No matter how badass you are, if you’re wearing the wrong clothes, you can totally spoil your own extreme travel experience. Being ill-equipped is like using the wrong tool, or shooting yourself in the foot.
If you follow these guidelines, you should never have a problem. Good luck to you in your ambitious journeys!
Dressing for Extreme Travel
1. Dress for comfort.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re heading for an extreme location, you may be tempted to stock up with the latest designer gear. This is overkill. Don’t pack a bunch of heavy clothes with too many bells and whistles unless they are absolutely the most comfortable things you have ever owned.
2. Layers, layers, layers.
Layers can actually help you lighten your load. For example, rather than packing two pairs of bulky snowpants, you can pack one shell and two pairs of long underwear or warm leggings to go underneath (so you can wash one if need be). If your adventure is taking you to a warmer climate, consider layering as well — something lightweight and breathable over your minimal tank and shorts can help protect your skin from the sun and bugs, and keep you looking appropriate in cultures where it’s rude to show too much skin. The shorts and tank underneath will help absorb sweat, and you can strip down to them easily in private.
3. Decide in advance: Bag or pockets.
Whether you’re skiing, rock climbing, or visiting remote villages with no electricity or water, you’re going to need supplies on your person. Decide in advance whether you’re comfortable carrying a bag (which is the most likely thing to get nicked or pick-pocketed). If not, you need to either invest in an outfit with lots of pockets, preferably hidden (see the ScotteVest products and Tilley Hats), or get a money belt to strap to yourself under your clothes. Deciding you have to carry a bag can be very liberating, as then you can wear anything you want. Don’t rule it out; it might make you more comfortable. You just have to be a little extra vigilant.