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So many people wonder how is it possible to pack light.  Merino wool is the secret.  I wear it winter and summer, like the photos above.  It’s critical to get 17.5 micron merino wool.  And even at that weight not all is equal.  It’s machine washable, dries super quick, keeps you warm even if wet, and doesn’t smell bad after wearing for 2 weeks straight!

First of all packing light means you don’t have multiple different outfits per day.  My packing list allows a couple of changes per day but I re-wear everything. REPEATEDLY.

You need far less than you think you do.

I learned this and had it pounded into me on multiple hiking and scuba trips. 

I can work out, then shower and change into my all day clothes and maybe dress it up with a scarf for a different look. Bam multiple ensembles, with limited packing.

Flat CJ

My classic plane ensemble is leggings, hiking skort, long sleeve merino wool shirt, scarf, rain jacket, socks and shoes.  If I’m flying to somewhere warm I ditch the leggings, scarf, jacket, socks and shoes when I arrive swap to sandals.  Or the reverse if I’m going from somewhere warm to cold.
Flat CJ packing light

I can regularly get 7-12 wearings out of a pair of merino wool socks, so the only reason I bring 2 pair is so if one gets wet it can dry while I wear the other.

I love merino wool undies.  They tie with ExOfficio for comfort and easy care but win for being natural.  Both are easy to hand wash with shampoo or hand soap, rinse, ring dry, then place in a dry towel and roll up, place on the floor and walk on it.  This will get almost all the water out and speed up the drying time.  Items will definitely be dry by morning vs cotton which *may* be dry after a day.

Another trick, get a 100ml spray bottle and put some Febreze (or DIY febreze) and spritz any clothes that may have picked up a scent, like in a smoky bar or all day horseback ride!

Recommended Packing Light List:

  • 1-2 Long sleeve wool shirts (depending on the season 2 in winter 1 in summer)
  • 1-2 Short sleeve wool shirts (depending on the season 1 in winter 2 in summer)
  • 2 bottoms (leggings, shorts, skorts, pants depending on season)
  • 2 pairs socks
  • 3 underpants/knickers/panties/boxers
  • 2 swim suits
  • 1 set of pajamas (or clothes to sleep in. I like merino boxers and a tank top.)
  • 2 pairs shoes (depends on location/season, could be hiking boots, sandals, flip flops, sneakers/trainers, dress shoes)
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket
  • 1 scarf/sarong

Or you can take Helen Mirren‘s (yes that Helen Mirren) approach.  

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I have visited 71 and lived in 7 different countries. I speak English, Spanish, French, and Russian. I like to hike, ski, dive, eat, drink, and wander the wonders of the world.

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