or logo.

Regarding battery life on the Pixel, here’s a potential fix (as per several threads on Reddit)… Settings --> Apps --> Google Play Services --> Storage --> Clear Cache. This reduced overnight passive battery drain on my PixelXL (just sitting there doing nothing) from a 30-40% loss to less than 5%. Also I hear that updating the play services app can help, but haven’t tried that.

I’ll check them out when this thing dies in (hopefully) 10 years. I’m honestly kind of ashamed of the whole Tumi thing. I’m pretty anti-name brand and used to quietly judge people who bought Tumi bags. Now I have to be content with quietly judging myself.

Interesting. I’ve tried a lot of TENS machines. This appears to be some kind of related approach. Had you tried any before this?


Cory, please tell us you’re working on a story about how a checksum failure during a Tesla firmware update causes the Singularity: Touring Complete.

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I think this post might be too long to function well as the advert that it actually is.


I did a TENS unit at Physical Therapy but never found I got any relief from it, I also had a medical at home TENS unit and that was used on my low back and I never got any relief from that either… it has to do with the location of electrodes the quell device uses a uses a specific area to hit specific nerves two inches underneath your knee around your upper calf.


OK, I’ve ordered a starter kit – I’ll review it here it it works for me! Thanks for the tip.


Great stuff, thanks!

Interesting that those Go Bars have Theanine yet still caused jitters. I wish someone would figure that issue out. In the mean time, fancy 3rd Wave single origin coffee seems to be the way to go.

Good luck my friend I hope it works for you and you find some relief. I’ll stay tuned to see what you think.

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Cory, why not replace the suitcase with a Pelican case? I have a few, used to hold gear for live audio, and I’ve horribly abused them. They’ve been dragged through muddy, grassy, rocky environments, fallen off trucks and stages and down long flights of stairs, had stuff piled on them, and they just keep going. The simple slide-out handle works fine, the wheels work fine.

I can’t speak to the warranty service as I’ve never needed any in around 15 years, and if I had, I know the local distributor personally (and don’t get a discount). Downsides are cost (not that bad compared to high-end luggage) and weight.


Do they do a lightweight, 4-wheel spinner?

I don’t think they do a spinner, probably because the steerable wheels are
either fragile or fussy. They don’t seem to do anything luggage-sized with
4 wheels.Out of curiosity, why 4 wheels?

Chronic pain + suitcase not on wheels = agony

Life measured in ‘duty cycles’ … now I’ll be analyzing every thing I do on a mean time to failure basis.

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Gotcha, my sympathies. The Pelicans have really good wheels, but two, not
four. That said, my arthritis makes a lot of stuff very painful, and I
don’t have problems wheeling Pelicans that I can’t lift.

I’ve passed your requirements on to my buddy the distributor; I’ll get back
to you with his thoughts.

BTW – thanks for the comments, folks. I mistakenly thought I was responding directly to Cory, not to here :-/