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Summer AT clothing
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Gabriel Pramuk
(gpramuk) - F

Locale: West
Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 01:41:50 MDT Print View

I plan on hiking between May and August, so I am not expecting extremely cold weather. Though I might add some warm layer for the north east.

Not ready with my whole gear list, but I need some ideas on clothes. I always seem to have too much.

trying to go sub 5 lbs with everything so be mega-critical! heh.
I have a summer quilt, cuben tarp. razor blade, no cook, ya konw, generic SUL ridicu-list.

So! Approximate weights: scale is fritzed.

MH wicked lite T - 4
Polyester hiking shirt - 8
3-4 oz wind jacket
Running shorts - 4
some sort of underwear - 3
long pants - 8
set of silk PJs - 6
2 pair socks - 2 total
real light balaclava - 1.5

I'm looking for a GoLite Ether or something like it for a wind jacket.

I might change silk for my poly stuff for colder weather, might consider adding a a warmer layer too.

Rain gear is a poncho and home made rain skirt. I despise rain coats. I used three 2$ ponchos in the overly rainy Rockies last year.

I don't mind long shirts/pants. Used them out west the last two years. Though I don't like walking in wet long pants... and I don't like rain pants. I don't know if the shorts and necessary, or the SS shirt. But even when it is cold I prefer to walk in shorts in the rain. Short sleeves too. Even if it's chilly.

It seems like I can't find a pair of convertible pants that compete with super cheap tennis/running/swim shorts and my light pants. Is there such a thing as 8-9 oz convertible pants?

I have some of that stuff. But am looking for some silk PJs. What are some good super-light ones I can buy new?

What else... I don't mind sleeping in my clothes as long as they are fairly dry and not overly crusty.

Feel free to direct me to a model summer AT gear list.

I saw a post about getting PJS from Sierra Trading Post, but for some reason STP and REI take over an hour to load on my dialup. I can't figure it out. So it is REALLY tough to browse.
If anyone knows of anything specific, I wouldn't mind a direct link! heh.


Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 04:54:44 MDT Print View

What section(s) of the AT? Or are you doing a thru? Have you hiked on the East coast in pants during the Summer before? We have really high humidity (as opposed to the West) and it can be a serious sweat bath. I've seen a lot of people backpacking in shorts and no shirt at all here. You won't catch me in pants during the summers except for when required at work, it's just too hot and humid. Also, we're already experiencing mid 80s here in GA which tells me it's going to be a brutally hot Summer this year.

For reference, I don't carry any pants unless it's going to be consistently below 40. I won't wear long sleeve shirts above 60 or so (this one depends on winds).

Matthew Reese
(mbrktn) - F

Locale: East Tennessee
Pants on 04/02/2010 06:41:52 MDT Print View

I very rarely hike in shorts, even in the hottest part of the summer. Picked up too many ticks and have a family history of skin cancer, so I generally hike in long pants and a long sleeved shirt, treated with permethrin. My go-to pants are Railriders Eco-mesh:

9.7 ounces according to the website, with nifty side zips that really do a pretty good job of venting.

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 06:56:13 MDT Print View

A lot probably depends on where you'll be in May. Thru-hiking? SOBO? NOBO? Section-hiking?

Regardless, I'd echo what Chris said and ditch the pants.

I'd also leave the long sleeve shirt at home. T-shirt + wind jacket would provide same coverage and more flexibility.

If you can find light running shorts with a liner, then you could leave out the underwear. The silk pjs will depend on what you and your quilt are comfortable with. Between May-Aug in the mid-atlantic, I usually find myself in running shorts with my summer bag just partially covering me at night - the humidity is too much for silk pjs IMO.

Edited by smyth on 04/02/2010 06:57:33 MDT.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 08:27:29 MDT Print View

I was mildly hypothermic this summer in Maine (long rainy day of hiking after a long rainy night) and it was awful. I thought I could hike fast and stay warm (was in a rain jacket, long sleeve layer and short). My hands stopped working and I'm just happy I was in a group and it was our last day out.

