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Colorado Trail thru-hike -- August
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Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
Colorado Trail thru-hike -- August on 06/26/2010 20:29:10 MDT Print View

Thru-hike with a partner from the last week of July through all of August.

Here is my gear list:

Google Spreadsheet

Only things with a '1' in red in Column E are going with me.. the few on the list without the '1' are under consideration.

Copying the important stuff here:

(name and weight in ounces)

Pack: (3 lbs 2 oz)
Aarn Mountain Magic 55_____________________________50.5

Sleeping system: (2 lbs 9 oz)
MH Ultralamina 32 F Sleeping Bag_____________________30
S2S Blue Dry Sack 4 L_______________________________1

RidgeRest (Cut down)_______________________________10

Tent (2 lbs 8 oz)
Unknown (Double Rainbow or Lunar Duo)_________________42

Packed clothing
Capilene white zip-top_________________________________6.1
Kombi 80% poly 20% merino midweight underpants_________6.1
Extra underwear_______________________________________2

Fugu Down Jacket____________________________________14

Headwarmer / Balaclava________________________________2.1
Fleece Gloves (+ plastic bag for rain)_____________________1.5
Smartwool Hiking sock________________________________2.9
Coolmax ankle length socks - 2 extra pairs________________4
ExOfficio Bandana____________________________________1.6

DriDucks rain pants_____________________________________6
Rain and wind jacket - DriDucks + cheap wind jacket__________9

Clothing worn
Just a shirt, pant, shoes and hiking poles.. no jacket.

Note that only half the tent weight and the cook kit weight count since I'll split it with my partner.

The total base weight comes to 12.5 lbs which breaks down approx. as,
3.5 lbs of clothing
7 lbs of the big 4
2 lbs of misc (cook kit, first aid, lights, bear bagging kit etc)

A. Losing a pound would be great.

B. I'm not sure my jacket solution is enough -- for a 35 day hike, often above treeline in the Rockies with daily thunderstorms, I'm taking a DriDucks jacket + a 3 - 4 oz wind shell I'm still looking to buy. No other jacket what so ever.

Thanks for looking! Any and all comments welcome!

Edited by longhiker on 06/26/2010 20:39:28 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Shirt? on 06/26/2010 22:12:56 MDT Print View

For that long I might take a T-Shirt and a longsleeve. My guess is you'll have some warmer days and at other times you'll want something between a t-shirt and down jacket. Good luck I might have some time in August to do part or all of the trail so maybe I'll see you.

A. Is the Capiline top for sleeping or do you wear it in the day as well?
B. For a trip that long I might consider a backup to the driducks raincoat. They are fragile and the pack straps might wear through over time. For long term wear you could have a backup in your bounce box (if you have one) or for sudden failures i.e rips. you could carry one of those little emergancy ponchos.
Overall I liked your gear list, it might be possible to get a bit lighter if you want to spend money but what you have looks perfectly reasonable to me.

Edited by Cameron on 06/26/2010 22:24:04 MDT.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
driducks as durable as any other UL jacket? on 06/27/2010 08:04:56 MDT Print View

Hey Luke

1. I spent perhaps 20 hours searching this forum and looking at all the other rain jacket options out there. Under 10 oz, I settled on the Marmot Mica, Essence or North Face Triumph Anorak. But read deeper and you find that these are not terribly 'durable' either and cost around $100. Esp. under pack straps!!

I thought the DriDucks can be easily patched with duct tape.. and it is not like I will be hiking with the DriDucks on most of the time.. if I understand this right, Colorado is not the Pacific Northwest -- it might rain everyday but for a short brief period. Please correct me if I am wrong!

I might bounce box another DriDucks set though..

2. I am indeed thinking of adding an airy longsleeve to the t-shirt.. the Capilene is a "Capilene 3". Seems thin but it is probably too warm to hike in. So a light longsleeve + t-shirt might be a good combo..

Hope to see you on the trail! Watch out for the thru-hiker with an Aarn pack (and my friend with a 'normal' pack).

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Durable Jacket on 06/27/2010 12:40:10 MDT Print View

If you're aware of the durablity issue I won't argue with your choice. I lean towards minimal gear too when I can get away with it. Aside from durablity my only thought would be how often will you wear it and for how long? If you don't think the driducks will be "liveable" for longer periods I'd get something a tad heavier.

