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  1. #1
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    Default Clothes to pack/wear for White mountains

    I will be hiking The White Mountains-Hanover to Maine this June. Any special kinds of clothing I should pack? I know my clothes will be different than what I have worn from Georgia to NH (Vermont in June was cold!!!) Thanks

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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Last year, I was in the Whites from the beginning of July onward and wore shorts and a t-shirt. When I went up Mt. Washington, I put on my rain jacket to act as a wind break and add a little warmth.

    There are a number of hikers on the forum from that area and I'm sure they'll give you better advice. One thing for sure, weather can change very quickly there and go downhill fast.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    Last year, I was in the Whites from the beginning of July onward and wore shorts and a t-shirt. When I went up Mt. Washington, I put on my rain jacket to act as a wind break and add a little warmth.

    There are a number of hikers on the forum from that area and I'm sure they'll give you better advice. One thing for sure, weather can change very quickly there and go downhill fast.
    I need to really start my own thread but haven't wanted to without research first. I was in Hanover September 15th on my last day of my 2018 2 week trip and we were in shorts and tshirt. However all the remaining thru's in the area were just trading out their summer gear for colder gear again for NH. What I need to look into is, if they had arrived 2 weeks earlier, would they still have changed out into cold weather gear.
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  4. #4

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    If you are on schedule like an AMC Hut to Hut Trip you need extra gear to deal with foul cold weather. It has snowed every month of the year in the whites and in early June there can be a few small patches of snow that you may need to cross (not typically dangerous). This year we have pretty good snow pack so those snow fields may be bit bigger and the skiers will be skiing into May. Hypothermia is real and the summit ridge is good place to get it. Day hikers and those that can chose their days based on good forecasts can make the decision to go light but someone on a schedule may not have that option. The standard "cotton kills" applies so leave the cotton home except for bandana home. You need enough clothes to completely cover your skin with gear that will block wind on head and core. Generally a rain jacket with hood and preferably pit zips covers the wind blocking. Many folks skip rain pants and hope they don't need to go out in conditions that require them. Some sort lightweight polypro or Merino long sleeve top and leggings with a extra warm layer for your core. A warm hat that will not blow away or my preference a light weight balaclava, mittens and liner gloves and warm socks will usually allow you to survive as long as you realize there are some days that weather conditions make it unsafe to go because of high winds and lightning.

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    The Whites can get nasty, even in mid summer. A warm fleece, good rain gear, a warm hat and long pants would be a minimum. A down vest would be worthwhile, as well. Consider your situation with a twisted ankle in a howling gale at 40 degrees F with pouring rain.
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    I will be on a schedule. Thank you so much. I start buying warm hiking gear.

  7. #7

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    BTW, I have not experienced it but reportedly AMC hut crews have contingency plans in place when the weather is too dangerous to go between huts. Worst case its a hike down to the trailhead and bus ride to the next trailhead. They get good forecasts in the AM so bad weather should not be a surprise and the three to 5 day forecasts are usually pretty good except for if there will be late afternoon thundershower in warm weather . The huts are not heated and in June they can be quite cool in the evening even it its warm day. The summits rarely get over 70 degrees but on sunny warm day it can get quite warm, thus the popularity of zip off pantleg pants and synthetic T shirts.

    Down gear is nice for at night but useless if you are in the rain or the clouds as it soaks out quick. Fleece is much better insulating and lot more durable. Just make sure you size the raincoat adequately so you can comfortable wear a fleece under it which means in normal use its going to be bit large.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-10-2019 at 13:09.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I need to really start my own thread but haven't wanted to without research first. I was in Hanover September 15th on my last day of my 2018 2 week trip and we were in shorts and tshirt. However all the remaining thru's in the area were just trading out their summer gear for colder gear again for NH. What I need to look into is, if they had arrived 2 weeks earlier, would they still have changed out into cold weather gear.
    If they wanted to stay warm, yes. The Connecticut River Valley is a warmer micro-climate than points north and east. Actually, we usually start to see a shift toward fall as early as mid-August in the White Mtn area. First frost is typically late Aug. to early Sept. Our summer is mid-June to mid/late-August. But, as others note here, it can and has snowed every month of the year above treeline in the Whites. What passes for summer gear elsewhere won't work here.
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    If you are on schedule like an AMC Hut to Hut Trip you need extra gear to deal with foul cold weather. It has snowed every month of the year in the whites and in early June there can be a few small patches of snow that you may need to cross (not typically dangerous). This year we have pretty good snow pack so those snow fields may be bit bigger and the skiers will be skiing into May. Hypothermia is real and the summit ridge is good place to get it. Day hikers and those that can chose their days based on good forecasts can make the decision to go light but someone on a schedule may not have that option. The standard "cotton kills" applies so leave the cotton home except for bandana home. You need enough clothes to completely cover your skin with gear that will block wind on head and core. Generally a rain jacket with hood and preferably pit zips covers the wind blocking. Many folks skip rain pants and hope they don't need to go out in conditions that require them. Some sort lightweight polypro or Merino long sleeve top and leggings with a extra warm layer for your core. A warm hat that will not blow away or my preference a light weight balaclava, mittens and liner gloves and warm socks will usually allow you to survive as long as you realize there are some days that weather conditions make it unsafe to go because of high winds and lightning.
    ^^^THIS for the Whites - Make sure that hat covers your ears (windblock fleece works well), that your neck has some protection, and bring eye wear / sunglasses of some sort - walking into high winds is tough on eyes. As you know from VT, summer doesn't necessarily mean warm in New England.

