Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Nifty Thrifty Avenues

Clothes! Especially in Europe, clothes are a big thing. Read: SCARVES.

Well obviously we haven't been looking at scarves, because we're looking at more practical, lightweight jackets for now to protect us from the elements...and also, it'll be June. Temperatures range from between 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit for where we're going. (well, maybe room for one, ultra-light-easily-washable-neutral-colored scarf.)

This week was the first time we've taken a look at clothes seriously for the trip (well, I'll speak for myself) and Tessa made a list. The question is how many "outfits" of clothes are necessary for a four-month-long trip with only a backpack to fit it all in. I've been guestimating a week's worth all together, but it's more complicated than that, I'm finding. Also: there are some key points to look for in backpacking clothes (in my experienced three hours of browsing eBay for them):

  • Quick drying--for an overnight hostel stay, washing out your shirt in a sink is easy and effective, but packing it back up the soaking wet the next morning is not desirable. Especially since we'll be moving around a lot, packing up and repacking up, again and again.
  • Light-weight--that's a huge factor. Our backpacks can only be like 22 pounds or so, and half of that (hopefully less) will be of clothes. We'll probably get tired of what we're wearing pretty quickly, so the more the selection we can squeeze in there, the better. This will be hard for the one or two jackets/sweaters we have to bring, but those can be worn or bungee(ed) on top too, possibly.
  • Unwrinkles--not as important, but I, personally, don't care to look like I've been living out of a backpack, even though I will be. There are some great skirt designs especially made to not wrinkle, but still small and durable enough to pack well. I haven't looked into any specifically yet.

To give you an idea of what we did tonight with some jackets/hoodies/windbreakers...(for the cooler portions of our trip. Russia possibly, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. Also, who knows when it'll rain?

Patagonia, Ex Officio, and REI. These are the brands we are looking for. eBay has become an incredibly important place to look because people sell their expensive clothes once worn! It's pretty crazy, but true. Because these are still "brand-name" clothes, albeit of a different kind, a pair of lightweight-quickdry underwear can still run from $20-$30. But on eBay, there's many for under $10 (NEW, don't worry.) Still pricey, but they're meant for what we're doing/using them for, so we'd get three worthy pairs, for the price of one.

Also, thrift stores! I get most of my clothes from Goodwill and it's friends. If you know how to look, there are treasures to be found! Tessa has found a bunch of wool socks (important for our HTH section of the trip in Iceland and Norway) in bins of mix-matching randomness sock-boxes at her local thrift store. So instead of spending $40 in three good pairs of necessary socks, she spends $1.75. I told her to grab a few pairs for me, next time they appear. Phoenix doesn't really have more than a bunch of swimsuits in the winter. Wool? What's that?

Besides surfing eBay, I'll definitely be checking Goodwill more often because there's always something potential useful there! In the past, I've gotten a pair of great recycled-tire tennis shoes for $1. Jeans that fit perfectly and still with the tag on saying $120 for...$10. Now that I'm looking for long-sleeves and such, I'm sure I'll come across something! Oh wait, still warm Arizona....perhaps a road trip is in order. Or a phone call to Tessa.

Adios for now,


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