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Sleeping in Hiking Clothes
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Thomas Kight
(ningen) - F
Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/04/2008 23:59:03 MDT Print View

My first post! OK, so it's a newbie question, but the curiosity is real. As I am just now transitioning to Light/Ultralight hiking, I have been reading all sorts of material, but something is unclear: What's the current position of most on the issue of carrying a change of clothes or just a clean base layer to sleep in vs. sleeping in what you hike in (which on first glance strikes me as neither pleasant or wise, but hey, as I said, I'm just a newbie). Any thoughts are most welcome.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 06/05/2008 00:30:41 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/20/2014 20:38:01 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 00:36:41 MDT Print View

I carry a separate set of "sleep wear": long sleeves silk top and bottom plus a pair of liner socks -- weighing just 7oz. in total. Well worth the weight in terms of comfort provided -- and also goes a long way to keeping my bag clean.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 00:43:06 MDT Print View

Like Ben I carry a set of silk pygama coveralls - hood to toes. Weight 120 g (4.2 oz). My wife uses a silk liner - similar weight.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 01:24:27 MDT Print View

I don't bring "dedicated" sleeping clothing. As the temp drops I bring featherweight or midweight base layer as part of my layering system. This is my sleep wear as well as extra insulation during the day when needed. The clothing I wear dries very quickly and typically has anti-microbial aspects which keeps stink down somewhat.


Edited by verber on 06/05/2008 11:06:34 MDT.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 01:44:07 MDT Print View

I always sleep in a full coverage (longsleeve/longjohn/socks) light base layer. I prefer smartwool. This is both for comfort and to keep my bag clean. In the summer, when it's dry, dusty, and sweaty, these are dedicated extra clothing that I bring along.

In spring/fall seasons, I typically wear a longsleeve/longjohn base layer during the day, plus I carry one spare set. I rotate them out as I have a chance to dry them (or wash and dry if time and temps permit). My goal of course is to always have a dry and relatively clean set to sleep in.

Edited by jbrinkmanboi on 06/05/2008 01:45:36 MDT.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 05:55:17 MDT Print View

Just to give a contrary view I don't carry any spare clothes for sleeping in. In above freezing temperatures I don't usually sleep in clothes at all. If I feel chilly I sleep in the base layer top I've worn during the day and if still cold I add other clothes. On my recent 2 week TGO Challenge walk across Scotland temperatures fell to -4C/25F on several nights and I had one camp on snow, both unusual for May. I slept in my Smartwool Lightweight Zip T, which I wore every day, on the below freezing nights and when camped on snow I also wore my Montane Terra trousers, Smartwool boxer shorts, Teki midweight hiking socks, Jack Wolfskin Geko fleece and Smartwool beanie. On the 2 week Yellowstone ski/igloo trip in February I slept in the same Smartwool Zip T and boxers every night. I've done this on longer trips too and had no problems with damp clothing (it dries during the evening) or damp sleeping bags.

I like all my clothes to work together so I can wear them all if it's really cold.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 06:25:11 MDT Print View

I usually bring an extra top and an extra pair of socks to sleep in during the summer. They get a lot funkier than my shorts.

As the temperature gets colders I just add layers that I bring along anyway, like long pants and baselayers, warm hat and socks, jackets, etc. The only thing I bring specifically for sleeping then is a warm, dry pair of socks.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 07:35:32 MDT Print View

As you see many do carry extra clothing to sleep in.

I sleep in my hiking clothes and pull over a montane lightspeed top and montane featherlite pants to give more warmth and keep my bag cleaner.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 07:40:04 MDT Print View

No dedicated sleeping clothes. I guess I've just become accustomed to sleeping in my own funk. Gotta have warm,dry socks, though.

If you go this route and travel in bear country, just be careful not to spill food on yourself while cooking and eating.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Funk? What funk? on 06/05/2008 09:46:45 MDT Print View

I smell like roses at the end of a hard day's hike!

No but seriously, when I switched to UL I stopped bringing extra clothes. However, now that I have a newly acquired Nunatak, and after seeing how many people do bring "sleeping clothes", maybe it's a good idea.

BTW - how many of you are counting these extra clothes in your BW? Do we have some cheaters here? (j/k - sort of)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Funk? What funk? on 06/05/2008 09:51:22 MDT Print View


I often cut weight severely and don't carry anything extra. I just pretend my clothes don't reek and could pass for cardboard soaked in salt.

