It’s no secret ioMerino Crew member Sputnik doesn’t really like cold weather, which probably explains why he loves wearing his ioMerino so much. And why he spends so much time in tropical South East Asia.
Over the past 20 years he’s enjoyed many epic adventures in places like Bali, Java, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, and now he’s sharing his inside knowledge of some of these amazing locations by hosting his own Swashbuckler Adventure Tours.
“It’s taken me quite a few years to dig past the usual attractions and find some great, ‘off the beaten track’ experiences” Sputnik explained. “Then I found myself sharing some of my favourite locations with friends. But finding certain places, and going there safely, isn’t always easy to do. Especially on your own or without an expert guide. So I decided to put on a few tours to share these experiences with anyone who wanted to do something a little bit different and adventurous.”
To date, Sputnik has created a tour in Bali and Cambodia with more locations in the works. His next tour, in Cambodia, kicks off at the end of November and includes the chance to run the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon.
“The tour basically takes in the coastal areas of the South, the city of Phnom Penh in the centre, and the temple region up North including the world famous Angkor Wat temple. Each day has a trail run, or mountain bike ride if you’re not up for the run, followed by an awesome adventure activity. There’s caving, rock climbing, zip lining and a bunch of other cool stuff.”
The tour finishes in the northern city of Siem Reap where you can run amongst the temples at the Half Marathon and collect some fancy running bling for your efforts.
While South East Asia is known for its tropical warmth, Sputnik says he still gets plenty of use out of his ioMerino when he’s on the go. “People think it’s always hot and steamy in these places and you can only wear your ioMerino when it’s cold. But I almost always wear a Keystone or True North Tee when I’m traveling, and an Altitude Tank or Tee when I’m running or riding. At altitude, like when we’re peak bagging in Bali or Java, the weather can drop to near freezing and that’s when I bust out my layers.”
Sputnik says the first time he climbed the relatively modest Mt Batur volcano in Bali, he was horribly unprepared for just how cold it was. “It was warm at the base, so I was only wearing regular shorts and a cotton tshirt. We worked up quite a sweat to get to the summit before sunrise and the temperature up there was brutal. Standing there in wet clothes in the cold waiting for the sun to rise was pretty terrible. I now know why they call it ‘killer cotton’, that’s for sure! It’s funny now thinking back to how naive we were about what to wear back then, but I can assure you it wasn’t very funny at the time.”
ioMerino’s ‘MicroMerino®’ lightweight performance layers are now an essential part of Sputnik’s kit. “These days I know better and take some lightweight layers with me to slip on when I’m at altitude. They’re warm enough to protect me from the cold, and light enough to carry up and down.”
If you’d like to go on an adventure with Sputnik, you can find out more information at SwashbucklersClub.com.