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Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 10:02:09 MST Print View

Alright, so I have roughly 20 or so ounces to give to clothing, although I ideally would still want to keep it at less than 15 oz to give more flexibility to my pack. I am preparing for this to be for temperatures as low as 40F. I could always wrap my quilt around me, but for the most part I would like to comfortably be able to perform camp tasks. Everyone has different preferences and threshholds and much of SUL is testing yourself, but I also think with a certain level of experience SUL does not HAVE to be uncomfortable.

Wear:
Athletic Polyester Socks
Rei Hiking Pants
MH Wicked Lite LS
Bandana
Ex Ficio Underwear
Merrell Mix Master 2 Trail Runners

Rain Gear:
SMD Gatewood Cape

Carry:
Athletic Polyester Socks: 1.5 oz
DIY Mittens: 1 oz
Beanie: 1 oz (Haven't decided between DIY, Zpacks Fleece, or Black Rock)
Terramar Silk Top: 2.7 oz
Terramar Silk Bot.: 2.9 oz
Montbell Wind Shell: 2.9 oz

Total Weight Carried in Clothing: 12 oz

This still gives me the flexibility to add a down vest. I could easily leave out the Silks and add a Borah Gear Down Vest (3.6 oz), but I also like having sleeping clothes that are not sweaty or wet and the Down Vest costs $100 whereas the silks cost me $40 lol. Also, I have though about the option of wearing a heavier base, but with day highs of 60 and up, I really like my Wicked Lite it BREATHES so well.

I like generating conversation especially about SUL because there isn't much discussion about it. Any thoughts?

Edited by JearBear on 01/29/2014 10:07:24 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
no primary insulation layer? on 01/29/2014 10:59:32 MST Print View

No primary insulation layer.

The silk is not insulation - I actually have those exact same pieces so I know what they are like. If you are going to rely on down items (bag especially) you better make damn sure you can keep it dry in the worst conditions you will experience. Otherwise suck it up and carry a primary insulation layer that will more or less work using your cape for extended periods of time. A vest might be enough, but NOT a down vest, and NOT with this gear list.

A down vest is almost never a good primary insulation layer to rely on by itself, as in a pinch it will be exposed to moisture from both within and without. More like a "luxury" item for lounging and extra warmth in your bag. Montbell makes a nice synthetic vest that is only 5 oz. Nanopuff vest, or better jacket.

I don't do a ton of SUL trips anymore, but I made this exact mistake back in the day. But only once. You put a lot of thought I assume into what you have here. Now put some more though into how you will handle the tails of the bell curve in terms of temperature, humidity and precipitation conditions.

Otherwise carry a space blanket as your ultimate back up and hope for the best.

Edited by millonas on 01/29/2014 11:14:44 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 11:10:04 MST Print View

what kind of weather will you encounter during the day? will it be warm and sunny until its 40 degrees at night? If you will be encountering challenging weather during the day then maybe a very light fleece will help you out during the day and give you just enough during the evening. Just a thought.

Or build a small campfire while doing camp chores, if possible, thats what i usually do to avoid too much camp clothing.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 12:18:20 MST Print View

Alright, 40F is the lowest temperature that this will be in. Let's say at the coldest point of the night, it will be 40 F. The highs for days like that (depending on overcast and elevation) is high 50s to low 70s in TN. After hiking, I arrive at camp and setup my things. As it gets cooler, depending on how cool it gets, I will wear all of what I have. I will add the bottoms under my pants, and I will add my silk over my base then wear my WindShirt. I cook, read, write, talk to hiking partners, then go to sleep. Maybe it is that I am warm blooded but I don't forsee a problem here. This season I anticipate being on the AT as well as the Cumberland Trail, all typically below treeline. If there is an incoming monsoon trip will be postponed.

