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Patrick
08-30-2005, 16:28
I'm going on my first long hike (8 or 9 nights) in a couple of years. Last couple of summers have seen me camping on the river, which is lazy as hell and not at all weight-conscious, so I've been doing a good bit over the last few weeks to get my gear in good shape. I've got a new pack, switched to hammocking, and have been able to replace some of my old gear with some lighter weight, nicer stuff.

Packing up the other day, I found my base pack weight (no food, fuel, water, or clothes that I'll be wearing) to be higher than I was expecting, about 14.5 pounds. Going through, I found that my clothes bag was the big whopper. I don't have the weight of it here at work, but I'll post it when I get home in a couple of hours. I want to say it was between four and five pounds, though. That seems high, so I thought I'd post my clothes here and get your feedback.

I'm packing for a trip next week from CT to VT. Temps in the towns around there have been about 50 at night and 70-80 during the day. I figure being up in the mountains means it's reasonable to expect lows in the 40s.

So, my clothes (I put the weights down that I can remember):

Normal hiking:
Two pairs of Lycra shorts (I'm a chafer) - 5 oz
One pair of nylon shorts - 8 oz
Two nylon sleeveless shirts
Three pairs of synthetic socks, medium weight

Camp stuff:
Nylon shorts - 5 oz.
Nylon tank - 5 oz.

Warm stuff:
Polypro shirt - 9 oz.
Polypro tights - 7 oz.

Rain stuff:
OR Zealot jacket - 7.5 oz.
Old rain pants - 12 oz. (I know these are heavy as hell -- my gear money ran out before I could order a pair of Reed pants. Those will save seven ounces)
Gore-Tex oversocks (I hike in breathable running shoes)

Misc:
Zip off pant legs for my shorts
Fleece hat - 2 oz.
Medium weight gloves - 3 oz.
Light breathable wind jacket - 3.5 oz

I realize I won't use some of this depending on the weather, but I'm going a bit overkill because I'm not familiar with the trail up there or the weather there this time of year. However, other than adding a thick fleece for the beginning, this is about the clothing list I have in mind for a thru-hike.

I'm generally warm-blooded. I don't like being wet, but I'm comfortable being pretty cold. I hate having a lot of clothes on while hiking, but I don't mind bundling up at night when I stop.

So, am I carrying the couture equivalent of a cast iron frying pan?

The Solemates
08-30-2005, 16:55
you only need one pair of zip-off pants, one t-shirt, and one pair of lightweight socks for a 8 day trip. that should save you over a pound there. of course, you can always bring 2 pairs of socks for comfort.

personally, i also wouldnt take the wind jacket or polypro pants. your rain jacket, tshirt, and polypro shirt should be adequate for top, zip-off pants for bottoms. You certainly wont be cold while hiking. If you are cold at night, get in your sleeping bag or build a fire.

i suggest zip-off pants with a built-in liner. That way you dont have to wear underwear. And Ive never had a problem with chafing with these type of pants.

The Solemates
08-30-2005, 16:56
i would get rid of the goretex oversox too.

all my suggestions should save you over 2lbs.

Whistler
08-30-2005, 17:15
I think a little different than the previous poster, but yes, you can probably drop some weight safely. I'd get rid of the zip-off pant legs, the extra hiking shirt, at least 1 pair of socks, and also the Goretex oversocks. I'd also get rid of one pair of the Lycra shorts, but you know your crotch better than I do.

You can find cheap-o wind or pants at the thrift store for about $5 and 6oz less. I wouldn't worry about need complete waterproofness on the legs.
-Mark

Just Jeff
08-30-2005, 20:50
My thoughts...ignore as you please.

You don't need hiking pants. If it's cold, wear your rain pants.

Same with the wind jacket.

One pair of shorts should be plenty for most short trips. Try a pair of swim trunks with liners instead of lycra shorts and extra shorts. I was skeptical about the swim trunks at first, but they got rid of the chafe and were a lot more comfortable than the lycra shorts I tried. Plus they dry superfast and minimize the swamp crotch that causes chafing in the first place.

Cut out all of your extra shirts. One T-shirt is often enough...sometimes I like an extra for camp. But two shirts, plus a tank, plus a polypro, plus a wind jacket, plus a rain jacket...see what I'm getting at?