I would bring an insulating layer if you are going to be in New England this summer.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 08:28:19 MDT Print View

Oh and also I find that shorts with a liner get WAY more funky than shorts with no liner and undies. It's gross. But YMMV!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Pants on 04/02/2010 08:53:34 MDT Print View

I'm with Matthew. I don't hike in shorts, and love my Eco-Mesh pants. I also don't hike in short sleeve shirts, and am enjoying my EcoMesh shirt as well. Keeps me cool enough (I could hike naked and I wouldn't be cool in summer, in more ways than one) and I don't have to worry about sun exposure or carrying any sunscreen.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
RailRiders on 04/02/2010 08:59:23 MDT Print View

I hike in Florida most of the year (also very hot and humid here). I would recommend the RailRiders Eco-Mesh line of clothing. I have their Eco-Mesh pants and Madison River shirt. Both provide excellent ventilation and are actually bearable even in the summer (for me anyway). The bug protection they provide is a definite plus.

Keep in mind that a long sleeve shirt and pants can be easily turned into a short sleeve shirt and shorts by simply rolling up the sleeves/pant legs. This gives you more versatility than shorts and a T-shirt, IMO.


Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 09:04:51 MDT Print View

Ditch the pants for summer on the AT unless you're only going for a short while. I prefer hiking in pants year round, but the bottom line is that the humidity and sweat play a huge role and eventually most people taking a long stroll on the AT will just switch to shorts. It just makes everything easier and helps prevent chaffing.

Rail Riders make nice pants (and shorts, although the shorts for a long trip should be nylon or polyester), but their center front rivet annoys the crap out of me. It sticks out too far and digs into my gut. I've replaced all mine with a simple flat and unobtrusive button.

Matthew Swierkowski
(Berserker) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Summer AT clothing on 04/02/2010 09:07:24 MDT Print View

It would be nice to get some more specifics on where exactly you are going. I can’t speak for the NE, but the SE and presumably the mid-Atlantic states are likely to be quite warm during that period of time as others have mentioned. I wouldn’t skimp too much though as I was out in mid May last year in NC and it was down right chilly. Night time lows were in the low 30s (I had a thermometer with me). Most likely late May through August will be hot though. And as others have mentioned humidity is the big issue over here. If it isn’t raining on you you’ll likely be soaked with sweat.

So, based on what you said in your post I have to agree with the short wearers. I also use only shorts, or to be more specific zip off pants. I like to carry the legs along in case it gets cold. With wearing shorts your biggest problem is likely to be ticks, so make sure to check yourself out periodically throughout your trip. You said you don’t like long pants or shirts in the rain, and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen this year. In a normal year I would say that you can expect to be rained on about half the time you are out as a general rule, but who knows what’s going to happen with the massive amount of snow we got this winter and the previous few years of droughts.

As for sleeping I'm with you on the PJs. Expect to be quite crusty, and I know you don't want that junk on your bag.

I also wanted to echo Angela’s statement about the underwear. I agree with wearing underwear and carrying an extra pair or two. That greatly reduces the funk, and allows for you to clean (or burn…just kidding :-)) the dirty pair.

Gabriel Pramuk
(gpramuk) - F

Locale: West
nobo thru on 04/02/2010 11:25:12 MDT Print View

I would leave a little earlier but I need to make money! I'm going to try to do some lengthy canoeing as well if the water levels are decent. (Northern Forest Canoe Trail) Looking at September for that. It has been done as late as into October. That is a whole different list..

So. at nobo thru, starting May 5ish

The pants are indeed for sun and ticks.
I like LS shirts because of how you can waer them. LS/ rolled up, unbuttoned, half...

I've see the railriders stuff and like it.
But if I could find a pair of light convertible pants...

I'll carry the PJs at a paltry 6 oz and if I don't use them I can bounce em I suppose.

