Our frequent traveler and Core Merino Brand Developer Monica Ebert shares her insights for traveling light


As the world slowly but surely starts opening up again, we are very much looking forward to getting back to exploring and experiencing new places. But how many times have you taken a trip and not worn half of the clothing you packed? I know I have, but thankfully I have learned a few new packing hacks to make the next trip a little lighter. Even if you are not quite ready to hop on an airplane again, the below travel tips are also useful even on a staycation closer to home. 


5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for packing

I regularly am on the go and always struggled with packing until I discovered the 5,4,3,2,1 rule for packing. This ‘rule’ has been a game-changer for me, packing much more swiftly ahead of each new adventure. The rule stands for packing five pairs of socks and undies, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes, and one hat. By limiting the number of items you bring, it saves space and keeps you from having to lug around unnecessary items to help make your travels more smooth. Plus, there is nothing worse than having to pay extra baggage fees for overweight luggage. 


Pack in your favourite merino items

Sticking to the 5,4,3,2,1 rule for packing, you can minimise this even further, depending on the trip type and length, by only packing a couple of shirts but making sure to pack Merino ones. Because Merino wool is antibacterial, moisture-wicking, and breathable, it stays fresh for longer periods of time. This means you can pack even fewer items, saving even more space in your luggage. Plus, it is easy to handwash your merino tops, even if they do get a little dirty on your travels.


No more ‘just in case’ clutter

Another common thought while packing is, I should pack this ‘just in case’. And while sometimes these items do come in handy, it’s more than likely you can live without them. So, when packing, ask yourself, ‘will I 100% use or wear this item?’ before packing anything inside your travel bag. When you ask yourself and the answer is “maybe”, don’t pack it. If the answer is “but what if I need it?” still don’t pack it. Should the need actually arise, you can always grab it at a local shop, borrow it, or figure out a creative solution.


With these helpful tips, your next trip is sure to be a breeze so you can spend less time worrying about heavy or overweight luggage and have more time to explore your new surroundings. And if you’re not sure what to pack, have a look at our favourite travel picks here.


With Mandela Day right around the corner and the current crises we are facing in South Africa, we can’t help but feel the need to spread a little positivity and make sure we are all working to make the world a better place. Fortunately, Mandela Day is on July 18th which serves as a great reminder to us all to do our part, even if only through small acts, to help make the world a better place.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Clean up the beach, park, or local neighborhood.
  • Plant a community garden for everyone to enjoy.
  • Offer to fix things at a local school or community center.
  • Help someone find a job. Serve as a mentor to them and help put together and print a CV for them, or help them with their interview skills.
  • Donate books to your local library or run a book drive to collect and distribute books to under-resourced schools. 
  • Participate in a charity cycle, run, hike, or other activity, and raise funds for meaningful causes based on the kilometers or time spent on the activity.

Click here for more ideas on how to give back this Mandela Day.

By starting off with small acts to inspire change you will find the joy in giving back. By giving a little of your time each day to make an impact in your local community or by giving a little of your time to make a difference in someone else’s life, you can start changing the world around you.

There are unlimited ways to make a difference. Start with what you are passionate about and watch your actions have a lasting impact.

In 2021, most of your typical Valentine’s Day date options are difficult to undertake because of current lockdown restrictions. However, this year we have one advantage working in our favour: the 14th of February falls on a Sunday! This means we can be romantic all day long! At Core Merino we have put our heads together to think of different ways to spend some romantic time on Valentine’s Day with our loved ones. Here is what we came up with.

Climb to the top

Since Valentine’s Day falls onto a Sunday, you can plan a whole hiking field trip. Do some research on excellent mountain top views around your area that offer beautiful hiking paths all the way to the top. Make sure you don’t forget to kiss your better half after you catch your breath from climbing up and enjoying the breathtaking view.  

Ride down memory lane

Another way to enjoy Valentine’s Day is to plan a bike ride to a spot that is important in your relationship. This could be the place where you first met, shared your first kiss, or if you are married where you got engaged. 

Make a wish on a shooting star

Is there anything more romantic than stargazing? If you have a yard or balcony and weather permits, you can plan a romantic evening by looking into heaven. Get out some warm blankets, prepare a small picnic, and cuddle beneath the stars with your loved one. Don’t forget to make a wish when you see a shooting star!