In terms of backup insulation, I do understand the inherent risk and need for testing these garments, but that inherent danger exists when you use a 20 F quilt in near 20F temps. This clothing list is hiking, sitting at camp, and then sleeping in nothing below 40 F.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 12:42:45 MST Print View

At your specified temps, absent a bad wet&cold experience, you should be fine WITH the down vest. I wouldn't want to hang around camp w/buds at 40 without it.

I've carried down as my primary insulation on almost all my trips for years and am happy.

Also, At your low weights and given that you seem to be a warm sleeper, I'd go with fleece beanie for headwear. MYOG or store-bought will be fine. I like something I can pull down over my nose so a beanie with a cuff is my choice.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 12:48:54 MST Print View

I think the Borah vest will do the trick. You have enough insulation and warmth for walking. The extra is just for warmth in camp. If you screwed up bad enough you can just use your bag. If your down bag gets wet, you're going to have to walk. But that's usually the case anyway.
I know your area pretty well and I think a big part of the year is above 40. Just look at reports and take elevation into account

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Back to the boards lol on 01/29/2014 13:32:18 MST Print View

I have no problem with carrying and keeping dry my down insulation. Anything above 30 I am warm hiking in just my wicked lite and a windshirt, when I stop I could throw on the vest and some gloves. At camp, I suspect I would be good wearing my base, wind shirt, then vest. I like the silk bottoms for sleeping in case it rains and my pants get really wet or very dirty.

What do you think about just the vest, or maybe even a Montbell Ex Light, and a windshirt? That would put me at 10 oz carried clothing give or take.

Edited by JearBear on 01/29/2014 13:45:11 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 13:43:41 MST Print View

Didn't I SAY it was for when it was cold, wet, and possibly windy? If you %100 sure you will never get caught out in those conditions you are fine. If you are not, but will always be within reasonable walking distance for leaving, then you are fine. If you expect the listed gear to protect you if you get caught out in rain at 50 degrees, especially when the sun goes down, when you are already cold, soaked and tired without a reliable primary insulation layer I think you are foolish - if you have not personally experienced these situations yourself, instead of speculating what it will be like sitting in front of your spreadsheet, even more so.

At any rate, my advice is you ever do find yourself under those conditions with that gear is to NEVER use the bag (possibly not even the vest)as insulation until you are ready to stop and hop in your bag under shelter.

The key point: the worst alternative to getting your bag soaked because you decided to use it under a glorified poncho is NOT just having to walk some more.

Have a look at this old but good blog post - in particular the story that starts it. Food for thought.

http://www.jwbasecamp.com/Articles/DryGear/

Edited by millonas on 01/29/2014 13:59:36 MST.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 13:56:48 MST Print View

Part of the problem is that cold rain is so common in your area. When it's rainy, the highs and lows are often about the same. Forty degree rain is pretty challenging. So 40 degrees and raining is no fun without some light fleece, but I've walked in it without fleece. You'll want to move fast setting up your Gatewood Cape in cold rain. But I still think it will work. You'll need to get dry and in your bag right away. You're just not going to be very comfortable doing it. That's why I typically carry some light fleece or Cap4 type top. You might consider the new Cap 4 or MEC T2 in place of the silk. It breathes well and adds some warmth.

Edited by alexdrewreed on 01/29/2014 14:09:25 MST.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 14:00:28 MST Print View

I will have to look into that fleece and check it out. I have a marmot reactor 9 oz and that has served me well.

Edited by JearBear on 01/29/2014 14:02:25 MST.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
MEC T2 on 01/29/2014 14:06:17 MST Print View

This is my first time seeing the MEC T2, I actually am partial to trying that. Of course I will have to read some reviews, but that seems interested. Thanks!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 14:06:59 MST Print View

@Ben, good call. I was at first going to suggest that a hoody base layer, preferably a wool one like the wool version of the T2 you mention (or the Ibex hoody or its equivalent) might be the thing, but then I thought he would think the extra 8 oz or so too heavy for him, LOL

For the gram weenie I suppose a synthetic puffy, even if it is only a vest, is probably the thing. The key thing here is compensating for, with a bit of insurance, the imperfect nature of granny gatewoods shelter as waterproofing while walking.

