Three Nights In Prague And A Light Pack

Share on Facebook Share on Facebook

An extended weekend in urban Central Europe is a brilliant choice to spend a few days of leave. This time I decided to visit Prague, where the weather forecast promised typical conditions: a bit below or above freezing, no high likelihood of rain or storm.

The trip would consist of walking around town, stopping by indoors to look around and of course sit down to enjoy a meal and drinks. I wouldn't want to tremble from the cold looking for a dumpster fire, but everything I wear should be suitable on the streets and in cafes.

I wanted to bring as few things as possible with me, for ease of moving around and not having to wait for baggage at the airport. These days even your carry-on luggage might end up in the cargo from the gate, especially if the flight is fully booked and the airline company is a cheap one. The passenger compartment is overpacked with peoples' stuff especially when cargo baggage is a service sold separately.

Stuff packed for the trip as described in text and listed at the end.
The bottom row could have been left behind, all the rest could be stuffed into jacket pockets.

To minimize your travel gear I'll present to you two principles, which can be applied to any destination and weather conditions. To make the advice actually useful instead of just "pack less and draw the rest of the owl", I'll keep things rooted in real life with concrete examples.

Prefer multi-use items

Choose clothes, equipment and combinations of these, which work in various weather conditions and allow you to adjust your style.

Sporty base layers are nice but don't look all that nice when worn alone. Choose even your next-to-skin layer with an eye for looks so you can wear them as the only layer. This way you can regulate your temperature both outside and indoors while maintaining sharp looks at all times.

My primary shirt was a Särmä Wool Flannel Shirt, which is warm and neat enough for restaurant use. As an undershirt I wore the Särmä Henley Shirt, which works well as a casual shirt (Editor's note: I'm wearing one as I translate this article.) and, being merino wool, is incredibly comfortable and functional. These two are a versatile, warm and good-looking combo.

A versatile jacket makes your life a lot easier. Because I wanted to have just one jacket with me, it had to be windproof and water-resistant, but not too hot when walking around town. The Särmä Windproof Smock worked together with the aforementioned layers very well. The jacket was warm when standing around, but vents effectively when moving about. The amount of pocket volume is simply amazing, which helped on many occasions. At some point, I realized I could have pulled off the whole trip without a backpack!

A man wearing the clothes described in the text and with a backpack on one shoulder.
When you think of many purposes for each item, you can vary the combinations and do well in all situations.

As for accessories, I used an ordinary merino watch cap and a Buff neck tube as well as Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves and Särmä Merino Fingerless Gloves, the latter together or separately as necessary. These were versatile and small-packing items, which left me without any discomfort during the whole trip. Fingerless Gloves are brilliant with touch screens, by the way.

Reduce laundry with wool

Choose wool and you won't need to carry as many spare clothes.

Wool's natural resistance to odours is legendary, but not a legend. Try it before your trip and you'll see. As underwear I only had two Särmä Merino Boxers and two pairs of Särmä Merino Socks. I rotated these so that the ones not worn were airing. Airing doesn't require cold, room temperature does the trick just fine.

The same man without the accessories and backpack but with bulging jacket pockets.
Open up your jacket and stuff your headgear in the pocket to dump heat. You don't necessarily need a backpack or bag.

The shirts I mentioned before were wool and didn't require washing. I also had a merino T-shirt with me, but it saw very little use as a pyjama top. I could have done well without it.

Other gear and a list

You'll obviously need shoes and trousers, unless you're Donald Duck. Kannattaa käyttää myös kenkiä ja housuja, ellet ole Aku Ankka! Särmä TST Tactical Jeans were at the same time flexible, warm enough and inconspicuous-looking. I'll definitely travel wearing these again, and it goes without saying these are among my favourites back home as well. Very comfortable and they do almost everything.

A sepia colored pic with a mand standign at a bar with a glass of beer.
I enjoyed the company and beers so thoroughly in Prague, that I had to dramatize this shot afterwards. In Prague everything is nice and sepia naturally.

Below you'll find a list of everything I packed and everything I was wearing. The striked ones were barely used during my trip and I could have done without them. Yes: the Windproof Smock easily carries spare socks and boxers, toiletry supplies, earphones and smaller accessories just fine, so a backpack may be redundant! Regarding other things on the list I must stress that proper leather shoes and wireless noise-cancelling headphones are good things to have.

  • BUFF Original M05 neck tube
  • Särmä Windproof Smock
  • Särmä Wool Flannel Shirt
  • Särmä Henley Shirt, merino wool
  • Särmä Merino Wool T-shirt
  • Särmä TST Tactical Jeans
  • Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves
  • Särmä Merino Fingerless Gloves
  • Särmä Merino Boxers x2
  • Särmä Merino Socks x2
  • Särmä Leather Belt, veggie tanned, 50 mm
  • Särmä TST DP-10 Roll-Top daypack
  • Särmä TST General Purpose Pouch Zip XS
  • Tasmanian Tiger Tac Pouch 5
  • VAI-KO Flyfisher -beanie
  • GUNSHIP Varsity Jacket
  • Red Wing Beckman 9016 shoes
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro and charger
  • Sony MDR-1000X NC-headphones and charging cable
  • Anker PowerCore powerbank
  • Exentri card wallet
  • Keys
  • Passport
  • Toiletry items in a transparent plastic bag

