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ccartertn
01-03-2015, 23:29
New hiker / camper here with an endurance running background (marathons, triathlons, etc).
I have acquired the proper camping specific gear but I am hoping that some of my running clothing will transition to hiking.
Today I was shopping and was looking at thermal underwear / base layers and realized that I have some running tights that would probably work. I was thinking dri-fit running shirts would work too. Obviously, I'm most concerned about cold weather hiking.
Not sure what to use for hiking pants though - Do I have to look like a hiker?
What are other running clothes that can make the transition to hiking?

CC

MuddyWaters
01-03-2015, 23:36
Want to look like a hiker? wear running shorts and trail running shoes.
When its cold, put the shorts over your long underwear
presto
much of what you have will work fine Id bet

cold weather , hiking in the mountains you work up a sweat so you dont need much insulation. You need thin layers.
Some are OK with just baselayer and rainjacket into the 20s, some might add a thin fleece under that. Thats about it.
Real insulation (puffy) is for camp and when you are not moving and generating heat.
The temp has to be under 30 before you even start worrying about more lower body insul for camp than tights/long underwear. then you use a down or syn insulated pant for camp comfort.
when you need long pants for wind, you wear rainpants.

Only need long hiking pants for sun, or for bugs in warm weather where rain pants are too hot..

ccartertn
01-04-2015, 03:14
Want to look like a hiker? wear running shorts and trail running shoes.
When its cold, put the shorts over your long underwear
presto
much of what you have will work fine Id bet

cold weather , hiking in the mountains you work up a sweat so you dont need much insulation. You need thin layers.
Some are OK with just baselayer and rainjacket into the 20s, some might add a thin fleece under that. Thats about it.
Real insulation (puffy) is for camp and when you are not moving and generating heat.
The temp has to be under 30 before you even start worrying about more lower body insul for camp than tights/long underwear. then you use a down or syn insulated pant for camp comfort.
when you need long pants for wind, you wear rainpants.

Only need long hiking pants for sun, or for bugs in warm weather where rain pants are too hot..

Thanks. You reminded me of a rule I've always used while running - dress like it's 20 warmer than it is.
Thanks again for the advice.

fiddlehead
01-04-2015, 05:03
Running clothes are almost perfect.
I saw almost because: you might want some pockets, and a bit longer shorts as you may be sitting around a lot.
You will be in these clothes 99% of your waking hours.
When it's quite cold, you may want to start the day with long johns.
Wicking ones are key.

Another choice is to get a set of Frogg Toggs or similar and put the bottoms (Pants) on for starting out in the morning when it's cold.

Have a vest, fleece top, or similar handy when you stop to put on so you don't get too cold while resting. (and once you hit camp)
Cook and eat in those extra clothes, then change into something dry and comfortable for sleeping.
Putting those wet, running (hiking) shorts and top underneath your mattress pad will make them ready for the morning.
Always keep at least a pair of dry socks for sleeping.
Your sleeping bag can save your life. (keep it dry at all costs)

Have fun.

Malto
01-04-2015, 08:36
Actually wearing shorts over running tights will make you look like a very experienced long distance hiker. You will find that is a very common.

evyck da fleet
01-04-2015, 12:53
I used my running shorts, tights and synthetics t-shirts for my thru. I didn't carry hiking pants unless you count rain pants. They did the job fine.

Since then I've swapped out most of the synthetics for SmartWool and my puff jacket for a fleece because I've been doing more mountain hiking and occasionally get caught in a cold rain. The new materials dry and keep me better insulated.

I still use my running gear for training hikes in GA. I never got cold on the AT in my synthetics even in the Whites. Well unless I hiked all day in the rain. But my thru was between April to August so I didn't have the worst weather. The only place I might have liked to have a fleece instead of a puff jacket was on the ranges of the Whites if it had rained since I couldn't really hike in my puff jacket. I found that out on a similar hike last year in Europe.

Frye
01-04-2015, 13:13
Tights all the way. If you're like me, you're used to wearing them. I don't do the shorts over top or any of that nonsense. I don't do it prancing down the road, why am I going to do it on the trail? Hiking pants are overrated, I carry a pair, but hardly wear them. When the weather warms up I just switch my winter tights out for some 3/4's, but mostly just wear some slightly longer track shorts by that point. Only time I find myself really wearing the pants is in town or around camp on mild nights.

ccartertn
01-05-2015, 07:40
Tights all the way. If you're like me, you're used to wearing them. I don't do the shorts over top or any of that nonsense. I don't do it prancing down the road, why am I going to do it on the trail?