If you take something like a T2 or ibex merino hoody (loose the silk top in that case) that I would more or less withdraw my worries, if only because I would be sure you would never be tempted to take out your down to keep warm during the day. Good luck.

FWIW, I usually do use down as my primary insulation layer, I just have gear that heavily strategizes not getting it wet. And it is a fully hooded UL down jacket. So as soon as I stop moving and get under shelter this will snuff out the cold much more effectively than anything else.

Edited by millonas on 01/29/2014 14:29:10 MST.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 14:12:54 MST Print View

The T2 hoodie is around 6 ounces and it has a hood. Its kind of a cross between a heavy base and light fleece. It's really a nice weight.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 14:25:07 MST Print View

I have not worn had anything like the T2 or Cap 4 personally. I have read about them, but I have been using my Marmot Reactor for my fleece and have never had any reason to change it. With the T2 and my windshirt, would you still advise a down vest? If you have worn the T2, Cap 4, relatively just than and a wind shirt at 40F?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Gatewood rain pitch on 01/29/2014 14:33:36 MST Print View

"You'll want to move fast setting up your Gatewood Cape in cold rain. But I still think it will work. You'll need to get dry and in your bag right away."

Caution is needed regarding wet insulation, but as far as setting up a Gatewood or any poncho shelter in the rain: wear your ground cloth! A "polycryo shawl" will keep you dry unless it is a torrential downpour. I rarely see such rain in the PNW and it is usually short lived at that. A light garbage bag could be used, or one of the DriDucks emergency ponchos could be carried for use in camp, latrine calls, etc. Even a cheapie plastic poncho would do the trick and only add 2oz. You can go without insulation for the time it takes to pitch you shelter, so it can stay safely tucked away until you have refuge from the rain.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 14:38:12 MST Print View

At 40 in camp, I still like to have a little puffy. A vest would probably do me. But for SUL purposes, you can probably get by without the puffy. That 4 oz Borah vest would be a nice addition though.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 14:52:25 MST Print View

Alright thanks! I have some new things to consider. I did not think about walking and cold rain. I will check out the MEC T2, see if I can find some thorough reviews. Thanks!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 15:03:19 MST Print View

I would agree that you generally don't want to walk in your puffy, especially in cold rain, which we see a lot of in the SE. A T2/Cap4 under a windshirt and/or cape is plenty down to 40 degrees as long as you are walking. I used this combination well 2 weeks ago in Va. and it was well below 40 degrees with very high winds and some rain and sleet. At night, I think it is be nice to supplement that with a little puffy anyway.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Re: SUL on 01/29/2014 17:18:38 MST Print View

At 40 degrees, I'd ditch the mittens, beanie, and both silk layers, and add a synth puffy as others have said, plus minus a wind shirt. Down to 30 F, I routinely get by with what I'm wearing plus a cocoon pullover and wind shirt.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 17:19:41 MST Print View

"I did not think about walking and cold rain"

Jeremy, the time that really decided me on this issue I was expecting to be too hot, and took about what you had - no real comprehensive upper body rain protection and no real insulation layer. Guess I didn't read the weather forecast. The temps were not that cold - high 40s to low 50s,and the rain was not intense but constant for the whole second day I was out. So what with saturated air, saturated wind shirt and base layers, 10 hours of hiking, by the end of the day as soon as I stopped moving I instantly started to shiver. I had a very minimal tarp for wind protection (it was by then strongly gusting). Not a nice situation to be in, especially if you don't take it seriously enough and lollygag around looking for a better place to camp, and so forth. It was ok, but with one or two more minor mistakes and the negative feedback might have set in. Its fine to go SUL, just know when you do so the margins are less, so think through those scenarios more beforehand. With SUL clothing if you say to yourself "oh, if that happened I'll just do X" you need to be very sure that X will actually work for you, because there may be no Y and Z options.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 17:49:17 MST Print View

