View Full Version : Clothing List Critique Please...

02-13-2011, 21:41
This is my clothing list for a NOBO hike of the AT starting at Harpers Ferry 4-15 to Maine, with a very likely ensuing trip of the IAT (this will depend on arrival date at Katahdin, and funds left from the AT portion of the trip). If we don't continue North to Newfoundland, finishing in late October, we will head back to Harpers to finish Southbound, again in October.

Please tell me if you think it will be adequate or if something may be missing... currently i'm debating on the two pairs of long underwear and the patagonia cap. 3 fleece:

on person:
ball cap
merino wool microweight t-shirt
hiking/ running shorts
ex officio briefs
wool socks

layers when needed:
Patagonia Cap. 3 zip neck fleece
Patagonia Rain/wind proof jacket
Gloves, possum down
lightweight long underwear - merino
Montbell rain pants
1 pair wool socks

camp/ dry layers:
montbell down jacket
heavyweight long underwear polyester
ex officio boxers
30 degree montbell sleeping bag
thermolite extreme bag liner (10-15 degrees, hopefully)
1 pair heavy wool socks

Papa D
02-13-2011, 22:18
pretty good - I'm not sure you need the Backlava as long as you have a warm stocking cap - Patagonia one, right? - I'd add a spare silky t-shirt, but I hike pretty hot so I wear a hiking t-shirt when it's 50 deg. - feels pretty warm. It's also nice to have a clean - t-shirt for town or whatever - I have a few - my favorite is an arcteryx one - patagonia makes 'em too - any running shirt will do though.

02-13-2011, 23:28
You definately need at least two tops, which can be T-shirt types, one of which should be mid wieght, but you should also have a long sleeve shirt and long pants. One pair of long underwear along with the pants will be sufficent.

The fleece cap and gloves I would keep, even in mid summer. It can be pretty nippy early in the morning before you get going. The down jacket will be over kill until you get into NH and Maine, but you do need a warm layer, like a wool shirt, sweater or light fleece jacket. Again, it can be chilly in the evening or early morning.

02-14-2011, 01:58
I like to carry extra socks. Really suck putting on wet socks in the morning really suck. Same for underwear. No matter what you do you are going to get wet from head to toe when hiking in the rain. Plan on it.

I've carried rain pants on my 3 section hike (in June) and have found them to generally be useless. When I sweat, I just get wet on the inside. I have always carried them as I thought they would be a good wind breaker if needed. I have not had to hike in the snow and I could see them handy then.

02-14-2011, 13:36
Light wool t-shirt: I like using one of those for my "town" shirt, and just generally a backup t-shirt, but for actual walking, I prefer capilene 1. It dries faster, whereas the smartwool smells nicer (after use ...). What I use more often than that, however, is a sort of standard all-synthetic long sleeved button up hiking shirt, one of the more lightweight versions. Nice to have pockets, easier to keep the sleeves rolled up, and not being tight against my skin this sort of shirt does better for me against bugs.

You don't mention your footwear, but regardless you might consider liner socks to reduce the odds of blisters.

I doubt you'll want to wear a balaclava (the baklava might be nice for desert, however :-)) while walking. Maybe when it's really windy, but you're starting in April. What I personally like to carry is a set of earbags (http://www.earbags.com/). For when it's windy/cold. Then some sort of standard warm hat that I can put over the top of ball cap & earbags, pull off and stuff in a pocket as I walk when I warm up.

Possum down gloves: no experience, but I understand those can wear out relatively quickly if you use your hands much with them on --- for example with trekking poles. You could consider a light shell (I like eVent rain mitts).

I can't really relate to your long underwear issue, as I always wear long pants. For me, a single very light long underwear layer is good in colder weather and not needed otherwise.

Ditto rain pants, hard for me to calibrate for someone that doesn't wear, well, pants (!). For me, something like a rain skirt is a better option, or just a long rain jacket (or poncho).

I doubt that in April you'll need three pairs of wool socks, or perhaps one could be a somewhat lighter weight set anyway. With a 30F rated bag, however, you will want some decent dry wool socks to sleep in, when possible. On that note, I have no experience but I'm highly, highly doubtful that your bag liner will add 10 - 15 degrees. Think perhaps 5, as my guess anyway (and of course hard to measure objectively).

I don't see gaiters on your list, which of course is fine if you're happy that way; again, depends somewhat on footwear.

IAT: you might have a look at Lil' Budda's trail journal (on trailjournals.com); he went from the southern tip of Florida all the way up to finish the IAT last year. Not many folks do the IAT (!), so you might contact him for some thoughts if you're really serious about this.

