Day 9: I Was Dared to Wear This One Thing and Now I No Longer Buy Cotton Tshirts or Jeans

This is Day 9 of the 31 day series on “How backpacking has enriched my daily life.” I expected lightweight backpacking to be a hobby. Instead it has transformed me for the better.

Backpacking has changed the entire demographic of my wardrobe. When I was 14 I thought I looked fat in my down coat, so I’d be at the bus stop in the snow, at 6:30am without a coat on. From this experience I vowed to never move back to beautiful Colorado unless I put on 100 pounds. Thanks to backpacking I found a work-around to putting on more weight.

I use to live in jeans and cotton tshirts. Now I don’t even have a pair of jeans and I own very few cotton items. I’m no longer a fan of cotton because once it gets sweaty it takes a long time for it to evaporate, plus it’s a poor insulator. I’d rather wear clothing that serves my needs and that doesn’t need ironing. That is why almost everything in my closet is made from moisture wicking fabric.

I got into wearing “technical” clothes on a dare. (Technical clothing is another word for moisture wicking fabric.) My bf, who is a gear head, said that the So Cool ExOfficio long sleeve* is designed to make me cooler on hot days and warmer on cold days. I didn’t understand how a shirt could keep me warmer or cooler depending on the weather, so I bought the shirt to prove him wrong. Well, you know how that turned out. I practically live in it. I’m even wearing it right now. Essentially it pulls the sweat off of my body, so that I can cool down faster on hot days and not get chilled in cold weather.

I basically live in my technical clothes, because they’re comfortable, fashionable and they do the job of keeping me warm/cool and dry. In this photo I’m rocking my “go-to outfit” of quick drying clothing. I wear it around town, on vacation, riding on my motorcycle and while backpacking!

In order to avoid getting heat stroke on the job, I’ve utilized my backpacking knowledge on layering and picking out appropriate fabrics. I’ve had several outdoors jobs where I had to wear a cotton shirt and pants in 100F degree weather. The dress code for both jobs was black pants and shoes, so that left me room to wear moisture wicking clothing made from wool or polyester. It also helped that I wore a technical undershirt, which kept me cooler and drier even though I still had to wear my cotton work shirt.

Now you know how to identify me out in public. I most likely won’t be wearing cotton, instead I’ll be rocking my “go-to outfit.”

What else have I learned from backpacking?

For the entire month of October I’ll be daily posting about, “How backpacking has enriched my daily life.” Go here to see the Table of Contents.

Day 8 – Powdered Foods Can Taste Surprisingly Good

Day 10 – Regrow Your Tooth Enamel

*“I, Elizabeth Symington, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases through my Amazon affiliate link helps me to provide you with free content on this website at no additional cost to you.”

2 thoughts on “Day 9: I Was Dared to Wear This One Thing and Now I No Longer Buy Cotton Tshirts or Jeans”

  1. Great points. Where are some good places to get technical clothing? And could you define technical clothing. I am very new to this topic. Thanks.

    1. Technical clothing is another term for moisture wicking clothing. Good question. Thanks for asking!

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