Well I hiked Windham Mtn in the Catskills (NY) today, pictures here:
I've not been smart enough to record what I've warn and my comfort levels in the past so here goes:
I based my thoughts on this chart:
It was 9F @ 9am when we started the hike and varied through out the day with a high of 29F and we finished at 23F at ~1:30pm. No wind, none, perfectly still. We did 6.6mi, I had on Microspikes and a decently hefty pack. I brought a bunch of different hats, balaclavas, base layers, down vest, different socks, etc. all to try out.
I started out with my lightest gear and would layer up if needed:
- No underwear, Cap 2 longer underwear on bottom, EMS Nylon pants on top.
This worked well. My legs were probably a bit chilly to the touch, but the core was warm. Felt pretty good.
- Doggy poo bags (no liners) as a VBL, lightweight fleece socks, mesh trailrunners, Microspikes.
The poo bags were cheap VBL layers, they shredded. I think this was in part because my shoes were laces pretty lose. I was worried about cutting off circulation to my feet. As a result my feet slid around, a lot, wit the plastic bags slipping inside the fleece socks. It was comfy, but I think all that slipping led to the bags shredding. They would of fared better with tighter lacing and less slipping, but not sure they would of lasted on multi-day trip. I ~am~ a believer in VBLs for my feet though, especially with trailrunners occasionally getting things damp/wet on early winter trails. My feet only got cool when stopped for lunch.
- Capilene 3 base layer, Montane Featherlite Smock.
This worked well. It was pretty chilly starting out, but once I got cranking with some uphills, it was a really nice equilibrium. The only hint of sweat was at lunch when I took off my pack, my back was a bit damp.
- Mountain Hardware Power Stretch Beanie.
Again, nice equilibrium here. No need to take it off, and I definitely wanted it on with my bald head. This is about as little insulation you can get for your head. It really came in handy when snow would fall off trees. Previously it was a real shocker with the cold snow directly on my head (if I was slightly overheated and removed my thicker hat I had in the past).
- EMS Glove Liners, CAMP Windmit'n shells.
This worked well. Chilly at the colder temps, and very nice throughout the day on the whole. The EMS liners weigh <1oz, and the shells are .5oz. They worked well together to keep the liners dry and provide a little micro-climate in there . I wouldn't go scrambling with the shells, but for the occasional scramble where I had to use my hands, they were fine.
*The two biggest reasons why this all worked was lack of wind and not stopping much longer than it took to wolf down a Snickers bar. If there was wind, a balaclava might of been nice on my face (face was pretty chilled in the beginning, but normalized during the day), and perhaps a Cap 4 shirt in place of the Cap3.
This was a good test for the NE BPL Winter gathering: