As a beginner trekker and passionate backpacker, it's usual for me to be out for several days once I set out for a trek or a backpacking trip. When I'm on the move, I like to be comfortable which is why I pack light and I think I've found the perfect item that is made for people like me.
I present to you my experiences from the Mountains, the Desert, and the Sea Shore wearing the Merino Wool during trekking, backpacking, in tents, at hostels, with temperatures ranging from 35 degrees to -7 degrees. I used a Merino Wool t-shirt for 7 days staright in Rajasthan and Karnataka and a Merino Wool t-shirt as a thermal inner for 5 days during Kedarkantha Trek.
Sounds Yuck?? It’s not, let me explain why?
What is Merino Wool and Why do we need it?
Merino is a breed of sheep found in South Africa and the wool extracted from it is Merino wool. Merino wool products are a must-have when you are out for several days in the mountains, trekking or backpacking because of its anti-bacterial properties.
To elaborate - The Merino Sheep release/secrete oil is known as lanolin which is naturally anti-bacterial and the products made out of it do not allow bacteria to accumulate when we sweat making the product bacteria-free for several days and there's no stink.
Another major reason to use the Merino Wool is its distinctive feature of effectively adapting to changing climatic conditions. It helps keep the body dry and maintain the ideal body temperature to protect you both from the heat and the cold.
Backpacking several states- One T-shirt- Several Days
September 2019, I set out on a 9-day backpacking trip covering Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Gokarna (Karnataka) and Goa. I went with an agenda to test out the Merino Wool t-shirt. Since I am a light packer, it's ideal for me to pick one t-shirt that works for 7 days.
My travel route included: New Delhi - Jodhpur - Jaipur - Agra - New Delhi - Bangalore - Gokarna - Goa
I travelled in overnight buses, taxies, flights, walked around a lot in Jaipur and Jodhpur, and even took auto-rickshaws in most of the mentioned cities. I usually sweat a lot but 7-days in one t-shirt was quite pleasant, with no odour formation. The t-shirt was quick-dry with good freedom of movement. Looked like I had found a travel companion for all my upcoming trips.
Later in December 2019, I tried the Trek 900 Merino Wool T-shirt as a base layer during my Kedarkanta Trek. I used it as a base layer directly over my skin and layered it with Fleece and a down jacket. It worked as a perfect base layer and kept me dry and warm from inside.
Whenever I sweat after a hectic climb, the Merino t-shirt would dry quicker and keep me odour free throughout the trek.