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Newbie Questions
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Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Newbie Questions on 05/20/2011 16:13:30 MDT Print View

I am brand spanking new to the ultralight philosophy. I'm excited about it, but I have a few questions regarding thru-hiking. I am doing the JMT in about two months, for reference/context.

How many pairs of underwear, shirts, and socks do you use? Long sleeves for summer or short sleeves?

Do you bring deodorant? How often do you wash under your arms? Wash in general?

What's your favorite UL item that you're proud to bring?

Thanks guys/gals.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Newbie Questions on 05/20/2011 17:03:30 MDT Print View

I'll bite.

>1 pair underwear, worn. Can be rinsed at night while wearing long underwear bottoms. No more shirts than I can wear at one time (ie, maybe 1 SS, 1 LS, but no duplicates). 2 pairs of socks--1 worn, one drying. Choice of LS or SS is based on comfort and I may swap during the day.

>No deodorant--why bother? Washing: hands after toilet and before meals, always and carefully, with soap or sanitizer. Anything else: if there's a good lake or biggish stream, the weather's hot, and no problem with LNT, I might jump in because it feels good. NO SOAP, and would try to avoid contamination from DEET, sunscreen, etc.

>Favorite UL "item" to bring? The knowledge gleaned from this site and elsewhere + experience so that I can leave a lot of other things behind. (That's probably a lifelong work in progress). I also like my first MYOG alcohol stove--built three or four years ago, it's always worked perfectly, and it was the thing that introduced me to BPL-style thinking.

Good luck with your thru-hike. JMT is on my list for one-of-these-days.

Edited by DavidDrake on 05/20/2011 17:12:24 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Newbie Questions on 05/20/2011 17:12:59 MDT Print View

One pair of undewear worn.
Two pairs of socks. One to hike in and one to sleep in
Pair of shorts and a shortsleeve shirt to sleep in
Long sleeve due to the sun (sun protection), and pants to hike in
No one can smell ya
use sanitizer before eating and after going to the bathroom
lakes and streams offer a good refresher for the body. Jump right in!

Edited by kennyhel77 on 05/20/2011 17:13:48 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Newbie Questions on 05/20/2011 18:45:24 MDT Print View

"No one can smell ya"

According to one theory, if you smell natural, then mosquitoes won't find you as much as if you wear perfume

and other critters

Jason Sizemore
(sizemj) - F

Locale: Bluegrass
skeeters on 05/21/2011 10:35:05 MDT Print View

Man I wish the smell thing did work with skeeters. But they find you by CO2.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
science! on 05/23/2011 08:43:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for your suggestions!

Also, science to the rescue! I love it.

And do you guys bring a towel? I've heard "just use a bandana", but this seems like what you guys wash with, so do ya'all just air dry?

Jason Sizemore
(sizemj) - F

Locale: Bluegrass
bandana on 05/23/2011 09:29:15 MDT Print View

I carry two bandanas. One is a hat/sweat band, and the other I keep tied to my pack strap in hot weather to wipe sweat off my face. They dry in about 30 minutes in 80 weather. If it is winter time I just carry one. Even in winter a little sun and they will be dry. They are a very versatile item. I find that they may not be as absorbent as a pack tile but dry better for me. YMMV

Edited by sizemj on 05/23/2011 09:36:08 MDT.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Newbie Questions on 05/23/2011 11:57:19 MDT Print View

One pair of very light merino wool underwear, or commando in hot weather.

One short sleeved hiking shirt in summer, either 150-wt merino or light synthetic. (But in very sunny areas without tree cover, a long sleeve nylon "fishing" shirt. The JMT probably applies.) A long sleeved base layer shirt to put on at night. Unlike a lot of ULers, I like a change of dry clothes at night, so I bring a second pair of hiking shorts, too. But I sweat like nobody's business.

No deodorant. Wash every day, at least a bandana bath with water, sometimes with baby wipes (leave them out to dry before packing.) I bring several bandanas, sometimes a small pack towel instead of one bandana.

I'm not sure I'm "proud" of any of my gear, but as it's evolved over the last twenty years I will say I enjoy carrying most of it.

My favorite non-UL gear is my camera, a Panasonic GF1 with a couple of lenses. Man, I love that camera. It's the size of a large-ish point and shoot, but the image quality is equal to much larger and heavier cameras.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Newbie Questions on 05/23/2011 19:52:49 MDT Print View

A towel? Never. I will use my long-sleeved hiking shirt as a towel if I really need a full-on towel.

~ one pair of underwear worn
~ a tank top or short-sleeved shirt under a long-sleeved button-down shirt, both worn
~ a pair of socks worn and some sleeves cut off a fleece sweater for sleeping socks
~ no deodorant. No washing. Maybe I will wash my feet or legs with my bandana and maybe I will go swimming.
~ Favorite item is my bug refuge (tent or mosquito net tent). I absolutely must have full-body refuge from mosquitoes.