Packing with Style with Runderwear
By Anna Crampin
On February 4th, 60 ladies from 24 nationalities walked the last kilometers of the Women’s Heritage Walk, a five-day, 120km desert crossing on foot from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain.
Besides the physical and mental preparation that such a trip requires, Anna Crampin, one of the guides from Escape Events, highlights how much the kit contributes to her success in leading the group.
There are important social media and marketing elements to expeditions before, during and after a trip. A survey by Schofields Insurance asked over 1,000 UK adults aged between 18 and 33 – millennials – what was most important when choosing a destination. How Instagrammable it would be was the number one motivator.
People want it to be like the photos they’ve seen. A glossy adventure of filtered desert scenes, beautiful people with wide smiles, blue skies, camels and luxurious desert camps juxtaposed with stories of endurance – a quick Insta-thriller. As a guide, you need to look like you’ve just stepped out of this image.
And good functional gear plays a role in this. A well-equipped, smart, organised looking guide gives your group confidence in your competence. To look the part before you’ve opened your mouth gives you a head start. It suggests that you’ve got it nailed, been there before. You look like you know all about it.
For the Women’s Heritage Walk the kit was important. Pre-trip briefings were in top hotels in Abu Dhabi and broadcasted online. We were to present only pristine kit items and ourselves smartly – ideally beautifully.
On the trip, photographers and drones carefully captured sponsor requirements and social media ready footage. I now know that putting your tongue to the top of your mouth accentuates your cheeks, to stand with my legs slightly crossed, that a photo from above works best and that it looks better to be at the side of a photo frame.
There is a strong case to bridge function with style. Fortunately, I was recently invited to be an ambassador for Runderwear, a gear company that’s mainly for runners, but the kit is functional on expeditions with a line in chafe-free, breathable, moisture wicking and seamless clothing. But apart from the technical advantages, the kit looks great. I now find myself co-ordinating my tops and bottoms and thinking about the flash of pink in the cropped top against a pre-trip manicure. I recently bought some of those sexy compression socks. A bit much? Well why not. Good for the calves and nice with a little pair of shorts. My kit bag for the next time will now be packed with experience, sentiment and good-looking kit.’