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Travel Gear Guide

In today’s ever globalizing society, Rock/Creek recognizes your need to travel light and efficiently. Rock/Creek offers a broad selection of travel gear that is perfect to tackle all your destinations and any places in between.

Whether you are traveling internationally or just headed out for a weekend getaway, this guide should give you a good starting point as you prepare for your trip.

Traveling internationally can be an enlightening experience as you interact with other cultures and customs. At the same time, traveling abroad provides you with a humility and appreciation for your own existence.

If you have never traveled outside of the country, the thought can be intimidating. The hardest part about traveling internationally is deciding to go in the first place. Rock/Creek offers a wide variety of luggage, carry-on baggage, outerwear, and international widgets that will lighten your load and your traveling woes.
Bags and Luggage

For today’s global adventurer, traveling light is key. Being able to carry on your baggage is a great advantage. When you carry on you are ensured that you will be able to carry off. Even if you are traveling for an extend time where the space in a carryon is not enough, traveling with a carryon is still an advantage. Packing your dopkit and a change of clothes in a carryon bag is a great way to prevent disaster in the event that your luggage is lost. If you are headed for a weekend of skiing or mountaineering, choosing to place your most vital pieces of gear in a carryon can save you from heartbreak in the event you get to your location before your luggage does. If possible, stick with one carry-on and one piece of check-in luggage. Try to find luggage with wheels. You will thank yourself as you stroll through the airport. You will ultimately save on skycap tips and taxi fares with a lighter luggage. In European countries, taxi drivers charge for every piece of luggage, so this would be a great way to save a few bucks. Here are few tips that will help you pack lighter and more efficiently.

Choosing the right luggage
Patagonia MLC Travel BagNo one wants extra baggage. Select a bag that is durable and lightweight. Once you handover your bag at the baggage check, you have no idea how your bag will be treated. Avoid the horrors of getting your bag stuck in the conveyor belts or having your bag dropped on the runway and run over by an airplane with luggage from rockcreek.com.

The Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30 Wheeled Duffle Bag is a durable duffle on wheels; with 6000 cu. in. of space, you can fit everything you need plus whatever you acquire while on your trip. The oversized front panel opening makes it easy for packing and unpacking, with end-to-end, side and center haul handles for easy pick up. If you are looking for a lighter, smaller bag then check out the Patagonia MLC travel bag. Perfect for those on the go, the MLC stands for the “Maximum Legal Carry-on,” and is the exact size of the largest legal carry on. It is the perfect cohort for anyone who spends time on the road. There’s a convenient zippered pocket on the outside that’s just the right size for your boarding pass and identification. There’s also an internal mesh pocket that also serves to divide the inside into two compartments. I use the divider to separate clean from dirty clothes during the trip.
Saving Space

Smart packing can often reduce the number of bags you carry, and utilize all the pockets and space available in your luggage. Save space by stuffing your socks in your shoes or rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Rock Creek carries a number of products from Eagle Creek that will help any traveler’s pack seem a bit more organized. The Pack-It Cube from Eagle Creek allows you to organize your clothing for easy access upon arrival or for quick security checks at airports. This is a great addition to any luggage piece or for any OCD packer. Also, another great product from Eagle Creek is their Pack-It Compressor Sets. These bags allow you to remove excess air from bulky garments and potentially save you 80% of the volume. What’s more, by placing your shirts or skirts in this bag you are giving them a protective, waterproof casing that will keep them not only dry but also wrinkle free.

Time Savers

Rock/Creek knows that you want to get to where you are going as quickly and with as little complications as possible. Following these suggestions will help you save time and travel more efficiently no matter where you are headed.

If are heading for a vacation and plan to fly, allot yourself enough time to get through security and customs before your flight starts to board. A good rule of thumb to follow is to arrive at the airport two hours before your plane departs. Rock/Creek carries a wide variety of watches that are perfect for any traveler. The Suunto t6 is a great travel option with tons of extra features that will get you where you are going on time and in fashion. With the Suunto t6 you are able to set two different times which is great when you are crossing time zones. Designed for those constantly on the move, the t6 has available heart rate, training mode complete with stop watch, speed and distance mode as well as barometer or altimeter.

