Monday, April 3, 2017

How to Travel Light Without Sacrificing Style

Written by Krysia Hepatica
Buying and Marketing Manager

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I pride myself on being an expert in traveling light. I managed to travel to Paris for 10 days and only brought a carry-on. Getting everything I bought back home was a bit trickier, but manageable! I know, you are probably thinking, well, sure if I left half of the stuff I wanted to bring behind, I could pack light too. Not the case! I am in no way, shape, or form skimping on my essential luxuries when I am heading to the Fashion Capital of the World! Packing light is about choosing the right items to pack and being efficient.

TSA Approved

I am a self-proclaimed skin care addict. I blame my mother. She was always buying the newest skin care products from one of cosmetic counters at Hudson’s when I was growing up. I have a specific product for every use, like Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream for the morning, and a different product at night. Of course, traveling with large, clunky skin care products is a pain, and against the TSA regulations. But, I manage to fit everything I need into my TSA approved 3-1-1 bag because I fill several small 0.5 to 3 ounce containers with all of my favorite things.


I have a few pieces of rolling luggage I alternate using depending on just how minimalist I can be. Most airlines require your carry-on to be 22” or less.

My current favorite is The North Face Rolling Thunder. It’s small, a mere 19”, but a work horse. The rugged exterior can handle the perils of travel and being tossed into all potential modes of transportation, planes, trains, and automobiles.The pull handle glides smoothly and is designed so smartly that when it’s full, it stays upright; it does not tip over. It also has a concealed zippered pocket on the top that I put a small umbrella in and just leave there, because getting caught in a downpour may make your trip slightly less than fantastic.

Fo my personal bag, I usually carry an urban backpack, or an oversized black tote. Both fit my flying essentials:

  • Makeup bag
  • Earbuds
  • Eye mask for in-flight napping
  • Kindle or book
  • Snacks

How To Pack

I usually wear my heaviest shoes and layers on the plane so I don’t have to carry them, and let’s be honest, the plane is usually freezing cold! The bulkiest items I am not wearing on the plane get rolled as small as possible. It sounds counter-intuitive, but rolling causes less wrinkling than folding. The exception, of course, being business suits.* I then start filling them into the perimeter of the suitcase, and put shoes in the middle stacking as flat as I can. I then place everything else in any open spaces; it’s like Tetris for travel!


I also always fit in a pack towel because if you do any wash in the hotel sink, wringing the item out in the microfiber towel will cut down significantly on drying time.

If you are going to another country, you may need to bring along adapter plugs so you can use your electronic devices. You may or may not need a converter (converts 220 to 110 volts). If you are bringing electronics like a smartphone or laptop, your charging cord probably accepts both wattage (double check!) But if you are bringing a hairdryer, or other small appliance you will need a converter.

If you are bringing bulky items that won’t be useless if wrinkled like a down jacket, compression bags are awesome.

Again, rolling your white dress shirt or suit* will wrinkle it into oblivion, so use a packing folder to keep it pressed.

Little Luxuries

If you are away from home on business, you may want to bring a few comforts. Lole makes a wonderful travel yoga mat if you can’t image skipping practice. It’s thin and lightweight and meant for use on a carpeted hotel floor.

A small scented candle can also make it homey. I love Voluspa’s Pomegranate Blood Orange for a fresh and uplifting fragrance.

Don’t forget to pack your Joshua Tree’s Shimmer Lip Balm, made with natural and organic ingredients. It has a hint of tint and shimmer while still hydrating your lips.

Bivouac specializes in travel apparel and equipment. Whether you are hiking Peru or sightseeing in Europe, you can find everything you need and expert staff to help outfit your adventure.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hike Thru the Biv: Artist Lindsey Fox and the Pacific Crest Trail

Artist Lindsey Fox (trail name Miyagi) hiked 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada with a sketchbook and watercolors in tow. She is a former Bivouac employee, and graduate of the University of Michigan, with a degree in Art and Design, and a focus in textile design. We are proud to announce the launch of her paintings for sale at Bivouac!

Lindsey’s work has always centered on her relationship to the wilder places in the world and the natural wonders that lie within them. When she started thinking about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, she immediately started to think of it as more of a project or an artist residency. There are many artists that hike the trail each year and capture its beauty through a lens; whether in words, or on this case it was a brush. She came to the decision early on to take those beautiful moments during the hike to paint as much as possible...even when the miles were rough.

"When starting this project, I made sure to make a habit of drawing at the very beginning. At the start of the trail you are doing everything you can just to hike a bare minimum of miles...usually to the next water source. You get into camp or lunch or a break and you feel like collapsing on your sleeping pad. I made a point to start drawing during those times, no matter how tired. Painting on the trail presented all sorts of challenges, but the reward of painting outside in such stunning locations was worth it. Painting while looking at actual landscape is so different than painting from a photograph. The point of bringing a sketchbook on this trail was to capture those raw moments that no photograph could ever capture. Watercolor allowed me to express my feelings on the trail as well as how the landscape affected me. There were so many times that I remember walking by a beautiful vista and thinking that I should stop and draw. Sometimes I stopped and sometimes I pressed on to get into camp before dark. The moments captured when I took the time to sit and do a quick sketch and wash of watercolor were some of the most magical memorable of my hike. It is my hope this body of work inspires others to experience the many natural wonders of this land in their own and unique ways," -Lindsey on her project. Read her full interview with Backpacker Magazine.

