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Thread: Winter Gear.

  1. #1

    Default Winter Gear.

    I am starting my thru hike NOBO around the first week of March 2013. I have just about everything ready, but I am not sure about winter clothes to bring. I am confused about what I should be bringing as base layer, mid layer, down puffy coat, et al. Can someone give me a good basic list and product names of a good basic winter clothing set? Base, Mid, Outerwear wind jacket...I am a bit confused and as there is not a good outfitter around me, I am "winging" it.

    Thanks,

    NCMedic

  2. #2
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    Don't for get a hat -wool that covers your ears.
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  3. #3
    Clueless Weekender
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    As a clueless weekender on a budget, I don't do brand names. Well, not very much. But you don't need an outfitter for this stuff.

    My current kit for "shoulder season" - late spring/early fall in the mountains around here, but upstate New York is a lot colder than Georgia - is

    Base layer: Duofold long johns from Ocean State Job Lot.
    Mid-layer: A fleece pullover with a company logo that someone gave me at a conference, and a pair of fleece lounge pants also from Ocean State Job Lot.
    Windproof: Polyester wind jacket (fleece lined) from Wally World, and my usual convertible hiking pants seem windproof enough.
    Down puffy: Whatever Burlington Coat Factory had on sale, in a compression sack. Given that my wind jacket has a lining that gives me a second layer of fleece, the puffy is really there for emergency warmth, on a lot of trips it doesn't even come out.
    Raingear: Frogg Togs.
    On feet: Body Glove polyester dress socks, doubled bread bags as a vapor barrier, then my usual wool hiking socks. Well-broken-in and well-oiled leather boots.
    On hands: No-name ski gloves. This is an area that needs improvement: proper liner gloves and mittens are on my upgrade list.
    On head: Wool balaclava or buff and a wool beanie. If your head and core are warm the rest will follow.
    In hunting season: Blaze orange vest, and a jack-o'lantern leaf bag for a pack cover.

    I could shop the catalogs and pay hundreds of bucks more, but I really doubt that it would save more than a few ounces in weight or keep me any warmer or drier. I know I've been comfortable dressed like this on March weekends around here, with a gale blowing up on the ridges and squalls of sleet pelting down.

    Caveat: I don't do real winter. In full-on winter, I confine myself to trips at lower elevations. Then again, in this part of the world, real winter means having to carry snowshoes or skis, crampons, and ice axe. I'd need a refresher on the training, it's been at least thirty years since I used all that stuff. I understand that Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee are considerably milder.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Here's a post I wrote a couple of years ago. It's aimed at someone starting in Feb, but early March is similar.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  5. #5
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    Let me suggest that whatever you get for your upper body, that it have buttons or zippers so you can adjust the ventilation to prevent getting sweat soaked. That will help you stay a lot warmer in the long run.

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    Got a Costco nearby? They have a few down jackets worth checking out. One is a $30 boy's jacket, but a XXL may fit you if you're slender. They have a $70 men's jacket that's a lot like Patagonia's thin hoodie. It has very nice materials, especially for $70. I think they have a women's jacket too.

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    For a NOBO AT thru Hike you really only need cold weather gear not winter gear. Take a look at the clothing system in this tried and true thru hike gear list from pack guru Winton Porter here:

    http://www.backpacker.com/november_0...s/12659?page=4

    Ignore the popup. BTW, gloves and fleece beanie are givens. Add a trash compactor bag for a pack liner. Tweak for summer to go even lighter.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    who were the other authors with Down Puffy Coat?
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    I understand that Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee are considerably milder.
    most of the time, of course. but this is not always true. I've winter hiked in New England and came home to hike and had worse weather the very next weekend in the South.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the replies. The information you guy provided really helps. I have been trying to figure out my cold weather gear and without a good outfitter or other long distance hikers in the area, it has been a bit difficult decidiing what I need to bring withouit overpacking!

    Thanks,

    NC Medic

  11. #11

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    Agreed! I should beable to use my cold weather cycling wear for my base layer and I can vent it.

    Thanks..

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCMedic View Post
    Agreed! I should beable to use my cold weather cycling wear for my base layer and I can vent it.

    Thanks..
    Fleece lined cycling tights are a bit heavy for actual hiking, good for around camp or sleeping in cold conditions. I'm not crazy about cycling tops for hiking and the vests don't make much sense while hiking.

    I do however love my merino wool arm warmers (stretchy) combo'd up with a short sleeve tee they are an excellent hiking choice for mornings and cool windy days because you can just pull em off anytime and stash em in a pocket the pull em back on for breaks, etc. They offer some flexibility on layering.

    Cycling booties (neopreme) are good for after hike when you need to get out of a frozen pair of boots.

    Cold weather cycling headware is fairly well suited for hiking, the stretchy lycra beanie's for under your bike helmet are great and balcavas work well. I don't care much for cycling gloves on the trail though, they're mostly designed for dexterity and wind protection.


    David

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    March in the Georgia and NC mountains are fickle times. You can always count on one or more major 'winter events" to blow through.

    I tend to over pack too. Thru-hiking taught me how much heat you generate while hiking and how important wind protection is. You'd be surprised how much you can regulate your body temp. just by adjusting your head cover- fleece beanie or Buff.

    Keep in mind you'll likely ship stuff home upon reaching Neels Gap (3 days in) and within the first month (or before) you'll have your "system" down pat.

    Cheers!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    For a NOBO AT thru Hike you really only need cold weather gear not winter gear. Take a look at the clothing system in this tried and true thru hike gear list from pack guru Winton Porter here:

    http://www.backpacker.com/november_0...s/12659?page=4

    Ignore the popup. BTW, gloves and fleece beanie are givens. Add a trash compactor bag for a pack liner. Tweak for summer to go even lighter.

    Cheers!
    +1 ...........................

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