And I’m still not doing it. Instead, I’ve gotten into the habit of just hand washing in the morning. I put my cloths into the sink, take a shower, and then dry the clothes and me. I don’t have to worry about sucking a huge chunk of my weekend to get clean clothes.
I didn’t think I’d last this long, because part of the process of quickly drying clothes involves using bath towels that started to get really funky by day 14. The solution is to sometimes rinse your clothes just enough that there’s still a bit of detergent. While you get the excess liquid out by wrapping your clothes with a towel and stomping on it, the soap gets onto the towel. Funk issues cured.
I just want to highlight that nylon and polyester blends are key to quickly drying clothes. By quick, I mean 4 to 8 hours air drying.
Also, the polyester blends that have coffee grounds as part of the fabric are very odor resistant. I’ve had my odor resistant hoody for a month and it still smells great.
What if it gets hot? Well, I learned about Ice Fil which is tech fabric that uses xylitol to cause a cooling, chemical reaction to your body when you sweat. You can be cooled by as much as 5 degrees F. This too also has a strong odor resistant property so after two bicycle rides, I haven’t had to wash my hoody made out of Ice Fil yet.
It’s day 13 of my challenge not to do laundry in washing machines and dryers and just hand wash for a month. So far it’s going great. $20 saved which I’ll use for tacos once I finish this post.
Let’s talk winter gear.
What’s the least you can wear and still stay comfortably warm? I recently went to Tahoe for work, and had this chart to work off of. The idea behind Clo values is that a Clo value of 1 will keep you comfortable at 70 degrees Fahrenheit without having to move. The colder it gets, the higher the clo value.
The chart below is the recommended clo values for keeping warm and comfy while not moving.
clo degrees F degrees C
1 70 21
1.3 66 19
1.6 62 17
2 59 15
2.3 55 13
2.6 52 11
3.2 45 7
3.8 27 -3
I was on the slopes and perfectly comfortable thanks mostly to the North Face Thermoball Full Zip Jacket which has a clo rating of 2.08. This jacket packs down to a small 7″ x 4″ rectangle that you can attach to a carabiner on your backpack.
Also of note is the ExOfficio Trail Crest Flannel that has hollow threads for a high warmth to material ratio, and the ExOfficio Kahve Hoody. Both dry over night in 8 hours after washing and both are warm enough to be the only layers you’d need while walking around when it’s around 40 degrees.
If you look at the chart below, you’ll see that what’s minimalist is skipping ski pants in favor of a lighter rain pant, and skipping the outer shell. Instead of looking like a stay puff marsh mellow on the slopes, you look lean and mean.
I was very warm in below freezing weather thanks to the gear below.
Item Clo Value
patagonia long johns 0.35
exofficio nomad pants 0.2
LL Bean rain pants 0.28
exofficio flannel 0.3
exofficio kahve hoody 0.37
thermoball inner jacket 2.08
TOTAL CLO 4.07