I will be leaving in 5 days for a 14 month trip through SEA, bhutan, nepal & India & I am having a few last minute packing panic attacks.
The big dilemma: shoes. ( Gawd, it's ALWAYS the shoes, isn't it girls?) I was thinking of bringing tevas & flip flops until i arrive in bhutan (my sister is mailing a package to my bhutanese guide that would include a lightweight pair of low hikers.)
Can I manage without closed toed shoes until then? I will be in thailand, cambodia, indonesia & myanmar. I am not a big trekker so will not be out in the wilderness too much.
I know MADMAC will be opposed to not having closed toed shoes on principle, but what does everyone else think?
My pack is pretty small (35 L) and the shoes are really taking up a lot of space.
danceswithrose recently posted an informative and entertaining bit about what she is carrying with her on her trip and how it is very different from what she had when she started. there is quite a bit about shoes in the post and i think it will help you decide about your own situation, particularly when combined with busylizzy's always helpful and insightful advise above. anyway, the post is at:
Thanks for the great advice lisa.
I go back & forth on mailing the hikers to Bhutan. My concern is that it may be colder & wetter. The package doesn't have to be mailed until May, so I can tell her to omit the hikers if I am doing fine without them.
Yes, Tevas and flipflops are all you will need. In my 5 months of travel, I never felt the need for closed toes. Bring one pair of tennis socks that you could always wear with your teva's if you really had to (I can feel Mac cringing now!) but you'll probably find you won't need to.
And I found the Teva's were more than adequate for hiking, etc as well - not that I did anything too serious in that regards. Teva's aren't the most glamorous, and they will yell out 'I'm a tourist' - but that's OK. because you ARE a tourist!
I confess to also taking a 3rd pair of dressier flipflop-style sandals that I used to wear out. It was extravagant when you are trying to keep pack weight down, but I didn't really regret it as it was my only means of 'dressing up'. Maybe I could have even used them to go dancing with MadMac! You could always buy a cheap 'disposable' pair over there if you found you wanted something for dress-up.
Question - Is there any real need to post your hikers to Bhutan? Would the teva's not do? (Asked without any experience or knowledge of that area...)
Good luck - and enjoy! Over to you now, Mac!
Bugger - I edited my post to fix a typo and it dropped to the bottom - which means posts in this thread will be out of order and may not make sense to other readers. Just thought I'd explain. I'll let Somtam know about this bug....
To each his own - I'll never wear open toed footwear. Ever. I find it inherently uncomfortable - just like shorts. No protection from anything, from stubbing your toe to righting your bike (which I get the feeling you won't be riding anyway though). And mosquitos...
I somehow lost my 5 year old $1 plastic jellybean shoes in the Togians one night which was a major disaster. Few people realize just how useful jelly bean shoes are at preventing you from dying in agony if you inadvertently step on a stone fish or a stingray while swimming and paddling off beaches in Indonesia. Also good for clambering over sharp rocks, avoiding coral cuts and sea urchin spines. Tevas might do instead but get ones that dry quick. Other than that all you really need is a pair of flipflops.
My backpack is almost twice the size of yours (65L) and I've got thongs/flip flops and a pair of Colorado shoes. When it's moving time, I don the shoes since they'd take up more room in the bag.
I prefer shoes in the rain, or when I've rented a crappy motorbike that has to be kick started every time. Trying to kick start with thongs just sucks out loud. Also, you can easily break /thongs when you're clambering over rocks on the beach. I'd say my thong to shoe ratio is about 80/20.
A quirky Frenchman staying in the bungalow next to mine said some drunk stole his thongs outside a shop this morning, so there's a reason to just wear the cheap ones. Buy them here why not? (Thailand)
I don't know what's going on with Madmac's vulnerable calves and dainty feet. I zoom around the windy roads of many a Thai isle with nout but thongs and shorts on and rarely have any issues (except the kick starting). It's too damn hot for pants!
Lose your back tire at thirty mph, put your foot down to right it with a flip flop on, and watch what happens - ugly. Now, get off the bike a little carelessly with shorts and touch the exhaust pipe - as has happened to my wife. Nice, painful burn. Mosquitos love to feast on open feet. And it's never too hot to wear pants. I lived in East Africa, where it's considerably hotter than Thailand, and never wore shorts. Not one time.
That does it, the hikers are staying home! I do have quick drying tevas & I'm sure my flip flops will need to be replaced at some point (I bought them in Bolivia for less than a USD and can't seem to part with them)
I think cranky knows a thing or two about a nasty muffler burn
I know ALL about nasty exhaust pipe burns. Which is why I will never rent or go near a bike unless it has an exhaust pipe guard on it (which should be mandatory for the manufacturers).
As for losing a tire, well, that would probably make mince meat of your feet in thongs, but.. well how likely is that? I'm in the habit of checking the tire tread when I rent now, again avoiding bikes that are likely to be hazardous to ones health.
Of course "you never know" - but as with anything it's about finding a balance between precaution and convenience.
As for pants, perhaps Madmac, you are more cold blooded than the rest of us? Nonetheless, what material are those pants made out of? I might give some a try and see just in case you're onto something.
Sometimes I wear jeans, if it's over 35, then I tend to wear something in rip stop kind of fabrics. If I am dancing I wear cotton pants. Something loose fitting.
I don't mean blowing out the tire, I mean you are taking a corner at speed and your back tire slides out and you have to push your foot down to right the bike. This also can happen if you hit a sand patch while taking a corner. Of course, I suspect you probably aren't driving very fast, but that doesn't preclude sand or oil on the road...
I drive fast enough! But I only really drive at reckless speed when it's an open stretch of good quality road that goes straight ahead.
I've found if you drive over 50km it's hard to hear the music in my headphones, and pushing much past 60 my helmet starts to blow off my head. I guess if you're tearing around corners on potentially wet or sandy road at 60+, you'd want some more protective clothing than sandals and shorts.
I might try those cotton pants - do they look like Kendo pants? I think I've seen them if so. They kind of flare out, right?
I never heard of 'rip stop fabrics' but it looks like my old chum Google has come through for me once again: