The Scrubba Blog

Beat the Cold without the Bulk: 5 Top Tips for Lightweight Winter Travel

by Sam Stephens |

Winter is one of my absolute favourite times to travel. It’s crisp, clean, comes with a whole range of adventurous sports and activities for thrill-seekers, is less crowded than its warmer counterparts, and is capable of transforming entire landscapes into shimmering fields that burst blindingly into full colour every time the sun’s rays ricochet off the fresh snow and fracture into a thousand glistening, rainbow shards. 

The Alps near Grenoble, France

 

Yes, when it comes to beautiful, unique scenery at its least crowded, winter leaps enthusiastically to mind. However, with the beauty of winter comes the spectacularly frustrating ordeal of packing warm woollens sufficient for outdoor winter sports and activities, without compromising your usual ‘carry on only’ policy. I’ve been asked many questions about my winter packing list – often in tones of incredulity and disbelief – from people who have convinced themselves that lightweight winter travel is impossible and that their only option is to avoid winter holidays altogether. However, I’ve had plenty of experience travelling from the Alps to the Arctic, undertaking a whole host of winter activities from dog-sledding, skiing, and snow-shoeing, to snowmobiling, ice caving, and winter hiking, so I’m well placed to assure you that once the difficulty of minimalist packing itself has been overcome, it’s exceptionally easy to have a sufficient, albeit small and light winter pack that is fit to see you through even the wildest weather. Here are my top tips for enjoying the thrill of winter without breaking your back:

  Botanical Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Limit your options:

The first step is to buy a lightweight, comfortable pack and to stick to your plan to take it along on your travels. Forcing yourself to fit all your gear inside your chosen pack will greatly limit your options, ensuring that you take only the necessities by prioritising multi-functional fundamentals over that extra jumper that nicely matches your boots, but doesn’t contribute much else. A small, comfortable pack will also prove to be the best option when it comes to slightly harsher conditions. After all, it’s a great feeling to be able to confidently strap on your gear and breeze past everyone attempting to haul their suitcases through shin-deep snow.

 

Review your toiletries:

Toiletries are some of the easiest things to over-pack despite the fact that, in most areas, they’re readily accessible and relatively inexpensive. Limit yourself to the necessities and remember that winter trips don’t require any special toiletries. I would, however, advise you to pack a small bottle of high quality moisturiser and lip balm, as the lack of humidity in cold air tends to rapidly leech moisture from the skin. Also be sure to take sunscreen to prevent snow sunburn. Snow is highly reflective of UV radiation, so applying sunscreen, covering exposed skin, and wearing sunglasses is recommended to prevent yourself from unwittingly shivering through the coldest of days only to end up with the hottest of burns.   

 

Layer up to cut down:

You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s only because it’s a good piece of advice. Layering your clothes allows for better insulation and gives you more flexibility, enabling you not only to move comfortably between warmer and cooler, or indoor and outdoor, environments, but to also obtain variety by shuffling your layers rather than attempting to pack three or four different outfits. Base layers are an absolute necessity for staying warm when the big chill hits, and if you’re astute you’ll find they go a long way to keeping your pack size at a minimum. I strongly recommend opting for merino wool or silk base layers, as these materials are highly lightweight, wick moisture, dry quickly, and remain largely odour-free, enabling them to be worn for a few days between washes. Upper layers that are exposed neither to skin nor to harsh weather will likely require even fewer washes, especially if woven from materials like wool, which naturally repel dirt and other irritants. I usually pack a couple of base layers so I can wear one whilst washing and drying the other, in addition to a couple of extra lightweight middle layers that enable me to switch out any items needing to be washed. Be sure to pack your Scrubba wash bag to simplify your laundry days and, if possible, bring only one outer shell and one pair of winter boots. You’ll wear these whenever you’re in transit to minimise the size of your pack.  

 

Invest in a neck gaiter:

Versatility is the key to packing light and it’s difficult to get more versatile than a neck gaiter. These are small, lightweight, and come in a variety of materials and patterns to suit all styles. Best of all, they can be folded in almost innumerable ways to provide varying levels of protection for both hot and cold weather. Wear them as scarves, beanies, or balaclavas to beat the cold, and as sun hats, bandanas, or sweat bands for head and wrist, to keep cool in the heat. Otherwise, use them as an eye mask for sleeping in bright conditions, as a hair tie or headband to pull back your locks in windy conditions, or simply as a colourful accessory to spruce up your outfit. By switching out your usual heavy bundle of items for one adaptable, highly convenient product that will see you through all possible conditions, you'll immediately shed some kilos off your pack.

