2006 Thru-hiker in planning
Core Insulating Layer
I'm trying to put together a basic clothing list (assuming temp range encountered on a thru). Some previous posts have suggested getting a 100wt fleece top, in addition to a down jacket. Is this necessary? Assuming I have a lt/wt and a md/wt polypro top, the 100wt fleece and some sort of wind shirt, wouldn't that work? Can you layer both a ltwt and a mdwt top? I think the biggest concern is that while down jackets sound great, they are also a major tax on the wallet (costing nearly what my sleeping bag does)--not to mention the 10-23 odd ounces it can add... what do you think?
LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member
I think that you can get away with the layering you've outlined down to 20-25 degrees in camp. I bring the same configuration for fall hiking. Below that you may want to consider a 200wt flleece (16-20 oz), down vest (9-12 oz) or perhaps the down jacket. You can add additional warmth by bringing that windproof skull cap or perhaps balaclava.
This, unfortunately, depends on the weather. Take a look at some of the early starter's journals at www.trailjournals.com. Try, say, Bloody Cactus and Grace, to see what the weather might be like if you decide to start on March 1 or thereabouts. Personally, if I was going to start then, I would bring a down jacket like the WM Flight. It weighs on the order of 10 oz and costs around $200. For core insulation, I would bring a set of light weight thermals. For in camp, I would add a set of heavyweight thermals in addition to the down jacket. Add in some wind resistant pants and shirt, along with a rainjacket. Add an extra warm hat. The idea is to always have a backup set of warm clothing, for what you hike in will get soaked with sweat and precip. A really fast way to pick up hypothermia is to not have anything dry to change into.
Now, if I was starting April 1 or later, I might be inclined to still take the down, but would be more inclined to bring what I did on the PCT. See mypage.iu.edu/~chwillet/travel/PCT for details.
++ New Posts ++