Evaluate please!

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    Jay McCombs
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest

    Ok. 8 day trip on the Ozark Highlands Trail, AR in late December. Expecting temperatures of mid to upper 40’s during the day, mid to upper 20’s at night with mean daily temp of 37. Chances for precip. are good at some point during the 8 days.

    This will be my longest and coldest trip (deep south boy); however by no means my first multi-day trip. I don’t have a ton of money for replacing things but am open to cheap solutions. Also, if you think I’m going to freeze and not sleep well let me konw :)

    GG 1/8″ Thinlight
    Mountainsmith Wisp
    SD Clip Flashlight (weight split w/hiking partner)

    Smartwool Lightweight Zip
    REI Sahara Pants
    DriDucks Rain suit
    Possum Down Mits
    Possum Down beanie
    Lightweight MTS Crew
    Lightweight MTS Pants
    Montane Aero
    Micropuff Pullover
    Cotton Bandana
    Smartwool socks/liners x2

    Carrying everything in a GoLite Jam. Total base weight w/all other stuff comes out to just over 10 lbs right now.

    Gear I’m thinking about swapping out:
    Gortex Shell Rainmits
    Some other type of pants
    Patagonia R1 balaclava instead of the PD beanie
    leaving the MTS crew
    only other sleeping bag I have is a somewhat de-lofted TNF Cat’s Meow thats aged nicely

    Dondo .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Looks like a well-thought-out list. For the conditions you describe, you’ll probably leave the smartwool top on for all eight days. There’s no need to carry the MTS crew.

    john Tier


    Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA

    You may find the GG1/8 thinlite pad too light under your legs at 20 degrees…


    Dondo .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    …unless you put any unused soft gear inside the Jam and place the thinlite over that.

    Phil Barton
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oklahoma

    Jay, the OHT should be a great trip. I think you might see a wide range of temps over 8 days. I would encourage you to think flexible. Late December in AR could see highs from 40 up to the 70s. We had temps as high as the 80s in Dec. 2004. A short sleeve layer could extend your comfort range. I am always pretty warm while hiking.

    Lows could be in the 40s down to the 20s. The rain mitts are a good idea for potential cool, wet days. You might find some wet snow. I think you have the cool weather clothing layers down pretty well.

    My hiking buddy loves his Wisp. I would expect it to be much more comfortable at the low temps you might experience. My de-lofted Cat’s Meow is now worthless at freezing temps.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Jay McCombs
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest

    using the pack and anything left not being used for a pillow for additional lower body insulation was the plan. I guess I’ll take my ridge rest with me and make the final decision based on the weather and forecast at the trailhead.

    I’ve hiked the first 3 sections of the OHT in late fall and it was really beautiful (except the sleet storm on top of Hare Mtn.) I hardly ever get time off so I’m really looking forward to this trip.

    as far as warm conditions I’m hoping the convertable pants will pay off there and the ability to vent through the chest zip

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