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Colorado Trail raingear
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Colorado Trail raingear on 04/21/2011 19:43:00 MDT Print View

I'm hiking NOBO on the CT from Durango July 1st doing only the southern half of the trail.
Main items are :

PACK> REI '07 Cruise UL 65
TENT> TT Moment
SLEEP SYSTEM> WM Megalite 30 F. & old Thermarest Lite regular mattress (14 oz.)
COOK/KITCHEN> Brunton Flex stove & canister, 3 cup pot, MSR windscreen, long lexan spoon, plastic cup, aluminum pot gripper

RAIN GEAR> Cabela's GTX PacLite parka 15 oz.

QUESTION - Will I need the PacLite rain pants? (also 15 oz.) I'm wearing 5.11 nylon pants which are great in the wind.
Are late afternoon thunderstorms common in July?

Michael Chamoun
(snowchief) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Colorado Trail raingear on 04/21/2011 19:48:42 MDT Print View

Hi Eric,

I backpacked the CT in 2007 from Denver to Durango and I got rained on hard 20 out of the 21 days I was out there. I had windpants instead of rain and that was not the best option. Obviously, I came out of it OK but it really depends if you like being wet. I started July 14, so a little later than your start. I guess it depends, but if I were to do it again I would bring full rain gear. I hope this helps.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Colorado Trail raingear on 04/21/2011 22:19:10 MDT Print View

July thru Labor Day is the monsoon season in CO. You will definitely need full-on rain gear.

William Cummings
(rcummings1) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Colorado Trail raingear on 04/21/2011 23:37:27 MDT Print View

+1 on Monsoon season, Bring the rain pants.

Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
Maybe skirt on 04/22/2011 09:14:51 MDT Print View

I hiked sobo last year about the same time, and only had wind pants.
I get awfully hot hiking in pants, so I usually only wear them in foul weather.
There were a few times where I definitely wished I had more than just my windpants, but I think rain pants would have been too warm most of the time. I've recently purchased the cloud kilt from zpacks and will be using it this summer in the Rockies.
Hope that helps.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Rain Pants on 04/22/2011 09:17:25 MDT Print View

I'll be heading out of Denver roughly the same time you'll be starting out. I was having the same debate with my kit and I am sticking with the rain pants. I do think you can find rain pants that weigh about half of what you already have. Although I totally understand not wanting to spend 80 bucks or w/e to save 6 oz.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Thanks! on 04/22/2011 23:57:38 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, I'll be taking the Cabela's PacLite rain pants.

Russell Jacobie
(flyer4food) - F

Locale: Sierras
Big 5 rain gear? on 04/26/2011 10:24:04 MDT Print View

I'm hiking SOBO August 15th, hope to get to Durango by Sep 15th. I just bought (for like $6) the raingear at Big 5... 5.7oz for waterproof "jacket" and 4.1oz for waterproof pants. They are very cheap and cheaply made, they just go over the top of whatever pants your wearing, and they have scrunchy ankles, waste, and wrist.

I was debating on whether to even bring the pants, looks like I'll be bringing them.


Bradford Childs
(Ford22) - F
Rain on CT on 05/20/2011 12:53:12 MDT Print View

We left around the same time last year on the CT and took 30 days. It rained only a handful of times and it was brief when it did. However, I knew people who started in August backwards and it rained almost every day all day. I might add rain pants for the later higher parts of the trail (San Juans). Eventhough I rarely used them overall, one day we had freezing rain on Snow Mesa and I would have been pretty hypothermic without them. So I vote to start without and add them towards the end. Have fun!

Stephen B Elder Jr
(selder) - M

Locale: Front range CO
Heavy pants on 05/20/2011 13:12:12 MDT Print View

I would for sure leave the Cabela's pants at home...that's a brick better not carried. The "monsoonal rains" are mostly brief and scattered but often heavy thunderstorms. For as cheap as Frogg Togg/DriDuck pants are I'd grab a pair and save the NINE or so ounces...
Have fun,

Edited by selder on 05/20/2011 13:13:44 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Heavy pants on 05/20/2011 13:44:23 MDT Print View

From what I gather, much of the CT is well maintained and brush isn't a huge issue. So I'd second spending the $25 and get a driducks/froggtoggs kit. The pants are considerably lighter and should last the trip if you take care of them (eg don't sit on logs while wearing them). Gives you the protection at a minimal cost to pocket and scale.

kevin timm
(ktimm) - MLife

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Weminuche on 05/20/2011 14:07:59 MDT Print View

You can get socked in in the Weminuche. It usually starts about 3rd week of July, given as wet as the spring has been I'm going to guess it will be a light or late monsoon. Given a July 1 start from Durango you should be fine as the worst monsoons are in the Weminuche.

Another strategy I might try is start early and then hunker down as storms come. If it were me , I would start in June of most years since it's nice and dry, however this year there is likely to be a lot of snow around still. We have an early April snowpack in the western part of the state right now.