Cross Country Clothes

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

In the last post, I talked about tools to keep the car going. Now I want to visit the subject of how to keep the driver going. This means proper clothing of course and it also means proper food. Road snacks are a special food group unlike any from home. For one thing, calories are scarcely used just sitting in the car so snacks should be low Cal and healthy. Let’s look more closely at both clothes (in this post) and snacks (in the next post).

Clothes The watchword for travel clothing in an old open car is: Layers. Adding and subtracting a layer as thing warm up or cool down or when precipitation comes is about the only control one has in an old car without a cabin temperature setting. The base layer for me is jeans and a golf shirt. Even though I am in an old simple car, it still seems right to me to wear at least a collared shirt so that means a golf shirt. None of mine are emblazoned with golf logos or little horsey logos though. They are either NFL shirts (No Friggin Label) or carry the Lotus name proudly. Sometimes I cover these short sleeved shirts with a very light nylon long sleeved shirt just to keep the sun exposure down on my arms. This is comfortable from 65 up to about 85 degrees with the wind generated at speed. Above 85 the wind feels warm and bare arms are most comfortable with SPF 50 sunblock of course. When it gets colder layers increase.

 In the range from 50 to 65 degrees, I add a light jacket with a tall collar as a windbreaker and a fleece that also has a tall collar that zips all the way up to keep my neck warm. Oh, yeah, and gloves! The two things that get cold in this temperature range (as long as I have the fleece and windbreaker) are nose and hands. The hands get the gloves the nose just has to manage. It is interesting that my legs and feet seem to be comfortable from 50 to 90 degrees with no modification to the basic jeans.

Once the temperature gets below about 50, I open the footwell heater vent and change to a fully lined jacket with a tall collar. The natural airflow seems to provide enough heat down to about 40 and then I turn on the blower fan to boost the airflow. That works down to about freezing as long as I have ear covering. I have an old leather flying helmet that works perfectly for this. Once below freezing, all bets are off and the top goes on!

While I don’t intend to set any sartorial excellence standard, I do want to be clean and presentable, so I will take enough changes of clothes for about a week and then do laundry. Mom taught me to separate whites and colors so two loads a week should do it. Add laundry detergent and Oxy clean to the supplies list! And I will need both a fresh clothes bag and a laundry bag, both of which will need to be waterproof as the boot leaks just as much as the top does. One would think that the folks in England, where it rains regularly year round, who designed and built the Elan, would be familiar with preventing water ingress, but no they are not. That should pretty well cover the clothing aspect…now to sustenance. Stay Tuned!

About Me

Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!

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February 2021

4 thoughts on “Cross Country Clothes

  1. Like the layers idea. Can’t wait for the food part. Does one snack continuously just because it is there or do you keep them away from you until you get hungry? Just wondered because I’m always hungry!


  2. Ah, but Ross, here in England we are so used to a bit of rain that the top on an early Elan is considered positively luxurious!

    Anyway, it’s only water and as we know, skin is waterproof!

    Good luck, my dear chap!


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