Glenn Charles

Adventurer | Photographer | Connector

Today I am a Time Traveler with a Camera... Tomorrow, who knows

Weekly Adventure Travel Tip

This is the first tip in my new Weekly Adventure Tip Series.  Here I hope to share the lessons I have learned over the course of my 50,000 mile human powered adventure.  Each week I will post some small tidbit of advice in the hopes that it will make your adventure travels more enjoyable.

Weekly Adventure Tip: Buy Wool

There are so many different options for clothing that it can make your head spin.  If you listen to the marketing wizards, you need specific gear for each sport or activity.  While it may be true that each of your activities has some unique piece of gear such as a PFD for Kayaking or Bike Shoes for cycling, there is gear that can transcend everything you do. 

Why is this so important?  Well, for three key reasons.  First, unless you have unlimited funds, buying gear that can be used across all your activities saves you a ton of money.  Second, if you care about weight, as in travel weight, layering as a way to control your body temp is equally crucial. Lastly, durability, which kind of goes back to number one.  If you are an adventure traveller, having gear that lasts and lasts and lasts, just plain makes sense.

All of this brings us to the miracle fabric known as Wool.  Wool has been around forever, but it is only in the past few years that it has really seen a revival in the sporting industry.  While the wool of old was heavy, thick and quite often itchy, the wool of today is soft, light, and super flexible.  For me, no piece of gear has performed better than my Icebreaker Wool.

Icebreaker wool comes from New Zealand and is simply an amazing product.  During the last three years I have travelled extensively with three pieces of Icebreaker gear. A long sleeve base layer top; a midweight long sleeve top; and a heavy weight pair of long underwear.  I have worn this gear in temps ranging from a low of 10 degrees F, to a high of 85 degrees F. I have used it while paddling through frigid Alaska glacier waters and biking across the Arizona desert.

When layered, wool manages to keep you warm while still working hard to keep you dry.  In hotter temps, the lightweight wool keeps you cool and dry, quickly drawing sweat and moisture away from your skin.  In either scenario, wool never begins to stink, something critical as the days roll by.

From a durability standpoint, I have had all three of these pieces with me almost every day for three years, and I am just now in need of replacing the lightweight top and the heavy weight bottom.  The bottoms are almost still useable other than the gaping hole in the britches from so much time in the kayak seat.  The mid weight top looks and acts brand new. 

If you are looking at what clothes to buy for your upcoming adventures look no further than Icebreaker wool.  It will last you forever, keep you warm and dry, and pack light no matter how you are travelling.  With a kit based around wool, you are set for any type of outdoor adventure activity.