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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    12-12-2010
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    Columbia, South Carolina
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    Default Softshell with heavy fleece

    I'm doing a sobo thru hike leaving in August. Will a wool base layer with a heavy fleece specifically a Columbia Ballistic fleece and a 3L shell cut it for winter weather on the mountains? Or should I invest in getting a heavier outerlayer?

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    10-22-2002
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    You'll want something warm to start, but not winter gear. A fleece pullover under your rain shell is almost certainly enough for the first month.

    After that I would advise waiting until you need it, then figuring out what you want and buying it at an outfitter along the trail. That way you avoid buying twice.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    09-03-2002
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    Minneapolis
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    The heavy fleece is going to take up a bunch of space in your pack, and is relatively heavy for the warmth. For temps below freezing, I'd go with a light- to mid-weight down jacket, augmented by a 100-weight fleece and shell. The shell could be a 4-oz wind jacket, Frogg Toggs, or a high-tech shell. Remember, your internal thermostat will adjust to cooler outside temps after a week of being outside.

    Starting out in August, you should be fine with a light fleece, dry baselayer, and rain parka.

    Come late October, you might augment with a mid-layer, dedicated wind jacket, long underpants, and perhaps an ultralight down sweater.

    Come late November, move your full winter configuration, including insulated pants, heavier down jacket, light liner gloves inside waterproof mittens, and even gaiters to keep any snow from getting into the tops of your boots.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

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