Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Base layer ?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-13-2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,553

    Default Base layer ?

    For a while now I've been trying to research base layer info. I'm still confused, mainly because of the sticker shock of wool.
    I'll probably start the AT late Apr. But could do some winter camping in the Ozarks. probably similar temps as the Smokies, less snow.
    Med wt. vs. heavy wt.?
    Do I really need wool because it smells less? Geez it costs twice as much as the synthetics !!!
    Are the synthetics as warm and comfortable as wool ?
    I do have a fairly heavy pair of fleece top and bottom.
    If I really need to I'll bite the bullet and spend the extra money.
    Considering what I've spent on gear what's an extra $100.
    For example I plan on buying a nearly $400 tent instead of 1 at 1/2 the price and twice the wt.
    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-21-2009
    Location
    Tennesee
    Age
    60
    Posts
    1,226

    Default

    For an AT hike in late April you don't need to spend for wool imo. My base layer top and bottom came from Wally World. The bottoms were never used except for sleeping. I sometimes wore the top while hiking. medium weight is sufficient. normally I advice getting the best gear you can afford - however underwear is an exception to the rule. as far as the difference in smell...for a thru hike it's probably same the difference that you would notice between a 4 lb. dead skunk on the road and a 6 lb. one. You know there's probably a difference but it would be hard to measure.

  3. #3

    Default

    How easily do you chill while hiking? I've been to the smokies in May and seen snow. I tend to get cold easily so I always have my Patagonia capilene 3s. They're not cheap but they are worth it for me.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    57
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    You can find cheap wool. Easiest is sweaters, which you can find in thrift shops for $20 or less.
    Look for 100% merino, 100% lambs wool, 100% virgin wool. Sometimes you can find cashmere.
    Light sweaters can make great base layers. Get them loose enough to allow for a little shrinkage.
    Medium weight sweaters make great mid layers. For these I think british wool is better than merino.

    For legs, harder to find cheap wool. But I got some 100% wool long underwear from Stanfields for $40 for combi (trap door and all).
    Wearing them now actually, as it was cold today and I had to spend some time on a picket line ( Faculty Strike at University of New Brunswick).

  5. #5
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-15-2004
    Location
    Colorado Plateau
    Age
    45
    Posts
    11,002

    Default

    You'll be fine in the lower cost synthetic base layers. Target sells the C9 branded base layers that are effective, not expensive and pretty light. FWIW, I've done all my longer hikes in inexpensive synthetic base layers.

    For late April, depending on your other layers, a mid-wt or even a lt-wt top is fine. Lightweight is probably fine for bottoms.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  6. #6
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    DFW, TX / Northern NH
    Age
    62
    Posts
    7,708
    Images
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    For a while now I've been trying to research base layer info. I'm still confused, mainly because of the sticker shock of wool.
    I'll probably start the AT late Apr. But could do some winter camping in the Ozarks. probably similar temps as the Smokies, less snow.
    Med wt. vs. heavy wt.?
    Do I really need wool because it smells less? Geez it costs twice as much as the synthetics !!!
    Are the synthetics as warm and comfortable as wool ?
    I do have a fairly heavy pair of fleece top and bottom.
    If I really need to I'll bite the bullet and spend the extra money.
    Considering what I've spent on gear what's an extra $100.
    For example I plan on buying a nearly $400 tent instead of 1 at 1/2 the price and twice the wt.
    Thanks for your input!
    You can get lightweight synthetic fruit of the loom, haynes, etc for under $10 at WM. They sell a brand called Rocky in a medium weight for about $15 in the hunting/outdoor area usually.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4shot View Post
    For an AT hike in late April you don't need to spend for wool imo. My base layer top and bottom came from Wally World. The bottoms were never used except for sleeping. I sometimes wore the top while hiking. medium weight is sufficient. normally I advice getting the best gear you can afford - however underwear is an exception to the rule. as far as the difference in smell...for a thru hike it's probably same the difference that you would notice between a 4 lb. dead skunk on the road and a 6 lb. one. You know there's probably a difference but it would be hard to measure.
    Great comment.

