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soumodeler
08-01-2014, 16:07
Working on my clothing for an early April start. I get very cold, so I am probably taking too much, but worth it for me to be warm.

* Indicates items I still need to acquire.

Worn:

Hiking Shirt - Icebreaker 150wt Merino
*Hiking shorts - TBD - zipoffs most likely
*Underwear - Poly compression shorts
Socks - Darn Tough or Wigwam wool
Trail Runners - La Sportiva Ultra Raptors
Ball Cap

Carried:

* Rain Jacket - ZPacks Challenger Rain Jacket
*Down Parka - Montbell UL Down Parka - 10-11oz?
*Long Sleeve Shirt - TBD - wool or poly?
*Thermals - TBD - what weight? midweight?
*Gloves - Fleece?
Hat or balaclava - Fleece, own both; which one to take? Leaning towards balaclava
?*Rain mitts - necessary? Only 1oz?


What are your thoughts? Any recommendations?

HooKooDooKu
08-01-2014, 17:23
Well, I just posted that weather can be as cold at 15 or as high as 60 the 1st of April at the highest points thru GSMNP over in the tread about 'Best date to start? (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?105492-Best-date-to-start&p=1897917&viewfull=1#post1897917).
If it takes you a month to get to GSMNP, add about 10 to those numbers.

RockDoc
08-01-2014, 17:43
I think you are on the right track. Think layering. Get an outer rain jacket that's big enough to go over your down parka, for a worst-case scenerio. Add midweight thermals like icebreaker, perhaps mainly for sleeping but also for an emergency cold option. The idea is to be toasty warm is you put on everything you have one over the other. This won't happen very often, but I've had to do it many times. Any more than that is overkill. Yes, balaclava--icebreaker merino (having a head to toe icebreaker merino layer is a good idea).

When we did Springer-Hot springs in 21 days, starting April 4, we had two days in the 80's (the first and last day), two days of cold snow, several days of pouring rain going over the Smokies, and the rest was pretty dry but rather cold.

Dogwood
08-02-2014, 01:25
Here you go.
Well, I just posted that weather can be as cold at 15 or as high as 60 the 1st of April at the highest points thru GSMNP over in the tread about 'Best date to start? (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?105492-Best-date-to-start&p=1897917&viewfull=1#post1897917). If it takes you a month to get to GSMNP, add about 10 to those numbers.

These are your weather guidelines. Now add in the fickle mixed weather of April on the AT hiking NOBO: some cold wet weather, cold dry weather milder wet temps, some warm sunny(even hot) days.

What are you hiking in over the course of each of those varying weather conditions? What is your $$$$ situation? You seem like you're in the beginning stages of apparel selections. Does that carry over into other BIG ticket Big 4 pieces in your kit? For example, do you have other big ticket items that still need purchasing like shelter, sleep system, backpack, additional trail runners, etc. I'm going to take a stab at assuming some things so excuse me if I step on your toes. At this stage in your hiking and planning, and based on what little you offered, are you absolutely BEST served dropping $325 on a really UL rain jacket and rain mitts?

soumodeler
08-02-2014, 10:42
Not really concerned with cost so much as the advantages that each piece gives me (weight, warmth, etc). I agree that dropping $325 on two pieces of gear may not be the best choice for a lot of people.

My main concern is what clothing is recommended/necessary for early April. I am confident down to 40*, but below that have little experience, especially for cold and wet conditions.

soumodeler
08-02-2014, 10:44
Add midweight thermals like icebreaker, perhaps mainly for sleeping but also for an emergency cold option. The idea is to be toasty warm is you put on everything you have one over the other. This won't happen very often, but I've had to do it many times. Any more than that is overkill. Yes, balaclava--icebreaker merino (having a head to toe icebreaker merino layer is a good idea).

What weight merino is recommended? 200? 260? higher?

bigcranky
08-02-2014, 11:00
Working on my clothing for an early April start. I get very cold, so I am probably taking too much, but worth it for me to be warm.


What are your thoughts? Any recommendations?


Do you really need the compression shorts? A pair of merino wool 150 wt boxer briefs will be comfortable and won't stink. We'll be able to smell your poly compression shorts from here :)

I like merino wool layers for camp, too -- 150 wt wool long sleeve top and long john bottoms. They are great for sleeping and around camp in chilly weather.

I would bring a light fleece top layer, something like a Patagonia Cap 4 pullover or a microfleece (Polartec 100) zip neck top. Very useful in all sorts of situations.

If you get cold easily, bring the Montbell Alpine Light parka with a hood. It's only a little heavier than the UL Down Inner but has a lot more down and loft (and thus warmth.)

Rain Mitts -- best 1 ounce I carry. Fleece gloves are good, but I prefer windstopper fleece gloves, or wear the rain mitts over light fleece gloves or mitts.

Consider rain pants, too. Sure, most hikers will tell you to just get wet, but that can be cold and miserable on a 30-F rainy day. Or even a 50-F rainy day if the wind is up. If you hike in shorts, like me, then a silnylon rain kilt can be even better -- I love mine. It keeps my shorts mostly dry but ventilates well (thus following Fletcher's Second Law of Hiking Thermodynamics.) Rain pants could be the only pair of pants you carry if you hike in shorts - they are warm over long john bottoms on a cold night in camp, and can be worn to do laundry in town. You'll likely send them home with your other winter gear in Pearisburg.

Balaclava, no question. It rolls up to make a nice beanie but covers your neck when needed. I actually wished for mine on our LT hike this month, when all I had was a thin fleece beanie.