Thanks, Gabe

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: nobo thru on 04/02/2010 11:57:12 MDT Print View

Well perhaps you'll catch up with me! NOBO April 17th. I wouldn't be surprised if you did... I'm going to take it slow the first month.

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: nobo thru on 04/02/2010 13:47:23 MDT Print View

"The pants are indeed for sun and ticks."

Just two points about the pants.

(1) With the exception of the balds, your legs won't see much sun with a May start date in Georgia. Foliage will mostly have filled in by then. Not until you get above tree line up north will you have lengthy exposure.

(2) Pants will help with the ticks, but not eliminate them - a nightly check should still be in order.

Enjoy the hike!

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Re: nobo thru clothes. on 04/02/2010 19:25:54 MDT Print View

For ticks, I like light long pants treated with permethrin.
Lyme disease is a serious problem, worst in southern New England but getting worse further south. Also, treat sock tops and shirts.

Weather: If the weather in New England is like last summer, you'll be hypothermic with those clothes. Last summer in the Berkshires the low in June was 32F and lots of rain. Daytime temps in southern New England of 50 with rain were common all through June and July with some days not hitting 50. Going through the White Mountains you should be prepared for 32F, heavy rain and 60 mph winds simultaneously. I'd say at least one fleece jacket and warmer long johns until the White Mountains (and preferably a synthetic puffy jacket), warmer hat. For the White Mts., add another layer and mittens. For the White Mts. above tree line I'm very skeptical of a $2 poncho for above tree line; even a good poncho can be marginal if it's windy. I'd say rain parka and rain pants for the Whites. I'm not sure if your clothes are warm enough for the Smokies. You might get lucky with weather, but you can't count on it.

For example, July 4, 2009, Hi 46, lo 35, average wind 47 mph, peak gust 75 mph. The monthly weather is at:

Edited by Snowleopard on 04/02/2010 19:27:21 MDT.

Brendan West

Locale: Northeast Pennsylvania
Pant haters... on 04/02/2010 21:13:33 MDT Print View

Buncha pant haters here! (But honestly, I hike the A.T. in Pennsylvania all the time, and I'm in shorts from the end of February through October most years)

Depending on where you're hiking and when, you might want to consider a UL No-see-um headnet (it doubles as a stuff sack when you're not wearing it). The May flies and blackflies can be HORRENDOUS.

Gabriel Pramuk
(gpramuk) - F

Locale: West
pants shorts pants shorts kilt? on 04/02/2010 23:09:55 MDT Print View

harharhar... The thought did cross my mind.

So I think I am going to try and find a sub 10 oz pair of convertibles. Patagonia island hopper or something. I have some super cheap ones from REI. Old, 16 oz +. I have most of the gear otherwise.
Headnet? check
warm layer for the Whites? yep
gloves, warm hat, zip lock baggies for my hands? That too
Permethrin or whatever? I'll have to find some!

Rain gear? Maybe if I feel like it, I'll get some dryducks.. but even in Washington 08 with 20/24 days with rain I used only a poncho, raincoat stayed in my bag. Just hike like a maniac then put on dry stuff.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Kilt. on 04/03/2010 09:12:26 MDT Print View

KILT!! Definitely.
Nothing more manly or more comfortable. I hike in one year round.

Paul Siegel

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Kilt. on 04/03/2010 09:17:24 MDT Print View

You have a lightweight kilt?

What do you recommend in the way of fabrics, length, etc?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Lightweight Kilts on 04/03/2010 09:40:05 MDT Print View

Sport Kilts

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Kilt. on 04/03/2010 09:54:57 MDT Print View

This thread was started here a long time ago. It has a lot of comments about using a Kilt to hike in.

Kilt (information) Thread

I have made several different types of Kilts and they are almost easy to sew.

One was black silk that was very light. I have thought about making a kilt out of Pertex Quantum or Momentum 90. Cuben was also a thought but it would have to have some type of dark liner that would add a bit to the weight. It would be water proof if that made any difference.

The bug problem could be taken care of with some type insect repellent.