Eagle Creek Pre-Board Pouch If you are traveling international, having your passport and identification available at customs is a great time saver. Be sure to have all applicable forms filled out prior to flight arrival. This will alleviate waiting time while going through customs and immigration. On the same note, if you are crossing borders by land, make sure that you have all of your appropriate documents prior to leaving. Without your tourist card, visa, or exit/entry stamp you can expect to face some serous time delays. The Pre-Board Pouch from Eagle Creek is a great way to have all of your travel documents close at hand. Lightweight and extremely versatile, the Pre-Board Pouch can double as both a wallet and secure sleeve for a photo ID or passport.

Try to travel during daylight hours. You will be able to “trick” your body out of becoming jetlagged easier than if you travel during the night. If you are flying, make sure that you get up at least once an hour and walk around the cabin in order to keep your circulation moving. Drink lots of water. Not only does staying properly hydrated provide you the extra energy you will need when traveling, but it also good for your body and will ease the effect of the tiredness you feel from traveling. If possible avoid caffeine or alcohol, because these tend to be dietetic and will lead to dehydration. Finally, dress appropriately for the rigors of traveling.

The Traveling Wardrobe

Footwear

When traveling, plan to be on your feet all day. Selecting the right footwear can make or break your travel day. Not only is finding a shoe that is comfortable and fashionable important, but also selecting appropriate footwear is crucial. The last thing you want to find yourself doing is trying to make a connecting flight while attempting to sprint in flip flops.

Chaco sandalsChoose a shoe with plenty of support and comfort that you will be able to move around in all day. The Chaco Sandals Toecoop Shoe is a great shoe for traveling.  Designed with the classic Chaco Sandals BioCentric Footbed, the Toecoop will provide the support and comfort you need to get you to your next destination. This slip-on is constructed on the sandal footbed, with a stitched on, waterproof leather upper for natural breathability.  The Vibram Funnison rubber outsole lets you go anywhere and the adjustable instep strap keeps the shoe secure.  The Chaco Sandals ToeCoop Shoe is perfect for high-exertion activities such as traveling or attempting to make a connection in a crowded airport.

KEEN are perfect for traveling as well. Classically comfortable, these sandals are of durability and fashion. From the classic Z1 and Z2 Performance Sandals to the new Leather Flips, Chaco has you covered. Feel confident that Chaco will be able to take on any outdoor adventure you can throw at it. Perfect for all seasons, Chaco offers a sandal that will fit any foot and budget.

If you are having trouble finding the right fit in shoes or the shoes that you have are not offering enough comfort, look into getting insoles for your shoes. These insoles will provide that much needed comfort that you are looking for during long days of travel and layovers. Rock/Creek is proud to offer insoles from Superfeet. With Superfeet insoles in your shoes, your feet are being consistently balanced and supported. Instead of your feet collapsing inward and stressing the surrounding muscles, joints and ligaments, Superfeet helps you move the way nature intended.
Outerwear

At the end of the day, traveling can leave your body worn out and tired. However, there is no reason why you should be uncomfortable while you are traveling. Choose clothes that are comfortable, lightweight and loose fitting. Rock/Creek offers a wide selection of outdoor sportswear that will keep your body at its best while you are in motion. New lightweight technologies allow you to pack more options with the same space and weight.

The Hotline Top for women by Patagonia is perfect for all-day traveling. The Hotline is made from a new, airy cotton/spandex blend for a lively flow over skin. The internal shelf bra with brushed elastic provides soft, breathable support without chafing. The streamlined design has offset side seams and covers the mid-torso to protect from sun and abrasion. With an open back and a 5″ center vent. The fit is trim and nonrestrictive. For men, clothes from the North Face or Prana are ideal for travel. The North Face Flight Series Men’s Short Sleeve TNF Nemesis Crew features an Active Venting System, making it one of the most lightweight, wicking tees during movement.

When traveling, there are typically other people around besides you. Intensive travel can quickly lead to a very sweaty, smelly globetrotter. With The North Face’s Nemesis Tee, not only do you get an excellent wicking shirt with UPF 15 protection, but the synthetic blend makes for easy cleaning, to ensure your partner will still be your travel mate at the end of the day.

Another great option for travel is the Patagonia Capilene 1 T-Shirt. Perfect for staying dry and cool, the Capilene 1 is ideal protection for high-exertion, hot weather activities. When you are looking to travel in style and comfort, nothing beats this clean lined, rib knit t-shirt by Patagonia.

