The Basic Hockey Bag
I’ve been playing hockey long enough to see people get to the ice and not have what they need to play. I’ve seen these same people either exit the ice disappointed or bailed out by someone who has what they need and is willing to share. Here is my take on what every bag should have in order to avoid being in need.
Before I get started, I should note I’m not talking about a game-day bag versus a practice bag. I’ll get into a few game-day items one should have but this is really about managing your equipment so that you’re ready to play no matter what happens. After I cover equipment I’ll touch on a few things I do to keep my bag in good shape.
A flathead and Phillips screwdriver are essential. You’ll need them to adjust or tighten your helmet and you’ll
need them to deal with the bolts on your holders. A lot of guys like a small pair of scissors. I’m not passionate about that one. You’ll need a stone to work out those burrs. Right now I’m using the A&R re-edger with a stone.
You have to keep extra laces around. Eventually, you’ll break one tying your skates, cut one during a game, or just need another set of laces. There are few things worse than needing laces and not having them around. What’s so frustrating is that laces are cheap, light, and easy to keep around. Buy some new ones and put them in your bag. Or, replace your old ones and put those in your bag as a backup. Either way, keep some laces around.
If you’re cool with the guys and gals in the pro shop, see if they’ll let you keep a couple in your bag. Or just do what normal people do and buy them. Sometimes the bolts on your holders come off. Having a few around in a small tin or baggie isn’t so hard.
I’m aware not everyone uses or likes wax. I like it. Right now I’m using Lucky brand.
Tape and Gauze
Most skaters have their colors and levels of tack they prefer. Pick it and stick a few roles in your bag. Don’t be that guy or girl borrowing everyone’s tape and gauze. Tip: for you newer skaters out there, many people use gauze on the handle of their stick. It provides tack and grip but is easier on your gloves.
I keep a small back brace, wrist brace, and an ace bandage around. I’m also old. I keep my mouthpiece in a clean, dedicated case for it. Note: see if your dentist can bill your insurance or make you a custom mouthpiece. You won’t regret it.
I’ll never understand how people can skate an entire game and then not shower. Grab a towel (it also doubles as a cloth to wipe your visor before and after), some shower slippers, and some soap. Do yourself and all of us a favor. Fun fact: My Russian teammates shower with their socks on. Bizarre.
For the Game
We all have our pre-game formula. I like to drink Naked juice and Mountain Dew during stretching and pre-game. I’ve found it’s a good idea to bring a Cliff Bar or whatever your preference is. Maybe a banana. It’s also not a bad idea to bring one for a teammate in need. Along with your jersey, bring an extra. And Socks, bring an extra pair of socks. Once a season you’re able to help a teammate out when he forgets his socks or jersey. It feels good and it helps your teammate-in-need get focused on the game rather than running to the pro shop for some socks.
I used to have a higher-end CCM bag with wheels but we all know how using our wheels is frowned upon. I’ve got a basic Warrior bag now with 2 end pockets, 3 side pockets, and a separate pocket for skates. What I like about it is that I can store everything I need, get to it easily, dump everything out, and wipe the bag down with Clorox. After I take my pads out, I spray some Lysol in there. Every now and then I like to spray the bag with some Rock in Green spray.
Hope you found this helpful. Happy skating and have fun on the ice.