A reader sent a note a few weeks ago asking if I had any advice on easy-drying underwear. I didn't but I made some inquiries and found from several sources that silk was the way to go.

So on my recent trip down the Silk Road I took two pairs of silk underpants from NZ Nature: the sport boxer and the lightweight shorts.

The sport boxers were pretty good. They dried a bit faster than my cotton underpants and even in the cold, damp parts of the trip they were always ready to wear the next day.

But the lightweight shorts were a revelation. Given a flying start by wrapping them in a towel they were dry within an hour or so. And if I hung them up when they were still wringing wet, they were always bone-dry in the morning.

Take two pairs of those on a trip and you wouldn't need anything else. In fact you could probably get by with just the one pair washed every night (though they take so little room it's not really worth the gamble).

The sport boxers are $29.95 and the lightweight shorts $24.95 from nznature.co.nz.