Patagonia Better Sweater / Patagonia Rain Trench / Athleta clothing / Patagonia Simple Guide Pants / Rainbow Sandals leather sandals / TOMS shoes / Nike shoes / IPANEMA thong sandals / Patagonia Men’s Houdini® Jacket
I love packing!! Packing packing packing! I love being super organized and putting all my gear together for the next adventure. Excessive punctuation usage complete.
So, Thailand and Bhutan is a bit of a strange combination in terms of outwear/shoe requirements.
Raingear: In terms of outerwear, Thailand will be hot, and potentially rainy. On the other hand, Bhutan will be chilly at night, and also potentially rainy. I have two different rain layers–a trench, that is totally waterproof, that will be perfect if we get caught in a downpour while doing day-hikes, or exploring cities in Bhutan. I typically pack a trench instead of a shorter rain jacket just because I rarely have waterproof pants, and the trench keeps my thighs and my butt dry, which is nice.
I also chose to pack a Houdini jacket…it weighs something like 8 oz, and is compressed into the size of my fist. It will be perfect for Bangkok and Chiang Mai where I might not want to pack the waterproof trench around. The Houdini is miraculously more water resistant than I ever expected, so as long as it’s not pouring–and as long as I’m not in the rain for 4 hours–it will do the trick and is easy to stash in my day bag. It’s also more breathable for the hot, humid rainstorms we might encounter in Thailand.
Sorry, but taking a “stylish” raincoat is just not in the cards this time. I’m sure Bangkok has seen worse, plus the trench isn’t that outdoorsy looking for a good, solid raincoat.
Insulation: In terms of warmth, I get incredibly cold 80% of the time, so I want to be sure I have lots of layers, both for the plane and also for Bhutan, in the event that I get chilled (or just want to sit outside by a fire enjoying the scenery and a local beer). My key layer is my Better Sweater. I may own more than one of these… This thing keeps me super warm, particularly when paired with a long-sleeve shirt and under a shell (either the trench or the Houdini). I also tend to wear this on the plane, where I am constantly freezing. It’s not super compressible, but it is light, and I usually don’t have to pack it for very long anyway (as I’m constantly freezing).
Cardigan: I’m also throwing in a cardigan, in a quick drying material, in case I need something over nicer clothing while we are out to eat. The other good thing about the Better Sweater is that I think it looks a bit nicer than a fleece…so if needed, I can probably get away with it for dinner too, definitely in Bhutan. We only have one super nice dinner planned in Bangkok, so I will either use a scarf or a cardigan. I’m not totally clueless when it comes to fashion sense.
Pants: I will take one pair of actual tech pants, probably for our longest hiking day. These too are water resistant, and super comfortable. I wore them gorilla trekking in Uganda, and they–despite a very soft lining–are really breathable. I can also throw them on over other clothes if worse comes to worse and it’s raining all the time.
Shoes: Like many travelers who pack in a carry-on, I typically have a 3 pair of shoe rule…which I just might break this time. In my defense, I think one pair of toms, plus the Ipanema sandals, probably weighs the same as another pair of shoes. I’m super excited for my Nike trail running shoes–great for hiking, and keeping up with my marathon training. Plus they are incredibly light. I’ll be able to walk in those all day, no problem.
I can’t live without my rainbows, and if it’s not raining, I plan to wear those at least one day in Bangkok. They are so comfortable. I know they don’t give me blisters. But…I’m a weirdo when it comes to things coming near my feet, so if I feel like there is too much dirt close to my precious toes, or if it’s raining, I’ll probably switch to my Toms.
Toms are light, good for the plane, and packable. I know they don’t give me blisters, are easy to slip on, and also provide toe coverage.
Finally, I’m also throwing in an set of Ipanema sandals. As I mentioned, our one very nice dinner disallows flip-flops, so it’s either these or my Toms, and I think these are super cute with a dress. In addition, if I for some reason need to shower in sandals, these will do the trick (though…I should absolutely not need to shower in sandals at the places we are staying!).
The only item I purchased particularly for this trip were the light trail-runners, as I was concerned about the traction of my existing running shoes but didn’t want hiking boots. And…I think all of the items, perhaps surprisingly–knowing me–were purchased on sale or were gifts. Except the Toms. Do fun Tom’s patterns ever go on sale?
So, there you have it–my outerwear and shoes for our upcoming trip to Bangkok, Bhutan, and Chiang Mai. I can get away with the Ipanema’s for a dress-up dinner, right? Anything I’m forgetting?