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Thread: Two Baselayers?

  1. #1
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    Default Two Baselayers?

    I have decided on merino wool baselayers. I am wondering if it is a good idea to bring a heavier set to sleep in and a lightweight set to hike in.

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    I like a tee and a long sleeved 1/4-1/2 zip combo for versatility.

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    First I make sure I have enough clothing for the lowest temperatures I might encounter. I use the rule of thumb 1 ounce of clothing, not counting shoes and shorts and shells, for every degree F below 85F. I make sure I can wear it all at once if I ever had to wear it all at once, and I make sure it covers me evenly if I have to wear it all at once. Then I figure out how I would delayer from there, and what layers will be worn most of the time, and what layers will be packed most of the time. In general I like to layer evenly for the coldest planned for, but delayer unevenly, so I am wearing more and packing less, if that makes sense. Some of the clothes I will pack most of the time I set aside for sleeping. Long wool underwear in winter. Fleece in Spring/Fall. Base layers in summer. I don't wear base layers in summer, but I carry them for sleeping, and I would have them if it happened to get cold enough to wear them, early morning or night hiking or whatever.

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    I'm worth a million in prizes astrogirl's Avatar
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    That really depends on your sleeping bag.
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    obstacles are found everywhere, and in taking them, we nourish ourselves.
    http://astrogirl.com/blog/Backpacking

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    Registered User cliffdiver's Avatar
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    I wore the Patagonia Cap 2 base layer, top/bottom constantly till VA. I had the Cap 3 for camp. It worked well for me as the heavier shirt kept the sleeping bag relatively clean as well as staying warm.

  6. #6
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Imagine this scenario if you take just the one shirt: it's been raining all day, and despite your awesome, breathable rain jacket, you arrive in camp with your merino baselayer totally soaked from sweat. You hang out in your baselayer in camp for a while, but since it's wool, it doesn't dry terribly fast, and now it's colder, too, which doesn't help with the evaporation. Now you're faced with wearing your wet merino shirt in your sleeping bag and getting your bag all wet, or going shirtless in your bag, which probably means a lot of sticking to the fabric.

    Personally, in wet climates or cool weather, I always take a lightweight t-shirt for sleeping. On the PCT, I slept in my my hiking shirt a lot of days, but it was hot and dry most of the time, which meant that my shirt was dry when I came into camp or within a short time afterward.

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    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Yeah, been there with the base layer so soaking wet I could wring it out. Not fun to sleep in.

    For me, I like two top and two bottom base layers, but instead of a heavier set I bring all lightweight merino (150-wt) -- one long sleeve pullover, one t-shirt, one long john bottom, and one boxer brief. I can mix and match as neede for the weather. But in March I also take a light fleece pullover to wear in camp and my bag. (And of course a puffy jacket too.)
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

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    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    I always like to have separate sleeping clothes, so I'd say yes to the OPer.

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    lemon b's Avatar
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    I always use merino as my second layer. The light merino as a base seems uncomfortable to me. A polyee tee sure isn't what I'd call heavy. Never have tired two different weights of merino at the same time with one next to my my skin., but the light one alone leaves me with a chill. My feeling is you'll end up with just the heavier merino.

  10. #10
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    ...I make sure I can wear it all at once....
    Good advice here, one of the best nuggets of wisdom I've heard repeated on this site. And there's a difference between comfort and survival. You could probably survive without the lighter layer, but it sure feels good, as others have said.

  11. #11
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I simply carry two lightweight shirts, one short sleeved, one long, but both merino and both very light.

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    What about silk long johns? They are the lightest, would they be best for sleeping?

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