Do an adventure walk – and fall in love again

Research has shown that we are more likely to fall in love with each other in a dangerous situation than in a mundane setting. In more concrete terms, you are more likely to fall in love while water rafting than in an office setting. Why not turn this into an opportunity to rekindle our romantic love? Ok, don’t get yourself in danger, but try out something new. For example, you and your partner could explore a neighborhood you have never been to or go for a hike trying not to use your cell phone or map for orientation (do keep it in your backpack, just in case). 

Plan future trips and vacations

If lockdown or the weather does not permit spending the day outside, you could use the time together to plan future trips, holidays, and other adventures. During normal non-lockdown times, we often complain about not having enough time to prepare for our holidays or weekend getaways. So, instead of passing your time on Netflix you could actually get your planning and research done together and plan a trip both of you can look forward to in the future. 

Stay in bed

Last but not least, there is always the most romantic option to just spend the day in bed together as you may have done in the past but did not seem to have the time to do so lately. Treat yourself to some relaxing romantic horizontal time – dreaming, talking, laughing…you get the gist…

We hope you make the best of Valentine’s Day under lockdown conditions by spending some time together with your loved one. Be active, be together and create some memories that will make you as a couple stronger. Enjoy. 

Valentine's Day at Core Merino - run together

Gift a little comfort, warmth, and softness this year

We don’t want to hear it and we don’t want it to be true, but let’s face it: This Christmas 2020 will be different, strange, and not what we are used to. Why? Because the Covid-19 pandemic is still a major health threat and continues to disrupt our lives including this year’s Christmas. At this time as we write this blog post, we don’t know yet, what the health and safety measurements are going to be like during our Christmas and Holiday season. Will we be able to travel and meet our family members? How many households will be able to come together? Can we visit family abroad or have family from abroad visit us? The uncertainties are plenty and we need to brace ourselves for an emotional rollercoaster, willingness to stay flexible, and adapt our plans as things become clearer closer to Christmas. 

At the Core Merino office, we try to apply some lessons we learned in our Yoga and Meditation classes: Living in the moment and accepting the things around us that we cannot change or influence in order to feel calmer and happier. Maybe this mindfulness practice will help you as well if thinking about the upcoming Christmas season makes you feel uneasy and anxious.

However, there are a few things we can already plan and prepare as December is almost here such as finishing our Christmas shopping online. Like last year, we have put together some ideas that might inspire you to find the perfect gift for one of your loved ones. 

Here are our 2020 Core Merino Christmas gift ideas:


Neck Warmer – A practical face mask

Speaking of the Covid-19 pandemic, our neck warmer is a practical gift that can be worn as a face mask. The advantage is that when we put it around our neck once we go out, we always have it handy when we need to cover our face. This neck warmer is a sustainable choice, as it can be worn throughout the year and not only during a pandemic. 

Neck Warmer

Pajamas – Or a better night sleep

PJs for Christmas? What a boring gift idea. Point taken, but hear us out! Our merino wool summer and winter sleepwear bundles are not just something to wear when you sleep, they actually help you sleep better by enhancing your overall sleep quality. Research shows that sleeping in merino wool helps you fall asleep faster, have longer periods of a deep sleep, and help sleep longer. So are you going to gift pajamas or a better night’s sleep with our sleepwear set? We let you decide. 

Core Merino Sleepwear Bundle Women

Yoga Wear – Or a calmer mind

As mentioned in this blog post earlier, all of us are living through troubling and uncertain times. This requires us to adopt some strategies that help us stay calm, motivated, and resilient. Research shows, that regular yoga or mindfulness practice can help us build a resilient mindset. Maybe you know that one of your friends or family members has started practicing Yoga or is thinking of joining an (online) yoga class. In this case, gifting them one of our Yoga garments or even the Yoga Bundle can help them stay motivated to start and continue practicing.    

Merino Wool Yoga Bundle

Polo Shirt – Or a smart sharp yet comfortable look

We just received a new order of Men’s Polo Shirts and as we unpacked them in our warehouse and had our male colleagues try them on, we knew we had a winner. Our polo shirts magically make you look well dressed. The polo is suitable for leisure and more official events while always feeling comfortable due to the merino wool benefits. So if you are looking for a present for a man, you cannot go wrong with this merino wool polo shirt

Polo Shirt

Hopefully, our 2020 gift ideas were helpful for you. If you decide to buy one of our products, make sure you place your order before 12 pm on 18 December 2020 in order for us to deliver the gift just in time before Christmas. 


