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  • Handling Inclement Weather

    I admit it, I generally chase warm weather when I'm traveling long-term; you have all the freedom in the world, so why go somewhere cold? This is, of course, controversial; you can't control the weather and you can't predict the rain; but you can plan ahead and try to align your travel plans with summer season (i.e. semi-decent weather).. And if you run into a string of bad weather.. you can always buy a small poncho, an umbrella, long-sleeve shirts, gloves, hats, hand-warmers, ear muffs, scarfs, thermal underwear or anything else you might need, if it becomes necessary; you don't need to pack for every season. That being said, I do (usually) pack a light, compressible jacket, and I travel with a reusable poncho and thermal underwear occasionally. If you know you'll be traveling through arctic tundras but still want pack as light as possible, and you're willing to spend a little extra, check out the High-Tech Minimalist Packing List for cold-weather gear. Worried about waste? Just remember you're supporting local retailers by purchasing their goods and you can always donate gently used clothes/gear to the hostel or fellow travelers.. Most hostels I've stayed at have had a freebie/donation box where people share or leave things they no longer need. Check out my Essential Gear post for a list of things I always pack, and my Clothing Optional post for some nice-to-have extras.

  • Washing Clothes in the Shower

    I've experimented with many different methods for washing clothes on the road - washing in the sink, using a portable wash bag, using laundromats, and yes, even "shower washing." I go into the pros and cons of each approach in my post The 7 Methods of Doing Laundry While Traveling, but I wanted to specifically call out this weird yet unique approach to cleaning your clothes. The point of this post isn't to tell you how to clean your clothes in the shower (hopefully that's obvious), but it is to let you know that - while it may feel weird - it's also easy, reliable, effective and... not as weird as you might think! I thought I was crazy for doing this, until I read this great post on the REI expert advice blog in regards to packing light; which made me feel slightly better - specifically the part where it says "wash items while you're showering," - so it's nice to know I'm not completely insane. Sanity aside, there's no way to sugar coat it, so let's just jump in... Washing your clothes in the shower is... weird.. but it's only weird the first time, and then - if you're already accustomed to hand washing your clothes in some manor - it becomes one of the easiest ways to wash your clothes, especially if you're only washing a few small items. I hand wash my socks, shirt and underwear most days, and my shorts and/or pants once every few days, depending on use; this is usually done with a portable wash basin or wash bag; but on some occasions, when I know I won't have a lot of time, I will wash my clothes in the shower. You simply wear your dirty clothes into the shower (that's the weird part), and hand wash them as you undress. It's fast, simple, and no one even knows you're doing it (unless you're putting on a show). An important thing to note here is that this method really only works with lightweight, quick-dry fabrics - I've never tried it, but I imagine washing jeans in the shower would be a nightmare. But if you're rocking quick-dry hiking pants and shorts (as I recommend in 9 Tips for Packing Fewer Clothes), you should be good to go - it's the same material used to make modern-day (men's) swim trunks, so it's thin, lightweight and easy to hand wash - and you can't tell me you've never never washed your swimsuit in the shower. Always remember to bring a "clean clothes" bag (or your portable wash bag) - so you have a place to put them after they've been cleaned. A few things to note... 1) You can use shampoo, body wash or bar soap on your clothes, they're actually more gentle than traditional detergents, but it comes with a caveat - because they're more gentle (i.e. less powerful), they won't be as effective for getting stains out. 2) If you plan on hand washing regularly and want to travel prepared, consider general purpose camping soap or laundry soap bars. 3) Even if you wash your clothes regularly, you'll eventually want a more thorough, machine-wash, "professional" clean - clothes need to soak and go through a thorough rinse in order to be truly clean, so don't throw your washer out the window just yet. I highly encourage you to try this at home - especially if you're planning a big trip or attempting "extreme" minimalist travel for the first time; once you have the process down, it can easily integrate into your normal morning (or afternoon, or evening) routine. Shower washing is, and always will be, a little too weird for most people, but for those of you who try it, you'll be rewarded with more time, a smaller backpack, and a story to tell your grandchildren (who won't even know what a washing machine is). Read Next: Drying Clothes on the Road

  • My Packing List (Hint: It's Personal)