Related products

Särmä Merino Socks
Särmä Merino Socks
12.99 USD
If you still use cotton socks, dump them now and get these instead. These are superb for outdoor use, but work just as well as formal wear too! These aren't thick, so they can be used around the year. Made with our own specs in Finland.
Särmä Leather Belt, Veggie Tanned, 50 mm / 2
Särmä Leather Belt, Veggie Tanned, 50 mm / 2"
45.99 USD
Proper old-timey and robust no-nonsense leather belts are increasingly difficult to find these days, well at least until right now! This here is just that, a proper no-nonsense leather belt made from the finest vegetable tanned leather. Works equally well for keeping your pants up or as an equipment carrier for tools and gear.
Särmä Henley Shirt, Merino Wool, Navy Blue Särmä Henley Shirt, Merino Wool, Dark Gray
Särmä Henley Shirt, Merino Wool
Särmä Henley Shirt, Merino Wool
79.99 USD
A traditional Henley style shirt, but made properly - these have only real, functional features and are woven from Merino wool. Works equally well in everyday use and outdoor activities, both by function and looks, both as an undershirt or as an additional warm layer. What's not to love here?
Särmä Windproof Smock, Navy Blue Särmä Windproof Smock, black Särmä Windproof Smock, green
Särmä Windproof Smock
Särmä Windproof Smock
79.99 USD
Our take on the classic British Windproof Smock with improvements and civilian-friendly colors. If you're tired of sweating in 'tex clothing but want some protection from showers, you'd do well to give this a try.
Särmä Merino Fingerless Gloves, Black Särmä Merino Fingerless Gloves, Dark Gray
Särmä Merino Fingerless Gloves
Särmä Merino Fingerless Gloves
12.99 USD
A pair of fingerless gloves. In addition to the timeless hobo impression, fingerless gloves leave your fingertips free for all kinds of fiddling and work pretty well as glove liners. These are better than most, being made of Merino wool in a strange place called Tampere just north of here.
Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack w. fixed straps, black Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack, Green, w. Flat Shoulder Straps Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack, Black, w. Flat Shoulder Straps Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack, Green w. Padded Shoulder Straps Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack, Black w. Padded Shoulder Straps
Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack
Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack
89.99 - 129.99 USD
DP10 as in Day Pack, 10 litres, is a small roll-top pack with generous PALS webbing for additional pouches and gear. Extremely simple, extremely reliable (and easy to repair if ever necessary). Can be integrated into a rucksack (as a daypack lid) or vest/body armour (as a combat pack) using separate adapters.
Särmä TST General purpose pouch Zip XS, M05 Woodland Camo Särmä TST General purpose pouch Zip XS, green Särmä TST General purpose pouch Zip XS, black
Särmä TST General purpose pouch Zip XS
Särmä TST General purpose pouch Zip XS
34.99 USD
A small horizontal general purpose pouch with zipper closure and elastic webbing for organizing small trinkets. Can also function as a "Mini IFAK" fitting a small first aid dressing, a package of Quikclot and an emergency blanket.
Särmä TST Tactical Jeans, Black Särmä TST Tactical Jeans, Blue
Särmä TST Tactical Jeans
Särmä TST Tactical Jeans
99.99 USD
Tactical Jeans - when you don't want to use cargo pants or camo stuff for covert work, but find ordinary jeans cumbersome and lacking in features. Mobile and stretchy, these would probably be good enough for Chuck Norris (if he didn't already have his own karate jeans).
Särmä Merino Boxers
Särmä Merino Boxers
31.99 USD
These boxers are the big brother to our popular Särmä Viscose Boxers. In addition to superior material, these have a fly.
Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves, Merino Wool, Green Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves, Merino Wool, Black Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves, Merino Wool, Khaki
Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves, Merino Wool
Särmä TST L1 Liner Gloves, Merino Wool
26.99 USD
Cold and nasty weather is a very difficult environment for tasks that demand nimble fingers. The L1 liner gloves were designed to solve this very problem! These thin and snug-fitting merino liners fit under regular gloves to offer additional insulation without sacrificing the fine use of your fingers.
Särmä wool flannel shirt, green Särmä wool flannel shirt, red
Särmä Wool Flannel Shirt
Särmä Wool Flannel Shirt
119.99 USD
In the rugged old days, thick wool flannel shirts were a pretty basic thing, because everything was made of wool anyway – what luxury! Now in the plastic future, these are rather hard to come by. We did our part and patched up some of this gaping hole with the Särmä Wool Flannel Shirt.
Särmä Merino Wool T-shirt, Petrol Särmä Merino Wool T-shirt, Black Särmä Merino Wool T-shirt, Gray
Särmä Merino Wool T-shirt
Särmä Merino Wool T-shirt
36.99 USD
A basic T-shirt is the staple of men's wear these days, you can wear it just about anywhere from the great outdoors to office cubicles, under other clothes or as is. We took that classic, simple design and made it out of merino wool, resulting in a fantastic shirt for casual wear. Inconspicuous, minimalistic and simply good-looking, but with all the great properties of merino wool.
Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube, M05 Woodland Camo
Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube, M05 Woodland Camo
15.99 USD
Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube, M05 Winter Camo Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube, M05 Woodland Camo Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube, M05 Snow Camo
Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube
Original BUFF M05 Neck Tube
15.99 USD
Modern warrior's lightweight alternative to the old German woolen neck tube. For some, Buff is synonymous with light neck tubes. A truly versatile piece of clothing that bends to a multitude of uses.
Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top Daypack, Main Bag, Green Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack, Main Bag, Black
Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top Day Pack, Main Bag
Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top Day Pack, Main Bag
89.99 USD
Part of the DP10 Roll-Top Day Pack, the main bag only. This may interest you if you know what you're doing.