IMO, you can be comfortable and safe with:
- One pair swim trunks
- One synthetic shirt (sometimes two)
- Thermal pants (cooler weather only)
- Thermal shirt
- Rain jacket
- Rain pants
- 2 pr lightweight socks
- Fleece balaclava or hat/neck gaiter, sometimes gloves

That's about what I carry for short trips in the summer. Obviously you'll need better insulation as it gets cooler...fleece is easy, cheap and comfortable. I've worn the No Sniveler around camp when I needed more, though I'm kinda wary of cooking and eating in it (although I've done both)...awesome insulation layer for no weight penalty because I'm carrying it to sleep in anyway.

Alligator
08-30-2005, 21:40
...

IMO, you can be comfortable and safe with:
- One pair swim trunks
- One synthetic shirt (sometimes two)
- Thermal pants (cooler weather only)
- Thermal shirt
- Rain jacket
- Rain pants
- 2 pr lightweight socks
- Fleece balaclava or hat/neck gaiter, sometimes gloves

I'm in close agreement here. I can't imagine how awful a hiking shirt would get after 8 days, so I would take two. And three pairs of socks. Those are both comfort suggestions though.

billdnc
08-30-2005, 21:57
My son started in Baxter 7-11 and is now in DWG, PA. HIs total clothes on the hike so far are: 1 pair of nylon running shorts, 1 shortsleave syn t-shirt, 1 mountain hardwear kilt, 1 pair of socks and he is wearing Chaco sandals. we wsent him new shorts, socks and shirt recently and he sent the old one's back to us - I guess for us to burn. He sent his 12 oz rain jacket back because "the rain cools him off". Those are all the clothes he has. His base weight is about eight pounds. In a few weeks, I expect he may want some warmer stuff.

Alligator
08-30-2005, 22:08
Sorry Billdnc, but that's an irresponsible list.

MedicineMan
08-30-2005, 23:19
you said:
"i suggest zip-off pants with a built-in liner. That way you dont have to wear underwear. And Ive never had a problem with chafing with these type of pants"


I havent seen zip offs with built in liiner? where? who makes?
i wrote Marmot several months ago asking for zip off version of their Precip pants but with a lining like in their activity shirts but never got an answer, seems like you've found something i've been looking for.

The Solemates
08-31-2005, 09:11
you said:
"i suggest zip-off pants with a built-in liner. That way you dont have to wear underwear. And Ive never had a problem with chafing with these type of pants"


I havent seen zip offs with built in liiner? where? who makes?
i wrote Marmot several months ago asking for zip off version of their Precip pants but with a lining like in their activity shirts but never got an answer, seems like you've found something i've been looking for.

I use Ex Officio Amphi pants. I have two pairs and I love them.


http://www.exofficio.com/product_details.aspx?item_guid=2856a692-2c56-4abf-93f5-331cdded7eeb

Patrick
08-31-2005, 12:00
Naturally, I just wrote a very long response and then lost it.

Thank you all for the tips. I'll definitely make some changes based on what you wrote. I want two shirts for sure. I can lose a pair of socks. For this trip, I'll lose the thermal pants, the rain pants, camp shorts, and the windshirt, I think.

I appreciate the advice on the liners for chafing. I've used every combination of shorts, underwear (which I never wear on the trail now), liner, Lycra, etc. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to when I chafe, but Lycra shorts have had the best results by far, so I'm sticking with those.

I'll keep the pant legs, but lose the wind jacket for this trip. I do like the windproof, very breathable stuff for when it's very cold and windy during the day, though, so it seems worthwhile for me to have that and rain gear for a thru-hike.

So, you guys have saved me a bunch of weight, thank you. I'd still like very much to hear what you think about my original clothing list in terms of a thru-hike, though. I feel that it's about what I'd want to take with me to be prepared for a variety of weather, but maybe people think it's too much still. Either way, that's probably something that each person really has to tune on their own.

I didn't get to post the weight last night because I got consumed in making a quilt. I'm packing up tonight though and will post my pre- and post-WhiteBlaze suggestions clothes weight.

Thanks again.

Newb
08-31-2005, 12:18
Once agan I have to say that all you need to go into the woods is a loin-cloth and a knife.

The Solemates
08-31-2005, 14:10
Naturally, I just wrote a very long response and then lost it.

Thank you all for the tips. I'll definitely make some changes based on what you wrote. I want two shirts for sure. I can lose a pair of socks. For this trip, I'll lose the thermal pants, the rain pants, camp shorts, and the windshirt, I think.

I appreciate the advice on the liners for chafing. I've used every combination of shorts, underwear (which I never wear on the trail now), liner, Lycra, etc. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to when I chafe, but Lycra shorts have had the best results by far, so I'm sticking with those.

