View Full Version : Winter Gear
Just wondering who's using (used) what type of winter clothes and how many pieces did you take. Also, did you not need some of what you took? Since I plan on leaving in Feb-04, I know I'll hit some cold days. I'm leaving that early to miss the March/April stampede. So what if I have to sit out a few days, I plan on taking my time and enjoying all I can. I don't know if I'll ever get to do a thru hike again, so I'm not in any rush.
Don't know how I posted this in the wrong spot, I've tried to move it but can't. Sorry...
Don't worry, I moved it to Gear Talk.
I haven't done a thru, nor have I hiked southern GA or NC in Feb, but I have done a thru-hike of the Pinhoti in early Feb with temps in the single digits. I used a full set of the Army issue polypro underwear and a field jacket/pants liner combo with my rain suit as the clothing. I also had convertable cargo pants, coolmax shirt, polypro gloves with wool mittens, liner socks with thorlo light hiker socks. For my head I wore a knit wool hat and a polypro neck gater.
One key to happiness while hiking in the winter is to have multiple bits of clothes. For example, have two sets of thermal underwear, two warm hats, and two sets of gloves. One of each should be a light weight variety. That forms a base layer when you are hiking. The other set should be heavier, warmer. This is what you put on when you get into camp at the end of the day. It will be nice and dry and warm, whereas what you were hiking in will be damp and relatively cold. Standard nylon pants will work fine as an over layer. Something to cut the wind, yet breathable, is good to wear while hiking. I use a softshell jacket. It isn't terribly warm, but knocks down wind and some rain. A pair of liner gloves and a polypro hat round out what I wear while hiking. By the way, boots with gaiters in the snow, running shoes otherwise. For in camp, I tend to bring either an insulated pullover if I expect temps to stay above 30 (at least, above 30 until 9 or so) or a down jacket and fleece pants if it will get colder. I like to stay out and about at the end of the day. But, if you are prepared to spend alot of time in your sleeping bag, you can dispense with things like a down jacket or fleece pants.
One nice thing to bring is a sit pad. Just a square off of an old foam pad. The ground can be cold and wet and taking a break at a great view isn't as nice if sitting gets you all wet. Several pairs of socks are also helpful. A flask of brandy or rum is also.
For point of reference: We started on March 5th, 2002, and the night before we started it was 16 degrees outside.
For clothing, I carried:
a pair of lightweight Patagonia R1 fleece pants,
a pair of capilene long underwear,
an R3 Patagonia Fleece Vest,
a long sleve capilene t-shirt,
a Patgonia Expedition weight fleece pullover,
a fleece North Face hat and a pair of Northface fleece gloves,
and a Moonstone Cirrus jacket.
My husband carried the exact same gear in men's sizes, with the exception of the fleece pullover.
I was cold when I wasn't moving or wasn't in my bag (a Western Mountaineering Ultralight, 25 degrees and super warm and light), until after the Smokies. Then, the weather started to get more temperate. I would have liked to have another top layer, but I am a cold person in general...
Good luck in your planning!