What? I’ve covered clothes what with all the malarkey about socks and duvet jackets haven’t I? Nope – I’ve not mentioned the clothes that I’ll be spending most of the time in yet!
The base layer, or, in the summer, “T-shirt” to anyone who’s not gear obsessed. We, like many others, have discovered Merino wool T-Shirts.
The main reason we like them is that they amazingly resistant to getting smelly. Unlike synthetics that can get pongy after a day and downright lethal after a fortnight.
They can feel very slightly scratchy, rather than itchy, at first for some people but it soon goes away. It might also feel very slightly scratchy for a few hours after it was last washed but again, it goes away. LB has astonishingly sensitive skin but gets on with them fine.
We’re both bringing two 140gram Tech T Lite (That’s the weight of the material not the weight of the T-shirt. My XL is 180 grams, LB’s XS is 102 grams).
Although a heavier weight Merino would be even more smell resistant (some claim smell proof!) I wouldn’t fancy wearing a heavy grade T-shirt in Southern Europe in late August.
Washing them is easy but they do need to be treated differently from normal clothes. Just get some pure soap flakes (doesn’t matter which brand) and sling them straight in the machine with the T-shirts (I’m lazy and ignore all that stuff about dissolving them first). Don’t use fabric conditioner, it “gums up” the fibres. Wash them in with any silk stuff you have, like sleeping bag liners for instance. Easy.
I’ve always been impressed by Rohan’s trousers. I’ve had a pair of “double convertible” trousers for several years and they’re now rather sun faded so I think they’ll have to be traded in for the new model; the Rohan Double Convertible Goas
The “double” bit is because they have two zips; just above and just below the knee. Meaning you get cooler legs without having to expose scary white knees, if not actually managing to carry off a continental look…
The one thing about them I didn’t like was the belt. There’s nothing wrong with it as such, it’s a normal bit of black strapping with a good quality plastic buckle. But after a few days under a rucksack it started to dig in to my hips.
So, I got them tailored. I simply took them along to an alteration tailor and they took-in the waist band for £12 (about $24.50USD or €18). Perfect fit, no need for a belt. I’ll be doing the same to any outdoor trousers I buy.
I’d avoid anything with a “gather” in the material (like at the top of curtains where they get bunched). The gather may seem insignificant but after a few days you’ll probably find it’s started to bite through your skin and is making a permanent indent in the bone of your hips. Flat stretchy waistbands are better.
I’ve been trying some silk based ones, the Sports Boxes from NZ Nature but, although they’re generally comfy, I have my suspicions that the rather thick seems may start to rub. I’ve not warn them for more than four continuous days of walking so far, so I can’t be sure. I’m thinking I may go for a couple of pairs of Icebreaker Skin 200 Boxers…