May 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm #1229192
I am coming back to backpacking after a long time, however am still fairly young and as I return to the scene will transition into light weight gear. It’s amazing to see the weights of some items compared to just a few years ago. Most of my trips will be the weekend variety during the traditional 3-season months out on the west coast. Therefore my question is what do you typically wear skin out during these seasons and what do you have in your pack as it gets cooler to add, plus weather protection.
I know usually a base layer either synthetic or wool but is that all you wear in the summer months or another shirt over that, plus I hear all this about wind shirts and other information. Is that just a long sleeve T-shirt? Before I would just wear a regular synthetic base layer with another cotton shirt then as it got cooler either add a long sleeve t-shirt, or a light sweater type shirt then obviously a jacket if it got cooler or rained.
Anyways, any help or just some lists with some names of what you wear would be great as I get a better understanding.May 27, 2008 at 12:18 pm #1435170
.May 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm #1435190
Eric NobleBPL Member
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
Welcome to the forums! Dave's advise to search the forums is good. The word "shirt" in windshirt has perhaps conjured up the wrong mental image in your mind. A windshirt is more of a really light jacket who's main purpose is to stop convective heat loss ( the wind ) not to stop the rain.May 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm #1435194
Dave, I briefly skimmed over the thread you suggested it appears to be of great help. However will probably lead to more questions.
Eric, Yes that was my impressions however just being a layer in a system that cuts wind is easier to understand. Thank you for sharing and the warm welcome to the forums.May 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm #1435196
.May 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm #1435198
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
See my reply to your same question on PBF.May 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm #1435215
Sean, I was/am in much the same situation as you and just discovered this site recently.
This site is full of really helpful people — it's rare to see a question go unanswered, and often you'll get quite a number of responses. Also there's a lot of information in the forum archives, although it can take a while to trawl through all the posts.
I've found the best way of working out what some of the "classic"/must-have ultra-light gear is to have a look in the "reader reviews" section of the site. Any gear item that rates at above 4 (or even 4.5) after more than 10 reviews is a popular item in the community and worth checking out (eg. Houdini windshirt).
I did read somewhere that there is a Wiki in the works, and I think that will be very useful when it comes online. This site probably needs a more comprehensive introductory page, which describes the most common systems (clothes etc) and makes some recommendations on the most popular gear to check out.May 28, 2008 at 1:38 am #1435280
Or anyone else starting up again with light weight backpacking.. there is a wealth of information here. Let me summarize the advice I found most useful..
Start with a base layer top, bottom, socks, gloves, and watch-cap of merino wool or synthetic. Top and bottoms come in weights of 1,2,3, and 4, but sometimes go by other names. IMO, buy quality from Smartwool, Ibex, Icebreaker, or Montbell. Get the top in 1/4 zip for venting options. (that's 5 items)
Hiking pants; zip-off nylon type are very versatile. An example are REI Sahara(s). (1 item)
Add a synthetic or down lofting insulation layer; top and bottom. For example, Montbell Thermawrap parka and pants. (2 items)
Add a breathable windshirt such as the Patagonia Houdini. (1)
Last, a lightweight waterproof breathable shell such as TheNorthFace DIAD jacket and 1/4 zip Golite Reed pants. (Or TNF full zip Hyvent pants for year-round footwear compatibility). Speaking of shells, add shell gloves also.(3 items)
These are the 12 items I recommend to someone getting into (or back into) outdoor activities. Carrying fewer but more versatile items results in a lighter pack, and if you watch the deals (eg. steepandcheap.com), not so expensive.
Footwear is another issue, but consider Inov-8 390 boots at only 28 ounces a pair.
If I had known this simple advice, and stuck with quality brands, I could have saved quite a bit of money and time..May 28, 2008 at 7:21 am #1435298
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
There are a lot of interesting / useful threads about clothing on bpl… not to mention the articles. I have a recommended clothing page where I have tried to systematically list what I have learned with links to what I think have been the most interesting / valued threads.May 28, 2008 at 7:44 am #1435305
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Clothing was the most difficult part of getting an UL kit together for me. It takes more mind-bending than any of the other items, IMHO.
A windshirt is really just that — a windproof shirt. They cut the wind and are usually water repellent and good for a light shower. The idea is to cover your breathable/wicking layers with one that is less breathable to cut convective heat loss in cold wind. Toss the notion of shirts (like button downs) as you know them– they just don't fit into an UL selection of clothing where each piece works in concert with the rest.
Other layers depend on the conditions/season. I have silkweight polyester base layer tops and bottoms like Patagonia's Capilene, and add Power Stretch items as a second or heavier base layer. Pants are usually zip-offs or shorts like REI Sahara or Ex Officio. I do have wind pants too, but they work best in the height of summer when I can pair them with the lightest of shorts; otherwise, I might as well have the zip-offs,. which are tougher too. I use a Mont Bell Thermarap top for general camp insulation. Rain gear is Marmot Precip or a poncho/cape which is also my shelter.
The idea is to wick perspiration away from your skin and dry quickly. The old adage is "cotton kills" as it won't wick or dry and will increase the chances of hypothermia. Extra layers help retain heat as needed. The outer layers cut wind or repel rain. It's that simple.May 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm #1435608
Lots of great information of your site, I am still trudging through it all. Thanks for that resource.
Also a big thanks to everyone else as well for the help, I am desperating researching it all and if I have any other questions will bring them up here.
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