View Full Version : November in Vermont - What are you wearing?

06-01-2014, 15:16
I'm going to a conservation corps in Vermont this season, and will be there until late November. It's obvious that there are a lot of very experienced hikers and backpackers here, which is why I have faith in asking a non-AT question. I will be base-camping, so I'm not too concerned about weight, though I am still paying attention to it.

So, it's November in Vermont, what are you wearing while hiking/working and what are you wearing at camp/resting? I'm 5'7" and 120-130 lbs, so I don't have much insulation of my own.

I don't know the average temperatures during November in Vermont, since I've lived my whole life in South Carolina, so this is mostly directed at anyone (which, for all I know may be a lot of people here) who has a good feel of winter weather in the northeast.

Thanks all. I'm very new to all the outdoor adventures, and very eager.

06-01-2014, 17:25
Your gear will both have to stand up to physical work and keep you warm and dry, so some of the very lightweight nylon pants, jackets, and such worn by regular hikers aren't going to hold up well. If you're buying gear, go with somewhat heavier fabrics and boots than you might for just hiking. I've always been very hard on boots when doing trail work.

Fleece jackets do stand up well to abuse. I have a couple of other ideas, but will wait for others to fill in.

06-01-2014, 17:30
Check out Labonvilles on the web. Their insulated cordura plants are a favorite of loggers. The big thing to plan for is layers. When standing around and in the evening it can be real cold but once you get working, you need to be able to get rid of layers. Carhart gear is very durable.

06-01-2014, 18:15
As of right now, my wardrobe is this (also, the position begins in two weeks, so I'm preparing for warm weather as well) :

Capilene 2, bottoms and crew
I've got 3 pairs of smartwool socks for working in
Lowa Renegades (and I'll have some shoes for around camp)
1x Carhartt double-fronts
2x polyester champion t-shirts
Nylon/lycra undies
marmot precip jacket

So, I'm all set for the warm weather. What I'm thinking for the colder months is to wear heavier baselayers under a t-shirt and working pants, thicker socks (still merino wool though), and a fleece to start/end the day with. I don't know what weight fleece I might need (I've heard 100w is next to useless) to actually be warm during down-time, whether at lunch or after-dark evening time. I also am not sure if just a heavy baselayer and pants would keep me warm in the morning or at night.

06-01-2014, 19:12
Being old school in most things, I like wool in damp cold. You might go to a secondhand (or army surplus) store and pick up a wool shirt and/or a military surplus sweater. No need to pay a lot.

Might be better done on a day off as fall approaches in Vermont, though.

06-01-2014, 19:22
Being old school in most things, I like wool in damp cold. You might go to a secondhand (or army surplus) store and pick up a wool shirt and/or a military surplus sweater. No need to pay a lot.

Might be better done on a day off as fall approaches in Vermont, though.

Would that be an addition or an alternative to fleece?

06-01-2014, 20:38
Would that be an addition or an alternative to fleece?

It would be an addition. You probably will need an extra piece or two of warm clothing.

06-02-2014, 07:10
Will you be able to get to a store or order things online? My bet is that the locals in Vermont know what to wear, and you're better off finding out when you get to that point and buying the same thing. This is what we did when we sent our daughter to Ukraine, btw.

You're going to need synthetic clothing so it can dry quickly. It will need to be tough and well made. Arborwear is good, as is Alaska Hardgear (just bought out by Duluth Trading -- now there is a catalog you need (http://women.duluthtrading.com/).) You'll most likely want some good pack boots, like Sorels, once you get into early winter. Gloves that have a heavy duty outer layer and a warm fleece inner layer that can be removed to dry overnight. Fleece to work in, maybe with a shell, and a big puffy down jacket for camp. Not some 12 ounce ultralight backpacking model, though -- something that will keep you really warm.

If it were me, though, I'd wait on buying all this stuff until you need it.

