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The Wanderer’s Guide To Packing Well

The Wanderer’s Guide to Packing Well

Every true wanderer knows there is an art to packing well. Travel light. Less is more. The one-bag rule.

But if you’re going to see some things, do some things, you need some things.

A good jacket is one of these things.

Something lightweight but warm enough. A storm flap with metal snaps that go all the way up to your chin is always smart.

Contrary to what you’ve been told, you don’t need ten thousand pockets, just enough for your smartphone, sunglasses, knife, papers, getaway cash, etc. The pockets need to be strategically placed for accessibility. A couple should have zippers, the others snaps.

It should roll up to a tenth of its size for storage and even be able to be used as a neck pillow for the plane ride to Rapa Nui or the bus ride out of Tegucigalpa.

We’re getting close… The No-Borders Jacket (No. 5637).

 

In or Out.

At his farmhouse in Maine, prolific writer E.B. White put a basket on his desk. It forced him to decide if this was the IN basket, for incoming messages, or the OUT basket. He used it as both. Didn’t work. He determined that 90% of things were incoming. The basket would be IN.

This is the case with most things. They are one or the other.

Not this jacket.

The idea was to create an all-weather jacket, the kind that could power through the unpredictability of travel, your general day to day, or, say, an hour in Kathmandu where it goes from balmy, dust bowl day, to chilly monsoon evening, to sit-down dinner at the Dwarika’s Hotel.

Could this all be done in one jacket?

Could you wear this with a tie at dinner?

Could you really be this undeniably in and out?

Enjoy having all the answers.  The Wax-Coated All-Weather Jacket (No. 5694).

Have Hat, Will Travel.

A good thug cap, or flat cap, or ivy cap, whichever you prefer, is always an appropriate hat to keep in your rotation. On point when seeking out shellfish chowder in Glasgow (try the Crabshakk). Good from the Midlands to the Highlands. Good for the streets in Piccadilly Circus when you’re not sure who’s watching. Even better is a hat with a wax finish that beads the rain. Your great Irish uncle would tip his cap (probably wool) to you.

Waxed Cotton Thug Cap (No. 5742). Classic flat cap made of 100% cotton with waxed finish. Two snaps on the brim. Reinforced leather back-edge strap is striking and keeps the edge from wearing out. Fully lined in cotton.

Your Sense of Adventure.

You may have one, you may not. There’s no judgment either way. We can’t all be Earhart, Skarbek, or Salak. But that’s not to say you can’t look like you’ve seen and done some things.

In this leather jacket, it’s feasible that you used a sun line at an altitude of 1,000 feet to determine your plane’s line of position before ditching into the sea or perhaps even spent time in Central America doing some government work you can’t really talk about but refer to as your “time as a freelancer.”

Of course, picturing you in this jacket, refuting the above claims, explaining how you’ve never so much as been out of the country, I’m inclined to think you have a very casual relationship with the truth. Honestly, is there any legitimacy to the rumors about your dalliance with the Spanish bullfighter?

Adventurous Leather Peplum Jacket (No. 5577). Vintage-inspired leather jacket with one uniquely feminine exception—vertical shaping darts that add a peplum effect from the waist seam to the sweep. The results are eye-catching and figure-flattering.

So Fine, So Easy.

It’s not often you come across a rich, versatile, supremely classy merino wool dress that might actually have something in common with your sweatpants or PJs.

Stay with me on this.

You’ve got at least one pair (probably 2 or 3) of sweatpants or pajamas that you absolutely love throwing on when shuffling around the house, nailing deadlines in the home office, or running errands.

You love them mostly because they feel so delicious on your skin. The second reason you tear the house apart when you can’t find them is because of their uncomplicated nature. Easy. No fuss. What’s not to like? I agree.

This dress is absolutely sophisticated, can be tantalizingly dressed up or down with a scarf, shawl, belt, or necklace (see below), and is every bit as comfy and easy to get in and out of as those other things. And I’ll wager something sizable you’ll look better in this.

Super Fine (and easy) Merino Wool Dress (No. 5568). 100% extra fine merino wool.

Carry on.

I travel for adventure, not tedium. There have always been destinations that inspire you to pack lightly, dress for a warm climate, and make last minute arrangements…subject to change, of course. Whether blending in with the chic porteños (local socialites) of Buenos Aires, or visiting the vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina is that sort of place.

While there, I came across a travel bag I imagined Juan Trippe carrying on the Southern Clipper, or Eva Perón using on her 1947 tour of Europe. It seemed to come from a time when the world was less connected, when air travel felt more adventurous than tedious, a time when the bag you carried said something.

Argentinian Leather Bag (No. 5745). Luxurious calf suede and calf leather combo. Unique belt “looped” side, with side closures that button down with brass rivets. The double-slider zippers on top provide instant access.

Note to Self.

While traveling in Rome, I found the perfect supplì recipe in an unassuming cafe on Via di San Francesco a Ripa, near the Pantheon. This was before cell phones. Depressingly, my journal had been lost in customs. You could imagine my panic. Luckily, there was a stationery store nearby. As it turned out, I made two discoveries that day and was reminded that… if it’s worth putting pen to paper, it’s worth doing it in style.

Italian Leather Journal (No. 5699). An impeccable vegetable-tanned and hand-washed vacchetta leather binding surrounding unlined, rich, thick, ivory paper. The traditional wrap-around tie closure will securely hold your thoughts, ticket stubs, and sketches. Now all you need is a quality fountain pen.

Because trains run on schedules, even if it’s been years since you last did. 

I’ve looked at them all. So have you.

So expensive that even if you found one, an $8,500 Patel Phillipe, for instance, or $18,500 Audemars-Piguet, or $28,500 Vacheron Constantin, just resting on the ground beside the road down to Baja, you still might hesitate, still might feel funny to be seen wearing such a thing.

The names are beautiful, the prices preposterous.

M & Co. is different. Its philosophy, its appearance, its purpose, even its price, severely differs.

Different, nevertheless. Shockingly simple.

Far simpler, of course, than specimens of the bell-and-whistle school of thought; simpler, also, than anything, say, from Porsche Design.

And very simple to look at.

Only six watches have made it into the Permanent Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. M & Co.’s is one of them.

M & Co. Watch (No. 3695). Brushed stainless steel case. Band: glove-leather lined top stitched calfskin (which deepens in color over time).

These suggestions are a good start. You’ll need other things, of course. Pants, shirts, maybe an umbrella for spring in the Highlands. Then again, suggesting a destination confuses the whole point of a good wander. From one wanderer to another, you’ll figure it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. The greatest travel-related compliment I’ve received came this past year in September from my Budapest B&B host who, upon greeting me and my family at the door to our lodgings, said “That’s ALL your luggage?!?” There were five of us. We had five bags. Each one over our shoulders, like a small briefcase. We had already been traveling for four weeks. Yes, we felt somewhat validated.

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