View Full Version : Thru Hiking Clothes...What?!

04-13-2012, 23:01
Ok so after all my research and own experience doing a couple multi-week hikes this is the clothing I am going to bring with me on my 2014 thru hike.

Clothes Worn:

Colombia Boots
Smart Wool Socks
thermal Underwear (if cold)
no underwear (if hot)
hiking shorts
Long Sleeve hiking Shirt

Clothes Carried/camp clothes/extra clothes (whole trip):

Extra socks x1
Thermal Underwear (2 pairs while still cold)
Thermal Top (for when cold but might keep all trip)
Lightweight Tee Shirt
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket

Cold Weather Clothes:

Northface liner Gloves

am i missing anything? bringing too much?

04-14-2012, 00:30
My suggestion is to keep underwear on, even if it is hot. The fabric will cut down on chaffing. That's my experience, anyway. And you'd want two pairs of socks to hike in, and a third for camp. Swap them out and such.

04-14-2012, 01:58
Really depends on which trail you're hiking, when you're starting, which direction you're going --- tough to give any feedback without knowing basic data like that.

04-14-2012, 02:43
My suggestion is to keep underwear on, even if it is hot. The fabric will cut down on chaffing. That's my experience, anyway. And you'd want two pairs of socks to hike in, and a third for camp. Swap them out and such.

I do not fair well without underwear and I've been burned with only taking 2 socks before. I'm a 3-4 guy now. I would gladly give up something else to have fresh, dry socks.

04-14-2012, 05:37
I agree with the above - 3 pairs of socks total (at least while it is cold), and I bring at least 1, usually 2 pair of underwear. I don't see a rain jacket listed.

04-14-2012, 09:15
In the cold, I would agree with three pair of socks. I usually wear one pair for a few days, then change out to the second. I like to have one pair in reserve for sleeping and "just in case" during the winter, in summer, two pair are plenty. It's not that bad during decent weather to rinse out a pair, then wear them dry.

Underwear - completely personal choice. I do not wear underwear. I've never been bothered with excessive chafing. Rinse down the vulnerable areas each night, and mid-day if it's sticky hot and H2O is available. Just wiping down with a wet bandanna or wet wipe does wonders to remove the salt and irritants. No need to actually strip down and wash. On the rare occasions when a bit of chafing develops, applying a light dusting of Gold Bond Medicated powder (carry a small amount in a ziplock in your first aid kit) solves the problem by morning. I assume you have worked this out in your section hikes, just keep doing what you are doing until there is a need to change tactics.

I carry a light, knit hat year round. Helps tremendously on the chilly nights. Make sure some of your section hikes are in cold weather with potential bail-outs, and see what you need to be comfortable. I like to make sure my sleeping bag is adequate for the temps I expect, using minimal clothes during the night. I consider adding clothing to my sleep system insurance against the extreme, unexpected cold snaps we occasionally get caught in.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!!!!

04-14-2012, 09:22
I usually wear convertible pants when there's a meaningful risk of cold. It's nice to put them on in the morning when it's in the 20s and then zip them off later in the morning when it gets to about 40 degrees. Personally, I do not hike in thermal underwear unless the temperature is in the teens or lower.

With those observations, I am wondering why you plan to bring TWO sets of thermal underwear? Are you planning to hike in one and sleep in the other? They are not crazy-heavy, but they are heavy enough. It would need to be a really cold hike for me to bring two sets with me (but I often carry my capilene 3 underwear to sleep in because I roll with a 32 degree bag).

I also do not see any rain gear. I like Frog Toggs as they are light, and do the job. However, more often I'll wear them for warmth. You can put on an insulating layer (like your long underwear) and then the Frog Toggs work as a wind-stopper. You can be quite comfortable sitting around camp with Frog Toggs and thermal underwear down to the high 30s.

The thermawrap jacket is great. I too carry a light primaloft jacket. But the question is when do you plan to use it? I never hike in my primaloft as it's too hot, but I sometimes sit around camp in it, and occasionally sleep in it (remember, I roll in a 32 degree bag). The jackets are light, but you still need to have a use for them in mind before you take them.

What's the deal with the balaclava? Are you planning for nights in the teens or something (perhaps hold up a bank to fund your hike:D:D:D)? Otherwise, a basic thinsulate hat does the job nicely for me, and it weighs less. The thinsulate hat is also my cozy for the times when I do freezer bag cooking.

04-14-2012, 09:37
For the underwear issue I found hiking in swim trunks not that bad. The lining in the trunks sufficed for chaffing and if there was ever a swim spot nearby I was ready. It wasn't perfect but lightweight, easy to wash/dry and cool for the most part.

Violent Green
04-14-2012, 20:26
For hiking shorts you should give the GoLite Mesa Trail shorts a try. Very light and comfortable, plus comes with a built in underwear liner so no need to bring your own. I love 'em.


04-14-2012, 20:51
Brooks sells underwear called "runderwear". Light, thin, white, seamless, dries fast, works for me.