I'll keep the pant legs, but lose the wind jacket for this trip. I do like the windproof, very breathable stuff for when it's very cold and windy during the day, though, so it seems worthwhile for me to have that and rain gear for a thru-hike.

So, you guys have saved me a bunch of weight, thank you. I'd still like very much to hear what you think about my original clothing list in terms of a thru-hike, though. I feel that it's about what I'd want to take with me to be prepared for a variety of weather, but maybe people think it's too much still. Either way, that's probably something that each person really has to tune on their own.

I didn't get to post the weight last night because I got consumed in making a quilt. I'm packing up tonight though and will post my pre- and post-WhiteBlaze suggestions clothes weight.

Thanks again.

Tell us when you are leaving for your thru-hike, because that makes a huge difference in your clothing. We left Feb 1, which is a lot different from most people. On the other end of the spectrum, leaving May 1 would also be much different.

Patrick
08-31-2005, 16:04
Tell us when you are leaving for your thru-hike, because that makes a huge difference in your clothing. We left Feb 1, which is a lot different from most people. On the other end of the spectrum, leaving May 1 would also be much different.
God knows what year I'll be able to go, but my plan has always been to start between February 15th and March 1st.

Also, this is sort of my fall/spring clothing list as I always seem to end up going then when it's halfway between seasons and can do anything.

billdnc
08-31-2005, 16:20
Sorry Billdnc, but that's an irresponsible list.
I do not know about that- it's worked for 900 miles! You all need to remember that on the AT, you do not have to have everything that you will need for the whole trip on day one. As the weather or terrain changes, you simply have warmer cloths sent and you send stuff back. It only cost $ 6.20 to mail to the post offices on the trail and only takes two days. And to quote my old climbing friend Ray Jardine, " If you need it and you don't have it, then you don't need it!" Go light!

Regards,

Patrick
08-31-2005, 16:47
I've been on several week long hikes and lots of shorter trips. I guess I don't really feel safe enough taking less for now. I'm sure more miles will teach me better.

Moxie00
08-31-2005, 17:04
you said:
"i suggest zip-off pants with a built-in liner. That way you dont have to wear underwear. And Ive never had a problem with chafing with these type of pants"


I havent seen zip offs with built in liiner? where? who makes?
i wrote Marmot several months ago asking for zip off version of their Precip pants but with a lining like in their activity shirts but never got an answer, seems like you've found something i've been looking for.Funny, about half the zip off leg pants I own have built in liners, LL Bean fishing department are a source for top of the line but I have found them in department stores for very little money. The Bean ones offer sun protection. My only question is, Why go so light? Take what you need. I made it Ga>Me with a 50 pound pack and take a heavy pack on many shorter hikes and I hike every week. I take what I need to be comfortable and well fed. There is nothing I enjoy more than after supper reaching into my pack for my anvil and my forge, I find it relaxing to knock off a few horseshoes before turning on my portable TV to watch David Letterman. When cold nights come you will appreciate that industrial karosene heater and will be able to warm the whole shelter once you start or your generator so the blower will run. The electric lanterns will be much appreciated by your fellow hikers. Carry what you need and enjoy your hike and don't ruin your experience by being obsessed with weight.

peter_pan
08-31-2005, 17:32
NewB,

learn to flint knap or at least break a rock to produce a razor like edge and you are down to just the loin cloth....nudist could skip that but others might get offended...

Pan

PS it also pays to learn how to make a fire with sticks and friction...

Alligator
08-31-2005, 18:04
I do not know about that- it's worked for 900 miles! You all need to remember that on the AT, you do not have to have everything that you will need for the whole trip on day one. As the weather or terrain changes, you simply have warmer cloths sent and you send stuff back. It only cost $ 6.20 to mail to the post offices on the trail and only takes two days. And to quote my old climbing friend Ray Jardine, " If you need it and you don't have it, then you don't need it!" Go light!

Regards,Of course, if you're 10 miles from the post office and the weather changes, that $6.20 can go to the rescue crew for hauling your hypothermic butt out! I'm sure they will appreciate it.

billdnc
08-31-2005, 19:54
Of course, if you're 10 miles from the post office and the weather changes, that $6.20 can go to the rescue crew for hauling your hypothermic butt out! I'm sure they will appreciate it.
No experienced thru hiker has been rescued during the summer months for hypothermia. I can tell that you are a newbie. To thru hike the AT is a fabulous experience. But frankly, it is a very easy back pack. You rarely have to carry more than a few days worth of food and fuel. Road and emergency care is not far away. The trail is full of people. There are shelters every few miles. Most of the hike can be done during warm weather. Most of the way you do not even need a sleeping bag but a light fleece blanket will do. Of course, if you are hiking fifty miles in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, as I did two years ago, you will be carrying 60 pounds plus and using all of it, but that is not necessary on the AT.

