Don Panicko

In the Bag is a series of interviews that dive into the packing habits of travelers we think you should know about.

DP8Don Panicko is in a vagabond state of mind.  A California transplant, he’s lived in New York for the past eight years whilst bartending and making music, creating and living in the moment, which has taken him all over in service of the next experience. Don lives minimally, his life easily contained in two suitcases, a philosophy that allows him to hike the Appalachian trail or build a bar for a friend at a moments notice.

What type of trip is it? A vacation.

Destination? Iceland/Faroe islands.

For how many days? 7 ½ months.

Any travel buddies? My bud Billy.

Local weather is like… cold, dark, ice, wind, rain, snow.

What’s the packing strategy? It’s in the order of how often the items get used, least used ones at the bottom.

How many bags and suitcases? 1 guitar, large backpack, small backpack.


One packed bag to rule them all. Not pictured–smaller bag that’s in backpack.

Are you checking in or carrying on? Checking in and carrying on because I have sharp objects in my gear.

What’s in your carry-on? The guitar and small bag

When you’re in the airport, what do you do? Going through Security I take off my shoes and smile.  At the terminal I usually get there just in time to board.

Before getting on a flight, you…try to eat or have a coffee.

Do you have any travel aids? Headphones are helpful sometimes.

Any travel splurges? Food.

Do you use any travel apps or checklists? No checklists or apps.

The book you’re bringing is the bible.

Are you a prep packer or last-minute type? A little of both. I set it up a bit the day before and then throw a few last-minute things in.

Never leave home without…something to write on or a musical instrument.

Is there any type of tool/app/resource you’d wish was out there to make traveling easier? I feel like traveling is pretty easy as is, any easier wouldn’t be as fun.

Any rituals or guilty pleasures? While traveling I’m usually pretty into my surroundings–there’s enough new things to absorb and fulfill my appetite, but  enjoy taking the occasional photo and writing. If I ever feel weird I’ll take a walk or do some push-ups.

Have you ever missed a flight?  Yes, it was on purpose because I didn’t want to come back.

Any tips for fellow travelers you find helpful? Buy one way tickets!


Bible, Bug spray, Instant camera, Bike light, Bunsen burner and container, Favorite flannel shirt, Graphic tee, Hand knit sweater with leather lacing, Grey jeans, Harmonica, Headphones, Long johns (1set), notebook, Pots (2 for cooking and eating), Rope for tent, Socks (3 pairs), Switchblade, Tank, White tee. No underwear necessary…not pictured-iPhone.


Guitar, Tent poles, Mat cushion, Rope, Sleeping bag, Utility Jacket, and Wayfarers. Not pictured– tent.

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