 

Fill all empty space:

If you’re unable to wear your heavier gear while in transit, be sure to compensate for the added bulk by utilising the pockets of space these items often create in your pack. For instance, fill your boots and your coat hood/pockets with small items like socks, gloves, and underwear. This not only helps to effectively utilise space inside your bag, but also organises your smaller, easier to lose items, keeping you from having to endure the mind-numbing frustration of ending up with an odd sock in the middle of your travels. Additionally, if carrying a rucksack or backpack, don't be afraid to utilise the bag's exterior, especially if it comes equipped with straps that support the attachment of your gear via cable ties. A light, waterproof shell and snow gloves are just two options that can be easily attached to the outside of your pack without risk of perishing in extreme winter conditions. 

 Korouoma Canyon, Rovaniemi, Finland

 

When it comes to winter travel, quality far outranks quantity, and a few decent items should see you through most of the weather you’ll encounter on ordinary winter holidays. It may seem impossible at first, but persevere and you’ll soon be travelling unburdened in winter, no longer forced to make that horrible decision between lightweight but oppressively crowded and expensive holidays, and cheaper, more accessible travel that’s restricted by the size of your bag. Instead, have it all! Beat the crowds, the exertion, and the unnecessary costs by layering up to cut down, and ensure that your next winter trip is a clean, light and free one.

Tags: holidays, luggage, packing, Scrubba, top tips, travel, winter

The Top Eco-Friendly Gadgets for a Greener Getaway

by Sam Stephens |

If you fancy a greener holiday in 2017, you're not alone! After all, as more of us start to gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of environmental conservation, more of us are also recognising the various difficulties of upholding this commitment to the environment when it comes to travel, and are searching for cleaner, greener options as a result. If you've run into difficulties in your search, don't worry, because we're here to help! In fact, as we at the Scrubba know a thing or two about green products, we've taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of our favourite practical and effortlessly green travel accessories, guaranteed to help make your next holiday your greenest one yet! Our 2016 eco-friendly gift guide is full of affordable products that will help prevent you from ever again compromising your environmental values, so check it out and start planting the seeds to greener travel today. 

 

The Scrubba Weightless wallet: 

Weighing only 7g (0.25oz), this ultra-light, slim, and tear- and water-resistant wallet is the perfect companion for travel and active lifestyles. Fully upcycled from excess Scrubba wash bag material, it allows both people and the planet to reap the positive effects of exercise and activity.

RRP: 14.95USD

See more and buy now

Eco Vessel:

A light, durable and eco-friendly solution for all those travellers who just can’t go without their morning coffee or evening herbal tea, these BPA free vessels promise to keep liquids hot for 8 hours and cool for 36 thanks to their Trimax Triple Insulation.

RRP: Varies by product, typically 15.00-60.00USD

                                                     See more and buy now

LifeStraw:

From filtration straws to filtration bottles, LifeStraw promises to put the health and vitality into your trip. Its award-winning 2-stage filtration technology removes bacteria and protozoa from water while reducing organic chemical matter and chlorine, helping you to access safe water all while supporting the environment by cutting down on plastic bottles. 

RRP: 39.95-89.95USD

See more and buy now

 

The Solio Bolt Charger: 

Weighing only 5.3oz (~150g) this battery pack and solar charger is the perfect green camping companion for the tech-obsessed. Powered by the sun, the device holds its charge for up to a year, charges at the same rate as a typical wall charger, and even comes equipped with rotating solar panels and sundial capabilities that allow for maximum sun exposure.  

RRP: 70.00USD

                                             See more and buy now

Rareform Bags: 

These durable, waterproof, lightweight and stylish bags come in all shapes and sizes, encompassing backpacks, duffle bags, bike bags, tech sleeves, and even phone cases. All products have been repurposed from vinyl billboards, meaning that each bag, aside from supporting the environment through the reduction of waste, is also highly unique, with no two models sporting the same design.  

RRP: Varies by product

See more and buy now

These gifts are clean, practical, and guaranteed to make everyone else go green with envy. Pick one up today!

Tags: gift guide, holidays, Scrubba, top tips, travel

The Great Camping Gadget Guide 2016

by Sam Stephens |

Fancy a spot of camping over the holiday season? With 2017 rapidly approaching, there's no better time to review your gear and drop a few cheeky gift hints for friends and family! To help you out we've collected some of our favourite camping products that are perfect for both families and individuals, and that cater to all budgets and camping ideals. Bring a little comfort and class to your tent this season with these portable and innovative gadgets designed for the great outdoors. 

 

 

TribeOne Pack Net:

A sturdy, 85 litre net constructed of high-strength, UV resistant shock cord, the PackNet enables gear to be easily attached to the outside of 45-110 litre packs, eliminating the need for individual bungees. Its 6-point utilisiation of TribeOne PackTacks also allows for the damage-free creation of draw points on any fabric.

RRP: 34.95USD

See more and buy here!