I don't understand the issue here. A poncho + windshirt + base layer sounds fine for hiking in the rain at temps around 40-50. I understand that extended rain with that set up would get cold and uncomfortable and a light midlayer would make all the difference but this is a matter of looking at the weather forecast.
Yeah, you would be very cold when setting up camp but he has a sleeping bag. There is a difference between discomfort and danger. Discomfort is ok by me if the chances of it aren't very high. If discomfort is likely then I would carry gear for that specific discomfort. By that logic I would say to the OP that your kit is fine but if you are heading out into rainy weather you should add a mid-layer.
I don't know anything about the OP's local weather so I may be talking out of my butt on this...

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/29/2014 19:59:52 MST Print View

Just a quick point out. If you're using untreated polyester socks, and you do any lengthier trips, your feet are going to get stink arse stanky and fairly quick most likely.

I opt for thin merino wool with high nylon content for that reason, MUCH better. Now if you can find some high polyester blend socks with say polygiene treatment (or similar, but it's supposedly more durable than many other odor treatments), then you should be good to go.

I also use a specialty item sock, which is really hard to find, for warmer temps. It's a mostly linen sock with some polyester. Also stays really fresh.

Edit: very much agree with the T2 or Cap4 recommendations.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 01/29/2014 20:03:41 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 00:50:42 MST Print View

"There is a difference between discomfort and danger."

Yeah, I guess I should have been more specific in my story. I'm very used to discomfort, and was immersed in it for 8-10 hours before that, so some of my safety alarms might have been deadened leading up to that point. When I said that I started shivering as soon as I stopped, I did not mean I said "burrr, it damn cold". I meant I started loosing control of my body, *shaking* enough to make it hard to do stuff like drive in stakes, and there was definitely some questionable thinking going on in my head. Its a bit of a catch 22 trying to use your messed up brain to analyze your messed up brains changes, but the shaking part was not subtle, not those little shivers you get. So, very preliminary stages of hypothermia, yes. Scary, yes. Dangerous, no probably not since when it started I knew I needed to take steps quick.

But I was alone, and if not standing on the precipice, I could see where it was off in the distance. Quite possibly I am just more susceptible than you BAMFs out there, but I have experienced enough pain and discomfort in my life to know this was something different. Main point is don't take it for granted, this episode happened in high 40's, but developed over many hours of insufficient core layering for the particular situation.

Anyway, sounds like we came to exactly the same conclusion about what to bring, just differ on the potential consequences. Yeah, and also tO check the forecast a few days out. LOL

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 10:59:01 MST Print View

I've been there. Hypothermia can really sneak up on you. And I've found that when soaking wet it can be hard to tell how cold you really are.
I now carry a powerful firestarter that I can light it, throw on wood, and be almost guaranteed of a fire. When you are cold and wet all day it can be hard to warm up in your bag without an external heat source.
So yeah, I agree that going into extended cold rain without a midlayer that will keep you warm while wet is not a good idea. I really like my fleece vest, it's easy to slide on and off when I need warmth and it doesn't soak up much water.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 11:43:28 MST Print View

This is ass-backwards; to make the required clothing system fit into an arbitrary weight. The way to approach this is to determine what clothing you need to meet the conditions and then, and only then, will you know what it will weigh. What works on a spreadsheet does not necessarily work in the field.

I have seen 24 hour weather predictions calling for highs in the 60's and low's in the 40's turning into high's in the 40's and low's at or below freezing, and this has happened during backpacking trips -- in Southern California.

There is nothing worse, and possibly more critical to your well-being, than windblown rain that is just above the freezing point or even in high 40's F. You can hike in it and stay somewhat warm and somewhat cold at the same time, but when you stop you better have something warm to wear, and sometimes it needs to be put on immediately. Hypothermia is serious business.

