Craghoppers Pro Lite Jacket ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (April 8th, 2015)

Craghopper Prolite JacketWorking from home, I like my light walking around jackets a lot. I wear some kind of jacket around the house most every day (maybe I should consider turning up the heat – HA HA). Unfortunately, many of these are heavy hoodies and they don’t pack well for travel. They’re just too bulky.

I came across the Craghopper Pro Lite Jacket when I was at the Outdoor Retailer Show in January. The feature that sold me on the Pro Lite? It packs away into its own pocket or a small sack! If ever there was a jacket made for travelers, this is it.

The material is a soft (very soft) microfleece that has a tiny bit of stretch to it making it comfortable in-flight as well as during activities.

The Pro Lite also has a really nice trim cut to it. So it’s not going to hang bulky like other hoodies.

Though it’s difficult to see in this photo, the jacket has two side pockets with zippers. Most hoodies don’t have zippered pockets (another #Fail) so more points for Craghoppers. I like to walk out the door with as little stuff on me as possible. If I’m going for a walk and can take a hotel room key, my cell phone and a bit of cash, that’s aces. A jacket with zippered pockets allows me to do just that.

There’s also a zippered chest pocket. I’ve never found these super useful (what woman wants to have a cell phone bulking up one side of her chest?) but I suppose a bit of cash or a house key Craghopper Prolite Jacketmight fit in here well.

The colors that are available in the Pro Lite Jacket are right up my alley: True Blue (pictured), Candy Red, Lagoon and Lipstick (whoo hoo!). Now they just need Wanderlust. :-)

By the way, packing the jacket into its own pocket may not be pretty but it IS possible.

Available on Amazon for about $60.

Be Bold,

Beth

Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Disclosure: Craghoppers provided this jacket to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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How to Prepare Your House When You Travel

by Beth Whitman (April 7th, 2015)

Door LockAs I was preparing to leave this past weekend for a couple of days down in Portland, it occurred to me that I have a packing list for all my travels and a to-do list for when I lead a tour. But as I was walking around the house checking to make sure doors were locked and lights were turned off (or strategically left on), I realized it would be good to have a list of things to do to wrap up my home before I take off.

You might want to bookmark this page as a reminder on how to prepare your house when you travel. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. In no particular order:

1) Check the lights. Are there ones you want to leave on either outdoors and inside? Do you want to leave some on timers to give the impression someone’s at home?

2) Make sure appliances are turned off – especially the stove. Don’t forget to unplug the iron if you’ve just used it to iron your clothes before packing.

3) Check that shades and curtains are left the way you normally have them so as not to tip off a would-be thief.

4) Let your neighbors know you’ll be out of town so they can keep an eye on things when you’re gone. Make sure they have your cell phone or email so they can contact you if something looks out of sorts. If you have a house sitter, make an email introduction to neighbors so they know someone will be in and out of the house.

5) Consider giving a key to a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency or if you need them to get in for any reason, perhaps to water your plants. If you have a security system, consider temporarily changing the code for the time you’re away. And don’t leave a spare key under your doormat or fake rock!

6) If you’re traveling for three days or more, put a hold on your mail (you can’t do it for less than three days). If you’re expecting packages, ask a neighbor to check for these so they aren’t sitting on your porch while you’re away.candles

7) If you subscribe to a newspaper (remember those?), put a hold on that as well.

8) If you like to burn candles (like me), make sure they’ve all been properly snuffed out. Same goes with your fireplace.

9) If you’ll be gone when there’s a garbage pickup, make sure you put the trash out and ask a neighbor to pull in your bins so that passersby don’t notice and deduce you’re away.

10) If you have pets, make plans well in advance of your travels to either have someone take care of them or find a place to board them.

11) For any valuables that you’d be truly bummed about if they were stolen, hide them, lock them up or put them in a safety deposit box.

12) Adjust your thermostat to “away” or to a low temp that isn’t going to eat into your heating bill when no one is there.

13) If you live in a very cold region, ask a neighbor to occasionally run hot water through your pipes so they don’t freeze.

14) Freeze or give away to your neighbors any items in your fridge that might spoil while you’re gone.

15) Make sure faucets aren’t dripping and toilets aren’t running.

16) It may sound silly, but clean the house and put away all the dishes before you leave. You’ll be so much happier coming home to a clean home.

17) As you leave, don’t forget to check ALL doors and windows (including pet doors) to make sure they are locked.

Be Bold,

Beth

Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Photo credits:
Door lock by: Jose Rodriquez
Candels by: Peter Becker

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Granite Gear Packable Duffel ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (April 1st, 2015)

Granite Gear Packable DuffelI learned the value of a good duffel bag while trekking in Bhutan. My Eagle Creek duffel on the trek held all of my possessions for that 25-day trip and was carried each day on the back of a pony. Though it was placed inside a sturdy plastic bag which was, in turn, inside a rattan container, the bag was still exposed to regular rain and snow. It held up well so no complaints here.

But for a few reasons, I’m kind of excited about using the Granite Gear Packable Duffel the next time I trek.

First, this 20″ duffel is weather resistant. Because of the Taurpalite fabric, my spidey sense tells me that my items will be safe from everything except a dunk in a river (which hopefully will never happen!).

Second, this smaller duffel has backpack straps on it so if I ever need to just throw it over my shoulders (like when crossing a river), it’s easy enough to do so.

The shoulder strap is removable so I don’t have to worry about it getting caught in the baggage carousel if I have to check this on a flight. And the bag packs down so small that if I need to just carry it on a trip and use it for souvenirs on my return home, it doesn’t take up that Granite Gear Bagmuch room. Also, the carrying in which the duffel comes can be used as another small bag. Stuff it with clothes and I’ve got a pillow!

The stitching appears to be really strong so I have no concern about it coming apart during use, even as it’s bouncing around on the back of a pony.

Other uses? I can totally see packing this up for a weekend getaway.

The Granite Gear Packable Duffel comes in three colors: Basalt, Black and Red Rock.

It’s available on Amazon for about $50.

Be Bold,

Beth

Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Disclosure: Granite Gear provided this duffel to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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