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Author: Alun Davies
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Are you fed up with smelling like a rotting cabbage after sweating it out on a long overseas trip? Yeah, me too, so I thought I’d put a merino wool top through it’s paces in the only way that counts; the Adventure Travel (and now, the Adventure Bike Rider) ‘sniff my pits’ gear test.

After years of hiking in man made base layers and smelling like a month old bag of groceries the key question was, would I, or more to the point, would my partner survive a five day adventure in the Alps?

The test was extreme, not so much for me, the tester, but for the poor old test assistant who had to sniff my pits at regular intervals during the week. It’s a coveted job alright. Oh, and did I say I lived in the thing, 24 hours a day, for five days. I slept, ate, climbed, walked, sipped fine wine (Guinness actually) and partied without taking the thing off for the whole trip. And this is how it went.

Day one- No problems, my merino wool base layer is fresh out of the laundry and smelling sweet. And so am I.

Day two- Didn’t do that much sweating yesterday, just a long drive to the airport, the flight and travelling onto the hotel. Noticed that the receptionist was all smiles as I lent over her and strategically placed my pit near her nose. Did manage a few pints and some garlicky food and then slept in the top. The verdict – there’s still a whiff of freshness emanating from the underarm area.

Day three- Okay, this is going to be interesting. Yesterday was blisteringly hot and we spent all day rock climbing on a bolted crag. Most of the other climbers had stripped to the waist but in the interest of science I stayed base layered up and slept in it again. The result – well, the freshness has gone and it’s all kinda neutral in the target area. So, nothing to report really other than the receptionist is still smiling and seams happy enough when I get up close for the ongoing test

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Day Four- Big day yesterday. Over 1000 meters of ascent and descent over mixed ground and it was hot, hot, hot. Plenty of sweat, dirt, grime and I slept in it again. This could be interesting….actually it’s not, there’s hardly anything to report. My pits are still neutral, this merino stuff is ace.

Day five- Yet another big day in the hills followed by a night on the town (still dressed in my merino of course) and…I think I need a change.

The verdict

Merino wool is freshening up the outdoors. Great stuff.

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