In these conditions, if your shelter is your rain gear, you need to have lots of practice on how to set it up quickly, get warm, and not soak your insulation at the same time.

For this reason, I do not have a standard do-all kit. The requirements for each trip often varies. My base weight might be 4 lbs, or it might be 10 lbs or more. And when it comes to weather, you need to be prepared for worse than the forecast.

I do not want to discourage you, just think things out and be prepared. Below is a link to a trip report (remember the audience is my kids) for an XUL trip with temps down to around freezing and rainy days. This was mostly a "what can I do and be comfortable" exercise, not my everyday normal kind of trip. I am no stranger to kits of 5 lbs or less, but they are predicated on the trip, with room for extremes. But the gear I chose for this trip might be helpful. Also remember I have been doing this hiking thing for a long time, and experience plays a big part -- what I am implying is that as the experience level and skill increases, then one can start moving to a more minimalist kit.

A couple notes on this trip...

I brought a Montbell Ex UL vest. It was not warm enough for this trip. However, I planned on using my quilt as camp-wear if needed. But the inner and outer material is completely Cuben, so I was confident I would not get the insulation wet. With a different quilt or sleeping bag, I probably would have brought a warmer jacket.

My poncho is smaller than what most people use. The hiking shorts hung below the bottom of the poncho and sometimes caused me to get colder than I wanted when they got rain-soaked. Since then, I often bring a cuben skirt with this poncho. Hiking with a conventional poncho or something the size of a Gatewood takes some getting used to. Plan on using a draw-cord around your waist for windy days or brushy areas.

Sub 4 lb Base Weight trip

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 12:49:38 MST Print View

+1 Nick "This is ***-backwards"

Jeremy, please read Nick’s post again and then read his link. They may make the remarks below better understood.

Maybe your confidence comes from knowing the amount of time you will be out or your ability to bail.
I have been on trips where the weather was perfect and the low was around 60*. I didn't even carry a shelter or insulation because I knew that if things turned south I could bail and walk out during the night if I had to.
I'm a little older now (not necessarily wiser) and maybe lazy, but I don't like to be uncomfortable or I don't like the idea of having to bail. So now I carry the minimums (insulation) as described above by the other posters. Like Nick my base weigh could be 5 lbs or 10 lbs. either way it is what I think I need at that given moment (you can call it XUL or whatever title you give it, it for me is right for the given situation).

Edited by bestbuilder on 01/30/2014 12:50:10 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 13:16:54 MST Print View

"This is ass-backwards; to make the required clothing system fit into an arbitrary weight."

Welcome to ultralight backpacking.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Misundertsanding on 01/30/2014 13:21:37 MST Print View

Yes I think some things are being assumed that may not be true. For me this is a preliminary list. If the forecast called for consistent rain/overcast I would bring additional rain gear. SUL for me is fast packing, not meeting an "arbitrary" weight. Also, those who say that the weight is arbitrary I think you are mistaken. Of course one should carry what it takes to be prepared no matter,the weight. Weight classifications are not arbitrary because they generally do communicate ones experience. We could say that a medical degree us arbitrary because it is the KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE that matter, but the degree is a universally recognizable certification, as are weight classifications like UL, SUL, XUL, and SXUL. I also want to push back against what you are saying about 24 hour weather change. Of course it happens and exit strategy is important. I know my area and my weather, if the weather calls for 55 lows all of you would take a 40F bag/quilt. You don't take a 30 or 20 just because weather CAN change. I do appreciate pointing out cold rain hiking, I spent alot of time looking at sheets , which was a bit disconnected from reality. BUT people still carry down don't they? If the weather says little to no rain, of course it could change? But that is where skill, margins, and bailout are important. I myself have pushed myself near hypothermia in 40F weather and learned a lesson but I hike to push myself. You want to carry all synthetic in case of rain? Hike your own hike man I'm not going to stop you. I like to push it to 30 miles a day eat then sleep. So I genuinely appreciate the comments and I have altered my list a bit, but the condescending language from a few should be checked and edited.

for those of you reading this for the gear list I have changed my setup to be a marmot half zip reactor and a 15d nylon windshirt for top insulation. 12 ounce combo plus beanie/socks/mittens is around 15 oz

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 13:46:33 MST Print View

I agree with you that something a little fleecy would be a welcome addition if its 40 degrees and raining. And then you can probably drop the silks. I think the Cap4/T2 would suffice in the temperature range you are looking at also and be a little lighter.

