Take half the clothes and double the money
The first thing they say in every guide book is to take half the clothes you think you’ll need and double the money. But I for one still ended up with loads of unused stuff when I took my first long trip in 2005. Finally, after seven years on the road, I think I’m getting there. I now take one “core” outfit that serves for almost any situation and buy anything else I need en route.
Rohan say their garments are lightweight, easy care and packable but you only start to appreciate the importance of this on longer trips. Imagine washing a standard fleece in a tiny hostel washbasin, trying to wring it out when it’s swollen to double it’s normal size and then having to get it dry again in time to move on. In cold, damp conditions even travel clothes can take days to dry and heavier wicking fabrics often absorb smells and become unusable. So clothes that may be favourites at home or for short trips, just don’t work.
I stick to ultra lightweight layers – after all, you can always wear more of them if it’s cold! Anti-microbial fabrics such as ultra silver or cool silver are easily washed and don’t absorb or retain unpleasant smells. I find that if your base layer is always fresh, you don’t need to wash your mid layer as often either.
Versatility is next on my list, after all, who wants to take clothes for hot, cold and temperate conditions where one set will do? It not only lightens your pack but saves money to have one pair of lightweight, comfortable trousers such as Rohan Roamers rather than several. If it’s hot roll them up and wear them with a vest and flip flops; if it’s cold wear them over a pair of tights or pyjamas. Roamers are comfortable on long flights or bus journeys because of the forgiving stretch.=====================================
If you’re going somewhere cold but dry, a wind-proof jacket like the Windshadow Jacket will do. I wore mine in the Himalayas and used an umbrella in the lowland monsoons where it’s far too hot to wear much at all. However if you’re off somewhere cold and wet you’ll need a waterproof. I’m a convert to longer coats like the Rohan Globetrotter Mac. When you’re travelling there’s going to be a lot more standing around than you might have expected and, whether you’re waiting for a bus or admiring the sights, long coats offer great rain cover and protection from biting winds.
When you take such a restrained wardrobe, you’ll have plenty of space in your pack for shopping – tops picked up in markets around the world make great mementos!