Cotton trousers or combats are great, as are plain T-shirts and shirts. Take a large, cotton scarf to cover your head, shoulders or any other cheeky bits should the necessity arise. A long skirt is essential: it’s modest, suitable for smart occasions, keeps you cool and is handy for loo-breaks. Let me explain: in a lot of countries, sit-down toilets are not the norm. If you have to squat over a hole in the ground, it’s much easier to stop a skirt from touching the less-than-lemony-fresh floor than it is to protect your trousers. Of course, there’s a dead simple solution to these fashion dilemmas. When you reach your destination, go to your nearest market, buy some fabric, take it to a tailor’s stall and get a local-style outfit made for you. In a matter of hours, you’ll have a unique, bespoke little number all of your own, and you’ll know it meets local standards.
Backpack prices depend a lot on size, fabric, and brand. Most backpacks cost between $99-300 USD. The medium-sized store brands generally cost around $199 USD. Store brands are cheaper than big-name brands like North Face, Osprey, and Gregory. I don’t believe that any backpack is worth $300 USD, no matter how nice it is. These expensive backpacks tend to be large and have more bells and whistles, special padding, and material than you really need as a traveler. Additionally, you’ll find that most travel backpacks are hiking backpacks, meant for camping and multi-day treks in the woods. Buying a backpack that was meant to be used in the Rockies instead of the streets of New Zealand doesn’t matter, though – backpacks are pretty interchangeable these days, and getting a backpack meant for the outdoors simply means you’ll have a stronger and more durable pack.
Internal frame – The majority of backpacks today are internal-frame packs, meaning the support rods and frame are built into the backpack and hidden from view. However, there some are still external-frame backpacks, where the rods are separate from the actual pack and stick out (think of those backpacks you see in old hiking movies or movies about people backpacking Europe in the 1970s – a big, clunky metal frame). Don’t get one of those. Make sure you buy a backpack with an internal frame. It not only looks better but the rods won’t get caught on anything and your bag will also be slimmer, making moving around easier. Additionally, internal-frame packs tend to be lighter as the frame is composed of a carbon fiber or tough plastic, which makes them easier on your back as well as more durable.
Hiking gear : The first layer is called your base layer, or next-to-skin layer, as it sits just above your breathable underwear, hugging the skin. It should not be too tight as this restricts blood circulation and inhibits the breathability characteristics of the wickable fibres, but equally it should not be too lose as this creates air gaps that undermine the layering process. A good word to describe how this layer should feel is, snug. The material for your base layer should be lightweight and made from high wicking fabrics like 100% merino wool.
Backpacking Essentials : When buying a sleeping bag, decide which climates you’ll most often be camping in, and purchase a bag to suit your needs. 35 Degree bags tend to work great for most of the year, with a 20 degree or 0-degree bag for really cold weather. It’s hard to get away with just one sleeping bag if you want to backpack in all seasons. On most trips I use the Mountain Hardware Lamina 35 Degree Bag. If it’s really cold I use the Kelty Cosmic Down 0 Degree. Hiking shoes : These range from mid- to high-cut models and are intended for day hikes or short backpacking trips with light loads. They often flex easily and require little break-in time, but they lack the support and durability of stout backpacking boots. Materials impact a boot’s weight, breathability, durability and water resistance. Split-grain leather: Split-grain leather is usually paired with nylon or nylon mesh to create a lightweight boot that offers excellent breathability. Split-grain leather “splits away” the rougher inner part of the cowhide from the smooth exterior. The benefit is lower cost, however, the downside is less resistance to water and abrasion (though many feature waterproof liners).
Wear your most comfortable pair of jeans or leggings-preferably in a dark color. Top off your look with a simple tee and a cozy sweater or relaxed blazer. Finally, twist on a scarf (or pack one in your carry-on). We all know that planes get chilly! I usually like to keep my jacket and scarf packed in my carry-on to cut down on the time I spend getting ready to go through security. If I already have these layers off, then I don’t need to worry about taking them on and off during the security screening. Once I’m through security, I usually pile these items on to prepare for the artic temps to come on the plane.
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