View Full Version : Hiker Clothes

Stan Johnson
09-07-2004, 17:48
I have found tents I like, sleeping bags I like, and stoves I like, but I am having a terrible time choosing what I want to take for clothes. How about some feed back on what clothing brands people are taking and why.

Magic City
09-08-2004, 12:15
I'm still working on that one, Stan. I'm planning on a late February, early March start, so I'd like to avoid freezing to death, if possible; yet I don't want to lug any more than necessary. I think the right idea is layering, as it lets me take things off and put them on as required, or even to shed things as they no longer seem practical.

09-09-2004, 13:40
Howdy All,

I have been making most of my own clothing for my long assed walk next year. The two things I have learned that are most criticial in outdoor clothing are; 1. NEVER use natural fibers. (i.e cotton, or wool.) 2. Layering is the key to comfort.

09-19-2004, 11:19
once the weather gets nice about the only thing you'll wear are shorts and t-shirts. . at both ends i've got a zipper fleece, flannel shirt, rain jacket and a pair of long underwear (about 4 oz. ) once i get to damascus i'll send the fleece and long johns home and get them again in vermont. i'm also carrying an extra pair of nylon shorts they fold up inside the back pocket for a couple oz, i can have something to put on while i wash the other ones, i owe that much to the rest of you//// robo///

09-29-2004, 20:19
Everyone requires different stuff to be comfortable. Here is what I am going with for an April 1 start.

Silkweight longsleeve baselayer
Duofold shorts w/ liner
Montane windshirt
Lightweight merino socks
Knee High Gaiters
Trail runners w/ goretex for as long as they last then will go with a mesh trail runner. By then most chance of snow will be all but gone.

This takes me down to around thirty degrees if it is not raining/snowing as long as I am hiking.

2 pairs extra socks
Waldies camp shoes
Midweight Capilene tops and bottoms for camp and sleeping
An extra pair of those duofold shorts with the liner cut out
Marmot precip anorak and pants
Windstopper Fleece hat
Smartwool Glittens

still wrestling with what to bring as an insulating layer. I have a FF 11 oz epic down jacket or a MH windstopper 200 [email protected] 19 oz. My brain tells me the down jacket for the weightsavings and thermal value but it may be overkill for April 1. What say you?

09-29-2004, 20:22
Fleece ,,,easier to take care of.

09-29-2004, 23:09
... 1. NEVER use natural fibers. (i.e cotton, or wool.) ...
Okay, I think we all know why not to use cotton, but I'm curious about your reasons to avoid wool. More fire resistance. Handles water at least as well as fleece. Stays warm. Prices are pretty close to fleece.

Consider some of the long underwear, socks and gloves by Smartwool. I like a wool hat a friend got me from the Andes - keeps every thing, including ears - warm.


09-30-2004, 10:34
Everything I have read says that wool is good, but not as good as fleece. Wool takes longer to dry out than fleece does for one. Fleece also tends to give better insulation for the weight, and is cheaper than wool. Again this is only from the reading I have done. I am sure for every book I have read that recommends against wool there is one that says the contrary. It really all boils down to personal preference.

09-30-2004, 10:59
I know not everybody is the same!but the last4yrs or so I have always brought a wool sweater and socks wool hat!I tried all the fancy stuff and must admit the old timers had something going!of course Im talking cool weather,although I enjoy having almost everything in my pack anymore compared to when I started hiking the AT its really an ever learning job,but I vote for wool and you can find it cheap at second hand stores:banana kentucky!

09-30-2004, 11:06
I know that every body is differnt! but I like to wear wool in cooler weather!its warm and dries pretty fast.Can find it at alot of second hand stores fairly cheap.kentucky!

09-30-2004, 11:21
For a base layers, I'll never wear synthetic again. Wool is the only way to go for me. Dries quickly (not that anything ever dries on the AT), but more importantly I don't get that synthetic stink that make you gag an hour after you put it on.

I would never leave home without a windshirt. Unless I know the temps won't drop below 80F. At 3oz, they are perfect for keeping you warm while you are producing excess heat (IOW, while you are hiking or during short stops). And, of course, they cut wind heat loss (aka convectional heat loss).

A thin beanie hat. I own a thin polartec hat from Manzella, which I love. Combined with a fleece balacava and you're set for all but the coldest weather.

I own a down jacket as well (9oz, size XL) from Montbell. But there are several lightweight sythetic pullovers on the market that come in under 12oz that are worth a look (MEC pullover, Montbell's sythetic version, etc.).

For my legs, I own a pair of UL "man tights" that weigh 1.4oz. They are perfect for breaks and in camp. You can't wear them on the trail as outerware as they are a bit too thin.

Thin fleece gloves with a pair of thin waterproof mitten shells to round things out.

09-30-2004, 11:44
I generally use wool on all my hikes in cooler weather its not hard to find at second hand stores,its warm dries farely quik.Its a personal choice of course!and i choose wool!kentucky:banana

Totally Different Subject
11-16-2004, 23:31
Very important discussions friends.

Everyone is different and will develop a system that works for them.

Some folks love wool and others don't. If you want to compromise, Cabelo's makes some silk80%/ 20% blend base layers. One of the things I like about silk is that you can wear it longer than Capilene or Polypro without smelling green.

The following breakdown is based on what other thru-hikers have suggested I take. Incidentally, the system has worked for me and is how I plan to proceed:

LW & MW Capilene, Polypro or Silk long underwear
LW & MW Capilene, Polypro or Silk upper base layers
Nylon convertible pants (like Northface or REI)
2-4 pairs socks (I REALLY like Patagonia MW Capilene- they last forever)
MW to HW Fleece jacket
Down Vest
Rain Jacket (LW, like Precip Marmot)
Rain pants (more to change into while doing laundry or at camp)
Stocking Hat

Again, this suggestion is just that. Every thru-hiker has his/ her own creature comforts.

Totally Different Subject.

Capt Chaos
12-23-2004, 20:36
Hey tlbj6142, do you like your Montbell Down Jacket? I have the synthetic version. I am still trying to figure out if that will suffice for a March 17th start. I also have midweight long underwear tops and bottoms. I hike in a duofold longsleeve shirt and convertible pants. I am really worried about staying warm.