    I fall into the mostly minimalist category.. I pack 2-3 days worth of multi-use clothes, along with some tools to make life a little easier, and I wash my clothes daily - i.e. every time I shower. If you're not sure where you fit, check out the examples and packing guides in What YOU Should Pack. Here's a list of everything I'm currently packing (clothes and gear) - subject to change. Clothes 1x generic hiking/trail-running shows - see Oh My God, Shoes! 1x convertible hiking shorts/pants - see Shorts, Pants and Trunks 3x quick-dry t-shirts (Amazon Essentials Quick-Dry shirts) 2x multi-use, zippered pocket shorts (search here on Amazon) 4x boxers/underwear (Exofficio) 4x pairs generic socks 1x minimalist or barefoot sandals (Xero) Essential Gear 1x 22L backpack, butterfly opening (Mystery Ranch butterfly-open backpack) or check out Bags N Backpacks for my thoughts on minimalist travel bags. 1x hanging toiletry bag (Sierra Sun) 1x universal travel adapter (Kikkerland) 2x portable wash-bags (Scrubba Portable Wash Bag)* 1x portable charger (Tometc Portable Solar Charger) 1x small towel (Nomadic) - I don't recommend micro-fiber, they suck for drying Optional Gear 1x floating/water-proof phone case (search options here on Amazon) 1x Nano Puff jacket for cooler climates - see Jackets, Coats and Ponchos 1x pair of thermal underwear, also for cooler climates As you can see, my personal list of "must-haves" is small - who would have thought! - and since we're packing so little, the total cost for all everything is fairly minimal. Clothes = $100 (shoes) + $80 (convertible pants) + $30 (shirts) + $20x4=100 (socks/underwear) + $30x2=60 (gym/swim shorts) = $370 for clothing. Gear = $100 (backpack) + $15 (toiletry bag) + $10 (travel adapter) + $70 (wash bags) + $25 (waterproof bag) + $20 (portable charger) = $240 for everything else. You can, of course, spend much less than this, but it gives you an idea of how little you actually need. *Why two wash-bags? Instead of using compression packs, I found that wash bags work even better for compressing packed clothes into the smallest footprint possible; this is because they have a built in air/water release valve that effectively allows you to squeeze every bit of air out of the bag. (insert video) The waterproof electronics bag is also great for day trips involving water, but beyond that, it's always nice to know your stuff is safe in the event of a sudden monsoon. (insert new pic here) More Information Check out Cleaning Clothes / Laundry and Portable Dryers to see how I handle washing clothes. Check out my Essential Gear post for a full list of (personally essential) non-clothing items. Check out my Convenient Extras for a list of nice-to-have items. Check out the Gear page for all posts related to hardware.

  • Breathtaking examples of architecture around the world

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  • The everlasting magic of Mediterranean seaside villages

    Edit exactly how your blog looks on your website from the Settings panel. Wix Blogs lets you hide or display the author name and picture, date and reading time, views, comments and likes counter. Toggle between the options and view your changes in real time. If your blog is connected to a Members Area, you’ll want to make sure the Login button is visible to users. To send automatic email notifications to subscribers every time there’s a post, turn on the email notification option on your Settings panel. Start managing your blog posts from your dashboard by clicking on Manage Posts. From the Dashboard, you can create, edit and delete posts and update your SEO settings. You can also duplicate or draft posts, turn off commenting, or delete a post altogether by clicking (...) on each blog post. Once you’re happy with your blog, make sure to publish your posts from the Dashboard and go live with your site by clicking Publish.

  • Japan for beginners: 5 things you must do

    To edit the way your blog feed looks on your site, hover over your blog feed and click on Design. Here, you can pick from different layouts. If you add a blog feed section to a different page on your website, you can pick a design that’s different from your main blog page. Edit what info and details your blog feed displays by clicking on Settings (look for the 3 dot icon). From the Settings panel, Wix Blog lets you hide or display the author name and picture, date and reading time, views, comments and likes counter. Toggle between the options and view your changes in real time. If your blog is connected to a Members Area, you’ll want to make sure the Login button is visible to users. To send automatic email notifications to blog subscribers every time there’s a new post, turn on the email notification option on your Settings panel. Start managing your blog posts by clicking on Manage Posts once you’re happy with your blog settings.

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