I Prefer Living Where I Only Need 2 Pairs of Underpants

I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but I do think about my underpants pretty regularly. So today as I stood in the bathroom, looking at the 2 pairs Mike and I had hanging from the shower curtain rod, I couldn’t help but think: I like living where I only need 2 pairs of underpants. I really do.

We arrived in León, Nicaragua on Saturday. Today is Tuesday. I’ve only worn 2 pairs of underpants. Now before your start counting on your fingers, I’ll tell you it has been 4 days and 6 showers.

My oh my those numbers don’t seem to bode well.

Those of you who’ve been following this blog know that we’re traveling and we wash our clothes in the sink. So we have access to clean underpants every day. But we don’t always have access to dry underpants every day and that’s a critical factor in how many pairs of underpants you need in a given location.

For example, when we were staying in a hut in Montezuma, Costa Rica in October 2011 (also rainy season), it took more than a full day with a fan blowing directly on our underpants to get them “Costa Rica dry” — just dry enough to be wearable. This means, we’d need a minimum of 3 pairs, but 4 is a better insurance policy.

But even though it is the rainy season here in León, it is still plenty hot and dry between rain storms. Which means, a pair of underpants washed at night is pretty much dry by the next afternoon. That makes León a 2-pair town.

When we stayed on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, our underpants would dry on the clothesline in the sun in less than an hour. This means, if we played our cards right, we could get by with 1 pair of underpants. Ooooh living on the edge! Compare that to winter in Pittsburgh, and you’re going to see a stark difference. Of course, compare most anything to winter in Pittsburgh, and the other thing will almost alway be better1.

For those of you who have been up late at night wondering how may pairs of underpants to pack for your upcoming travels to a handful of very specific locations where I have been over the last 18 months, I’ve provided this very handy chart.

pairs of underpants required per location

Believe it or not, humidity is not as much of a factor in rapid underpants drying as an abundance of sun and a breeze. And if I need to be spending my time in places with an abundance of sun and a breeze in order to dry my underpants most effectively, so be it. And this is why I prefer living in a place where I only need 2 pairs of underpants.


1. The winter “lake effect” caused by Lake Nicaragua effectively keeps Granada and the nearby towns at a breezy 89F with thunderstorms that normally pass in 20 minutes while places further from the lake swelter with a humid 95F and up and storms that last much longer. At least this is what people here have told me. In essence, the winter lake effect is what brings people to Granada and what drives people from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is not alone in this wintery misery. All of you rustbelt survivors out there know exactly what winter “lake effect” feels like. 

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