At the end of the day it’s about who we are with, not what we carry with us. Last year I was lucky enough to do a little traveling - ski the mountains of Vermont, hike through Yellowstone, and hit the beach in Charleston with great company. Through the different terrains, weather, and occasions I counted on my gear to keep me feeling my best!
In February, my college roommate Amanda and I trekked to Mt. Stowe, Vermont to play outside, and catch up on all our happenings inside by a toasty warm fire. Sub-zero temps and hard ciders were mainstays throughout our weekend. I counted on my cozy scarf, socks, and heavy duty snow boots to keep the good times rolling. I look back on that weekend fondly, my favorite part was the feeling of slipping on dry socks after a day on the mountain. I can vividly recall Amanda and I stretched out by the fire; toe to toe peeling away the remains of a day well spent and allowing our feet to breathe. Later, we bundled up again wrapped like small children about to face the outside world for the first time. We walked like our combined ages; muscles aching, but oh so eager to sip hot cocoa and listen to a live band. I’m sure you’ve felt this way too after a day of skiing too!
Fast forward four months, and my family and I were packed tightly into a Suburban swerving alongside Bison in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and scanning the fields for prairie dogs. From the start, I knew I needed to pack light – so we’d have room for a fully stocked cooler, our Que bottles filled with our favorite beverages and of course, copious snacks. I took only a weekender bag for ten days worth of varied temps and adventures. My Dad’s jaw dropped in disbelief when I arrived at the tiny airport tucked into the mountain scape with just that and a zippered tote. I knew I needed to bring something that could handle being tossed around, and could expand for all the souvenirs I was bound to pick up along the way. I carefully rolled workout shorts, shirts and leggings into little eggs. My Patagonia, a swimsuit, and a solid sun hat were my essentials! Each day I put on hiking boots, not knowing where the day would take us. From white water rafting in Wyoming, to navigating a blizzard in the boonies of Montana – these layers proved useful. One day the weather turned so dramatically my mom had to buy a sun hat while wearing a winter vest. Layers matter!
Finally, it was August and I was celebrating my birthday on the cobblestone streets of Charleston. We were excited for all the food, the beach and a lovely sunset sail. Instead of the swampy heat everyone warned against, we had 65 and rainy weather from the moment we arrived. We ducked into a converted church and grabbed a drink, and ate more seafood than I ever thought possible. I recall there was one day the sky surprisingly cleared up – my friend Jack glanced at me - we looked at each other thinking the same thought and raced to hop into an Uber; eager to swim in the ocean. Once we arrived at the beach, the rain pounded on our shoulders madly. We decided to stay in the water to keep our skin from turning blue, the air was so much colder than the water. All of our belongings were soaked, the sandwiches I haphazardly packed were hiding safely under the cover of our tiny umbrellas buried in the sand (I was so glad I used the ZWraps to keep them dry!) We headed back to the hotel, elated from playing in the surf but absolutely exhausted. We were stunned to see we were both somehow sunburnt through all that rain. Full on lobster red, we invaded the maid’s cart to restock our travel bags. There was no such thing as TOO many free travel sized body lotions. Next time I will definitely pack copious sunblock, regardless of the forecast
New England bred, I am well-versed in how to dress in layers or any occasion. Growing up in New England, you have your “car” clothes (a spare raincoat or at least an umbrella, a sweatshirt, maybe a blanket and gloves and a hat for sure..) My tip to you… when packing, dress in layers, it will prepare you for any changing weather conditions.
Shop Piper and Dune’s Travel Collection to get yourself an assortment of travel goods.
I hope you get to Explore What Excites You in 2020!