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Travel: Choosing the right stuff

Thursday, May 10, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:44 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When traveling to an unfamiliar destination, having the right travel gear can be important. “Having the appropriate travel gear makes one more comfortable and makes for a more successful trip,” says Alpine Shop manager Jeremiah Wade. “If you don’t have the proper gear, your trip can be miserable.”

Wade has managed the store in downtown Columbia for a year and a half and says the most essential travel gear is versatile and compact. “No matter where you are going, you are always going to take clothing,” says Wade. “You can go from two or three bags to one small bag. It’s awesome that you can reduce size and not have to worry about it.” Here’s a look at some gear that may help reduce travel stress.

— Kristen Lepore

Marmot Jacket, $99.95-$134.95

These lightweight, easy-to-pack jackets are good for any wet vacation, whether it be Lake of the Ozarks or a water ride at Six Flags. They repel water and allow heat to escape, leaving no room for the clammy feeling that ponchos sometimes create.

Ex Officio Air Strip Shirt, $80

This cool and comfortable long-sleeved shirt, which weighs only 2.5 ounces, will keep you dry and protected all day long. It is SPF 30 and has vents in the back to keep air moving, allowing the wearer to feel like he or she is in the shade. Shirts are available for men and women and range in size from XS to XXL.

National Geographic Map, $7.95-$8.99

This affordable National Geographic map makes it easy to travel, with trails illustrated in every state. It is foldable, making it simple to store in a fanny pack or glove compartment.

UVA/UNB Sunblock Stick

All family members can use this stick on their lips and faces. One brand, Dermaton, is water free and helps to prevent chapping, windburn and cold sores. The sticks are available in different sizes and can be easily hooked onto a key chain.

Clif Bar, $1.29

Clif bars provide on-the-go travelers with high energy in a variety of flavors, including carrot cake, cookies ’n cream and chocolate brownie. Each bar contains approximately 4 grams of fat, 46 carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. Clif also offers other edible products like organic energy chews and energy gel.

Buzz Off Apparel, prices vary by outlet

Buzz Off Insect Shield Insect Repellent Apparel is the first insect-repellent clothing to be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has been proven highly effective through 25 washings. Designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and L.L. Bean carry this line, which offers shirts, hats appropriate for golfing and fishing and much more.

Ameribag Healthy Back Bag Tote, $55-$140

This stylish one-strap bag for men and women comes in leather, microfiber or nylon with a variety of colors to choose from. It is great for those looking to ease the pressure on their backs, shoulders or necks. The bag distributes weight evenly, putting more pressure on the arm rather than the shoulder. With

a silver lining and plenty of pockets inside, this bag makes it easy to store any miscellaneous item.

Kelty K.i.d.s Convertible Stroller Pack, $175.99

With 3M Scotchlite reflective material and plenty of room to organize, this Kelty K.i.d.s stroller has everything a traveling parent could dream of. This convertible stroller is even equipped with a padded wrist belt and shoulder strap for parents as well as a no-pinch hinge for children.

Eagle Creek Pack It Compression Sac Set, $10- $26

This brand offers travelers an assortment of organizational bags for any occasion. Packing becomes effortless with the set, which contains three different sizes, reducing volume space up to 80 percent. It is made of a nylon material to prevent snags and tears and has a zip closure at the top.

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