If you’ve been following along with our Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour, you know all about our buddy Drew (AKA Dr. Drew) – Toad Customer Service Sorcerer, and leader of our first leg of the tour. Fresh off the road, we couldn’t think of a better expert on summer packing. So our Superstar Web Merchant Lindsay sat down with Drew on our most recent episode of Toad Hacks (check out today’s Insta Story to see their chat IRL) to talk packing tips. Here are the highlights, plus some bonus tips ’cause we love ya.
BEFORE YOU GO
There are a couple of things Drew suggests you do before you head out to keep it simple and keep it sustainable once you Bon Voyage.
•Pre-trip recycling – If I buy something before a trip that comes in a wrapper or box (like a new phone charger or stick of deodorant), I make sure to recycle the packaging before I head out. Not everywhere has a streamlined recycling system, and this guarantees it makes it in the bin.
•Unplug before you…unplug – Before I leave for an epic adventure or a little R&R, I unplug the electronics in my house. It helps with my electricity bill and cuts down on energy usage, because did you know that electronics can steal power even when they’re turned off? Those sneaky little things…
Check it once, check it twice. Drew never hits the road without these essentials.
•Headlamp – It’s second nature to remember socks and underwear, but you never know when an extra light will come in handy.
•Power converters – It’s so easy to forget that you might need adapters depending on where you’re traveling. I keep these close to my passport to remind me when I pack.
•Layer it up – When it comes to clothes, it’s all about finding the right layers to get you through any situation. Plus, choose versatile options that work as well hiking and exploring as they will going out to dinner.
•Shoe bags – Bring shoe bags (or better yet, recycled shopping bags) to keep clothes from mingling with dirty soles.
•Stay organized – I don’t go anywhere these days without these packing cubes (genius invention). They’re great for separating groups of clothes when packing, but I appreciate them most when they double as dirty clothes hampers to keep the stinky clothes from going AWOL all over my good ones. Plus, the 3 cubes weigh less than 2.2 oz total, so no stress about packing extra weight.
ALWAYS KEEP IT ECO
As a master of eco-conscious living, Drew always keeps these tips in mind.
•Utensils – Nothing bums me out more than a bunch of single-use plastic. At the minimum, I keep a spork on hand but when I’m feeling extra I’ll travel with my whole utensil set.
•Water bottle and beer mug/coffee cup – I’m a thirsty guy, but I’m not going to sacrifice the planet to wet my whistle. A reusable water bottle’s a must, and my beer mug easily doubles as a coffee cup.
•Pack light – Not only will your back thank you from saving it from major suitcase schlepping, but going easy on your bag weight is way better for the environment. The more weight a plane (or a train, or a car) carries, the more fuel it uses, so keep that bag lean.
FAVORITE TRAVEL PIECES
We asked Drew and Lindsay to share which Toad pieces are on their summer packing lists.
•Drew – I lived in the Rover Short while I was on the road. I love these shorts because they clean up well, but they’re also super durable, quick-drying, and retain their shape.
•Lindsay – I love the Liv Dress for travel. You can take it from a hike to dinner super easily, plus it won’t wrinkle, no matter how rumpled your packing gets. Plus, it’s quick-drying, AND has pockets, so it really has everything you need for any sort of adventure.
Nothing beats a summer day that’s packed to the brim. The kind of day when your bones are tired from a day of rebel-rousing and joy-seeking. It’s the kind of tired that fuels your next wild idea. And that, friends, is The Solstice Challenge: We challenge you to use the longest day of the year to do something EPIC (pssst: there are prizes). Post a photo and quick itinerary of your ultimate longest day to Instagram and tag #ToadSolsticeChallenge. Winner takes a $200 Toad gift card.
Need some inspiration? We asked some of the Toads to recall their most epic days…
“I went to Fiji with my dad for a surf trip last October. The weather was horrible but we’d heard rumors that it was better on the other side of the island. So we took a taxi at 4am to the other side of the island (2 hrs), then hopped on a tiny boat (1 hr) to a world-famous surf spot, “Cloudbreak,” in the middle of the ocean over a reef. The boat dropped us off in the middle of the lineup with only a few other people. My dad and I spent the whole day surfing a world-famous wave in the middle of the ocean. When we got back to our side of the island, we were formally “accepted” into the local village through a traditional ceremony involving Kava and a lot of singing.”
– Danny, part fish/part Sales Manager
“The most epic day was when I went spelunking in the largest cave system in the world, Vietnam’s Son Doong. I spent the day climbing cave walls, examining rare geological formations, swimming in subterranean rivers fed by underground waterfalls, and capped it off with sleeping in (literally) complete darkness. (Does it count as the best longest day if it’s pitch black?)”