  7. #7

    Default

    I kinda disagree. There is just a huge difference between the smell of wet, nasty, wool and wet, nasty polyester. The polyester smell will literally stick to your skin, stick to your pack, and soak in. I wore a wool shirt, wool boxers, wool socks, but couldn't find wool athletic shorts fast enough so wore a small polyester pair. They would stick so bad I could smell them while standing still, the smell would stick to my pack where my pack rubbed against the shoes, it was horrible. And it would start like a day and a half after washing them. Where with wool, they pretty much won't ever smell, at all. It's a huge difference for me.

  8. #8
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    57
    Posts
    7,888
    Images
    296

    Default

    Yeah, wool is nice for the low-stink factor, but synthetics will work just fine.

    I would wear light base layers, not midweight or (gah!) heavyweight. But I sweat a lot while hiking and I would soak a set of midweights in April.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  9. #9

    Default

    I used to use synthetics and couldn't take the stink; I'm a convert and believer in merino; been to Denali twice, once with synthetics once with merino; there was definitely a difference after 21 days on the mtn and was glad I had the merino the 2nd time around. taken care of they last as well. I typically stay with lt wt and maybe mid's in the winter, but that's about it. i do walk warmer than many folks though

  10. #10

    Default

    Polypro gets the job done for less outlay and the moths won't eat them full of holes. You gonna thru..you gonna smell.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-21-2009
    Location
    Tennesee
    Age
    60
    Posts
    1,226

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by psyenz View Post
    I used to use synthetics and couldn't take the stink; I'm a convert and believer in merino; been to Denali twice, once with synthetics once with merino; there was definitely a difference after 21 days on the mtn and was glad I had the merino the 2nd time around. taken care of they last as well. I typically stay with lt wt and maybe mid's in the winter, but that's about it. i do walk warmer than many folks though
    I have wool base layers and it has it's place. Keep in mind where the OP is going to be - hiking the AT in late April. Doubt he/she would be in long underwear for 21 days. the top may be used occasionally when hiking but not much. The drawers may be used to sleep in or possibly layered under a pair of shorts but again, more than likely for a few days at most between cold fronts . he's going to ship them back home in a few weeks. Like I say, they are nice but I wouldn't advise anyone starting then to get them. A luxury perhaps, certainly not a necessity. clothes generally are ruined on a thru hike, get the cheapest stuff (clothing being the only area where this is sound advice imo). as far as the smell, stink happens on a hike and a person just has to deal with it.

  12. #12

    Default

    I picked up a wool blend top at Sam's Club just this past Saturday called Omni - wool. It is 80 percent polyester, 20 percent wool, long sleeve with a half zip, tops and bottoms are $16 each. Not sure what brand it is a knockoff for. I used to buy polypro tops and bottoms for sleeping, although I have switched to what I think is supposed to be an under armor knockoff (black slightly stretchy). The wool blend seems warmer than both of those types. I thought it might be a nice top for winter hiking.

    You can probably tell I don't usually buy the name brands. I too typically buy the cheaper clothing products.

    Sams also had the synthetic boxer briefs, 2 pair for $10. These are the same as the single packs at Walmart I think they are $8.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-13-2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Age
    66
    Posts
    2,553

    Default

    Here's what I did today. I checked out Sierra Trading Post. All wool. found mid wt. bottoms $63, lt wt zip neck top $45, crew neck T shirt $42, sleeveless $27. Averaged 1/3 discount. Everything is a stupid color. I think the sleeveless will do well as a core layer under the long sleeved.
    I have a 35 yr old pair of cycling tights, now stretched out of shape, they were machine washed, machine dried low, never in moth balls, no moth holes ever.
    They just finally wore out over the years. Right now I'm satisfied.

  14. #14

    Default

    Fair point 4shot; things always seem so obvious after they're pointed out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aficion View Post
    Polypro gets the job done for less outlay and the moths won't eat them full of holes. You gonna thru..you gonna smell.
    +1 Polypro
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  16. #16

    Default

    Icebreaker merino wool head to toe. Synthetics are stink city.
    We keep a set of dry merino long johns just for sleeping in.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •