Traveling Light: Everything Else

Everything we’ve covered thus far has been tailored towards my needs and my tastes. This is the post about all the other stuff I have come across which might interest other people. And tips I have for buying travel oriented gear.

While I have covered the basics, the basics might not be enough for you. That’s fine, just remember, that for the most part, those items are a nice to have and not a necessity.

Buying Advice

For the most part I didn’t pay full price for these items. My best advice is to wait for sales. Typically there are sales on all this gear on a regular basis. GORUCK, for instance, tends to run 4th of July sales and end of the year sales. Icebreaker tends to have sales every couple of months.

Ministry of Supply gear can often be found at discount on sites like Huckberry. And many of the other sites will have close out sales to clear inventory when a style is being retired, or a new something is being added. Look for those. You save a lot of money by being patient or buying clothing which has been slated for “retirement”.

The best way I find to keep up to date on sales is to subscribe to the newsletters of the companies you are interested in. Make a list of what you want from each and randomly check into the sites.

If you need it, there’s nothing wrong with paying full price, but if you have no immediate need, then patience will pay off.

Wool Care

With all this stuff, I wash it as needed. This basically means:

  • If it has visible dirt or smells on it.
  • If it has generally “been awhile”.

Wool & Prince even seems to not want you to wash their shirts. Many of these items might say dry clean only, but then on the website state they can be washed in cold water. I’ve done some digging around on this and here’s how I do it:

  • Delicate cycle on cold
  • I use Kookaburra detergent (stuff is amazing) on wool, my regular detergent on the rest.
  • Hang dry

It seems weird to not wash some of this stuff often, but not washing it is what is going to make it last a long time. Most people seem to get 3-5 wears out of a Merino undershirt between washes and longer out of pants and dress shirts. (I’ve seen mentions of people only washing some of these pants twice a year.)

Longevity

For most of the undershirts, people seem to replace them every year. However, these also tend to be people who only wear these shirts (meaning they have 1 or 2 undershirts they wear almost every day of the year). The wool will wear out faster, but I honestly haven’t seen anything to raise alarms.

The synthetic clothes will likely last much longer, but again I can’t comment on that at this point.

Interesting Other Items

Among the items I have been looking at, but have yet to be able to fully try, are a couple I want to highlight.

  1. Shorts. I don’t typically wear shorts, but I know that I need a pair for family vacations. I purchased the Outlier New Wave shorts as many people tell me that they actually can be worn everyday and replace swim trunks. I have yet to be able to put them through any swim testing though, so I cannot report much on that aspect. However, these are easily the best shorts I have ever owned and even if they suck for swimming, I am pretty happy with them.
  2. Packable Bags. While I travel with a second bag which is basically a “normal” bag, there are many people who carry these tiny bags which pack down to nothing. One such is the Sea to Summit packable backpack. It looks like it really packs down, and honestly I bet it is a great addition to any kit.
  3. Belts: I’ve yet to find any belt I like, or recommend. It’s maddening and they are expensive. There is one I’ve been eyeing though from Tanner Goods that looks pretty nice, but I have no experience with it.
  4. Polo Shirt: In the summer I wear polo shirts often, and I would love to have a better one for travel. I’ve just recieved the Ministry of Supply Apollo shirt and hope to report back on that after wearing it more. My initial impressions are very positive. Same material as the Dress Shirt from Ministry of Supply I wrote about earlier. I bet I love it, though I will say it fits much smaller than most of Ministry of Supply’s goods.

My hope is to be able to try most of these out before the summer is out, and report back. For now though, those are the items I feel are still missing from this series of reviews.

Sunglasses and Glasses

Being someone who wears contacts, there’s a few tactics you can take to arm yourself.

  1. You can bring your glasses as a backup.
  2. You can bring an extra set of contacts as a backup.
  3. You can bring your prescription and hope to be able to get a replacement wherever you go, when you need it.

I personally opt for the first one. Yes, glasses take up space, but seeing is fairly important to me. So, worth the bulk.

Sunglasses are just as important to me. I tend to not do well with bright sun, so I always pack a pair of sunglasses. These can also double as a “leave me the hell alone” device when you are on a plane and want to sleep. I bear the size cost of packing these and my glasses, and put them each in a hard shell case. It’s not ideal, but worth the overall cost of bulk.

Shopping Sites

Since I have spent so much time researching all these brands, it seems like a waste to not just list out all the sites I know of where you can buy the type of clothing I talk about here. (These links run the range from very business looking clothes to very outdoor looking clothing.)

There’s probably more which I just don’t know about. This is a surprisingly hard category to search for, as you either end up with hideous looking clothing, or some random Kickstarter project. And a lot of dead blogs.

Information Sites

Of the sites I have seen posting about this type of travel, I have just a couple I would recommend. The first is Packing Lite — he tests a lot of gear and really lives this lifestyle by traveling all over the word for extended time. However, he is a small frame and very fit, so some of his sizing and fit talk won’t apply for most people.

For women, wanting to find more gender specific information, here’s a good resource I found on this as it appears to be a couple traveling. She has been writing a lot about how she packs on the go. Though I will saw, most of the brands I listed above make great mens clothing and often no women’s clothing. Rather absurd.

Lastly, the /r/onebag sub-Reddit has been a great place for discussion and finding gear.

See the rest of the posts here.

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
6 minutes to read.


tl;dr

The potpourri post of the series.