Archive | August 2014

Why wisepacking?

It’s the culmination of experiences gained through forty years of hillwalking and travelling around the UK and Europe for leisure, work, training courses, conferences, and a whole lot more.

I don’t recall using a suitcase on trips. I’ve used 65 litre backpacking and climbing packs, 60 litre travel bags, 40 litre holdalls and have now graduated to using a 40 litre travel pack that’s used as hand luggage. The chances of wanting to pack and use a big pack for any future travels is somewhat unlikely as self and GF are now travelling hand luggage only for all of our travels that don’t involve taking the car anywhere.

It’s a great way of saving money as you don’t have to pay the hold luggage fees that several airlines charge nowadays. Or the extra cash that some taxis require for any bags that are stashed in the boot. You can get out of the terminal quicker as you don’t have to wait at the luggage carousel or have that sinking feeling that comes with having breakfast at home, dinner at your destination and your luggage still at the departure airport…

It also means that you could stretch your legs by walking to your hotel after three hours on a train or five hours on a bus. And use the money you would have spent on a cab to buy a nice cold beer or a few shots of caffeine. Or help you run for a bus or train if you’ve lingered too long over that last espresso. Or find a left luggage office if you have a few hours to kill between trains, buses or ferries.

The mix you’ll find on here will revolve around suggestions, reviews, opinions and ways to find out more. It could be a suggestion that gives you a list of carry on luggage criteria for a host of airlines, a review of a particular item of clothing, pair of shoes or a piece of equipment. Or it could be an opinion based on something that’s been in the news, witnessed or tasted whilst we’ve been on our travels, something in the news or a link to a site that has more to say about a destination or subject.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

That difficult first post…

Well, this is it. The first post…

How did I come up with the name wisepacking? Quite simple – I needed a title for a short piece on clothing and equipment that was commissioned for a travel website a couple of days ago. As soon as I’d typed that simple word into the Mac, I knew that it was the one to use.

So what is wisepacking? Choosing the clothing, footwear and equipment to take with you for a day out, a weekend away, a week or a fortnight as a summer holiday. If you’re planning on a longer trip, then that’s fine by me, because the principles, products and techniques can be used on just about any length of trip. I may not have all of the answers, but if I don’t I’ll either say so or give pointers to where the information that’s required can be found.

What’s my background? Over a decade in the tailoring trade, nine seasons as an outdoor instructor, ten years working in outdoor/travel clothing, footwear and equipment shops and around 25 years as a writer on adventure travel, camping, climbing, cycling, hillwalking, rambling and relaxed travel for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Yes, I’m over 50, but I’m not over the hill just yet!

This blog will develop in the coming months and it will feature products, stories, suggestions and techniques. There may well be references to popular culture thrown in for good measure and some personal opinions too. I hope that you like what you see and provide some constructive feedback – once I’ve figured out the best way to get the darn methods to do so set up!