Backpacking in the tropics
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Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Backpacking in the tropics on 05/14/2013 16:03:53 MDT Print View

I went backpacking once on Hinchinbrook Island in Queensland. Hot, sweaty and not entirely pleasant. Recently, I was day hiking on Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia. Hot, sweaty and a good workout, but I was pretty soaked by the time I reached the summit (only 1,800 feet). Is there a secret or trick to backpacking in the tropics? Does anyone regularly do it and if so, do you use any particular gear or clothing? Or is this something that you just need to mentally adjust to (suck it up and get over it cupcake)? Jon

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Backpacking in the tropics on 05/14/2013 16:35:40 MDT Print View

I'll hike the Z trail every few years in Hawaii, which is hot during the day, about 60 at night. I did not need that much clothing, equipment, or (last time) even hot food. Used a set of rock craft pants that stay rolled as shorts to unroll in the evening. Brought a 45F phantom bag just in case but will like leave it for a bag liner next time. Probably have a Cuben-fiber shelter too.


Needed more water tho.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Re: Re: Backpacking in the tropics on 05/14/2013 17:43:37 MDT Print View

In french Polynesia, it got down a little below 80 at night. Day times in the mid 80's but it got pretty humid. I read a report where some people backpacked there for a month or so.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
It's hopeless on 05/14/2013 21:59:47 MDT Print View

I grew up in the desert so I'm not used to any kind of humidity whatsoever. I was stationed in Panama and I never got over how muggy it is; I'd sweat like a pig all day. It seems like you have to grow up in that climate to tolerate it well.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Re: Re: Backpacking in the tropics on 05/19/2013 12:15:41 MDT Print View

Lows in the 80's is a little much for me. Like wearing cotton in the desert though, it might mean that instead of using a sleeping pad with some sort of R rating for insulation, a camper would go for a regular air mattress to conduct heat away or a hammock to maximize air flow.

Just some thoughts.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Humid Backpacking on 05/19/2013 14:47:16 MDT Print View

You can improve things a little, but humid backpacking is mostly miserable. When its humid, nights tend to stay warm and muggy. That why most of us in the SE US will only hike at high elevations in summer.