Hill Tribe

Travel Tips

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  • click "N" for tips on New Zealand
  • click "S" for tips on shoes
  • click "T" for tips on tours


Shoes can be an enemy of travelling light! You have to compromise on this issue. We have one pair of good hiking boots and one pair of flip flops – period. The hiking boots get worn through airports on buses trains and basically just all the time. The flip flops are packed in a ziplock plastic bag in the back- pack for use in showers, the beach, and anywhere that we are staying that gives a few days to rest our boots!

There is no weight or room available in 7 kgs of luggage for any extra shoes.

Choice of hiking boots is important as you will be wearing them most of your waking and walking life. After trying several brands, we have found the Australian brand “Snowgum” to be excellent as they look good as well as wearing well. Definitely choose a waterproof style. We also purchased lambswool inserts from the supermarket to make them even more comfortable.

Taking well worn in flip flops is a good idea as they will be slightly lighter than a brand new pair. A prettier pair of flip flops is a good idea for a female so they can be worn out of an evening.

Hiking Boots Flip Flops
Lastly, if you really need a better pair of shoes for some occasion buy the cheapest, wear them for the occasion then donate them to charity. We went on a 7 day cruise with Holland America from Alaska to Canada and the web site made quite a big deal of needing to dress for dinner. We bought some cheap dress shoes and better outfits before boarding only to find that it really wasn’t an issue. We could have actually managed quite well with our clothes and shoes and certainly some people didn’t dress formally for dinner.


New Zealand Bird Tour

NZ Bird Tour NZ Bird Tour NZ Bird Tour NZ Bird Tour

We totally recommend the tour by Gannet Beach Adventures at Cape Kidnappers on the North Island as a great day out and value for money.

Contact www.gannets.com, or  info@gannets.com or phone 06 875 9898.

See our TravelPod story for more details:


Country:New Zealand
Keywords:gannets,bird watching

Cold Weather Packing

Keeping Warm at Everest 2


How best to manage packing when very cold weather is part of the travel?



Enjoying a clear view of Everest from base camp.


Having travelled in Antarctica, Alaska, Canada, Russia (worst blizzard for 10 years in Siberia for that time of year!), Iceland, Scandinavia, Nepal, and to Everest base camp(Tibet side), with only clothes described below, I can confirm that cold weather should not deter you from traveling with cabin luggage only.

What is essential? In a word - long johns ! They are seriously the best thing a traveller to cold climates needs. What a god send. Get a thin lightweight set of top and bottoms (2 if you are travelling extensively in cold countries) made of wool. Wear a warm coat or jacket or carry over your arm through airports and fill the pockets with your hat and gloves.Carrying your coat does get a bit annoying when you are repeatedly in warmer countries and we have "donated" a coat or two along the way! If you use a balaclava style hat(not very stylish I'll admit as in the top photo at Everest base camp) you don't need a scarf. Another alternative is a neck warmer that also doubles as a 2nd hat .These are lightweight and not bulky. See pictures below.

.neckwarmer 1                                                        

Use as a neck warmerneckwarmer 2                                                                                                      Pull the toggle and the  neckwarmer becomes a hat         

Layer clothes for warmth. Put a thin T-Shirt closest to your skin, (easier to wash and dry) then the wool underwear on top of that. For our 2011 world trip that took us through some very cold countries we had a Reversible Fleecyfleecy reversible zip up jacket in addition to our coats that travelled with us.This also was worn through airports so as not to add to the weight of our bags. Having a totally reversible fleecy gives you a choice of colours so you don't feel that everyday you look the same. Just make sure you buy a washable and quick drying type. Whilst we did throw away our coats and bought new ones later our fleecies came with us always. My zip broke in Iceland but I was able to get this replaced at our next stop - U.K. 


Wear two pairs of sox in cold weather rather than taking or buying thicker ones. Using two thinner pairs means you will be able to get them dry easier and worse case scenario you could wear a 2nd day reversing the pair closest to your skin! Wearing two pairs traps and retains heat better. It is also surprising how much heavier thicker sox are in comparison to two pairs of thin sox and even a few grams of weight extra for sox counts in the quest to travel with cabin luggage only.

Lastly, your hiking boots or shoes MUST be waterproof. Nothing is more miserable than wet feet!


Keywords:cold weather,packing clothes,what to pack

Washing Clothes


How do you manage clothes washing?

Obviously with so few clothes you are going to do a LOT OF WASHING! This is how I manage it.

What you need:

P7010007    2 pegless travel clothes lines (see picture)

    some inflateable coathangers 

    4 medium size safety pins

    Keep these items in a ziplock bag.

If nowhere presents itself for hanging the clotheslines the safety pins can be used to pin the lines to the curtains.  You will notice the list doesn't include soap powder. I don't carry washing powder asit is consdierably weighty. I use soap or shampoo or buy a once off use pack at the accommodation.

Hang the lines in the warmest possible part of the room or by an open window - NOT THE BATHROOM. Clothes just do not dry in bathrooms. Wash clothes by hand, rinse well and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. There are several ways of doing this. For larger items you can put part of the garment over a tap in the shower recess or over the bath then twist and twist until you can't twist anymore and you have removed lots of drips.wringing out clothes

Let it go (careful not to let it drag into the shower alcove or bath) hold it up and give it a really good shake before hanging.

Another method which works best for underwear is to use a super absorbent travel towel to roll your items up. Press and squeeze and you will get quite a bit more moisture out. Use the inflatable coat-hangers to hang shirts. Nearly all places we have stayed have some coat-hangers if you don't have enough inflatable hangers. Make good use of these. All shirts and trousers I hang on hangers once washed leaving space on the clotheslines for the underwear. Move your clothes around the room to follow the sun.

Socks are difficult to dry so be extra vigalent in the squeezing out of moisture and make sure your choice of socks is a quick dry style.

Every now and then wash everything in a laudromat or, in a cheap labour cost country, send it out or find a laundry on the street. This is absolutely too expensive in hotels of most countries who charge by the item. At the prices quoted in most hotels you could buy the item instead of having it washed.  Even in some countries where labour costs are high you can find a back street laundry doing a reasonable rate and charging per kilogram. For example in Vancouver we were able to get all our washing done, including jackets, dried and folded for $10.

Keywords:washing clothes,packing

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