November 15, 2016
Shortcuts for packing lightly
I actually love the challenge of packing and trying to pack as light as possible. When it comes to cutting down on the clothes I take, it helps that I don't mind wearing the same thing for weeks on end, and also because my activities don't veer into very fancy or very outdoors-y. The following items help a lot when it comes to packing lightly.
Merino wool thermal
Mine is from Icebreaker. I wear it under my usual clothes when I'm travelling in cold climates. That way I don't need to wash my shirts as much, so I can get by with two long-sleeve tops for pretty much any length of winter trip. The thermal itself doesn't need to be washed often because merino doesn't hold odours - I've gone a month straight wearing this daily! If you do want to wash it, it's machine washable with your other regular clothes. It's not itchy either (and I have sensitive skin). So basically this thermal is my favourite thing (I promise I'm not getting paid to say this).
Quick drying t-shirt
I find hot weather is harder to pack light for, because I need to wash my clothes more often. If I still want to keep the number of tops I take to a minimum, I find quick-drying clothing is the best bet. The t-shirt is from the men's section in Uniqlo (the packaged Dry ones) and is on regular rotation in my everyday wear as well. It's 75% cotton and 25% polyester, and even though I'm supposed to hate synthetic fibres, the polyester helps it dry quickly overnight after a wash in the sink. I bought a Uniqlo Airism tank last year in hopes of using it as the warm weather version of my thermal, but I didn't find it particularly cooling. When it comes to replacing this I might look into a lightweight merino version for a t-shirt that can go longer without a wash.
I can't believe I only thought of buying one of these last year. These towels fold down to about a third of the bulk of a regular towel of the same width and height. They also dry more quickly. They don't dry you as efficiently as regular towels do, but they do the job. I got mine for $5 from Kmart, but you'll find them at other travel/camping stores as well. I keep it in a perforated/netted zip-up case that I can clip onto the outside of my backpack if we're on the move while it still needs to dry.
Saves you from packing months and months' worth of sanitary products if you're going somewhere you might not be able to get the kind you like! I talk/rave more about it here. The only thing is I'm still a bit apprehensive about emptying it in situations where I can't do ideal hand hygiene.
If you liked this post, you might like the one on my travel first aid kit!