Packing for the Man

Hubby doesn't see the need to pack this early in the game. He kind of laughed as he watched me take over the living room, laying things out, putting things back, arranging outfits on the floor and then weighing everything after checking it off my packing list. Then I asked him what he was planning on bringing and given that he won't be wearing shorts and t-shirts the whole time (his normal summer casual uniform), but pants and polos, he reevaluated the need for early planning. All of his work pants and khakis work in Alaska and are 100% cotton. This makes them unfriendly for hot weather and hard to wash as we go. He also has suit pants, which are not travel or weather appropriate. His last option is his hiking pants of which he has two pairs. The first of which have zip off shorts which act like rubber bands on his thighs. Even though the rest of the pant fits, they look awful. The second pair are so loose they look like MC Hammer pants. Men's travel pants are really hard to find.

I first turned to google. A surprising amount of men wear the zip-off pants as travel pants, blech. Being an extensive traveler myself, I never see those pants on the locals, unless I'm actually out hiking. I looked on the OBOW (one bag one world) page, but they didn't seem to have any good finds on their "Solution to the pants problem" post. I went to stand by stores Eddie Bauer, REI, and Dockers which left me with a couple options.
  • The REI Adventures Pant, which were reviewed as having problems with pilling.
  • Dockers Championship Pant Pleated are nice because they are non-cotton, they are reinforced for men bending over while lining up their golf shots, and designed for hot weather. I didn't like the pleated part of them, which adds bulk around the middle to even the thinnest of guys.

By this time I realized why we buy all of his clothes at Eddie Bauer. Their excellent return policy means that as he wears out his pants I can steadily replace them for free and their website is a one-stop place to get items for a 6'-2" guy who wears a size Medium-Tall. Most men's clothes brands don't sell Medium-Tall and in general shopping for men's clothes is boring. I wouldn't do it at all, except for the fact that he would literally wear his current wardrobe until it fell off of him threadbare if I didn't encourage him in the fashion department. I basically do the research, line up a couple options for him and then he picks what he wants. Eddie Bauer was a god-send, I get the catalog in the mail, and he just leafs through and sticky notes what he likes. I can almost always find a coupon code, and if anything ever doesn't work out, we just send it back.

Next option was actually me getting bored while shopping on "men's websites" and wandering over to more familiar hunting grounds, stores hubby wouldn't be caught dead walking into because they rely on actually trying things on. This usually isn't even an option. In Fairbanks, Alaska there isn't too much of a chance for shopping. I wouldn't torture him by shopping on vacation so we're usually web shoppers. I found out that Old Navy, Banana Republic and GAP all allow combined shipping. Banana Republic has one pair of Relaxed Linen Pants which are lightweight, breathable, and have a flat front, but they somehow don't look like something I can talk him into. I'm considering ordering them anyway just to try them. I'm planning on justifying it by getting a couple shirts which are amazingly offered in Medium-Tall and breathable linen. I'll wait until I can dig up a coupon code.

It's looking like his packing/shopping is going to take awhile. That or at the last second he'll stuff some items in a bag and say that he is going with the Tim Ferriss Buy It There style of travel. When all is said and done his bag will probably weigh less than mine even after I foist off the guidebooks and electronics into his bag. Oh well. I'll let you know how it turns out. Hubby is used to one bagging and one outfitting it with the Army. One bag of green and camo clothes and one carefully chosen outfit that will get him through almost any situation, dinner out, sightseeing, shopping, or chilling with the guys. I'm not too worried about his packing, just his laundry, if he ends up bringing 100% cotton khakis, either he'll wear one pair the whole time or we might be dealing with damp laundry on the train. Men are complicated, and their clothes are boring.