Stacey Campbell staceycampbell@yahoo.com
 Tourist Hockey - 6 January 2019
Tourist Hockey - 6 January 2019

I've been playing non-checking beer league ice hockey for decades. If you enjoy playing that type of hockey, and have the opportunity, I highly recommend finding a way to take your hockey equipment with you on vacation and dropping in to pick-up games at your destination (obviously assuming there's a rink!).

I like to travel with a single suitcase so it's not convenient to take all my gear, so here's the subset I pack. It fits in one half of my large shell hardside suitcase.

  • Skates, with skate socks jammed inside.
  • Helmet, with gloves jammed inside.
  • Shin pads and velcro straps to keep them snug on my legs
  • Elbow pads, packed inside the shin pads.
  • Two plain practice jerseys, black and white
  • Compression hockey shorts and cup.
  • The cheapest and simplest hockey bag, make sure it folds up very small when empty.
Missing from this list are shoulder pads, hockey pants, hockey socks, and a stick. All up these are bulky and there isn't room in my suitcase. I haven't played with shoulder pads for years, so no issue there. I keep the shin pads in place by stuffing them down the front of an old pair of sweats, with the hockey shorts and cup underneath as well.

When I get to my vacation accommodation I pull out the simple hockey bag, fill it up with the gear, either buy or borrow a stick, then proceed to meet a bunch of locals and have a very good time.

The photo above was taken at a tournament at the rink on Phuket in Thailand. I was stuck there for a few days in transit, so called up the rink and they said they had tournament underway and I was welcome to grab a slot. Most of the rest of the players were Russians on package vacations.

Note that many airlines consider a hockey bag and sticks to be a single piece of luggage, so if you're willing to lug all your gear on vacay and spend some time at the airport oversized luggage area then there's no need to trim back as outlined above.

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