May 31, 201212:00 PMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Magnificent 7: Packing List For Next Week's CMA Music Festival
Editor's note: Cowboys & Indians will soon launch its first phone and tablet app, MAGNIFICENT 7. It'll be free, and will offer weekly lists of favorite people, places, and things selected by C&I staff members and contributors. To get you acquainted with what's to come, we'll begin to share our picks on the blog, and we'll let you know as soon as the app is available for download.
Touch the links or scroll down to find out more.
1. Where Will I Go? I’m gearing up for my first trip to the CMA Music Festival (website), scheduled for June 7 – 10 in Nashville, otherwise known as Music City. What was for so long called Fan Fair has morphed into country music’s biggest multi-day event of the year. This year’s headliners—many of whom you can see up close or even meet at the fest—include Jason Aldean (pictured), Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson … and the list goes on and on.
2. Have Book, Will Travel: Travels With Charley: In Search of America ($15, order here) is my favorite book, period, and it just so happens to kick off with a discussion of the road’s inherent allure. Novelist John Steinbeck set out on a cross-country trip in 1960, with trusty poodle Charley by his side. What came from the trip is a funny, relatable study of the character of America. What’s always been amazing to me is how true it rings to this day. If this book doesn’t make you want to get out and explore the world around you, I don’t know what will.
3. Where Do I Put All This Stuff? I’m spending four days outdoors at a large gathering of rabid country fans. I’ll need to keep supplies on me — sunscreen, phone, money, camera, snacks and more. But sometimes a bag is, literally, a drag. That’s why I’ll lighten up a bit and wear a safari vest over my t-shirt or button-up. This one from Cabela’s ($39.99, website) is lightweight and features 16 pockets. It’s got a mesh liner and a ventilated back for the sweatier moments, too.
4. Get On A Good Foot: I don’t fool around with foot comfort. During the hot, long, days of the festival, I’ll go for a nice sandal or hiking shoe. But for after-show activities or dinner out on the town, I’ll want to look a little nicer without sacrificing comfort. The Frye Company’s Cavalry 12L boot ($258, website) should be perfect for such a move. I like the worn look of the tan pair (they also come in black), contrasted with the pretty polish of the heel. And, once I break ‘em in, they should be plenty comfy.
5. Great Shots Without The Bulk: I’ve used an advanced professional camera from time to time, so it’s always a bummer to go back to the cheaper digital point-and-shoots. The shots are rarely clear, I can forget about catching subjects in motion, and the more I zoom, the worse things look. So, this time around, I’m going to try Nikon’s entry-level pro camera. I should be fine with the basic lens of the Nikon 1 ($549, website), but I can always add bigger ones when I get more serious about my craft.
6. Hide A Hangover In Style: The one luxury item I never leave behind, no matter how risky the trip, is a nice pair of shades. And it doesn’t get much more stylish, for me, than the California-made Mosley Tribes’ Hayes teardrop aviators ($210, order here). The frame and lenses are solid, and there are handy little holes in the temple tips in case I want to take the extra safe, wrap-around approach. What I truly love? Those droopy lenses that hide my tired, baggy eyes so well.
7. Time Is On My Side: When I’m chugging along on an outdoor trek or migrating from stage to stage at a music festival, it’s a bit of a pain to keep pulling out the ol’ phone every time I need to check the time. And there’s no way I’m bringing my nicer watches with me. Fossil’s Machine Cuff Leather Watch ($125, website) is unique, relatively cheap and, most important, made for adventures. That means I won’t have to worry much about theft, grime or water damage as I make my way through the dense festival crowd.