I recommend that you tke a course from www.boss-inc.com (http://www.boss-inc.com) where you will learn to camp comfortably - even in freezing temperatures with only a poncho and a wool blanket.

Mags
08-31-2005, 20:23
Woah..I hear much echoing. All those names being dropped. Keeps on bouncing back up. :jump

Just Jeff
08-31-2005, 22:05
And to quote my old climbing friend Ray Jardine

<snip>

as I did two years ago, you will be carrying 60 pounds plus and using all of it


Wow! You mean you're a stud AND you have big friends?!

I'm impressed that you're comfortable enough with yourself to win the "Toot Your Own Horn in 10 Posts or Less" contest AND still be able to call names while you're at it...now THAT's multi-tasking! Even if you did call someone with 938 posts a "newbie"... :p

Alligator
09-01-2005, 00:00
No experienced thru hiker has been rescued during the summer months for hypothermia. Well, there was this fellow named Harley who died a few years back, hypothermia was a complicating factor. http://www.backcountry.net/arch/at/0210/msg00299.html

Not to single anyone out, but our own Footslogger had some difficulties with hypothermia in Sept on his thruhike. I'm guessing it was still summer, but if I'm mistaken he'll correct me shortly.

Now The Old Fhart has written an article here in the articles section on WB,
http://www.whiteblaze.net/index.php?page=content&p=96956&postcount=25
where he states

Most cases of hypothermia associated with hiking occur in the summer months when the temperature is 40F-50F and you have wet, windy conditions.I most assuredly respect TOF's knowledge on the subject.


I can tell that you are a newbie.LOL, does this mean I have to stop soloing in winter? I kinda like that, fewer experienced thruhikers are out then, it's too cold.

To thru hike the AT is a fabulous experience. But frankly, it is a very easy back pack. You rarely have to carry more than a few days worth of food and fuel. Road and emergency care is not far away. The trail is full of people. There are shelters every few miles. Most of the hike can be done during warm weather. Most of the way you do not even need a sleeping bag but a light fleece blanket will do. So thruhiking is an easy backpack? Must not be much opportunity to learn then and perhaps bad habits are formed. Like not carrying a change of warm, dry clothes in case of hypothermia.

Yeah, I tried the fleece mummy bag thing. I was cold. It was July in NJ. I'm an average warmth sleeper. I know this works for some people, but now I take this advice with a grain of salt.


Of course, if you are hiking fifty miles in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, as I did two years ago, you will be carrying 60 pounds plus and using all of it, but that is not necessary on the AT.Yawn...
Oh, is this a pissing contest? Once, when I backpacked in the Grand Canyon the rangers told us to piss in the river. Once, when I hiked more than 50 miles through Glacier National Park, the deer were licking the urine up after we were done. Once, at hiking camp...

I recommend that you tke a course from www.boss-inc.com (http://www.boss-inc.com/) where you will learn to camp comfortably - even in freezing temperatures with only a poncho and a wool blanket. Other than reading TOF's article above, I recommend you shut up, you sound like a pompous ass.

Patrick
09-01-2005, 02:24
I'm going to drag this thread back on track, but first let me say that my dad could out-hike your dad and he could do it carrying only a Kleenex, a top hat, and three ounces of butter.

Now...

Got my clothes down to the following:

Regular stuff:
Two sleeveless nylon shirts
Two pairs of Lycra shorts
One pair of convertible pants
Three pairs of socks (only an ounce a pair - I splurged)

Rain:
OR Zealot jacket
Gore socks

Warm:
Polypro top
Fleece hat

Total weight in stuff sack : 3lbs 13 oz.
Weight of packed clothes while wearing normal summer stuff (socks, Lycra, shorts, t-shirt): 2lbs 6 oz.
Weight saved by WhiteBlaze.net: 2lbs 7 oz.

Heavier than some of you guys, I'm sure, but a big improvement for me, so I'm very satisfied. I thank you all again for all (most) of the comments and suggestions. My knees thank you also.

Needles
09-01-2005, 03:47
carrying only a Kleenex, a top hat, and three ounces of butter.

how did you know the contents of my pack????

The Solemates
09-01-2005, 08:39
I'm going to drag this thread back on track, but first let me say that my dad could out-hike your dad and he could do it carrying only a Kleenex, a top hat, and three ounces of butter.