06-02-2014, 10:06
I will be able to get to a store, but not be able to order online. As for the shell, the marmot precip could be used as a shell, right? Or do I need to buy something different? I'll definitely wait until it gets colder to buy these things, unless I happen to find a fleece or down jacket on clearance from last year. I just want to try to get a good grasp on what I might need. Then again, the best way to learn about this is to simply ask the other corps members once I get there.

But one more question: what pants would be good to change into around camp in the evenings?

Thanks to both of you for the good advice

06-02-2014, 10:39
Is camp indoors? A pair of comfortable jeans would be fine. If you are living outdoors, and it's particularly cold, then some sort of insulated pants would be needed. Something like a pair of ski bibs might work (and can be found fairly cheap), or a pair of midweight fleece pants under a shell layer (like Precip pants.)

The precip jacket is probably fine for the work you will be doing. Make sure it fits over a medium or heavy fleece jacket.

Farr Away
06-11-2014, 12:45
I grew up in upstate NY (very upstate - think Canada) - not all that far from Vermont. From experience, November can be extremely cold and also snowy.

To give you an idea - Halloween costumes were often planned to go over a snowsuit. It didn't happen every year, but it wasn't especially rare either.


Another Kevin
06-11-2014, 14:04
Farr Away is right. My basic kit for hiking in November would be:

Wicking T-shirt and briefs. Because sometimes Indian summer rolls in.
Long-sleeve polypro T-shirt and tights. Because sometimes Indian summer fails to put in an appearance. If the forecast weather looks as if I'll be hiking in these, then another dry set to sleep in.
Midweight fleece, top and bottom.
Nylon convertible pants.
Lightweight 800-fill down puffy if I'm going to be sitting around outside in the evenings.
Wool socks and polypro sock liners.
Big clunky leather boots and gaiters. November is muddy. Not as muddy as May, but muddy nevertheless.
Glove liners and maybe mittens

If the trip runs into deer season, the orange vest, tuque and pack cover. Or at least a lot of orange duct tape on the pack.

Since I'm a cheap-***, the underthings are from Target and the fleeces are from Salvation Army. The wool socks are Darn Tough or Wigwam. Don't scrimp on socks.

Think in terms of, "if you get six inches of snow or a half inch of freezing rain, and it's blowing a gale, will you still be comfortable if you put on every stitch you've brought?" and then "can you layer down from there for anything up to 80 degrees and sunny, because everything can happen in November?"

For trail work or bushwhacking, I'd probably replace the rain suit with Carhartt chaps and a hardshell jacket, and bring heavier work pants and shorts rather than the nylon convertibles. Particularly if I'm base camping and not hauling everything on my back.

I might pack my microspikes but expect that they'll just stay in camp. And it's really unusual to need snowshoes or crampons that early. I don't usually need to break out the traction gear until late December.

For sleeping out, I'd bring the 20 degree bag and a full-length sleeping pad. No need for the 0 degree (much less the -20) or doubling up on the pad until the real winter sets in. I use a tent, so I can't advise the hammockers or people who sleep under tarps.

lemon b
06-11-2014, 17:26
poly base, smartwool longsleeve, goretex shell, for pants depends, watershorts or lightweight workout pants, wool socks, and whatever boot I'm using merrels currently. In the pack I keep a down jacket. When hiking the shell is usually in the pack also.

06-11-2014, 20:03
Your gonna want some warm clothes. While working outdoors, you don't need much to stay warm but you need a warm jacket when resting. Don't forget a warm hat and gloves.

Day time highs will be 40 to 50 with maybe an occasional 60, night time lows 20 to 30. It usually starts to snow mid to late October with consistent snow on the ground by Thanksgiving. Worst are the rain, changing to sleet or wet snow storms which often occur that time of year. Or rain followed by a cold front which freezes everything up overnight. November is a rough time of year in northern New England.

A lot of it depends on exactly where you are. Northern or southern, high elevation or low elevation.