I think its a great to push the limits of your gear if your willing to have a little discomfort, especially if you're doing long mile days. With that fleece, you have plenty to keep warm in 40 degree windy rain. And it sounds like you won't be spending much time in camp to need a lot of camp clothes. If its really cold, get in your down bag. I encourage your SUL quest.

I know your area well enough to know that there are always bail out routes. You're never too far from a road.

I think Nick has a good point on something to belt your cape in for wind. I use a cuben skirt too and have found it very helpful. You may not need it if that cape goes low though.

I haven't used a Gatewood Cape, but I can see that putting it up in the rain might be your toughest part. I like the idea of using a groundsheet to keep you dry, but I think you're still going to get wet somewhat. Hopefully the dwr on your windshirt will help you out enough.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Misundertsanding on 01/30/2014 14:16:37 MST Print View

Jeremy, hopefully you don't mistake my post as condescending, if so that was not the intent. I appreciate your aggressiveness towards your kit and working to lower your weight. But you might want to calm down a little. No one is telling you, you have to do it this or that way. They are giving you real live experiences of what has happened, when they tried the very same thing you are doing. I think they are saying “keep trying, but this is what happened to my when I tried what you are doing”.

Your original post did set an arbitrary number for the clothing weight (a foreign concept to some of our thought processes). I use to try and get everything’s weight as low as it could go, there was no set number. In fact, when someone tried to put the LW, UL, SUL, XSUL numbers out there regardless if I agreed with them, I still tried to get lower then what “they” set. If someone set a number I tried to beat it. There is always something out there that is lighter. You should have seen the spreadsheets adjust when Cuben came on the scene.

As I said in my post, things have changed and now I am comfortable both physically and mentally with where my kit is now (thought it does constantly change).

Keep pushing the envelope; we need some younger guys to keep everything evolving so I can reap the benefits of their successes.

Edited by bestbuilder on 01/30/2014 14:17:31 MST.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: Re: Misundertsanding on 01/30/2014 16:21:08 MST Print View

No its quite alright, I just noticed that the general attitude of the forum was going towards the negative despite a few and I wanted to reestablish my intentions for finding a clothing list that would meet my needs. And honestly, in conversation with others, I have expressed that after a season of SUL I will likely level back out around 7 or 8 with full comforts and a light pack. But for this season I want to push myself and ride along that line.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 17:35:56 MST Print View

Nick, nice post and great blog post. I've always thought you were rocking a kinda Colin Fletcher vibe/look in some of the pictures on your blog (might be the beard) - now I can see that the resemblance and talent extend into your writing as well.

I've also always really liked the look and layout of your blog.

cheers.

Edited by millonas on 01/30/2014 17:42:33 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 21:20:00 MST Print View

We were walking in 40f weather last weekend. A cap , light gloves, long sleeve Cap3-ish base layer, windshirt and light softshell pants were perfect while walking uphill. I added an R1 vest for the downhill part.

It's interesting to think about SUL in terms of clothing. It's not too difficult to keep things very light for a trip in the middle of the summer, but 40f is a practical bottom limit.

It's pretty easy to get SUL until you get to clothing: a tarp shelter, Spartan CCF pad, a quilt and a minimalist kitchen, chemical water treatment, and a pack to match. But clothing can be a whole list in itself and more items mean weight. The only thing that changes from mid-summer to shoulder seasons is extra or thicker layers and that magic 5 lb base weight slips out of my grasp.