Now...

Got my clothes down to the following:

Regular stuff:
Two sleeveless nylon shirts
Two pairs of Lycra shorts
One pair of convertible pants
Three pairs of socks (only an ounce a pair - I splurged)

Rain:
OR Zealot jacket
Gore socks

Warm:
Polypro top
Fleece hat

Total weight in stuff sack : 3lbs 13 oz.
Weight of packed clothes while wearing normal summer stuff (socks, Lycra, shorts, t-shirt): 2lbs 6 oz.
Weight saved by WhiteBlaze.net: 2lbs 7 oz.

Heavier than some of you guys, I'm sure, but a big improvement for me, so I'm very satisfied. I thank you all again for all (most) of the comments and suggestions. My knees thank you also.

For winter hiking, I wouldnt scrimp. You cant be overprepared.

For a Feb 15 start, Im not sure if your choices are warm enough. For our Feb 1 start, when we often found temperatures below 0F at night, so for the first month and a half (before switching to lighter stuff) I carried:

Patagonia Polypro top zip-neck
Patagonia Polypro Bottom
2 pair synthetic blend socks
1 pair heavyweight fleece socks (for wear in camp, over another pair)
Marmot Precip Rain pants
Marmot Precip Rain Jacket
Ex Oficio Amphi Convertible Pants
LL Bean lightweight (100 pile) microfleece zip-neck
TNF heavyweight (300 pile) fleece jacket
Mtn Hardwear Windpro hat
Wool heavyweight convertible hunting mittens
cotton bandana

Waldies (camp shoes)
Merrell Grand Traverse (boots)
5 degree Mtn Hardwear Tioga down bag

Sometimes I had to wear every peice of clothing, including raingear, and get in my sleeping bag to get warm. Often times the wind is your biggest enemy, not the cold. We had snow snow snow, all the way up into Northern Virginia (beginning of April) before it stopped.

My wife carried more clothes, and a warmer bag, than I did.

The Solemates
09-01-2005, 08:43
Well, there was this fellow named Harley who died a few years back, hypothermia was a complicating factor. http://www.backcountry.net/arch/at/0210/msg00299.html

Not to single anyone out, but our own Footslogger had some difficulties with hypothermia in Sept on his thruhike. I'm guessing it was still summer, but if I'm mistaken he'll correct me shortly.

Now The Old Fhart has written an article here in the articles section on WB,
http://www.whiteblaze.net/index.php?page=content&p=96956&postcount=25
where he states
I most assuredly respect TOF's knowledge on the subject.

LOL, does this mean I have to stop soloing in winter? I kinda like that, fewer experienced thruhikers are out then, it's too cold.
So thruhiking is an easy backpack? Must not be much opportunity to learn then and perhaps bad habits are formed. Like not carrying a change of warm, dry clothes in case of hypothermia.

Yeah, I tried the fleece mummy bag thing. I was cold. It was July in NJ. I'm an average warmth sleeper. I know this works for some people, but now I take this advice with a grain of salt.

Yawn...
Oh, is this a pissing contest? Once, when I backpacked in the Grand Canyon the rangers told us to piss in the river. Once, when I hiked more than 50 miles through Glacier National Park, the deer were licking the urine up after we were done. Once, at hiking camp...
Other than reading TOF's article above, I recommend you shut up, you sound like a pompous ass.

what a jackal. just ignore em, gator.

Alligator
09-01-2005, 09:15
what a jackal. just ignore em, gator.Why thank you Solemates. Sorry to hijack your thread Patrick.

Patrick
09-01-2005, 10:01
Why thank you Solemates. Sorry to hijack your thread Patrick.Hijack away. Anything beats doing actual work at the office.

For the beginning of a thru-hike, I'd have a good fleece top. I might have put that in my original post. I actually have more experience camping when it's cold out than I do in the summer, which is maybe why I'm reluctant to take a light load of clothes now.

I'd also take an extra underquilt and overquilt for my hammock and probably a CCF pad so I could head for the ground if needed. I'd send all that stuff back once the temperature returned to semi-normal, though.

Anyway, I leave tomorrow. Thanks again everyone for all the tips and advice. I'm very happy with my current wardrobe. I'll give a trip report when I get back and let you all know how it worked out.

Good luck with the yelling and name calling.

The Solemates
09-01-2005, 13:48
Good luck with the yelling and name calling.

sometimes i begin to think thats all this site is about, and the AT is just an excuse to do so.