Lindsey is currently living in Portland, Oregon. She continues to work in her home studio creating watercolors and illustrations communicating the magic that she finds in the Pacific Northwest. View more paintings on her website here. The trail allowed her to see the landscape of the west coast in a whole new way. This walk has brought on so many changes for so many people over the years, and she was happy to have the opportunity to capture its beauty. Lindsey will continue to be inspired by the trail and hope that the work here will encourage others to protect and explore the wilds around you.

Lindsey's advice to those hoping to hike the PCT: One of the most important things that I will stress about the trail is to make it your own. Make your own project out of the trail, whether it be an athletic goal or an artistic one. Carry a sketchbook, a camera, a lightweight ukulele, carry what is important you you and if you have to skimp in other areas, just make sure you don’t skimp on food otherwise you might find yourself drawing hamburgers and pasta!

Lindsey's paintings are available for purchase in-store beginning the week of March 6th. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Outfitting Your Valentine's Day With Bivouac

Outfitting Your Valentine's Day With Bivouac

When you're with your significant other, every day is special. But why not make Valentine's Day the most special one of all? Whether you're climbing, staying in, or heading into town for dinner, the Bivouac team has you covered for outfitting any type of date. Check out our ideas below!

Climbing Date: Women

Your outfit for the climbing gym has to be cute, yet sensible - something you can sweat in, before grabbing a beer after you climb. We recommend starting with a graphic tank from the North Face. This tank feels like cotton, while it's made from quick-drying fabric to keep you sweat-free and on the move. Next, we're giving your look some color and pairing the tank with a pair of bright leggings. Next up is the Ziona bra from Lole: adjustable and soft, with a mesh back for breathability. Plus, the pattern is striking, you won't mind if it sticks out of your tank when you're at the top of the rock wall. We clinched the look with a pair of La Sportiva climbing shoes and a Lole headband. You'll be comfy, cute, and ready to climb with your date this V-Day! 

Climbing Date: Men

Let's start out with a long-sleeve graphic tee from Patagonia, a loose fit to keep you comfortable when you're climbing and belaying your date. We paired the shirt with breathable Patagonia climbing pants, complete two front pockets to hold keys and cash to keep you hands-free. The Patagonia Roger That hat keeps the hair out of your eyes, with a classic Patagonia front design. We clinched the outfit with Evolve climbing shoes and a Black Diamond harness. You are ready for the climb with your Valentine's Day sweetheart. 

Cozy Night In: Women

We've got you started in some seamless Hanky Panky boyshorts and an Eberjey bralette, for a lacy look without any discomfort. Next is a cropped sweatshirt from Feel the Piece, paired with PJ Salvage pajama shorts. Try our Philanthropy joggers if you're too chilly for shorts. Our Minnetonka moccasins are guaranteed to keep you warm as you snuggle up with your sweetheart for a Netflix marathon. We recommend lighting one of our many Voluspa candles to set the Valentine's mood! 

Cozy Night In: Men

These picks will give you some style and are sure to impress your Valentine's Day date, without sacrificing comfort! Let's start out with a cozy Velvet thermal and our "chick magnet" boxers from Vineyard Vines. Slide into some Woolrich pajama pants, or a pair of trendy joggers from Grayers. Finally, our Woolrich slippers will be sure to keep you warm on any chilly February night.

Dinner Date: Women

We'll start you off with an elegant Ali and Jay long-sleeve bodycon dress that will hug you in all the right places. The dress makes an easy transition from the restaurant to after-dinner drinks or dancing. We paired the dress with a bright red Rebecca Minkoff handbag, keeping with the Valentine's Day theme, and a Jennifer Zeuner "Love" necklace to tell your special someone how you feel. Dolce Vita open back booties and a Line leather jacket complete the sophisticated look. And don't forgot our Hanky Panky panty rose gift - available in multiple colors in-store!

Dinner Date: Men

Our Men's Fashion section is the perfect place to shop for any occasion. We've got the best picks to impress your date - anywhere from drinks at the Black Pearl, casual pizza at Mani Osteria, or even some late night grub at Fleetwood Diner. We have you in a sleek, black pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans, so soft that you'll never want to switch them for sweatpants. We've paired them with a Mizzen and Main button-down with an athletic fit - the opposite of the stiff, collared shirts your mom used to make you wear. Our Velvet Dougal Bomber jacket will keep you warm and stylish in the cold February weather, along with our Begg and Co. scarf. Don't forget a brown leather belt from Bison Designs and some comfy Clarks to complete the look. Your significant other won't be able to resist you!

We hope our picks helped you and your date brainstorm the perfect Valentine's Day evening. No matter what you're doing, we know it will be special. From all of us at Bivouac, Happy Valentine's Day!