- Wes Siler
March 14, 2018
I feel bad for most people I see in airports. Not only are they carrying larger, heavier bags than I am (or, gasp, checking luggage), but they’re lugging all that extra weight just to bring along clothing and other stuff that’s making them less comfortable. These lessons from the outdoors world will change your life the next time you fly somewhere.
#1. All Merino Everything
I haven’t taken more than one pair of socks anywhere but the backcountry in years. That’s because a single pair of thin merino wool items work to keep my feet warm when it’s cold, cool when it’s hot, dry all the time, and they remain stink-free for up to a week.
The same attributes are true of other items of clothing made from the material. A merino t-shirt on its own will help keep you cool on hot days or can be layered under other clothing to make an ideal base layer on cool nights.
The Icebreaker Hike+ Lites are affordable, and as good an option for merino socks as anything out there. For shirts, I like NuYarn, which is made from a stronger merino weave that holds up better to regular washing. TREW makes an excellent ultralight tee from that material. Want to dress things up a bit? Civic, a new brand from Taylor Stitch, offers a variety of stylish dress shirts, henleys, and chinos made from merino. I’ve been wearing Civic stuff for a few months and can report that it’s a major wardrobe upgrade.
The last great thing about merino is that it’s easy to clean and can be dried quickly, even in a hotel room. Just hand wash it with a little Dr. Bronners in the sink, rinse it clean, then wring it out and hang it up overnight. If for some reason it’s not dry by the next morning, just hit it with a hairdryer for a few minutes. That’s how I make the one pair of socks thing work.