Travelling around North America’s climates: a fashion guide
In the later months of winter and the early months of spring, backpacking around Northern America can be a rollercoaster of temperatures and climates. In early February, for example, a pair of The Upcoming team experienced thigh-high snow mounds and thigh-deep slush puddles, which is a lot to contend with when you’re all but blinded by the bitter winds sweeping through the avenues and trying to get to various New York Fashion Week events. However, a mere two days later, they were plunged into the blisteringly humid heat of Miami, with sidewalks hot enough to burn through your flip flops.
So when you only have a large backpack for two months of bipolar weather, what does a committed fashionista pack? The answer is, of course, an abundance of layers. It’s the only way to force your clothes to adapt in various climates. So, here are select few essentials for roaming around America:
Good quality, heeled boots
They’re a natural staple and not only do they comply with certain unspoken NYFW rules (the heel, obviously) but should keep your feet dry and will leave room for a decent woolly sock. Do not bother with heels, and do not assume that fabric shoes with next to no sole will “do the job.”. They won’t.
You can wear them with a million pairs of thermal tights and almost as many jumpers, or you can wear them with bare legs and a cheeky little crop top. If you pack a few crops, they save space and hold true with the trends, meaning you have a multitude of looks with minimal space taken up by bulky jeans.
Nothing is as useful or as welcome as one of those towels that rolls up into teeny tiny near oblivion. A miracle space saver and not only acts as a towel, but a beach rug, a bunk-bed curtain (privacy becomes a thing of the past in shared hostel dorm rooms) and in extreme cases, extra warmth whilst waiting for a Greyhound bus.
Cheap and cheerful “tid bits”
Depending on your route, if like our girls, you went from cold to hot progressively, or vice versa, make the most of supermarket cheap options for hats, gloves, flip flops and cardigans. Simple basics can be bought on the cheap and then given to charity/thrift shops when you no longer have need for them… thus making space for shopping! Hurrah!
In essence, minimalism is the key. Stick with fashion staples that you know and trust, and do NOT overpack. Only take necessities, and learn how to wash your undies in a sink. Backpacking isn’t the most glamorous of travelling options, but it’s certainly the most entertaining!