My friends on the Califorinia coast swear by their Northface raincoats. I weighed one and it was 11oz with a great hood and pit zips. It was made from relatively durable fabric and my friends used them pretty hard. If I recall they cost about $80. I love going really light but if I expected prolonged rain I'd carry the extra weight of one of those.

Edited by Cameron on 06/27/2010 12:53:14 MDT.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
so much rain in Colorado? on 06/27/2010 13:40:37 MDT Print View

Do you know which North Face jacket they were using?

11 oz is not too bad but if it is reasonably priced, my concern is that it is not breathable enough to wear around when it is NOT raining.. in which case, you might as well go with the DriDucks.

The only North Face jacket I looked at is the Triumph Anorak which you can get for $100 but I'm not sure how long it'll last.. it only weighs 5.5 oz or something.

Why do you bring up rain? Do you have experience with Colorado and think it might involve extended periods of hiking in the rain?

It isn't exactly a wet place, in the sense that it is mostly dry expect for daily brief storms(?). (I'm asking because I don't really know for sure.)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
North Face Jacket on 06/27/2010 14:24:24 MDT Print View

To answer your questions...
1. I can't figure out exactly which jacket it was, I looked on the website and I think it was the Resolve but it may be a new model. I knew the material was HyVent.
2. I bought a used on and wore it a while before giving it to my sister (it was size small and I'm a medium). It seemed pretty breathable to me. I wasn't doing any real hard hiking but I was doing fairly physical work on a ropes course. It was definately better than my old Gore Tex raincoat that did not have pit zips.
3. When I've been in CO in the late summer I've always gotten rained on, usually its short but occassionally more. I'm not saying you can't do it with minimal rain gear, people have done it before, I was just suggesting you
a. take a look at likely weather
b. think about whether your rain gear will keep you happy for five weeks straight in that weather.

EDIT - I just figured it out it was the North Face Venture jacket. They seem to be updating it a bit so you might find a discounted one. I saw them one place for only $68 but they were sold out.

Edited by Cameron on 06/27/2010 14:30:15 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Colorado Trail thru-hike -- August on 06/27/2010 19:17:10 MDT Print View

It could be dry or it could rain every day.

The most common weather pattern is clear mornings followed by a series of afternoon and early evening boomers, with breaks in between, usually starting about 2-4 pm. Each thunderstorm will give you 15-30 minutes of hard rain as well as plenty of lightning.

One year in northern Colorado it rained most of every day, with a daily cloudburst (often with an inch or two of hail) arriving almost on the dot of 4 pm each day. This went on for 2 weeks! It then cleared and was dry for most (not all) of the rest of the 6-week trip. Another year, on a 7-day trip, it alternately rained and snowed the first four days. The other three days were beautiful!

At the higher elevations, frost at night is common and it can snow at any time. By late August you'll probably have ice in your water every morning. Any snow usually melts off fast, but if you're in a ticklish place or have a whiteout it might hold you up half a day. I'd plan a couple of contingency "zero" days into your schedule just in case.

Check the DriDucks at home in the shower (you might have to seal a seam) and take plenty of duct tape! It seems that the pants (under more stress at the seat and inseam) are more apt to give way than the jacket. The emergency poncho might be an idea, at least to bounce.

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/27/2010 19:18:27 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Colorado Trail thru-hike -- August on 06/27/2010 20:07:08 MDT Print View

If you sweat a lot, then you probably need something that is fairly waterproof and fairly breathable.

OTOH, apparently I don't get that hot, and a Sil-Nylon hooded rain jacket at 4 ounces worked for me, especially in cool/freezing weather. Anti Gravity Gear sells them for $75 or something.


Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
Approach $80 and I could get a Marmot Mica on 06/28/2010 10:00:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for all those rain gear suggestions.

Can't decide yet between the DriDucks I already own and something heavier and more durable (the North Face Venture and the discontinued Golite Virga seem like good value).

If the price gets above $80 or so though, I'd rather get the Marmot Mica which is waterproof and apparently breathable.. and only 6 oz.

Edit: I certainly get pretty hot!

Edited by longhiker on 06/28/2010 10:01:47 MDT.