For the last many weeks, I’ve been traveling in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world but one with enormous beauty as well. (Most of us think lemurs when the country of Madagascar comes to mind.) It’s also a country that has a high risk of malaria, a reason why most of the clothing I packed was Insect Shield apparel. This meant my neck gaitor -- necessary because of the dusty, dirt roads -- hat, pants, t-shirts, long-sleeve tops and long-sleeve hoody had all been treated by the manufacturer with Permethrin, a chemical that repels not only mosquitoes, but also ticks, ants, and flies.
I’m all about clothing that looks good but also functions well. And these items (below) that I purchased online from ExOfficio as well as Insect Shield fit the bill. The ExOfficio clothing goes by the name Bugsaway. Their Kutula Tunic is a cotton shirt that’s breathable and dries quickly. Their Lumen hood is cool and airy, thanks to the mesh weave. Insect Shield’s t-shirts -- I bought three in different bold colors -- are polyester but, again, very breathable and light. All Insect Shield items cannot be dry cleaned, a process that will remove the active ingredient. But they’re very washable, up to 70 times, which is considered the life of the product.
Most importantly, because all these items are so lightweight, I was able to travel for weeks with only a carry-on bag.