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Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Clothes Worn/Carried on 05/27/2008 13:11:43 MDT Print View

I am coming back to backpacking after a long time, however am still fairly young and as I return to the scene will transition into light weight gear. It’s amazing to see the weights of some items compared to just a few years ago. Most of my trips will be the weekend variety during the traditional 3-season months out on the west coast. Therefore my question is what do you typically wear skin out during these seasons and what do you have in your pack as it gets cooler to add, plus weather protection.

I know usually a base layer either synthetic or wool but is that all you wear in the summer months or another shirt over that, plus I hear all this about wind shirts and other information. Is that just a long sleeve T-shirt? Before I would just wear a regular synthetic base layer with another cotton shirt then as it got cooler either add a long sleeve t-shirt, or a light sweater type shirt then obviously a jacket if it got cooler or rained.

Anyways, any help or just some lists with some names of what you wear would be great as I get a better understanding.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
clothes. on 05/27/2008 13:18:56 MDT Print View

there's lots of this info in old posts, though they aren't always easy to search for and find. i'd suggest scanning back though a bunch of thread titles and check out ones that look relevant. if you have specific questions, you might do a "search forums" on "windshirt" or "rain shell" or whatever.

try this one for starters:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=13301&disable_pagination=1

Edited by DaveT on 05/27/2008 13:19:52 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Clothes Worn/Carried on 05/27/2008 15:25:59 MDT Print View

Sean,
Welcome to the forums! Dave's advise to search the forums is good. The word "shirt" in windshirt has perhaps conjured up the wrong mental image in your mind. A windshirt is more of a really light jacket who's main purpose is to stop convective heat loss ( the wind ) not to stop the rain.

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Reply on 05/27/2008 15:43:25 MDT Print View

Dave, I briefly skimmed over the thread you suggested it appears to be of great help. However will probably lead to more questions.

Eric, Yes that was my impressions however just being a layer in a system that cuts wind is easier to understand. Thank you for sharing and the warm welcome to the forums.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
more questions / clothes. on 05/27/2008 15:54:23 MDT Print View

no worries on the "more questions"... everyone here's got opinions and are happy to help. sometimes it's good to focus the discussion a bit, so that's why digging back through old posts can be a help - you'll find that all the usual topics have usually been discussed at least once (usually more) before.

in general, my layering in the sunny sierra is a long-sleeve sythetic t-shirt with a deep zipneck, and a patagonia houdini windshirt. add liner gloves and a ligthweight beanie for cold. maybe add a patagonia r1 pullover or puffball vest for another layer. rainjackets are hopefully not needed, but a tnf diad or an mld poncho (if using as a shelter) make it into the pack then. bottom's are shorts, with zipoff legs only if in mosquito territory, or perhaps running tights if quite cold out.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Clothes Worn/Carried on 05/27/2008 16:07:20 MDT Print View

See my reply to your same question on PBF.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Clothes Worn/Carried on 05/27/2008 17:52:48 MDT Print View

Sean, I was/am in much the same situation as you and just discovered this site recently.

This site is full of really helpful people -- it's rare to see a question go unanswered, and often you'll get quite a number of responses. Also there's a lot of information in the forum archives, although it can take a while to trawl through all the posts.

I've found the best way of working out what some of the "classic"/must-have ultra-light gear is to have a look in the "reader reviews" section of the site. Any gear item that rates at above 4 (or even 4.5) after more than 10 reviews is a popular item in the community and worth checking out (eg. Houdini windshirt).

I did read somewhere that there is a Wiki in the works, and I think that will be very useful when it comes online. This site probably needs a more comprehensive introductory page, which describes the most common systems (clothes etc) and makes some recommendations on the most popular gear to check out.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Re: "Clothes Worn/Carried" advice for someone buying LW hiking clothing 3+ layers on 05/28/2008 02:38:46 MDT Print View

Sean,
Or anyone else starting up again with light weight backpacking.. there is a wealth of information here. Let me summarize the advice I found most useful..

Start with a base layer top, bottom, socks, gloves, and watch-cap of merino wool or synthetic. Top and bottoms come in weights of 1,2,3, and 4, but sometimes go by other names. IMO, buy quality from Smartwool, Ibex, Icebreaker, or Montbell. Get the top in 1/4 zip for venting options. (that's 5 items)

Hiking pants; zip-off nylon type are very versatile. An example are REI Sahara(s). (1 item)

Add a synthetic or down lofting insulation layer; top and bottom. For example, Montbell Thermawrap parka and pants. (2 items)

Add a breathable windshirt such as the Patagonia Houdini. (1)

Last, a lightweight waterproof breathable shell such as TheNorthFace DIAD jacket and 1/4 zip Golite Reed pants. (Or TNF full zip Hyvent pants for year-round footwear compatibility). Speaking of shells, add shell gloves also.(3 items)

These are the 12 items I recommend to someone getting into (or back into) outdoor activities. Carrying fewer but more versatile items results in a lighter pack, and if you watch the deals (eg. steepandcheap.com), not so expensive.

Footwear is another issue, but consider Inov-8 390 boots at only 28 ounces a pair.

If I had known this simple advice, and stuck with quality brands, I could have saved quite a bit of money and time..

Edited by Brett1234 on 05/28/2008 02:41:13 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Clothes Worn/Carried on 05/28/2008 08:21:58 MDT Print View

There are a lot of interesting / useful threads about clothing on bpl... not to mention the articles. I have a recommended clothing page where I have tried to systematically list what I have learned with links to what I think have been the most interesting / valued threads.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
UL Clothing on 05/28/2008 08:44:32 MDT Print View

Clothing was the most difficult part of getting an UL kit together for me. It takes more mind-bending than any of the other items, IMHO.

A windshirt is really just that -- a windproof shirt. They cut the wind and are usually water repellent and good for a light shower. The idea is to cover your breathable/wicking layers with one that is less breathable to cut convective heat loss in cold wind. Toss the notion of shirts (like button downs) as you know them-- they just don't fit into an UL selection of clothing where each piece works in concert with the rest.

Other layers depend on the conditions/season. I have silkweight polyester base layer tops and bottoms like Patagonia's Capilene, and add Power Stretch items as a second or heavier base layer. Pants are usually zip-offs or shorts like REI Sahara or Ex Officio. I do have wind pants too, but they work best in the height of summer when I can pair them with the lightest of shorts; otherwise, I might as well have the zip-offs,. which are tougher too. I use a Mont Bell Thermarap top for general camp insulation. Rain gear is Marmot Precip or a poncho/cape which is also my shelter.

The idea is to wick perspiration away from your skin and dry quickly. The old adage is "cotton kills" as it won't wick or dry and will increase the chances of hypothermia. Extra layers help retain heat as needed. The outer layers cut wind or repel rain. It's that simple.

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Clothes Worn/Carried on 05/29/2008 13:55:06 MDT Print View

Mark--
Lots of great information of your site, I am still trudging through it all. Thanks for that resource.

Also a big thanks to everyone else as well for the help, I am desperating researching it all and if I have any other questions will bring them up here.