Ex Officio Travel Clothing Perfect for touring in clammy conditions, Ex Officio is regarded as the producer of the finest quality travel and outdoor wear. From shorts to pants to undergarments, Ex Officio can bring unparalleled comfort

When traveling, it is great to have options. Deciding where to eat, when to sleep or what to do next should be the only choices you have to face when on vacation. If you plan to be traveling internationally, especially in Europe, be prepared to pack pants. For one, the weather in Europe can be extremely unpredictable. Never knowing if it is going to rain or be sunny is definitely a problem. Also, for most tourist destinations, such as Cathedrals, you will not be allowed to enter without pants.

Having a convertible pant offers the perfect blend of function with fashion. The Paramount Convertible Pant by The North Face is the ideal trekking and adventure travel pant and it quickly converts to shorts for optimum versatility. For women, the stylish Patagonia Mystery Pant, is a stretch woven blend of nylon and polyester that moves with you, and sheds moisture with it’s durable water repellent (DWR) finish.

We all know that your comfort level really determines how much fun you are having on your trip. If your body isn’t happy then you aren’t happy. That is why if you are traveling to a warmer climate, choosing one of these pieces of gear will keep both you and your wallet pleased. A great travel pant is the Prana Bronson Pant for Men. Bronson Pants are tough enough for both bouldering and bar hopping. Super durable abrasion resistant micro sanded twill provides vitality and enough ruggedness for everyday exploits. For women, the Patagonia Northwest Pants are a flattering travel trouser. Made from 8-oz 100% all-recycled polyester, they have a soft, textured face and a wide waistband.

Carrying a softshell jacket is ideal for almost any traveling condition. Softshells are rapidly gaining in popularity. They offer the most movement and are made with stretch fabrics that move with you during travel. While they’re not quite as impenetrable as hard shells, a good soft shell jacket will give you plenty of protection from precipitation while providing you with maximum breathability. Softshells run the gamut from fully insulated and nearly waterproof to lightweight and super-breathable.

The Marmot DriClime Catalyst Jacket, for example, is both an ultra-light soft shell and a truly aerobically inclined garment. The material has 3 dimensional wicking that never stops working, and provides excellent protection from heat zapping wind, light rain, and snow. This jacket will keep you both dry and cool during a multi-day trip around the world, where the weather is unpredictable. Lightweight, the Catalyst will stuff nicely into any pack and go virtually unnoticed until it is needed. Also, for more softshell choices check out Rock/Creek’s selection online. Companies like Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, and Arc’Teryx all offer excellent softshell options.

The Marmot DriClime dominates the softshell category here at Rock/Creek. This windshirt is the perfect companion in Spring and Fall, when you need a little warmth and full protection from the wind. Breathable and quick to dry, a good windshirt is a hidden necessity for active travel. Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover, for example, is a wind- and water- resistant pullover which is warm for its weight, highly compressible and can be worn as insulation or outerwear. A Deluge DWR (durable water repellent) finish on Patagonia’s Nano Puff Pullover sheds water and will keep you warm, even when wet. If you are headed for a day hike or a multi-day hiking trip where you are certain it will be cooler, wet and windy, then the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover is just what you are looking for. This Jacket packs nicely deep inside any pack or carryon and is available for quick release if the wind picks up.

Hard shell jackets offer the highest level of protection from the elements. Hardshell fabrics include the now ubiquitous Gore-Tex or Marmot PreCip fabric. The Alpha LT Jacket from Arc’Teryx is a great hardshell which incorporates super-lightweight fabrics with minimalist features. The Alpha LT jacket delivers reliable protection during unexpected stormy weather. Look to the Alpha as the perfect addition to any outwear collection. This jacket will keep you dry and warm in even the most adverse hiking conditions. Whether you are headed for the snow or just headed out for a wet excursion, choose a hard shell as your best option for staying dry and warm.

Books

If you have long flights, train rides, or just unexpected delays, a good book can prevent a miserable day staring at the beige tiles of an airport terminal. If you can find something that will absorb your attention and prepare you for the adventure ahead, you’ll end up a lot happier when you do reach your destination.

Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness by David Musnick, M.D., is a great place to start. This is a staff favorite that has helped many athletes prepare for their outdoor adventures. You’ll find expert advice from doctors and trainers on each region of the body.

One of the classic books for alpinists, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, by Don Graydon and Kurt Hanson, contains a wealth of knowledge useful to anyone in the outdoors. They talk about climbing techniques for any kind of rock or ice, knots, geology, weather, along with wilderness medicine and emergency response.