3 Ideas for this year’s Heritage/Braai Day to bring us together and build meaningful connections


At Core Merino, we love a good Braai. We even organise Braais at the office to bring all of our colleagues who contribute to creating Core Merino garments together. Cooking food over an open fire is a South African tradition that connects us all which is why it is a fantastic way to celebrate our Heritage Day on 24 September. 

When we discussed our Braai traditions for Heritage Day in the Core Merino office, we started thinking about other ways we could come together and honour our country’s rich cultural diversity as well. Here is what we came up with.

Enjoy our Natural Heritage

Connections not only happen over food, but they also happen when we experience nature together. While South Africans have a rich heritage, our natural heritage has an even richer variety to offer. Take your family or friends outdoors into nature, as connecting with nature and experiencing an adventure together, also lets us come closer together. 

With international borders still closed there has never been a better time or excuse to explore right here at home. Here are a few of our favourite places to reconnect with nature.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Sometimes it’s not enough to just soak up the awesome scenery, you need to immerse yourself in it to be able to feel a part of it. In the Free State province, in and around the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, you can do exactly this. Whether it’s feeling the rush of the rapids with some white-river rafting or hiking up incredible mountains, there are plenty of adventures to have in this scenic corner of South Africa.

The Atlantic Ocean

The waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which wash most of the coast of South Africa’s Western Cape province, are not particularly warm. That’s why many adventurers in these parts prefer to be on top of the ocean, rather than in it. But even if the water isn’t warm, it is welcoming – sea kayaking is one of several popular water-based ways to explore Western Cape, ideal for those who want to combine exercise, relaxation, and sightseeing. Whales, dolphins, sharks, sunfish, seals, and several seabird species are among the wide variety of marine wildlife common in these parts.

Pilanesberg National Park

See the Big 5 just a few hours from Johannesburg or Pretoria in one of South Africa’s most popular wildlife areas. Set in the eroded remains of an ancient volcano that towered 7000 m high and spewed fire 2 billion years ago, thousands of millions of years of erosion have left only the dead volcano’s dykes and sills to encircle the reserve. The explosive turbulence spat up all sorts of interesting rock formations and rare minerals. This well-stocked reserve offers a fittingly dramatic landscape that supports a wide variety of plants, animals, and birds.

Enjoy our Wildlife

South Africa not only has a diverse population of humans but also a diverse population of animals. Our relationship with the animals that inhabit this beautiful country together with us also says a lot about ourselves. Watching wildlife on a safari, in an animal park or on a boat tour is a meaningful connection and experience to have together as a family or with friends. 

Packing for Safari

Unite in Outdoor Activities

Another way to connect is by doing activities together outdoors. You could plan an outdoor experience for your family and finish an exciting day with a braai at home. 

Organise a Hiking Trip

Walking is the slowest form of moving from A to B, but it is the only way that will let you reach hidden and remote places no car or bike can get you to. Research hiking paths in your area and amaze your friends and family with an unexpected adventure right at your doorstep. 

See more on a Cycling Tour

In contrast to hiking, a cycling tour can let you see much more over a larger distance. Many places offer great cycling paths to go and explore the area. If you happen to have an e-bike you can even explore further without breaking too big of sweat and be back just in time for that braai. 

Try something new like Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Sometimes it is also nice to create new traditions by trying something new. Have you ever tried to do stand up paddleboarding before? It looks so calm and easy, but actually is a great workout for your entire body and mind. So instead of doing the same activity each Heritage Day, get your friends and family to try something new this time. 

Ready, Set, Braai

We hope this little set of ideas was an inspiration for you to come together with others, create meaningful connections, and celebrate the diversity and the traditions our beautiful people and nature have to offer. And of course, don’t leave out that delicious braai.

No need to mention here, that all of your Core Merino garments will help you enjoy your little adventure even more ;-).

Happy Heritage Day Everyone!

Jaques Marais Stand up Paddleboarding