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Clothing for pacific NW
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Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Clothing for pacific NW on 05/07/2010 22:57:54 MDT Print View

Hi. My wife and I are going to be trying a little backpacking this year and I would be sure that I am bringing enough clothing without bringing too much.

We will be hiking in the pacific northwest around Seattle. So, the olympics, cascades, etc.

Here is what I'm bringing clothing wise.

poly t-shirt
poly underware
silk top
silk bottoms
montbell UL thermawrap jacket
nylon wind pants
2 pairs of wool or poly socks
nylon shorts
wool hat (for warmth)
nylon baseball style hat (for sun)
wool gloves
running shoes
my glasses have clip on sunglasses

What do you guys think? Will I be warm enough?Enough sun protection (I will have SPF 50 sunblock as well)?

Ryan Corder
(demo) - MLife

Locale: Arkansan in Seattle
Re: Clothing for pacific NW on 05/09/2010 00:06:18 MDT Print View

Well, it all depends what time(s) of year you are planning on going. Storms can come out of nowhere in both the Olympics and the Cascades. Due to the gap in weather coverage because of the Olympic peninsula, weather reports cannot be considered reliable for more than a couple of days out.

I'm a big poncho fan, but since I've moved to backpacking in the PNW (as opposed to Arkansas) I've moved to taking a dedicated rain/wind jacket. Rain and wind can come up strong and last a long while; the poncho flapping around can get annoying.

Of course, nothing is more important than experience in the backcountry, so only you can make the right call for you for a specific trip. I would just, in general, be prepared for a 40F degree difference between day and night if you get any elevation in your trip.

Best of luck, you'll have a blast! It is absolutely beautiful up here :)

Edited by demo on 05/09/2010 00:07:34 MDT.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Nice list on 05/09/2010 00:15:49 MDT Print View

Brian -

Seems about right to me, although I personally prefer a down jacket over the Thermawrap in terms of warmth. It really just depends when you are going backpacking. The Thermawrap is great during the summer, but during shoulder seasons, it can get a bit chilly in the Cascades and something a tad warmer is nice.

Here is a chart on the relative merits of different jackets. It's midway down the thread. The Thermawrap is compared to other options.

A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth

Here is another link, this one also discussing the MontBell line of jackets and temperature variations.

MontBell jackets -- rough idea of comparitive warmth

Finally, I'd agree with Ryan on the jacket/pants option. I am not a huge poncho fan, although plenty of people find this suits their own needs.


Edited by dirk9827 on 05/09/2010 02:06:06 MDT.

Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Thanks on 05/10/2010 20:12:35 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I'm not sure about the poncho. My rain jacket was way too large to bring so I thought I'd try the cheaper option first before shelling out money for a lighter jacket.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Thanks on 05/10/2010 20:36:59 MDT Print View


Three additional items you might consider: Beanie(e.g. fleece or powerstretch); Windshirt; Waterproof mitts to go over your gloves for hiking in the rain. they don't weigh much or cost a lot, and they can make a considerable difference in your comfort level.

Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
For more warmth on 05/10/2010 21:20:08 MDT Print View

I was just going to ask what would be the best way to add some insulation to my current setup. I don't mind replacing items but I'd really like to keep the montbell jacket. I love it.