I am headed to New Zealand for about 8 months starting next week. I will be tramping and wwoofing and just plain old travelling. I have the rest of my gear all set and laid out on the ping pong table but I can't seem to settle on what top layers to bring. Everytime I walk past, I swap something out or take something off all together. I come to you for help.
Background in stream of consciousness format:
I don't want to buy anything new. Some of the options below are not necessarily UL and are actually pretty dang heavy, but please remember I am going to be gone for 8 months. This gear needs to perform in the front country and the backcountry (IE look good, I should probably mention I am a 23yr old female). Comfort is a big thing too. While I love my downshirt in the backcountry, I tend to like a softer snuggly sweatshirt for an 8 hour bus ride. I have a sub 10lbs base weight with any three of these items so the rest of my stuff sticks to the ultralight principles. I am starting in the invercargill and slowly moving north. I am planning a few hikes to moderately high elevations (tongariro circuit) so temperature will range from snowing and windy to maitais on the beach. I am generally a cold person. I am a little worried about down in the notoriously WET NZ, especially because my quilt is down and I feel like I should have at least 1 insulating layer that isn't down, but I am also vigilant about keeping things dry. I like the idea of merino wool because it doesn't stink and I feel bad when I don't wash my clothes and get in a car with strangers and I smell.
Below is what I currently own. Out of the list below, what should I bring:
#1 EMS techwick 1 shirt (4oz)- probably going to bring this for the sun protection extra insulation in conjunction with something.
#2 Icebreaker SS (3oz)- probably taking this. I like to hike in SS and it is good for the frontcountry
#3 Smartwool midweight (5oz)
#4 merino wool hoody (13oz)- before you gawk at the weight, this has a nice balaclava hood. It is the same thickness as a midweight. This also has the added factor that it is my absolute FAVORITE frontcountry sweatshirt.
#5 western mountaineering flash vest (3oz)
#6 Patagonia down shirt (5oz)- There are much better jackets out there, but I got this on sale for $75
#7 Ibex nomad zip up (13oz)- super warm, antimicrobial, soft, 320g/m2. It also looks good in the frontcountry
#8 Smartwool microweight merino wool top (5oz)
*I will also be bringing an nice arcteryx rain coat