Attaching Guitar to Backpack: Good Idea?
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 8:17 AM Last Post By: Adam_Green
Jan 29, 2012 5:03 PM
Attaching Guitar to Backpack: Good Idea?So I'm leaving to travel the world for what will probably be several years starting in July. Gearwise, everything will be super-minimalist. I'm only bringing a 28-liter daypack. Nada mas.
The only really big exception to all this minimalism is that I will be bringing my guitar. It's this guy here, a very small Washburn Rover travel guitar. With the assistance of my fiance (who will soon be my wife and will be accompanying me on this journey), I'm planning to fashion a sort of holster on the back of the backpack that would probably involve a combination of grosgrain ribbon and elastic. Anyway, what I'm planning to do is mount this guitar on the back of the backpack so that I don't have to carry it in my hand. It's a tiny guitar, so I think I'll be able to do this fairly easily.
The guitar will just be loose (uncased) and exposed to the world, but that shouldn't matter because it's made to be weather resistant and is super durable. And since it's cheap, I don't really care if it gets scratched up. I'm planning on it being used and abused. I also don't think having it loose will make me more of a target for thieves or anything since it would be obvious I had a guitar even if it was in a case.
Anyway, the reason I'm posting this is because I'm wondering whether this sort of arrangement will work when it comes time to fly. Will the airline tell me the guitar needs to be in a case? Is there anything else I'm not considering that would make this plan a generally bad one? I can't find any precedent online for anyone doing this kind of thing, so I'm all ears.
If it makes any difference, I'll be starting in either Guatemala or Honduras and working my way down into South America over the course of a few months. After that it's a year in S. America before moving on. I used to live in Ecuador, and I know this guitar arrangement would "work" down there, so I'm not worried about that aspect.
I'm just worried there's something I'm not thinking about that would turn my creative packing scheme into an all-out fiasco.
Jan 30, 2012 6:43 PM
Jan 30, 2012 9:30 PM
Jan 31, 2012 4:11 AM
3Hey, thanks for the feedback. Guitar backpacks are cool, but they're pretty much all for full-size guitars, and I'm just bringing the little one along with me. I'm mainly wondering if there's any reason having it attached to the backpack yet still exposed would create an issue when traveling by air (i.e. the airline tells me it needs to be in a case or something). I guess I could call the airline and ask.
Jan 31, 2012 8:48 PM
4hmm that a tough one. i thinking that if it weren't in a case on the plan they may get you to remove the strings. this is just a guess but chances are probably pretty good that they will break. i would definitly expect the guitar to experience quite a bit of wear and tear , especially depending on how you will be traveling, if you plan on doing any traveling by bus i can imagin it might be a pain and it may get bumped around a few times. have you though about packing it in soft case.. nothing fancy but if you could find a really basic case and strap that to your backpack it would protect the stings a little more from getting caught in anything and avoid any issues with the airlines.
Feb 1, 2012 3:45 AM
5Hey, thanks for the response. I'm planning to loosen the strings big time before getting on a plane, so hopefully there won't be an issue there. That said, maybe I should at least get a case for the plane ride – something very cheap or even disposable. Not a real guitar case at all, you know? Then I could ditch it later. I'm not too worried about the guitar getting banged around on buses, etc. as I expect it and it's really cheap/intended to take abuse.
The dearth of responses here is actually making me think that maybe this isn't such a crazy scheme after all.
Feb 1, 2012 4:15 AM
Feb 11, 2012 1:00 AM
7Not so crazy. I'd go for some sort of soft case with just a little padding. Something lightweight that you can fold up small when you are not using it. I have a backpack too small for my fins so I made a simple bag for them that attaches to the buckles that are supposed to cinch down the removable day-bag. It works great! I used a lightweight cordura, so it is almost as rugged as my pack and you could put in a little neoprene on the side that faces out for a little more protection - because if you are traveling by bus it is going to get really banged up!
Feb 13, 2012 9:40 AM
Feb 14, 2012 4:04 AM
9Always fills me with dread when I see people rocking up at hostels with guitars. Just that terror that when they get back drunk at three in the morning I'll be woken by the sound of someone murdering Beatles songs whilst trying to charm the girl they just met in to bed, ha ha. I'm pretty sure this doesn't describe the OP but still, it happened plenty of times in 6 months of recent travel.
Feb 14, 2012 4:18 AM
10Ha! Believe it or not I sympathize. Luckily for you and everyone else I come across, I'll be A) traveling with my wife (so no serenading the girls) and B) too old for getting drunk, partying 'til 3 AM and heading home to jam. I used to be that guy, though. Not gonna hide it.
These days I drink herbal tea and head to bed around 10PM – even on Saturdays.
Feb 14, 2012 5:02 AM
Oct 2, 2012 2:01 PM
Oct 2, 2012 2:59 PM
13Yes, I'm actually doing it right now. The guitar I'm carrying is the Washburn Rover, which is a smaller backpacking guitar. I simply strap it to the side of my backpack with the headstock facing down. The trick is to pass the strap UNDER the strings and pull it tight. That way it won't slip around or fall off the backpack.
It gets banged around a bit on buses, but that's why I bought a cheap guitar. Honestly, considering all it has been through I'm surprised at how few scratches and dings it has acquired.
So, yeah. No case. Just naked to the world on the side of my backpack. So far, we've been through Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia with at least four more countries in S. America to go. If it can make it on the buses in Nicaragua, trust me, I'm comfortable taking it anywhere.
Oct 2, 2012 8:28 PM
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