We’ve been doing a bit of research for a while now into travel gear and trying to decide what we need to take with us.
We have decided to buy some travel packs rather than using our wheeled Samsonite luggage that I usually travel with. This should make it easier to get on and off buses and boats and such – especially if we find ourselves walking several blocks to the bus station for travel to the next town. We have a limit of 20kg of check-in luggage each for our flights, and we don’t want to be carrying that much anyway.
Given we will be away for 6 weeks, don’t want to be lugging our entire wardrobes with us, and need to be able to wash and dry clothes quickly – we’ve decided to get some new travel clothes. We need waterproof hiking boots for some of the activities we have planned anyway – so that will be our first priority. In addition, we are looking at getting some lightweight quick-drying clothing that will be easier to manage when we’re on the go all the time. Key attributes are – we need to be able to dress in layers (some areas will be hot and humid, others will be very cold and windy – despite it being summer time), and we need to be able to cope if we get wet (something that dries pretty quickly rather than staying wet and making us cold, uncomfortable or even sick!).
We’re still thinking about what we’re going to buy, but we’ve started looking at options in the various travel gear stores around. Fortunately we have quite a few of the specialty travel stores nearby in Chatswood – although they are typically fairly small stores. Mountain Equipment, Mountain Design, Kathmandu, Columbia (and a new Paddy Pallins store opening soon!) are all represented in Chatswood. We’ve also discovered “Adventure Alley” as it is known locally – Kent Street in the city has all of the major stores within a couple of blocks of each other. In addition to the chains above, there is Snowgum, Trek & Travel and numerous other independent stores.
One problem I’ve found is that nobody stocks larger sizes – in fact, most of the mens clothing is very small. Another problem is that the sizing is all different – some use US sizing, others use European, and some (very few actually) are Australian sizings. Makes it difficult to know what is likely to fit you – have to take two or three of every item to try on just to try and get a fit.