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woman's list?
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Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
A woman's insulation needs on 03/19/2011 23:33:54 MDT Print View

Hi, Kyle,

you said, "I guess what I'm saying is women's insulation needs are likely associated more with experience than anything else."

I think that may be true for some women, and not true for others.

A woman's perspective.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
re on 03/19/2011 23:43:09 MDT Print View

I second Diana's post.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: re on 03/19/2011 23:50:24 MDT Print View

+3 for Diana's post.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: woman's list on 03/20/2011 01:08:52 MDT Print View


Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: woman's list on 03/20/2011 01:37:50 MDT Print View

This is silly. The insulation needs among women are just as varied and subject to individuals as they are for men. You just can't tell individual by individual before each individual tries out what works for themselves. There may be some general trends in both sexes (men tend to get hotter than women so they might have more trouble in very hot summers), but in the same way that no one here would recommend one gear list for men, there shouldn't be any one gear list recommended for women. That's especially true for newcomers, who might take the advice of the more experienced and come away with a bad experience. I think all people who participate here should be given that advice, and it shouldn't be turned into a male/female head-butting contest.

My former wife slept with the windows open in winter (which I preferred) and used a sleeping bag of the same weight as mine. She always ran hot. My present partner needs to use a heater even in the summer. A former girlfriend didn't mind getting sopping wet in the rain. One before that hated getting even her arms wet. Everyone is different. Got nothing to do with being female or male.

The only things that are an important difference are those items that only women use. Men just don't know a lot, of anything, about how these items work, because they don't use them. Plus there are things like women's periods that men don't have to deal with and those things make a big difference in how comfortable a woman is outdoors. My former wife couldn't care less and wasn't embarrassed or inconvenienced by her period. She dealt with it very easily. My present partner won't go hiking during those times. So again, even among women-specific issues, each individual is different.

Edited by butuki on 03/20/2011 01:43:39 MDT.

Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
Re: Re: woman's list on 03/20/2011 01:40:50 MDT Print View


Very well put.

lynda schroeder
(lyndasch15) - F
Re: woman's list? on 03/20/2011 07:18:37 MDT Print View

With any gear list you have to use common sense. I crib from male gear lists, but have not found one that works for me all the time. It depends on what time of year I'm hiking. (I live in the Great Lake State so temps vary widely) Where I'm hiking, and my goal for that hike. (do I want to really want to go ultra light? do I want to fish? or paint?)

Many gear lists are created by people who live out west, and have drier weather, and fewer insects. When I first started out I have followed lists and realized some pieces of gear work for me, and some not so well. I keep a trail journal, and write down what does and doesn't work for me. When I pack for the next trip I refer to my journal.

A good general list usually works for me all the time. The one I use the most is found in the book "Lighten Up!" by Don Ladigin. I amend it if my goal for the trip dictates otherwise.

Down is great for insulation, but I have to think before I pack my jacket. What will the humidity be. It's humid here. If I'm in the LP then down will usually work, if I'm not too close to a lake. Close to a lake, synth insulation is my choice.

What I'm trying to say. You need to hike and keep track of what works for you and under which conditions.,

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: woman's list on 03/20/2011 10:12:28 MDT Print View

People change as well. In my 20's I would sleep in 50* bags and carry nearly nothing for insulation. Not anymore. I am severely cold nearly all the time now.

Mostly due to severe anemia I developed with the pregnancy of my second child and that hasn't/most likely will never go away. Even day hiking I carry extra clothing now in my pack and in the vehicle. A 15* bag year round is many times not enough.

Many women are colder - doesn't mean every single one is though. But...where women DO get cold is pretty much standard - feet, hands, behind, stomach, hips, chest, head. So I always carry a hat, gloves, extra socks and a warm jacket and nowadays....insulation for my legs.

As for the time of the month - ya know it never bothered me. Nope. Never. Until I ended up anemic. I can barely function during those days now. I don't hike much during that point. If a woman doesn't want to go out during her period, it isn't a sign of weakness - it is her preference.

At the same time my husband who is a foot taller than me can run around in short sleeves and shorts and be fine and I am chattering cold. So often now I borrow his clothing if I get too cold.

As for the rest of my gear? It isn't much different than what a man would carry - it is just made for a shorty ;-) That and I always have a roll of TP with me. Just my thing. Guys might not want, some ladies do (especially if the woman in your life gets bladder infections easily TP is a good thing). And yeah, no under insulated sleeping pads, only the bestest for my ice cold spine!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: woman's list on 04/16/2011 19:37:52 MDT Print View

"This is silly. The insulation needs among women are just as varied and subject to individuals as they are for men."

I guess this is true, but I've found when I'm really in touch with my feminine side, I tend to sleep colder......