I carry a light beanie and liner type gloves, one spare set of socks and then comes the debate on mid-layer and puffy insulation. I like vests whenever practical, giving core warmth, low packing bulk and easy arm movement. A long sleeve base layer goes with that and a windshirt in cool weather.

As much as I don't like down insulation, it is the only way I can see to keep the weight in line for SUL. A vest may allow more core loft vs a thinner jacket, assuming that you are wearing a heavier base layer and a windshirt. I definitely recommend a windshirt for use with a poncho or cape.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 21:23:18 MST Print View

Good post Dale.

We all need to remind ourselves that we are tropical animals.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 01/30/2014 22:08:45 MST Print View

Dale-
I have to agree. I am going to test out my Marmot Reactor and Windshirt Combo and bring a backup insulation layer of the next month to see how it feels. It might be how hard I am walking but the last time I went on a day trip when it was at 32 F I was just in my wicked lite and a windshirt. If it does not quite get me where I want in terms of comfort I could supplement with the MEC T2 hoodie and a Borah vest, which would be about the same weight as my Marmot Reactor but give me more versatility. The only thing keeping me from doing that now is money lol.

Clothing does add up quickly, and it can be tough to get it just where you want it in terms of versatility, comfort, and weight.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re. on 01/31/2014 14:21:58 MST Print View

What is your favorite 40F clothing?

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 02/01/2014 08:03:06 MST Print View

Everyone is different, but my 40F set up looks like this:

While hiking: Wool T-shirt, 2oz Luke's UL hooded wind shirt, MHW Mesa hiking pants.
At camp: Wool T-shirt, 7-8oz Montbell UL Down jacket, 2oz Luke's UL hooded wind shirt, MHW Mesa hiking pants.

No beanie, gloves, etc. This doesn't change when 40F and rainy except for added rain protection. I would take a 1oz poncho for those times when you need to setup the Gatewood and it's pouring. The loss of loft in down garments in 1-2 days of rain hasn't made much difference in MY warmth. For others it sounds like the kiss of death. YMMV. A synthetic puffy will only add another 3-4 oz to that if you are worried about it. Worse case, just get in your sleeping bag. Problem solved.

You and I hike the exact same trails. Our weather rarely has wild swings although it can happen. Have a contingency plan - If it drops to 25F instead of 40F, what will I do? Hike out? Wear all of my clothes to bed? Use my raingear as a VBL?

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 02/01/2014 14:04:31 MST.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Updated SUL Clothing 40F on 02/01/2014 10:13:47 MST Print View

Jeremy, Here is my basic 40+ degree clothing system.
Worn:
BPL SS Merino Wool T-shirt (medium)4.050z
BPL Merino Wool Shorts (medium)3.70oz
REI Sahara Convertible Pants (medium) 12.40oz
Smart Wool PHD Mini Crew 2.35oz
Columbia Booney Hat 2.75oz
Worn total: 25.25 oz

Packed:
Rab Pulse Jacket (medium) 7.30oz
LytW8 Cuben Rain Wrap 1.25oz
LytW8 M50 Down Pullover 5.10oz
Blackrock Hadron Down Cap 0.60oz
Smart Wool PHD Mini Crew 2.35oz
Carried Total: 16.60oz

I tweak it a bit depending on what conditions I expect and how unpredictable I think the weather will be, but it does not stray far from this. For example if the weather is more like 55+ I will drop the cap, down pullover, and replace pant with shorts. If the weather is 30+ and maybe rain I will add some fleece gloves and possibly replace the rain skirt with golite reed pants. Overall the above list has proven to meet my needs time and time again.

Jamie

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - M

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Reply on 02/01/2014 12:45:50 MST Print View

Ryan and Jamie

It seems that neither of you carry a fleece/synthetic midlayer. It could be because we are all local to the South Eastern region of United States, but it seems we have different expectations for weather. I will definitely consider something a little extra for setting up my gatewood or when I have to pee haha.

