Travel Clothing - 10 Clothing Must Haves for Expedition Cruises
Aritcle by Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart on the rocky shore of Espanola Island, Galapagos
In May 2010 I explored the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador for 2 weeks. Through this experience I gained personal insight on international travel and expedition outfitting! While I was well prepared with appropriate clothing for the excursions, I also discovered a few items in which I will definitely invest for my next exotic adventure! The following checklist is a well thought out list of items I found advantageous to have and some of the items I wish I had had with me on this adventure!
1) Sun Protecting Shirts: Ex Officio Dryflylite and Airstrip shirts are light weight and quick dry with SPF 30+. Perfect for sunny and warm destinations! These shirts have both long sleeve and short sleeve styles. I preferred the long sleeve for the added sun protection on the lower arms. The long sleeves roll up to make a short sleeve when wanted. On morning excursions I preferred to roll the sleeves up and get some sun, but the heat and blistering afternoon sun warranted long sleeve protection! I loved the Ex Officio Dryflylite and Airstrip Shirts!
2) Travel Tank Top: The North Face Vaporwick Ladies Mira Cami, a trendy travel cami, was perfect for wearing underneath the Dryflylite and Airstrip shirts for a cute layered look while staying dry and cool! The Vaporwick material wicks perspiration away from the skin keeping you cooler and dry! I’m glad I had this tank!
3) Sun Protecting Shorts: I loved the Ex Officio Nomad Short and Royal Robbins Backcountry Short! Both shorts are light weight and quick dry supplex nylon. Rated SPF 30+ these are also great sun protection!
Elizabeth Hart with a Giant Tortoise on Santa Fe Island, Galapagos
4) Sun Protecting Pants: Shorts are great when you want to get sun, but sometimes the sun is just too strong! The North Face Paramount Valley Multi-Purpose Pant is a light weight, quick dry, and 30 SPF pant that has many faces! Pants, shorts, and capris all rolled into one garment! The legs zip off the pants to create shorts or roll to form capris! Multi-purpose and great for various terrains, I wish I had these!
5) Light weight Rain Jacket: A very lightweight rainjacket that easily rolls down to fit in a backpack is essential for a trip like this! Having a small rain jacket was great for the Galapagos garua (a misty rain that instantly appears out of nowhere)! Easy to store in a backpack until needed! The North Face Venture Rain Jacket is a great wind breaker and rain jacket to have!
6) Light weight Sun Hat: The Ex Officio Adventure Hat is a soft brimmed hat that was great for on the ship deck or tromping around the islands! The soft brim allows for full mobility. This hat is woven with insect repellent material with a SPF 30. This is VERY great to have whether hiking in the tropical backwoods of the rainforest or climbing to the top of extinct volcanoes! The hat and brim are crushable and store nicely in a backpack! I loved the Ex Officio Adventure Hat!
7) Quick Dry Water Shoe: The water shoe was my everyday excursion shoe! I have the Sperry Figawi water shoe. The shoe was lightweight and breathable/drainable. This shoe was great for wet landings (when we had to jump into the water from the zodiac and walk to shore) as the water would drain quickly and the shoe was comfortable for a few hours of walking/hiking with the addition of a sock! I’m so glad I had the comfortable Sperry Figawi Water Shoe (comparable to Merrill Barefoot Collection Footwear)!
8) Polarized Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses are a necessity in any extremely sunny destination to help block the UV rays. The glare is intense off the water, sand, and rock. Costa Del Mar sunglasses are some of the best glasses out there!
The newer Costa 580 technology (blocks more wavelengths of light) is a godsend in the tropics. See Allen Wyatt's article on the Costa 580 Sunglasses.
9) Comfortable Daily Shoulder Bag for Excursions: The Healthy Back Bag ® is perfect for daily excursions! Light weight fabric (distressed nylon or micro fiber), shoulder strap, and ergonomic design allows for this bag to be carried comfortably all day! Perfect for throwing items in for a day's excursion! Items I would put in this bag include a rolled up rain jacket, sun hat, sunscreen, WATER, and camera accessories. I wish I had the Ameribag Shoulder Bag!
10) Outdoor Socks: I recommend the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Sock. This light cushion sock is the highest degree of performance! This sock has a 4 degree fit system that allows for the maximum comfort and support: ankle band, arch band, upper instep band, lower instep band, and contour flex zone. Mesh knitting patterns allow for maximum ventilation. I wish I had the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Sock!
Check out our quick link to some (but certainly not all) Tropical Clothing available at Andy Thornal Company!
Do you know the importance of sun protection clothing (UPF Clothing)?
If you have been to the Galapagos or have comments or questions I encourage you to add to the conversation below!
Happy Traveling! After all, life is One Great Adventure!
Elizabeth Hart and new friends (Galapagos Marine Iguanas) on Fernandina Island, Galapagos