– Sarah, our Office Manager and resident geologist
“One time, I took a trip Amsterdam to play in an ultimate Frisbee tournament for one day, and it was totally worth it!”
– Holly, Product Tech and master of spontaneity
“I woke up to the desert sunrise in Nevada at 6am and hopped on my Harley. It always gets windy around the Nevada/California line in Mojave. It’s a gusty wind so riding becomes really physical. At certain points my whole body was on an incline, just fighting the wind. But I had to get back to Santa Barbara that day for my buddy’s wedding that night. So I drove about 600 miles through the desert, cleaned up nice, and made it to the wedding. That was actually a pretty epic day… now I’m getting excited for another trip…”
– Anthony, Graphic Designer and professional wedding date
“I recently spent an epic day in Philadelphia… coffee on the “Rocky” steps, a stroll through the Museum of Art, a planetarium show at the Franklin Institute, not one but TWO cheesesteaks, whiskey tasting in Fishtown, a tip o’ the hat to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, wandering along Spruce Street Harbor, open mic night at the Magic Garden, bar hopping on South Street, rooftop rosé for sunset (at 9pm!), and a dance party on Electric Avenue. I walked 16.3 miles that day…”
– Daisy, Content Manager and amateur Rocky impersonator
“A few years ago my buddies and I woke up at 5am to drive to Mount Baldy (the highest point in LA County) to catch the first chair lift of the day. Over lunch beers we had the wild idea to blaze back to Venice Pier in time to catch a few ankle biters… That day was an epic day.” – Napper, Creative Director and eternal “hell yes man”
Don’t forget to post a photo and quick itinerary to Instagram of your ultimate longest day and tag #ToadSolsticeChallenge. Winner takes home a $200 Toad gift card. Winner announced on 6/22, so hop to it!
When one eco-friendly trailer door closes, another opens. While Dr. Drew’s passion for sustainability and general stoke for life have been integral to launching our Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable mobile tour, his time on the road has come to an end. While Drew returns to the Toad mothership in Santa Barbara, CA, we’re kicking off a new chapter of the tour in Freeport, ME—with a new rad couple at the wheel.
Meet Rob and Rachel. Originally from Atlanta (Rob) and Connecticut (Rachel), the pair met at Appalachian State University, tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. They most recently lived in Denver where Rob worked as a land use planner and Rachel was working with geographic information systems for the city. Now, they’re onto their next big adventure as they hit the road to spread the word about how we’re helping to clean up the apparel industry.
Toad HQ: What made you want to join the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour?
Rachel: We had been tossing around the idea of a big road trip for a while now, so when we heard about the tour through my sister Sam (who works at the Toad&Co Freeport store), we knew we wanted in! I’ve been a big fan of Toad for a while now and love the word that this tour is spreading.
Rob: We’re already fans of the brand and really support Toad’s ecologically responsible practices. We really wanted to be a part of increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of the apparel industry (4th largest global polluter—real bummer) and offering an alternative (go nude, or wear sustainable clothing). It was a no brainer!
What are you most excited about in the months ahead as you lead the charge on the STP tour?
Rob: I’m excited to see parts of the country that I’ve never been to, and engage the local communities as we raise awareness about sustainability.
Rachel: Aside from the two stops (Freeport and Chicago) on this next leg, every place will be new so I’m really stoked to see cities we haven’t been to and connect with the people in those communities.
What’s your favorite U.S. city to visit?
Rachel: It’s always whatever’s next! Recently, we’ve spent a lot of time in Santa Fe and we love it. The sunsets, food, and hiking are killer.
What about your favorite nationalpark?
Rachel: Rocky Mountain National Park, without a doubt.
Rob: Ditto! Living in Denver gave us the opportunity to spend plenty of time there. I’m stoked to visit new parks along the trip, especially Glacier NP and Northern Cascades NP. Who knows—maybe we’ll wrap up our time on the tour with a new favorite…
How about your favorite road trip songs?
Rob: Can’t go wrong with a long Phish or Dead jam to crush some miles!
Rachel: You’ll usually find me listening to some folk or bluegrass. There’s a lot of John Prine and Vampire Weekend in my current rotation.
Which one of you is most likely to get caught belting out your favorite tunes while driving?
Rachel: We have a few solid duets in our repertoire, but probably me!
At Toad, we stand by the idea that every day is an adventure. What are your best tips for living life this way?
