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Clothing for freezing: I know nothing
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Cory Mull
(eldon519) - F
Clothing for freezing: I know nothing on 08/09/2009 18:45:59 MDT Print View

Hello, I'm new to the forum.

I've got a trip coming up in early October to Paria Canyon, and I could use some help on clothing recommendations. I grew up in Georgia and live in Houston, so I don't know what to wear for the trip.

The historical weather I found for Flagstaff says average highs of 65 to lows of 32 with extreme ranges of 81-11. I was thinking I would bring:

Icebreaker 140 weight long sleeve for day
Icebreaker 260 weight long sleeve for camp
Windproof/waterproof shell (no insulation)

Convertible zip-off short/pants
Icebreaker leggings around 200 weight

Does that sound like a versatile enough wardrobe for these conditions? I've usually gotten through weather like this by just overpacking lots of options, but given the length of the trip, I'd like to minimize.

Thanks for any advice.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
poof on 08/09/2009 20:13:01 MDT Print View

you're going to need more insulation than 2 layers of icebreaker to keep you warm at night.

i'd look for some sort of poofy jacket, down or synthetic is up to you

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Clothing for freezing: I know nothing on 08/09/2009 20:29:56 MDT Print View

You'll need some sort of puffy insulation at those temps. There are lots of great options around, Including, but not limited to:

Montbell Thermawrap Jacket/Parka (vest also available)
Montbell Inner Down Jacket/Parka (vest also available)
Patagonia Micropuff pullover/parka (vest also available)
BPL Cocoon jacket/parka (vest also available)

Throw in a fleece watchcap and some lightweight gloves (powerstretch works great) and you're fine.

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Clothing for freezing: I know nothing on 08/09/2009 20:30:48 MDT Print View

Would add "puffy" insulation for top layer as mention and combine with rain shell in camp.

Would keep convertible pant layer and have a back up wind pant to layer over existing pant.

Add warm socks to change into when in camp

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Clothing for freezing: I know nothing on 08/09/2009 20:37:29 MDT Print View

Flagstaff is mountain country. Paria is canyon country--a bit warmer on average, to put it briefly. However you can still get drops down to the 30s at night there, maybe even lower if it's October or later. On the whole, though, your cold weather will almost certainly be restricted to nighttime and the morning. I would bring whatever clothes you're going to hike in, maybe a shortsleeve shirt and pants, maybe a light longsleeve shirt and shorts. Then add in a down jacket. There are a number of ultralight options in the 12-16 ounce range that will keep both your backpack and your wallet nice and lightweight. If you are the kind of person who likes horribly frustrating endeavors like making jigsaw puzzles when two or three sets of puzzles are mixed into the same pile together, you might also try making your own jacket for less $$ with materials from It won't be pretty, but it will (probably) be really light and warm.

The idea here is that most folks don't need much insulation while moving, even in 30 degree weather (a windbreaker helps, though, and in colder weather you add in more base layers). If you're actively moving, though, you can generally stay warm. Now what happens when you stop for camp and the sun goes down? You can't stay warm by doing jumping jacks all evening--or rather you might but I doubt anybody would seriously do this. Therefore you extract your puffy down jacket from your backpack like the pro that you are and warm up. It might still get colder that night, too cold for your ultralight tissue-cloth, half-inch-thick, underfilled "coat" (at some point you WILL curse yourself for putting so much importance on ultralightitude when it comes to down jackets). That's when you hop in your warm down sleeping bag and wait it out until morning when the weather warms up again. Once you're on the trail again the next morning, you'll warm up again.

Just make sure you bring an adequately rated sleeping bag and can keep it dry just in case of a rain.

Edited by artsandt on 08/09/2009 20:57:42 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Clothing for freezing: I know nothing on 08/09/2009 20:55:19 MDT Print View

I'll speak up as well for a Montbell type jacket, down or synthetic, 8-12 oz. My UL Down Inner Parka is 8.5oz in a large and is pushing it if taking it down to freezing, as I did last weekend, but with your other layers, you could probably manage. I also used it to (barely) extend my 32 degree quilt down into the 20s when the temperatures dropped a bit lower than packed for.

I would also (as I did) drop the heavier Icebreaker for a Montbell synthetic vest or something. At ~5 oz, it probably weighs about the same, but will keep your core warmer.

For one night below freezing, and one each in the mid and low 40s, I wore a midweight Smartwool (all day and night) + the vest, a wind jacket, and the UL Down Parka in some combination and stayed comfortable.

Cory Mull
(eldon519) - F
re: on 08/10/2009 16:08:50 MDT Print View

Thanks for the advice. I looked around and apparently it is a decent time to hop on some of the recommended Montbell stuff as I found some of it at a reasonable discount.

