8 Must-Haves For Tour This Summer

After three seasons of marching drum corps, you learn things that you always wish you would have known that rookie year when you were young and stupid. Here are a few things that are basic but vital to living your best life on tour.

1. Vitamin E

This stuff is huge for brass players but it can be useful for anyone marching under the sun for hours on end. Go visit your grocery store's pharmacy and find the vitamin supplements section. You’ll be looking for the little gel capsules specifically, so that you can pinch one right open and rub the gel on your lips after a long day of rehearsal. 

The vitamin E helps repair the skin on your lips and reduces inflammation from playing all day. It also can be used to treat sunburn. One big thing about vitamin E is that you MUST remove it before spending time in the sun again or else your lips will get very burnt.

2. Bungee Cords

Get a couple of them for above your bus seat. You can hang things like show shoes, flip flops, towels, and small water bottles from it. I also used a couple to hold my sleeping gear together in a tight roll so it would be easy to place under the bus.

3. Gold Bond

Use it.

4. Cooling Towel

You can get these for $5-10 at a Target or Wal-Mart and they will be a godsend in Oklahoma and Texas when it's 95 degrees with a heat index of 99.65. Also, if you're in the part of tour when you're traveling across the Plains and there's dust everywhere, cover your face with it during visual blocks or when you're not playing (see the banner picture).

5. Hard Candy

I picked up this one at Bluecoats. We were required to wear fanny packs which made perfect containers for Jolly Ranchers and other hard candies during long visual blocks in spring training. With corps using staging more as a way to learn drill, this often leaves a lot of downtime to write in your dot book or throw Life Savers at the mellophones.

6. ShoeWatch

It's high noon. It's a Saturday. You've got a free block tonight. You want to know exactly how many minutes there are left until you get to put on your "real people clothes." Wrap a watch band around your laces on one shoe so you can be the guy your section always asks, "How many cookies are left in the jar?"

Honestly, though, if you want rehearsal to fly by, don't wear one of these. Just take it all in and don't count down minutes.

7. Drum Stick

Shin splints were one of my greatest fears on tour, I fought with them each season. A drum stick, a tennis ball, and stretching on a regular basis became my best friend. Grab an old stick from a drummer friend and roll it up and down gently along each side of your shin. Also, rolling your foot over a tennis ball can really help relieve tension.

If you're really struggling with shin splints at any point, talk to your corps' athletic trainer.

8. Trash Bags

One final thing I always had in my bag: trash bags. Split a box with your friends on your first Wal-Mart trip so you all have 10 or so trash bags each for the whole season. These are perfect to throw over your rehearsal backpack if it starts raining unexpectedly, or expectedly. You can also use it as cover for yourself. 

Weekly Watch Guide: Texas Tour Is Here!

Watch two incredible events LIVE on FloMarching down in the depths of Texas—DCI Central Texas and the 2019 DCI Southwestern Championship! This week, it's the start of the regional season. Most of the World Class corps will be in the same place for the first time this week as they get closer and closer to San Antonio.

Schedule/Seedings For DCI Southwestern Champs Released

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Check out the official schedule for the 2019 DCI Southwestern Championship. You can watch all 25 corps perform live on FloMarching. San Antonio will be the first location of the summer that is hosting all of the World Class corps so that they may start fighting for their seeds for the 2019 DCI World Championships. San Antonio is just the start of that seeding, though.

Recap: 2019 Tour Of Champions - Northern Illinois

With three shows streamed by FloMarching yesterday, die hard drum corps fans had gone as far as to create spreadsheets combining the streaming schedules so they could figure out when to watch their favorite corps at each show. Mother Nature had other ideas, however, delaying the Memphis competition and turning Drums Along the Rockies into a standstill. Fortunately, the 2019 Tour of Champions - Northern Illinois event went off without a hitch. Let's review some of the takeaways from last night's show.

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Instant Recap: 2019 Tour Of Champions - Northern Illinois

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois, site of tonight’s Tour of Champions - Northern Illinois Drum Corps International Competition! My name is Kevin Gamin, Managing News Editor of Drum Corps Planet, and I will be providing you tonight’s live blog of this show.

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Premium Watch Guide: Three Streams In One Night, July 13

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For the first time on FloMarching, we will have THREE streams going at one time, this Saturday night, July 13. This article will be your one-stop-shop for everything you need to navigate the three events' storylines, schedules, and make sure you see as many corps as possible!

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Recap: 2019 Celebration In Brass

Ankeny, a suburb just north of Des Moines in Iowa, is about a 3 hour drive from the Colts' home base from Dubuque. A lot of Colts fans made that drive and cheered both them and the Colt Cadets on tonight, giving the 2019 Celebration in Brass a very home field vibe for the Red Teams.

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Instant Recap: 2019 Celebration In Brass

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this live blog of the 2019 Celebration in Brass drum corps competition, brought to you by FloMarching! My name is Kevin Gamin, Managing News Editor of Drum Corps Planet, and I will be bringing you commentary on each of the performing drum corps tonight as it happens! The show starts at 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central, so be sure to get your stream up and running in time for all of the action!

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Preview: Drums Along the Rockies

Another great DCI show in the Mile High Stadium will be coming LIVE to FloMarching this weekend, starting at 6:30 PM MT. Drums Along the Rockies is always a great show for the Blue Knights to shine in their home city, plus it always brings out two Open Class corps that we don't get to see too often on FloMarching. The two corps kick off the show so don't miss Columbians and The Battalion.

Preview: 2019 DCI Memphis

DCI Memphis starts off at 5:30 PM on Saturday, July 13 at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Although there are only 7 corps in competition, DCI Memphis could have some of the most interesting results of the night compared to the other two shows that will be on FloMarching—TOC-Northern Illinois and Drums Along the Rockies.

Watch Guide: DCI 2019 Week #4

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Four more DCI 2019 events along the Summer Tour will be LIVE on FloMarching this week—Iowa on Wednesday and THREE on Saturday!