 

Wacaco Minipresso:

Small, light, and manually operated, the Minipresso requires no electricity, making it perfect for on-the-go coffee lovers. Easy to use and 100% BPA free, it requires only minimal maintenance and promises to deliver a quality espresso for chilly early mornings around the campfire.

RRP: 59.00USD 

See more and buy here!

 

Scrubba wash & dry kit: 

It’s easy to work up a sweat and then get clean again with this essential laundry kit. The Scrubba wash bag enables you to wash your clothes with no electricity and only minimal water, while the absorbent microfiber towel, twin set of inflatable coat hangers, and sturdy pegless clothesline make the drying process easy, leaving you clean, dry, and odourless at the end of each day.

RRP: 99.95USD

See more and buy here!

BioLite CampStove 

This nifty camp stove burns wood to create a smokeless campfire capable of cooking meals and boiling water within minutes, all while generating electricity that is sufficient for charging your electronic devices. With easy setup, free fuel, and performance on par with white gas stoves, it’s an essential device for all campers.

RRP: 129.95USD

          See more and buy here!

 

Cinch! Tents: 

These spacious tents are loaded with features for maximum comfort and convenience, and even come equipped with solar panels that can be paired with Cinch! solar power packs, making it easy to enjoy your electronic devices from the heart of the wilderness.

Choose from the 2, 3 or 4 man varieties to suit your camping style. 

RRP: 269.00 - 309.00USD

See more and buy here!

Whatever your style, these great gifts will help you flaunt it to achieve all the camping cheer with none the fear. 

Tags: gift guide, holidays, Scrubba, top tips, travel

The Best Gifts for Travellers and Campers

by Sam Stephens |

Lighten up your holiday season with these lightweight, practical, and highly portable items that all fold neatly for easy storage. Perfect for travellers and everyone who loves the outdoors, these must-have gadgets suit all manner of adventures and cater to different budgets, promising to lift the burden of gift shopping from your shoulders. 

We just love gifts that fold down for easy storage and maximum portability. Check out our top picks in time for your travels for the new year. 

 

LuminAID: The Folding Lanterns

These collapsible, waterproof, and solar-
powered lightweight lanterns are ideal for
camping and hiking, weighing only 99.22g
(3.5 oz) and boasting multiple light settings
capable of illuminating tents or attracting
attention. PVC-free and rechargeable in 7-
10 hours of sunlight, it's an environmentally friendly gadget for your next adventure in the great outdoors. 

See more and buy now!

RRP: 29.99USD

Oru Kayak: The Folding Kayaks

With custom polypropylene hulls that
boast 10 year UV treatment rated to
20,000 folds, the impressive Oru Kayak
range is as durable as it is innovative.
These portable paddlers all fold down to a
fraction of full size and some models take
only minutes to assemble!

See more and buy now!

RRP: From 1175USD

 

The Scrubba Wash Bag:
The Folding Washing Machine

Weighing a mere 142g (5oz), this wieldy wash
bag is a washing device, dry bag, and 'stuff
sack' rolled into one. It offers a machine-
quality wash in 3 minutes thanks to the flexible internal wash board, all while using only minimal water and no electricity! 

See more and buy now!

RRP: 55.00USD

                                                                 Henty: The Folding Wardrobes 
       
Henty all-weather bags are designed for
travel, fitness, and business, and utilise
patented roll technology to ensure the
crease-free transportation of clothes. They
are highly versatile and ultimately function
as gym, travel and garment bags contained

within one multi-purpose backpack.

See more and buy now! 

RRP: 229USD

 

IceMule: The Folding Fridges 

Stave off summer with an ice-cold beverage thanks to this soft, collapsible cooler that combines the portability of a dry bag with the quality of an esky. The insulating foam within the double shell promises to keep ice intact for up to 24 hours, ensuring you stay hydrated no matter where you are. 

See more and buy now!

RRP: From 59.95USD

Fold a little joy into your holiday season with these nifty gadgets for camping and travel. Perfect for people of all ages, you're bound to impress with these gifts that collapse and compress!

Tags: gift guide, holidays, Scrubba, top tips, travel

Tell Us How You Like to Travel for 15% off ALL Scrubba Products

by Sam Stephens |

Love to travel? We want to hear about it!

The key philosophy that underlies the Scrubba name is a desire to make travel easier by innovating lightweight, durable, compact, multi-functional, and environmentally-conscious products. To do this, we need your help. 

We've compiled a short survey that asks you how you like to travel. Completing this survey will help us to take note of certain travel trends and product suggestions, enabling us to keep creating gear that is valued by you, our supporters. As soon as you complete the survey you'll receive a unique discount code entitling you to 15% off Scrubba products. 

Please click HERE to take the survey

Thanks for your support.