  9. #9

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    I will just add a little here. I personally "sleep cold." I'm quite sure I was built without internal heating abilities, much like a lizard. My husband calls me the Lizard Lady because of this. I ALWAYS have a full jacket for the whites. Mine is a puffy from REI. In the Whites I carry silk long johns, a long sleeve camp shirt, pants (almost always hike in them), shorts for sleeping (worn over my long johns), sleep socks, the puffy, another long sleeve, usually thicker layer, and sometimes a fleece vest, plus rain gear. And yes, that's in the summer. Mountains can really cool off at night and I get cold fast when not moving.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanblackberry View Post
    I will be hiking The White Mountains-Hanover to Maine this June. Any special kinds of clothing I should pack? I know my clothes will be different than what I have worn from Georgia to NH (Vermont in June was cold!!!) Thanks
    Does a headnet count as clothes?

    You may be just fine without one— especially later in the month — but better to have and not need than need and not have IMO.

    Also good to pack a layer that you know (100%) will be dry once you set up camp.

  11. #11
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    White Mtns hiker here.

    You don't exactly need cold weather gear for june. But you need to be dialed in with a layering/insulation system that works.

    The Whites are real mountains. Be prepared.

    In june..id be hiking thru with

    Top/bottom base layers
    Sleep socks
    Fleece 100w pull over
    Windshirt
    Synthetic puffy
    Rain jacket
    Beanie
    Glove liners
    Rain skirt
    Rain mitts

    I almost literally carry that all year in the whites. Cant trust the forecast.

    Its literally only reliable warm in the mountains for like one month put of the year. Before you know its freezing at night up on the ridge again.



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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    White Mtns hiker here.

    You don't exactly need cold weather gear for june. But you need to be dialed in with a layering/insulation system that works.

    The Whites are real mountains. Be prepared.

    In june..id be hiking thru with

    Top/bottom base layers
    Sleep socks
    Fleece 100w pull over
    Windshirt
    Synthetic puffy
    Rain jacket
    Beanie
    Glove liners
    Rain skirt
    Rain mitts

    I almost literally carry that all year in the whites. Cant trust the forecast.

    Its literally only reliable warm in the mountains for like one month put of the year. Before you know its freezing at night up on the ridge again.



    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    Some of my typical gear for a summer hike in the Whites. I probably carry more than some people do. I don't generally need to use some of it, but sometimes I've had to. Weather forecasts, while better theses days than in the past, are good for about 24 hours - but not always:
    Tarp or tent
    WM Caribou bag (35°) and pad - and I've needed every bit of its warmth at times
    Shorts and tee shirt
    Long base layer top and bottom (lightweight)
    Long pants and long sleeve shirt
    Liner weight balaclava
    Windblock fleece beanie
    Lightweight gloves
    Nanopuff jacket
    Rain jacket (w/hood)

    Sunglasses (or even just regular glasses if you wear them - walking in 40 mph winds is hard on unshielded eyes.)
    Sunscreen (If it's nice out, your face can get burned up on the ridge)
    Chapstick

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Some of my typical gear for a summer hike in the Whites. I probably carry more than some people do. I don't generally need to use some of it, but sometimes I've had to. Weather forecasts, while better theses days than in the past, are good for about 24 hours - but not always:
    Tarp or tent
    WM Caribou bag (35°) and pad - and I've needed every bit of its warmth at times
    Shorts and tee shirt
    Long base layer top and bottom (lightweight)
    Long pants and long sleeve shirt
    Liner weight balaclava
    Windblock fleece beanie
    Lightweight gloves
    Nanopuff jacket
    Rain jacket (w/hood)

    Sunglasses (or even just regular glasses if you wear them - walking in 40 mph winds is hard on unshielded eyes.)
    Sunscreen (If it's nice out, your face can get burned up on the ridge)
    Chapstick
    This is pretty much what I brought for Vermont last year in September -minus the base layer and balaclava however I did have a buff that never got warn
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    .... Consider your situation with a twisted ankle in a howling gale at 40 degrees F with pouring rain.
    This is such a good reminder. Thanks.

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