After our trips to Bonaire, India and Bhutan this year, Murray and I talked about changing and adding to some of our gear. Lo and behold, Santa overheard us and some really cool items appeared under the tree!
We have been carrying one old bath towel with us on all our trips. This is a “just in case we need a towel” item. Although the towel is old and a bit threadbare, it is still bulky and weighs more than it should. We had talked about getting “travel towels” made of microfiber material. M&G kindly purchased just the ones that we would have gotten! They are made by MSR and are a polyester/nylon microfiber blend and are very soft. Some of the other brands we looked at were rough on the skin. We have the “Large” size which measures 16.5″ x 36″ (42 cm x 92 cm) and weighs 4 oz (115 gms). This towel is definitely lighter and more compact than the towel we have been taking! The towel is big enough to dry a body with but it wouldn’t be big enough to lay on while on the beach. It is big enough to sit on though. It comes with a carry case too. I can see us taking these towels to destinations like India, Africa etc where towels may not be provided in hotels.
When we were in Bonaire, our hats and Murray’s shirt got soaked on the dive boat and it took days for my hat to dry and come to life again. When we were in the Andaman Islands, we had to use a green garbage bag to protect our day pack from getting totally soaked on the dive boat. Our dive master and our dive buddies from Australia both had dry bags. I thought to myself at the time that one of these would have been very handy. Luckily we received a Campers Village gift card for Christmas so we purchased a 10 litre bag (weighs 7 oz, 205 gms). This size will fit a couple of hats, a couple of t-shirts, keys, abit of cash, a snack or two – just enough for diving. It has a handle at the bottom end. I like the bright orange colour!
On the trips to China, India and Bhutan we carried home made sleep sacks made from old sheets. They were bulky and weighed more than they should. Every trip we have used them at least a couple of times when the bed linens were questionable. We decided that our Christmas presents to each other this year would be light weight sleep sacks. Sea to Summit makes a wide variety of sleep sacks – from silk to cotton to blends to coolmax. We almost bought silk ones as they are very light, but we were concerned about the durability. Our fears were confirmed when we looked at one that had been returned and put back on the shelf and the fabric along the seams was ripping. A very friendly, travelwise and helpful fellow at Campers Village convinced us that we would not go wrong with coolmax fabric. It weighs more than silk (9.5 oz compared to 6 oz) and it slightly bulkier but we thought we could live with this. They are 7 feet long ( 210 cm) x 31 inches wide (90 cm) and are tapered at the foot. They are sewn right up the side which makes climbing in and out abit cumbersome.
Santa was very good to us this year and we will let you know how the new gear works out as we travel this year. HO HO HO!