Haha. I remember wearing the shorts over tights the first time I had to use them! Eventually, just went full Robin Hood! Stupid me did the same thing again when I started cycling and the bike shorts. Eventually, modesty loses out to functionality.

Thanks everyone for the replies.
CC

Old_Man
01-05-2015, 09:37
I run and hike quite frequently. The clothes I wear are interchangeable. Whatever is comfortable and practical for exercise.

Coffee
01-05-2015, 10:14
I run marathons and aspire to run ultras in the future. I have used running clothes on day hikes but not for backpacking. I use pretty cheap synthetic clothing for both warm and cold weather running. It gets funky pretty fast if not washed after use. I don't like dealing with that on backpacking trips. So I have expensive wool clothing for backpacking and cheap synthetics for running.

colorado_rob
01-05-2015, 10:42
I run marathons and aspire to run ultras in the future. I have used running clothes on day hikes but not for backpacking. I use pretty cheap synthetic clothing for both warm and cold weather running. It gets funky pretty fast if not washed after use. I don't like dealing with that on backpacking trips. So I have expensive wool clothing for backpacking and cheap synthetics for running.Yeah, good points. I've been both an avid runner and backpacker/hiker for about 45 years, having started both in my early teens. Running clothes do work for backpacking, but are just not the best choice. If you simply don't have the means to buy some decent hiking clothing, no sweat, but again, hiking-specific gear would be better.

One thing to consider is that hiking is so very much more "gentle" on your system than running, meaning that highly fit folks like yourself will run "cool" hiking because the effort of hiking is so much less, vs for folks that lead an otherwise sedentary lifestyle and hiking for them is much more of a cardio stress. If you see someone sweating up a storm on the trail when just hiking (even with a big backpack), pretty likely he/she is not a long distance runner.

One key for me while hiking is the ability to adjust warmth easily on the trail. Zip off pants afford this nicely, and are very lightweight as well. Running tights will work, but harder to adjust warmth, and my running tights are actually much heavier than my zip-off hiking pants. I also like zip-neck tops, again, very easy to adjust warmth. As Coffee says, synthetics tend to get very stinky quicker than a light wool like merino wool.

Lastly, I always run (actually "ran" as I finally had to give it up) in cotton socks, decidedly a wrong choice for hiking because of it's long drying time vs. wool/synthetics.

Donde
01-05-2015, 11:28
In decent weather I hike in finisher's tech shirts and (soffe) ranger panties. Same stuff I ultra in, works like a charm.

Blissful
01-05-2015, 16:11
I tried my tights on my first thru and it was not comfortable at all. Could not breathe etc and got chafed. So not everything will transistion, imo

Frye
01-05-2015, 17:48
I will admit, I only actually wear tights in sub-45 weather. Other then that I do shorts. I will hold onto them until the nights warm up a bit as I also use them for camp clothing. When I go 3/4 it is purely for evening and morning around camp warmth.

Tights should also dry quicker then regular hiking pants when you stop moving. Big bonus imo.

@Rob, I wouldn't say it's more gentle. It's different, but how 'gentle' it is depends a lot on how you hike. I think a lot of runners will tend to want to move at a faster clip then your average hiker.

@Bliss. A good pair of tights should be highly breathable and less prone to chaf then regular pants. It's not always easy to find the right pair though, a lot of marketing hype.

Coffee
01-05-2015, 17:55
I am currently using REI Powerflyte running tights that I've had for over two years and, when coupled with Ex Officio underwear, there has been no chafing even on 20+ mile runs. In contrast, most of my winter running tops cause bad chafing at times and I use some anti chafing cream to counter that. I once used a smartwool top that I have for hiking on a long run. It was a zipneck top, however, and that caused some chafing. Probably a smartwool without a zipper would be ideal but I'm too cheap to use smart wool for running as I'd have to replace the layers too often I think...

Frye
01-05-2015, 19:34
I've had the same problem with tops, the best I've found for running is certain UA designs. When backpacking I pretty much stick to traditional backpacking tops like Patagonia.

As for wool, I'm not a fan of smartwool. Their socks don't even seem as good as they used to be. I pretty much stick to icebreaker. They've always lasted me longer and I prefer the fit.

I'm considering trying the Patagonia tights next, but having a hard time justifying the purchase. Wish we could still get the Golite tights, I missed out on them, but heard they rocked.