31 January 2009

Make friends with adventure stores

Until we started travelling, we really didn't go into adventure stores (e.g. Kathmandu, Snowgum, Paddy Palin). Now we can't go past without going inside to check out the new gadgets they stock. Adventure stores are designed for adventure holidays (backpacking, bushwalking, cross-country skiing etc.) - but they carry a phenomenal array of things which are useful for your more hotel-and-hire-car type of world traveller.

Because we have travelled with cabin luggage only, they were an invaluable source for micro-sized and feather-weight equipment.

You have to know when to shop. The regular prices can be very high, and the sale prices very reasonable. We do not purchase other than during sales. Of our luggage (two cabin-sized bags) one cost about two-thirds the original price, and we got the other at half price. A substantial saving.

If they have a membership club or scheme, consider joining - it may be worthwhile for additional discounts, particularly if you have a large shopping list.

So, what did we get from adventure stores? 
  • Micro-sized super-absorbent towels; 
  • 1 litre plastic roll-up bottles that can take boiling water (for carrying additional fresh drinking water); 
  • quick-dry clothing - shirts and pants in particular; 
  • our luggage; 
  • quick-dry breathable thermal tops; 
  • lightweight drinking mugs; 
  • fold-away backpacks; 
  • elastic pegless laundry clothes-line.
Shop carefully, as there are many excellent products - and bargains - to be had. Be careful not to get swept up in the excitement of the array of gadgets available: not all of it is useful for all types of holidays (however fun they might be!).

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