Martha S.
(kitfox) - F
Partial list, fwiw on 04/16/2011 21:02:20 MDT Print View

"Hi yall, I've been trying to find some women's gear lists to give me more idea's for my GF. So far all i've found is Piper S's. so can someone show me their list, or thier GF's list? we wouldn't do any winter hiking, but if you have a winter list pleast post it, solo, or couple, I'm just curious. Thanks."

I've never put together a comprehensive gear list except in my head -- but I have a few general comments that may or may not help:

Most important for me, and of course this depends on the woman in question, I find that items made specifically for women work far better than men's versions or even so-called "unisex" items (meh!). YMMV.

A unisex jacket will have too-long arms for example, or be too tight in the hips and too blousy in the body, etc. Same with rain pants, etc. -- too long, too tight in hips, etc. The last thing I want to be doing is struggling with my clothing / gear in the middle of a trip.

Same for my sleeping bag and my backpack - in my experience a pack with closely-placed shoulder straps is desirable, and a bag with more room in the hips (again with the hips!) is more comfortable.

Speaking of packs, I have less shoulder strength than most of my male companions, so I accept the extra weight of a hip belt and ultralight internal frame of some sort in order to shift the weight to my... you got it...hips!

To be more specific:

Rain Jacket -- Marmot Precip
Insulation -- Montbell
Winter bag -- Feathered Friends Winter Wren
Summer bag -- Golite Adrenaline 1+ season

All are women's versions.

I go backpacking much more often than my husband does so I try to travel as light as possible. My non-wearable gear includes:

Golite Lair 1 tarp. (Just got a Cuben tarp but have yet to use it)
A Polycyro (sp?) groundcloth (very lightweight)
Big Agnes mattress
REI UL45 Women's backpack -- rides VERY well. I cut a lot of extras off to save weight.

Still looking for a titanium pot... that's all I can think of for now, hope it helps.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
gear list for woman should be pretty much the same as any guy's list on 04/17/2011 13:48:06 MDT Print View

The gear list for a woman should be pretty much the same as any guy's list.

Women tend to get *slightly* colder a little quicker than men. Especially their hands.

SO, simply add this:

+ warmer thicker gloves
+ a slightly warmer thicker puffy insulating parka
+ A layer with a nice hood, or add a neck gaiter - or a balaclava


Women might need an extra change of underwear. Even if they do NOT expect their monthly cycle to impact the expedition, the exercise may change their cycle. And, if they are camping with other women, they may all get their cycle on the same day! (this is very common!) Having three pairs of underwear is safe. One for washing, one for drying, one for wearing. Cotton is recommended, but by no means required.


Also - I have seen a lot of men on this forum say something to this effect: "I would take a tarp, but my wife simply won't go camping unless we have a full tent."

I have taught plenty of women ULTRALIGHT camping skills on long format courses, and there is absolutely no difference for them and men when it comes to sleeping under a tarp.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: woman's list on 04/17/2011 14:26:54 MDT Print View

Isn't the OP really asking for female specific gear that works? Clothing, packs etc...?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: woman's list on 04/17/2011 14:30:54 MDT Print View

Many women find men talking about women's periods to be on the top 10 creepiest thing men can do. Even when it is a male OB/GYN doing the talking.
YMMV of course.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: woman's list on 04/17/2011 15:44:12 MDT Print View

"Many women find men talking about women's periods to be on the top 10 creepiest thing men can do. Even when it is a male OB/GYN doing the talking.
YMMV of course."

Many men find women having periods one of the top 10 creepiest things a woman can do. Even when it is a female OB/GYN having the period.
YMMV of course......"

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: woman's list on 04/17/2011 15:46:49 MDT Print View

Well, I... ehh...

That's j- ummm...


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
everybody take a deep breath! on 04/17/2011 15:52:38 MDT Print View

Yikes - Did I start the "creepy" thing here? I sure hope I didn't talk too plainly.

I teach for NOLS and I have had to talk with a lot of women students over the last 17 or so years.

What I shared was what women instructors have told me. I think it's important to just say it, because it's a question that comes up, and there is a worry about the topic being embarassing.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
woman's list? on 04/17/2011 16:07:56 MDT Print View

I think Mike's post is especially valid. I must say I just learned something and hopefully will have enough guts to speak to my wife about this when we head out into the wilds....

Doug - I am still wiping away the tears.....

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: everybody take a deep breath! on 04/17/2011 16:09:01 MDT Print View

I didn't find anything wrong with what you wrote,the only thing creepy is people who are creeped out by periods.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: everybody take a deep breath! on 04/17/2011 16:37:09 MDT Print View

I didn't find anything wrong with what you wrote,the only thing creepy is people who are creeped out by periods."

I would not force anyone to talk about menstruation, but it should definitively be ok for anyone to address this, if it's not a done in a demeaning way. As far as women synchronizing their periods, recent research ( now quoting Scientific American) " says that evidence on that is pretty spotty.... "

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cramping When Camping on 04/17/2011 17:00:44 MDT Print View

So THAT'S why some forums have women-specific branches!! BPL should create one too.