From the responses, I couldn't really decipher if the consensus was that the leggings would be necessary for in camp or not? Is it mainly just a matter of keeping my core warm?

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: re: on 08/10/2009 16:13:38 MDT Print View

Where did you find a sale on the Montbell jackets? I am looking to get one as well.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: re: on 08/10/2009 17:23:44 MDT Print View

As temps drop, I like to have a base layer bottom. I carry some Capilene 1s from Patagonia. When I hike in just spandex short tights, they slide right over without having to remove layers (except shoes). Well worth the ~4.5 oz.

For those temps, here's a SUL list that may get you started:

Note: for colder temps, I would drop the puffy pants and add a insulated bag or quilt.

Edited by citystuckhiker on 08/10/2009 17:28:14 MDT.

Cory Mull
(eldon519) - F
re: on 08/10/2009 19:57:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the explanation Matt. Leggings it is! In all honesty, I appreciate SUL and the innovation it breeds, but it would probably be generous to even call my style UL. Maybe just Lite, like a Miller;-) I think the clothing hints that have come my way will be more than compatible with my aims.

The sale I found is at I've done business with them before and found their service to be good. The deals aren't earth shattering, but the savings are considerable:

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: re: on 08/10/2009 20:08:48 MDT Print View

Here's another site which regularly has Montbell down jackets on sale.

I would agree with Matt that a nice baselayer bottom is worth a lot, comfortwise, in camp, particularly if your worn hiking layer is a thinner pair of pants. A lot of winter trips, though, I am hiking in my mountaineering pants, which are themselves a fleece softshell (they do have full leg zips which I unzip during the warmer part of the day so I don't overheat). If I go on a winter trip with lows down into the teens and I'm wearing these pants, I typically don't end up needing the extra layer of long underwear because the pants are warm enough as it is. Just something to think about.

Any insulation on your legs will be appreciated once you've stopped hiking and are sitting/laying around for an hour or more in the cold. A nice sleeping bag should be enough that you shouldn't need to wear insulating clothing but of course you always have the issue of drafts coming into the bag so a little leg insulation is a nice thing even then. Perhaps not necessary if the lows are only in the 30s (your legs are appendages after all, and have different warmth requirements than your core). But nice.

David Loome
(DavidLoome) - F

Locale: American Southwest
warm stuff on 08/18/2009 16:36:49 MDT Print View

Like someone said, Flagstaff (where I live) is mountain country, Paria is canyon country and warmer, but I'm not sure if this is necessarily so.

Remember that as a wet canyon, Paria can act as a cold sink, and may be much more humid and condensation prone than surrounding areas. This can easily offset it's lower elevation than Flag. I've also seen it snow in the Paria region in October and it can be downright cold up there that time of year.

I would bring a synthetic 'puffy' and a warm bag.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: warm stuff on 08/18/2009 16:40:58 MDT Print View

ask these questions on

two things i think you'll benefit by bringing (aside from warm layers)
1) neoprene socks or short boots
2) crappy tennis shoes that you dont mind discarding afterwards

and the bonus answer: dont drink paria creek water, ever.

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 08/18/2009 16:42:15 MDT.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Pariah on 08/18/2009 20:17:54 MDT Print View

Where in the Pariah drainage will you be? If you're in Buckskin, I wouldn't worry about raingear; if it rains there, getting wet from the rain is the least of your worries. I agree with Mike in that neoprene socks are nice in places like that, as some parts you'll be wading a good ways. Take a puffy jacket, a windshirt, and a baselayer shirt. I agree about the leggings; it's nice to have something warm to put on if you've been wading all day. The temp drops quick in the canyons when it starts getting dark.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
lived in Flagstaff - weird weather patterns on 08/25/2009 15:50:00 MDT Print View

You never know but Flagstaff can get pretty cold in October. The highs and lows are pretty drastic in that area. also remember the days are much shorter. I used to live 2 years in Flagstaff and the weather can be quiet dramatic over there. Hot or cold. Rain or snow. Also, it would feel colder than usual because the air is so dry. I would suggest being on a conservative side and definitely bringing some insulation. I usually use a long sleeve microweight merino layer and my UL Montbell Down Parka. However, for this trip, i would also bring my Mountain Hardware Zip T made of polartec.
I also have Patagonia Capeline 1 longs. They are great, love them!

Good luck on your trip.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Clothing for freezing: I know nothing on 08/25/2009 16:39:59 MDT Print View

im not sure why you guys are associating Flagstaff weather with Paria canyon, which is near the Utah border. If you want to check the local weather, use this: