Over the years I have tried to streamline my luggage and its contents. Each time I return from a trip I delete things that I have not used or feel I can do without.
Here's a look at all the clothes I take when I am heading to a hot to mild climate. Each item has been carefully selected for quality, durability, ease of use, comfort and the ability to wash and dry quickly.
It does not matter if your trip is a week or 3 months, this set-up is all you need. 4 pairs of pants, 6 shirts, 6 underwear, 2 socks, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 hats, 2 belts, and a pair of shorts is all you need to go 6 days (or longer) between washing (see my washing clothes on the road info here).
For cold weather locations I add a set of Patagonia long underwear and a jacket and shell and I leave the Teva's at home.
Click on each item for more detail:
Travel Shirts: 2 white and 2 off-white long sleeve vented travel shirts
these "World Wide Sportsman™ Grand
Island Shirts at Bass Pro. The Grand Island shirts are Anti-microbial,
quick-drying, 100% polyester mini Ripstop fabric which resists tearing and
fraying despite its light weight. Fully vented cape back. Moisture-wicking
properties transfer trapped moisture outside the garment to keep you as cool
as possible. Built-in UPF 30 and roll-up collar for protection from the sun.
Sleeves roll-up and stay in place with button tab. Rod loop. These shirts
dry in just a few hours in any hotel room, even if it's humid.
These are my favorite (and only) travel shirts. They cost $34.95.
I've settled on the Champion® Double Dry® Men's Short Sleeve Compression T Shirt Style CT2820D Price $ 20.00 each. Wear this Champion® Men's T Shirt for compression plus moisture control. Exclusive Double Dry® fabric wicks sweat, then evaporates it quickly. Result: You stay comfortably dry, both during and after your workout. Extra knit-in spandex ensures sleek fit and muscle support. Durable two-needle trim edges cuffs and bottom hem. Reflective Champion C logos. 8-oz. 86% polyester/14% spandex compression knit. A form-fitting Champion men's T Shirt. These shirts dry in just a few hours in any hotel room, even if it's humid.
Jeans / Pants:
Recently I discovered a product called Kuhl Jeans, or more specifically, Kuhldry jeans. Here is a report of my findings: Kuhl Dry jeans have articulated knees. What the heck does that mean?...Take a moment to look compare "normal" pants to pants that have "articulated knees".You can quickly see that pants with articulated knees, mimic the normal anatomical shape of our legs. Pant with articulated knees allow for a more comfortable fit and provide freedom of movement as compared to a standard, straight design. Full review here.
Levis 560 comfort fit, 25% poly 75% cotton jeans:
The one non sequitur in my bag are my Levis 560's, which I take along because of the comfort. When I am away from home I miss my Levis! I usually wear them on the plane going and coming as well as some evenings when I just want the feel of a pair of friendly well worn jeans. I have selected the comfort fit Levi 560 made with, 25% polyester and 75% cotton. They pack in far less space and dry much faster than the original 100% cotton version, but from a comfort standpoint you can't really tell the difference.
The Lowa Tempest Lo is my current choice of footwear for work. Lowa's tagline is "Grips rock like a climbing shoe, flexes like trail runner..." It's touted as one of Lowa's best-selling day hikers. The uppers are Nubuck velour leather with Cordura Quick-drying textile lining Climate-control footbed and deep lug soles. They have PUR midsole for underfoot comfort. It's a nice comfortable, durable shoe and I would recommend it. My feet are a bit narrow so try them on before you buy...comfort is essential. If they feel uncomfortable in the store, they will likely "kill you" after a full day. I tried on Lowa, Reichle, Vasque and others...these felt the best to me. For Photographers and photojournalists the importance of good, comfortable footwear cannot be understated. Working all day in uncomfortable shoes is not an option. In my opinion and on my foot, the Lowa Tempest strikes a good balance between a shoe and a true hiking boot. It provides good support and a decent platform from which to shoot. Although some of the stitching gave out after about 2 years of hard use, I still like these shoes so much that I bought two pairs just in case Lowa discontinues them. In most of the places I work, I have easy and frequent access to inexpensive shoe repair, so fixing things like stitches and eyelets is not a big deal.. Both the new and older models sell for less than $100. Now Lowa now has a new version called the Tempest II Lo, which I also own. There are some design changes which should improve the overall durability. In addition to the Lowa Tempest, I also carry along a pair of Teva Terra-Fi Sandals for lounging around in, wearing down the hall to shared showers or even some light walking around town. The only problem I see with working in sandals full time is that your feet are more vulnerable to injury... getting cut on broken glass, or other dangers prevalent in the developing world, could really mess up your ability to work. I suggest wearing shoes which offer more protection, unless you know ahead of time the exact conditions where you'll be walking. During my coverage of the tsunami, there were so many hazards (broken glass, twisted metal, exposed re-bar etc.) that it would have been foolhardy to wear sandals. Most of the injuries being treated at an impromptu clinic that was set up on the beach in Hikadua Sri Lanka were injuries to the feet where residents, wearing flip flops cut or impaled themselves on debris.
The Teva Terra-Fi is a decent performer in water and on land. The signature of Teva is the universal strapping system; it secures the foot through four points of connectivity and lateral straps. The result is an open sandal with an athletic fit. The sandals are impregnated with Microban Zinc: An environmentally friendly zinc technology that fights the growth of odor causing bacteria and fungus. Supposedly this antimicrobial protection provides continuous odor control that won't wash off or wear away, although mine seem to smell fairly bad, so I keep them in a plastic bag when carried in my luggage. The Teva Terra Fi costs about $75 unless you find them on sale. The best price I have seen is about $45. !
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