Packing Right for the In-Between Seasons
It‘s always a challenge to figure out what to pack, especially if you want to keep your bag small and light. Weather around 60 degrees F is often in between seasons, so it can be particularly difficult to figure out what to bring. The secret is to dress in layers, so you can peel them on and off as needed.
Do: Pack a Shirt, Preferably With Wicking Properties
A short- or long-sleeved shirt is the ideal first layer. You can go with any old shirt, but there are a few on the market that either wick moisture away from your body or don't allow the sweat to absorb into the fabric at all. This means that if you get too warm and a little sweaty, the sweat quickly evaporates away. These high-tech fabrics are ideal for between-season dressing because a damp layer of clothing next to your skin will make you feel even colder.
Do: Pack a Light Jacket
At 60 degrees F, you'll feel most comfortable with a jacket. One that’s wind- and water-resistant is ideal, so you’ll be set for a variety of weather conditions. Even better is to have a jacket with removable hood and sleeves, so a sudden shower or a spike in temperature won’t bother you a bit.
Look for travel jackets with multiple pockets. The best ones have pockets designed to carry tablets, books and water bottles as well as your phone, wallet, sunglasses and plenty of snacks for the whole day. You might even eliminate the need to carry a day bag or purse.
Do: Pack a Light Scarf
A pashmina-style scarf helps prevent a cool day from becoming uncomfortable. It doesn’t need to be expensive pashmina cashmere either. A scarf in light wool or cotton works just fine (and can be thrown in the wash). It’s the large size that makes this kind of scarf useful for dealing with 60-degree temperatures.
Draped or wrapped around your neck, the scarf provides just enough extra warmth, as well as a little bit of style. If you're really feeling chilly, unfurl it and wrap it around your shoulders like a shawl. A bright color helps dress up your outfit too.
Don't: Bring a Heavy Coat
When you’re packing, also take into consideration factors other than the temperature. It will be cooler by the shore with a breeze off the water. Similarly, walking through the streets of a big city can feel chilly because of the shade from the tall buildings. However, a day in the 60s in the bright sunshine without wind might feel too warm for even a light jacket.
Regardless of the kind of 60s weather you'll be in, bringing a heavy coat just takes up too much room in your bag. With the in-between season temperatures you’ll likely feel too hot with it on and too cold without it, so aim for a light jacket.
Don't: Bring Shorts
Unless you’re really warm-blooded or you’ve been stuck in January snowstorms, 60 degrees F is too cold for shorts. While you might think a summer vacation in California means shorts weather, keep in mind that places like San Fransisco can be stuck in the 60s for a week or more, as well as covered in fog in June. It might be summer, but it won’t feel like it, especially if you’re underdressed in shorts.
Johanna Read is a Canadian freelance writer and photographer specializing in travel, food, and responsible tourism. Writing for a variety of Canadian and international publications, she likes to encourage travel that is culturally, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Links to all her travel stories are at www.TravelEater.net. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEater and on Instagram @TravelEaterJohanna.