If I do carry extra it is a pair of socks for the tent, wool long johns for the bottom and a cotton tank top to sleep in. I usually have the cotton tank with me as I prefer to hike in cotton shirts in summer.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 10:02:18 MDT Print View

My trail wear is designed for the temperatures so I sleep in it too. I will occasionally wear socks as well as my clothing layer if it's cold enough, but try to air out my toes and feet as much as possible.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
RE:"Sleeping in Hiking Clothes" on 06/05/2008 10:09:17 MDT Print View

I carry a silk liner and sleep in a pair of dedicated nylon shorts. <5oz total.

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
RE: Sleeping in Hiking Clothes on 06/05/2008 11:21:37 MDT Print View

On long hikes I take two hiking shirts (usually both are RailRider Adventure Shirts), two pairs of synthetic boxers, two (sometimes three) pairs of socks, and one pair of pants. Sometime in the morning I rinse out the shirt, underwear, and socks that I wore the day before, then hang them on my pack to dry. When I get into camp for the night, I change out of the hiking clothes I was wearing for the day, wipe myself down with a tiny cut-down wet towel, and put on the clothes I rinsed-out that morning. This way I am wearing somewhat clean clothes to bed, and I don't have to do any changing in the morning when it's cold. I also use a silk liner to keep the funk out of my quilt. My plan doesn't work as well when it is raining all day and I can't dry the clothes on the outside of my pack, but usually it stays cool all day when it is raining, so I don't get as funky to begin with.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Silk sleepwear on 06/05/2008 11:32:56 MDT Print View

Where can I find good light silk sleepwear? I have not actively looked for these, so I'm not sure where to buy them.

I'm not a MYOG guy, and wouldn't even attempt to make these myself.

Any recommended brands, etc?


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Silk sleepwear on 06/05/2008 12:14:38 MDT Print View

I have these from the New Zealand Nature Company.

They are very sheer - almost see-thru when stretched. However, I was surprised to find they weigh 8.25 oz, after I replaced a wide elastic waistband with a pull cord.

They do not add much warmth. I bought them specifically to protect the sleeping bag, which they do, based on the color of the wash water ;-(

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
wind wear as sleep ware on 06/05/2008 15:48:26 MDT Print View

i saw at least one person who does the same as I-- that is, wear my wind shirt/ pants if necessary.

if i can, i wear only my hiking boxers but if that is too cold, then i don the windshirt and pants, which creates a bit of a vapor barrier and warms me up.

the only downside to that which i have noticed is that you get a bit moist inside the wind clothing b/c the breathability seems to be impacted when you are inside a sleeping bag.

another alternative i use is to just wear whatever insulating later you have-- for me, depending on the temp and season, i use a WM down vest (late spring, summer, early fall) or a Montbell UL inner (remaining parts of the year, sierra high country 10k+, cold snaps) at night to sleep in with no shirt on underneath w/ the boxers.

i thought those would get nasty quickly but they dont, surprisingly. i wash them about every year or so with the appropriate soap and they are solid. same goes for WM bags. but i do think that your gear probably does not last quite as long this way.... for me, i dont worry about that b/c then i have an excuse to get something new/ lighter! those items though, over the last 3-4 years i've used them-- logging 200-300 miles a year-- i havent had to replace them from use/ cleaning.

in the end, really, its hard to justify that extra set of sleeping clothes if you want to get the weight down. but like i said, we all have to indulge from time to time. also, its dependent on the type of backpacking-- if you are going to be hanging out at camp for any length than it is nice to change after a day of hiking and hang-out in fresh clothes. for me, who mostly solos or hikes with another like-minded partner, its set up camp, sleep, wake, and move on. no need for extra clothes then.

Edited by nevadas on 06/05/2008 15:56:23 MDT.

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
Wind Wear as Sleep Wear on 06/05/2008 16:19:52 MDT Print View


How is wearing a windshirt and windpants with a bug net over the face any different than jumping into a bivy sack? I have always felt that they offer the same level of protection and lets you carry more gear with multiple uses.

Unfortunately, this system often gets too warm in summer months.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Sleeping clothes for me on 06/06/2008 22:21:00 MDT Print View

I always bring something clean to sleep in. I hike in pants & believe me in the muddy area I normally hike in, by the end of the day the pants aren't something I want under my sleeping quilt.

I also prefer a dedicated sleeping shirt, although I have occasionally layered my sleeping shirt over my hiking shirt, provided temperature are low enough at night and my hiking shirt has come close to drying out.

I always take dry, clean socks to sleep in. No spare pairs for hiking though - I just stick the wet dirty ones back on the next morning since clean ones would soon be the same...