02-14-2011, 21:12
interesting and helpful responses... to those who have said 1 pair of long underwear are sufficient.... what do i do on a rain day when my 1 pair are soaked? I would think i need the second pair for camp to put on as a dry layer...?

02-14-2011, 21:17
so far i'm taking from this to add a second short sleeve top... what about the fleece? needed?

02-14-2011, 21:34
I still think you'll need an insulated jacket. I like my Montbell synthetic thermawrap one

You're gonna need some long undies to hike in for the beginning, imo. Esp in a northern start in April like that (It cans still snow in April BTW). I'd stay with 2 for now; you can always mail one home later.

I would always take three pairs of socks esp on a start until your feet toughen up. Blisters can stop you dead sometimes. And wet socks are killers

30 degree bag is cutting it close that early in the season, imo. Makes the layers even more important.

02-14-2011, 21:36
... what about the fleece? needed?

I sure would. But that's me. :)

02-14-2011, 22:00
thanks blissful. i think i'll stick with what i've got based on what i'm hearing here, and add a patagonia 1 as my second baselayer tshirt... technically not a t shirt but i can push the sleeves up easy enough and i've already got it so its an added bonus of not having to buy one.

and to all, yes i have 3 pairs of socks on there, two for switching out throughout the day if needed, and the 3rd for camp sleeping emergency only.

02-14-2011, 22:00
30 degree bag is cutting it close that early in the season, imo. Makes the layers even more important.

This is relevant to my plans, but not worthy of its own thread. I'll be starting ~mid April too, and my bag is a 30*. My plan is to deal with cold nights early on with clothing. Underneath I'll have a full Prolite 3. For clothing, I'll have some light- or mid-weight long underwear. In addition, I have light down jacket. finally, I have a silk liner for it that i may or may not take.

I haven't tested the bag below 30 yet, but I did get sweaty and had to zip out in the mid 40's. I'm a pretty hot sleeper, but it seems like my legs could get cold on a bad night. I may not get a chance to test all the gear at a relevant temp, thanks to the awesome winter New England is having and the deep snowpack.

Should I add some fleece pants to the early-stage gear, or will keeping my midsection warm be enough?

02-14-2011, 22:06
hey nixon, just to jump in here it may be of some help... i am a hot sleeper as well, and i have slept in just my boxers at 20 degrees.... in my 30 bag, and i was fine. BUT, i didn't hike cold all day, get to camp cold, maybe even damp, and there was no wind chill... those factors could certainly change the whole picture. And i feel thats where the dry layers coupled with the bag will come in to help.
A roaring fire before bed would be pretty sweet too.

I am so pumped i sleep about 5-6 hours a night anymore if i'm lucky and i'm still 7 weeks away... i'll be the one on the trail with bags under my eyes.

02-14-2011, 23:01
.... what do i do on a rain day when my 1 pair are soaked? I would think i need the second pair for camp to put on as a dry layer...?

Thats why you have long pants, so you don't need to wear the long johns hiking. The nylon convertable pants with the zip off legs to convert to shorts are relatively water proof when new and dry quickly with body heat when they do get wet. Until the spring rains start to tapper off, I use knee high gaters to keep the lower pant legs dry and free of mud.

It's got to be pretty cold out for me to put on the long johns, but then, I live in NH and used to cool temps.

I don't do rain pants, as I'm too cheap to buy a good pair which might actually work. I've used a sil-nylon rain skirt, which is good in concept but tends to bleed through in a prolonged light rain. So, this year I'm going to try making a rain skirt out of Tyevk.

02-14-2011, 23:53
BUT, i didn't hike cold all day, get to camp cold, maybe even damp, and there was no wind chill... those factors could certainly change the whole picture. And i feel thats where the dry layers coupled with the bag will come in to help.

You dared to jump in on your own thread!?

I don't anticipate being cold while moving because I sweat like a beast even in subzero temps, but after stopping I think a dry reserve layer makes a lot of sense for the beginning and end of the NOBO journey.

In hopes of helping, I just have a silk liner for my bag, and at the ~40 temps it meant the difference between waking up a bit sweaty in the morning, and not being able to fall asleep at all. If that little thing can overheat me, your liner will do its thing I think.

02-15-2011, 21:31
As a vetern thru-hiker of 2010 I can assure you that the thermolite bag liners do indeed make a big difference. I would strongly recommend that you take at least two pair of wool socks and two pair of liner socks. Also, no matter how horrible it may seem, put your wet socks back on in the morning and save the dry socks for when you stop hiking, you must always have at least one pair of dry socks! I would omit the rain pants, most folks end up sending them home anyway. Rainskirts are great and yes even the guys wear them.