Merino Wool Doesn’t Smell!
So there is plenty to be said about the benefits of merino wool! We can talk about it’s ‘fabled warm when wet’ properties. We can talk about the ultra soft, non-itchy texture. Or how about it’s durability and breathability. Even its moisture wicking and temperature regulating properties. All of which have been well documented, tested, and talked about. All of which has made merino wool the most versatile and sought after outdoors fabric… But what about the smell?
When you’re out and about on a hike, a backpacking trip, road tripping, camping, or general traveling, how long can you go without washing your cloths before they start to smell? You don’t have to answer, but I have no shame… 30 days I wore the same base layer shirt, underwear, and socks while floating on the Yukon River and beyond. To make it worse, I hadn’t had a shower in the same amount of time. Worse again… It was cold enough at night that I didn’t want to take them off to go to bed. So the underwear and socks never came off, the shirt admittedly I removed for about 5 minutes at one point. Call it magic, but nothing had an odor… Confirmed by my neighbors on the plane ride back home, as well as unsuspecting family and friends upon my arrival back to Denver.
“But Trevor… It was cold, you weren’t sweating, of course you didn’t smell.” Well, first off, I would sweat during the day, I was working hard paddling and biking trying to make time. Although it’s a fair point, I wasn’t getting drenched. But over the course of 57 days hiking across Nepal I did. Summer time canyoneering in the Utah desert for a month I certainly did! Then up in Alaska and the Yukon the temperatures fluctuated wildly and I did as well! All of which provided similar low wash periods of time for my clothes.
Now I would be a liar to say that odor resistance was this reason that peaked my interest in merino wool, the performance value and comfort of the fabric is what originally brought me to use it. But man is it one heck of a bonus! After days out in the woods, not having to feel like you’re the olfactory pariah walking through town is peace of mind! I wore the Chocorua as I packrafted the Yukon River and biked to Prudhoe Bay, I wore the Ticonderoga as I hiked across Nepal, wore the Algonquin in the desert, and Woolverino Micro Weight in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. I still wear all of them on a regular basis, and as far as the Chocorua is concerned, I still wear it as one of my go-to work shirts!