Rob: Go for it! If you’ve ever wanted to do something, you can find a way.
Rachel: And don’t wait. Just make it happen!
What outdoor activities get you most fired up?
Rob: Backpacking and fly fishing. But also into hiking, cycling, running, and climbing. I guess this is also how I live every day as an adventure!
Rachel: I love biking around to check out new spots, backpacking and hiking, and I’ve recently gotten into fly fishing with Rob.
Even the most adventurous of us need a little downtime. How do you like to spend yours?
Rachel: I love to bake (mostly pies) and garden.
Rob: Playing guitar, eating good food, and an occasional binge watch on a rainy day.
Can you share your best hacks for living life on the road sustainably?
Rob: Bring reusable cups and utensils, say “for here!” when ordering food and coffee, wear clothes a lot between washes (dirty is the new clean), and stop to make food on the road.
Rachel: We try to limit our waste as much as possible—make our own food, bring to-go containers, eat in if we don’t have them, and always say no to straws!
If we learned one thing from Drew, it’s that the search for the best cup of coffee and most tasty beer is critical on a long road trip (just kidding, Dr. Drew, you taught us a lot). What’s currently topping your list?
Rachel: I’ll get a vanilla latte when I’m treating myself, and my old neighborhood coffee shop in Denver, Queen City Collective, makes the best cuppa Joe. When it comes to beer, I’m really into the Milkshake IPA right now. WeldWerks in Colorado does ’em best.
Rob: You can’t go wrong with a good IPA, clear or hazy. Right now we’re in Maine and I’m loving Lunch from Maine Beer Co. For coffee, I typically go for a local light roast in whichever city we’re in.
Have you ever gone nude in the name of sustainability (we have to ask…)?
Rachel: We haven’t yet, but anything’s possible on the tour, right?!
What are your favorite Toad clothes to keep it comfy on the road?
When the phrase “car camping” comes to mind, you might envision the well-curated craft of surviving in the out-of-doors a la Wes Anderson. It’s a well executed blend of home sweet home meets the great outdoors into a savory alfresco. But when is comes to driving a rickety 1959 trailer across the country on our Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour, the line between survival and car glamping begins to blur. But Dr. Drew, our Tour Manager and Master of Wingin’-It makes tight tour dates and long hours between the white lines look like a breeze. We caught up with Dr. Drew for his advice and insights into easy summer car camping.
Cot or inflatable or sleeping pad? No more sleeping pads! Cots or inflatable only to help keep the ol’ back in fighting shape.
Sleeping bag VS. Blanket? What you want is a high “warm and cozy” factor and the freedom to move freely. In the summertime, I go blanket. Currently using: Down-filled Kammok Bobcat Trail Quilt (mostly because I like the name). For a lighter but equally cozy option, I’m all about the Cashmoore Blanket.
Jerky – A tasty protein filled snack that keeps froth levels high and hunger levels low. Currently munching: Epic Provisions, high quality product and a mission-based company.
Kitchen – Never hit the road without a way to heat up water. No matter where you are, you can fire up a hot meal and warm the soul. Currently using: Jet Boil Genesis Base Camp System. Lightweight, packable, everything you need to get gourmet if you want.
Quinoa – Fills you up in desperate times. Good sweet or savory.
Trail Mix – When the Jet Boil runs out of fuel and you have to go caveman style. I’m currently snacking on Shar Snacks (rhymes with “bear”), which I picked up in Austin. Organic and responsibly sourced.
A good book – Currently reading: History of Haight Ashbury by Charles Perry.
Audio Book – The sound of another human’s voice can be quite comforting on the open road, especially when it reminds you of home. Currently listening to: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.
Tunes – DemerBox for indestructible tunes and a long battery life. Currently jamming to: 2 Spotify playlists, Highway Sounds (more rocky/bluesy) and I’m With Her (all the badass ladies).
Bug Control – When you’re in Charleston in the summertime, you need all the help you can get. I’m not a fan of the chemical sprays so I like to wear clothes with Insect Shield® Technology built right into it. Currently wearing: Debug Mission Ridge Pants and Debug Peak Season Shirt – they keep the bugs out and still look presentable for date night.
Trash – Rule #1: try not to make any. I like to make my own meals, buy in bulk with mason jars, and avoid takeout. But if you’re driving, stick a box on the passenger seat floor, a perfect receptacle for cherry stems and peach pits.
Hydration Station – My ultimate long drive hack: strap a Camelbak to your seat and never deal with water bottle caps and spills again!
Happy Trails. Come out and see the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour on the road. Check out national summer schedule here.