My original plan for packed was Montbell Ex Light or Borah Down vest and my windshirt.

Jamie- I have to say after out last interaction on a thread I spent a couple days reviewing your gear lists. I like you way you have everything setup. I also admire how much gear you make yourself, I wish I was more skilled with DIY.

How well does your cuben catenary tarp hold up in heavy wind and rain for you?
You hike for yourself and make your own gear, but is there any way I could pay you to make something for me?

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Reply on 02/01/2014 14:06:45 MST Print View

Jeremy,

Right. I don't bring a fleece until I expect around 25-30F temps. In theory, I could go slightly lighter by replacing the fleece+puffy combo with a warmer down jacket. However, I like the versatility of the fleece, plus it gives me a little fudge factor since is still pretty warm if wet.

There are many ways to skin a cat.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 02/01/2014 14:10:44 MST.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
40 degree walk finished minutes ago on 02/01/2014 17:43:57 MST Print View

Oddly enough, just a few minutes ago I came in from a city walk with the temp at 40 degrees F, with a 10 mph breeze. I started out at 26 wearing a s/s merino T-shirt, topped with a RailRiders l/s synthetic full-button shirt, topped with a synthetic vest, topped with a wind shirt. At 31, I removed the wind shirt, at 34 I zipped the vest down about 4 inches, at 36 I fully un-zipped the vest, and removed it at 40.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Reply on 02/02/2014 06:52:33 MST Print View

Jeremy, I'm not a fleece user for backpacking because of the warmth to weight ratio for down or synthetics. That being said I think a lightweight fleece jacket or pullover is one of the best items when considering functionality versus cost. If you have Jordan's book LB&C chapter 6 "Clothing Systems" is really good. Although a bit dated still completely relevant. There is a great comparison of down vs synthetic vs fleece.

So when don't I use down? and why...its when hiking in weather that are in low 20's. In these temps a wool base + rain shell is too cold for me. Two pieces in my kit are a synthetic vest and synthetic jacket (kits I made from thru-hiker). If you look at the gear list from last November you will see I added a primaloft vest.

LytW8.com\journeys

This was when we had a freak cold front come through NC and just a few days before the low temp on Mount Mitchel was 6 degrees. This is below the range of my 18 oz quilt and my wife was not real happy with me going out alone, so I delayed and added in my cold weather gear for safety. I did not really need it but was fun to have. The first day I was hiking at dusk, 5k-6k ele, below freezing with really fierce winds (wind is a game changer). I was cold in just base layer and rain jacket so I added fleece gloves, synthetic vest and synthetic balaclava and was happy as a clam. If you hike in down you sweat, down gets wet, and this is a problem.

On a trip to mount Rogers with rain, sleet, snow and a low of 15 degree I used my synthetic jacket and vest. This is an awesome combo. I swear it can handle about anything. And I don't worry about it loosing loft if the air get moist or the jacket gets wet... vest only, jacket only, or vest plus jacket.

So with those pieces I can cover all the temperature ranges that I enjoy hiking in.

As far as my tarp MYOG cuben tarp, it has held up amazing well. It has seen wind, rain, etc. It shows no signs of any failure and probably looks almost new. I will say it is small and probably not what I would recommend to many folks until you have spent rainy nights in a slightly wider tarp. Even a 5x8 is wider at the sides and it makes a difference. My tarp has kept lengthy fierce rain off me but there is almost no room for error (especially at the sides) and it is low enough that it is not the real easy to get under it. I will say once you are under the tarp and there is a light rain it is really nice and comfortable but you are not going to sit up. The most practical, durable, lightweight tarp I used was a MLD grace solo cuben. I think it is probably one of the best all around solo tarps available.

About me making gear, the answer is it depends on your needs and my time. I tend to point people to other really good alternatives which I am glad to do. You can PM with anything you want and I will tell you who I would get it from. If that still doesn't meet your needs we can talk further.

Thanks for all your kinds words.

Jamie