Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Save Weight: Two Things You Might Not Have Thought to Leave at Home

My travel pack's contents are a contradiction.  For example, I've cut out two feet of a power cable and spliced the ends together to save an ounce of weight and a bit of space, but I happily bring along a 1.5 pound netbook.  I suppose my philosophy is that there are some things that I want to have along, like the netbook and a digital camera, and to make up for it I get rid of almost everything else.
So here are two things I have realized that I don't need.  They may sound odd at first, but hear me out:

Yes, underwear.  You don't need it.  Really, you don't.  In fact, ladies, this article from Queen's University actually recommends going without underwear when possible for "Vulvar Health".

Cotton absorbs moisture and drys slowly.  This keeps your nether regions warm and damp, which provides a great breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.  This is how you get jock itch and why it gets to smelling funky down there.  The more air you get down there, the drier and healthier it's going to be.  This is why soldiers in Vietnam stopped wearing underwear in that country's damp climate, and hence the term "going commando". 

Plus, while women's undearwear tends to be so flimsly that they can seemingly pack a week's worth into a film canister, men's underwear, particularly boxer shorts, tend to be thick and bulky, taking up space in your pack and adding to the weight.

So, ditch the underwear.  Trying going without for a week or two before traveling to get used to it, and maybe take along a pair just to remain modest in hostels (although in European hostels people seem to have no qualms with walking around in the buff.  Thank God for co-ed hostel rooms).

Shaving Cream

For the longest, shaving cream was my travel bane.  I couldn't leave home without it, but even the travel cansiters were bulky and heavy.  I tried different kinds of shaving strategies in order to not take the cream, including using glycerine bars and leaves of shaving foam, but they were expensive and almost as bulky.

Then, one sexy day, I watched a lover shave her legs.  And realized she was ONLY USING SOAP.  If a tiny, uber-feminie girl can shave twenty-times the area of my face with only soap, why am I--manly man that I aspire to be-- lathering up with specialized cream out of a big, expensive metal can?  Exactly.

I just use soap now.  That's it.  I take a hot shower beforehand to prepare my face and make sure to use a shark razor.  Otherwise, the soap provides all the lubrication I need.  And not having to take along a can of shaving cream saves a nice chunk of weight and space.  If my beard gets really out of control while traveling and I worry that soap won't cut it, I just pay a couple bucks to have it done professionally.

Here is a pic of me getting a shave in Thailand.  No, I'm not wearing underwear:

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