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  1. #1

    Default Jacket and midlayer?

    I'm leaving for springer in a few days and I'm a bit short on money to purchase lighter gear than I own, at least until next month when I get paid.
    I currently have a semi insulated rain jacket that weighs about a pound or so and a midlayer that is relatively lightweight but very warm.
    The jacket has good ventilation and has this sweat wicking fabric on the inside so I don't really get wet from sweat much.
    That being said, I'm trying to get my weight down as much as I can until I can get replacements. I guess my question is, should I ditch the midlayer and just use the jacket as multipurpose insulated rain jacket or should I ditch the jacket and use a crapola poncho from the attic and be done with it? I'm not familiar with weather conditions down south this time of year so I don't really know what is worth bringing.

  2. #2
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    Without really knowing exactly what they are I'd say take both. Can you stay warm in single digit temps? You might just get a surprise 10F or less in the mountains from GA to the Smokies. Better to have it and send it home unused than to wish you'd brought it.

  3. #3
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    Like jpolk said, it is really hard to say without knowing exactly what you have. But it is March and you absolutely need an adequate base layer, mid layer and shell. I've never used an insulated rain jacket on a long distance hike as my only way of staying dry, but it sounds like a bad idea. I can't imagine that it would easily dry once it becomes soaked through with either sweat or rain and you will end up packing away a much heavier jacket when the rain stops. Depending on what its made from may also lose its ability to adequately insulate. It will end up being sub par at both rain protection and insulation.

    DO NOT DITCH YOUR MID LAYER TO SAVE WEIGHT, that is absolute crazy talk. This along with your base layer is what you will be hiking in more often that not when you are cold. I recommend a lightweight fleece at the very least.

    The cheapest and most effective option is to pick up a frogg toggs rain suit for somewhere between $15-20 and weigh around 8 ounces for a set. The jacket will help you deal with wind which a poncho fails at doing. They pants will also keep your legs retain some heat when they are cold and wet. They offer extra insurance to protect against hypothermia in less than ideal situations. I would also advise an insulated jacket that stays dry at all times for whenever you stop to take a break or make camp. Your insulated rain jacket might fill this function adequately.

    Bottom line, don't sacrifice your safety in order to save weight in cold weather. From March to early May you very well could see single digit temperatures, 35 degrees and rain, or it could be 70 and sunny. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

  4. #4

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    You'll want to seperate your rain read from your insulation layer so the insulation can be varied to match the temps and your exertion level - and because a combined product will take days to dry out...

    Here's some inexpensive options:

    Frog toggs and a generic fleece jacket (they are all mid weight fleece Ie: 200 wt) for camp. A generic fleece 1/4 zip shirt (they are all thin weight fleece Ie: 100 wt) for hiking in the cold and to combine with the fleece jacket in camp when it's extra cold. Also a long sleee polyester t-shirt plus a short sleeve polyester t shirt for hiking in warmer or cool weather.

    For your legs, the frog toggs, a pair of shorts, and a pair polyester long johns is usually enough. If you run on the cold side, also bring a thin pair of supplex nylon pants. Supplex nylon sort of looks and feels like cotton. Do not try to use the shiny "track or basketball" pants. They feel really clammy. Wool suit pants from the thrift store work great and are typically really cheap

  5. #5

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    go to Walmart. buy Frogtogs rain jacket. buy a $10 fleece top. the Frogtogs can be worn as outer layer when it's too cold to go without it and you wont sweat...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timinator View Post
    I'm leaving for springer in a few days............ I'm not familiar with weather conditions down south this time of year so I don't really know what is worth bringing.
    Unfortunately, a few days before you leave out is not a great time to research weather trends where you plan on spending day and night for the next few days, weeks or hopefully months.

    Just a tiny bit of research will tell you that temps have been anywhere from the low 20's all the way to the 70's within the last two weeks. I'm sure some higher elevations have seen teens. I can't imagine that an insulated rain jacket, at least not the one I am envisioning right now, would be a great option. Frog Toggs are very popular and you can still use many layers beneath them in bad weather or you can use them as an additional outer shell.

    I would keep the base layer and get the Frog Toggs over the heavy rain jacket. However, if you don't have funds to buy anything else right now, you may want to just carry the extra pound and drop some stuff at the first available spot.

  7. #7
    GA-ME Feb. 27th–July 1st, 2016 lwhikerchris's Avatar
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    I would make sure to have a fleece and keep a down jacket on hand (in a waterproof sack in your pack). Then some sort of thin rain jacket. You can use a trash bag for this purpose if you really want to cut costs.
    John GoodMan

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    Go to your local thrift store and see if they have any fleece and puffy coats. Should be able to grab a nice combo on the cheap

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Go to your local thrift store and see if they have any fleece and puffy coats. Should be able to grab a nice combo on the cheap

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

    goodwill is full of fleece generally. here you see $100 fleece coats going for 5-10 bucks
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krippledprophet View Post
    goodwill is full of fleece generally. here you see $100 fleece coats going for 5-10 bucks
    Yeah my point exactly. Fleece is pretty much fleece. Quality jackets have good seams and good zippers. But at $5-$10 a fleece jacket. I don't cry when I burn a hole in it. My fleece layer is kinda of my "beater" layer while on trail. It gets worn often and used and abused. I'm more comfortable being myself in it. Wearing my $250 down jacket. Im so careful not to put a blemish on it I sometimes don't want to wear it. It's still too new to stop caring about it so much yet


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  11. #11
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    I carried a 1/4 zip lightweight fleece (100 weight), a lightweight down puffy sweater, and a light rain jacket for my March 17th start from Springer. It was enough, but on some mornings/nights barely enough.

    I don't like the insulated rain jacket idea at all, as it is a flagrant violation of the layering rule As someone else noted, hit a thrift store or two to get what you need.

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