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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Since the word "ultralight" is used in the first sentence, I'll throw in this advice. Every piece of clothing you carry should be able to be worn at the same time, as part of a coordinated layering system. This doesn't necessarily negate the "two sets of clothing" concept though. If your "sleep clothing" is a base layer of a jersey and long johns which you may or may not need when hiking, you're complying with the idea. You'll do that for the first month of an AT NOBO hike, for instance. In the summer, you may ship that layer home because you don't need that "sleep clothing" any more. As many others have said, it all depends on the season.

    In another example of going ultralight, I no longer carry a puffy jacket "for camp" on a thru hike. A decent camp jacket not only weighs a couple of pounds, you need a larger pack for the volume. When you stop and camp, you have a sleeping bag or quilt to keep you very warm. It's very unusual to need to wear a heavy, puffy jacket while hiking, and if you do, you stand a chance of wetting out the insulation and making it useless. I have a couple of lighter layers that can be combined to replace a jacket, and are more flexible for most thru-hike conditions. And one can be sent home for a summer season.
    Good points. Iíd like to add that IMO, itís good practice to sleep in clothing to protect sleeping bags from sweat and oil. UL is great...itís what I strive for...but my gear is too expensive to replace on a regular basis.

    In warm weather, Iíve found a lightweight pair of running shorts with mesh liner to be invaluable. They can be used for swimming, sleeping, or when your underwear is too filthy.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 07-13-2020 at 16:40.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyramona View Post
    I'm trying to put together my ultralight clothing gear list, and I was curious if most people carry a full base layer in addition to camp clothes (merino wool or other). I know some people claim they only hike in shorts, but I know I get cold easily. Does anyone have recommendations for the extent of layers necessary to stay warm while hiking but dry at camp (with as little weight as possible?)
    I do not carry merino bottoms unless daytime temps are going to be lower than 40. Once you get to camp and get the tent up, get a fire going, and have everything ready for sleep then just crawl in the bag if it gets too cold. No point in hauling extra stuff you might only have to use part of the time. Disclaimer: I hike in lightweight long pants due to discourage ticks. I used to use convertibles which might be an option if you like to hike i shorts and use to lowers for warmth in camp.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Since the word "ultralight" is used in the first sentence, I'll throw in this advice. Every piece of clothing you carry should be able to be worn at the same time, as part of a coordinated layering system. .
    I have regressed and don't agree with that statement anymore. It really depends on the weather- on many trips heat is as much of a risk as cold. I drank the coolaid and stopped wearing cotton 30 years ago- but have gone back to it for hot weather. It isn't part of my layering system. If I go from broiling in the sun, glad to be wearing a wet or sweaty chambray shirt, to chilled, the cotton comes off and fleece goes on. They don't stack.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyramona View Post
    I'm trying to put together my ultralight clothing gear list, and I was curious if most people carry a full base layer in addition to camp clothes (merino wool or other). I know some people claim they only hike in shorts, but I know I get cold easily. Does anyone have recommendations for the extent of layers necessary to stay warm while hiking but dry at camp (with as little weight as possible?)
    It usually takes people a while to dial-in their gear enough to comfortably go ultralight. It's a matter of learning what works for their own personal hiking style.

    With that, given that you get cold easily and will be starting off in a shoulder season, you might want to make sure you have clothes (base layer, camp clothes...whatever you decide that is for you) dedicated just for sleep/camp. I mean, at least until you get a better idea of what works for you.

    I would encourage you to use this fall/winter to see what might work best for your clothing needs on the trail. Late fall can be a great time to hike on the cold, wet days. Use those conditions to figure out what it might look like during your hike. Put yourself out there in the nasty conditions, see what your layering system needs to be in order for you to be warm enough. You will find there is a difference between being uncomfortable vs putting yourself in a potentially hypothermic situation. If you opt to only carry a base layer and find yourself wearing it during a wet day, will it dry fast enough to sleep in that night?

    If you are cold and wet when you hike into camp, you most likely will not want to take the time to try and start a fire for warmth. Your energy could very well already be depleted.

    While I can't tell you what will work for your hike, I can tell you what works for my hiking style. I am one who does primarily hike in shorts. I do make exceptions on the really cold, wet days. On those days, I will wear my merino base layer bottoms to hike in. The key is that I have figured out what I need to do to make sure they are dry enough before I go to sleep. If I am on a winter hike where I know there will be multiple days of the icky weather, then I carry one set of base layer (merino) for camp and wear another pair of merino bottoms while hiking. That allows me to have a dedicated set of dry clothes for camp/sleep, while not adding much weight to my pack on the nice winter days. So, my base layer tends to be my sleep/camp clothes.

    There are many who try and start with too much clothing. There are also many who try and go ultralight without really examining what will work for their hiking style. Carrying too much clothing can be easily solved by sending stuff home roughly 30 miles into your thru-hike. Carrying too little clothing can be dangerous if you can't get warm and dry. It's a balancing act that can really only be solved by figuring out what works for you.

    Layering is a fantastic way to solve issues, but it will depend on the clothing pieces chosen for your hike. If your clothing choices are multi-use (hiking and for camp/sleep), then you really need to make sure they dry fast. Can you personally do that on a cold, wet day? It's these sort of questions you can answer this fall. No shame in needing to carry a little extra clothing to make sure you can get warm at the end of the day.

    There are many ways to save weight in a pack. You don't always have to jettison clothing to make the weight savings. It all depends on what you have to work with, the point where you draw the line at what you can/can't do in terms of personal comfort, and what you leave yourself with to keep yourself safe and healthy. Others can only tell you what works for them, but you will have to figure out if the suggestions will also work for you.

  5. #25

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    Everybody has to hike their own hike but for me,I would rather cut weight anywhere else in order to have something dry to sleep in at night.My sleep clothes are worth their weight in gold when you're wet,getting chilled,and having that "am I about to be in trouble?" conversation with yourself.

  6. #26
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    I ask myself, what’s the crappiest, wettest, windiest weather I expect and can I stay warm during the hike and still have sufficient dry clothes to camp and sleep in, remembering I’ll still have my sleeping bag to use or to take refuge in camp. Then I figure my clothing needs. No more, maybe a little less. Game this thinking beforehand.

  7. #27

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    These are some great responses, and I agree with many of them. Everybody has something different that works for them. I can offer what works for me if I'm doing three season, long distance hiking.

    I'll start by saying I do not like being cold. That said, I almost always hike in shorts. I heat up quickly after starting to hike. It has to be really cold for pants, and if I do wear them then it is usually my Montbell rain pants. I wear a 100 weight fleece if it is cold - full zipper so I can regulate heat. Under that is usually a button up shirt. I don't usually need a base layer for three season hiking. I also have a wool beanie and pair of lightweight, waterproof glove liners that keep my hands pretty warm.

    Once I stop hiking I immediately take off my "hiking shirt" and put on my "sleep shirt," which is a very light weight wool hoodie. Over this I put on my light weight Down Hoodie Jacket if it is cold. If it is not then I put back on my fleece and layer my rain jacket over the fleece if it is breezy. My rain jacket makes a good wind jacket also, and I'll often wear it if climbing at higher elevations.

    When under my quilt for the night, I usually have on my "sleep shirt" which also subs as my "town shirt," and a pair of very light weight running shorts that I only use for sleeping. I also carry 3 pairs of ultralight wool socks. I wear one pair of clean ones if it is cold, and the other two I alternate for hiking.

    If I'm doing very early or late season hiking then my layers change a little. I will sleep in light wool base layers, and my "hiking shirt" also changes to a merino base layer. If daytime temps are below about 40 degrees then I wear some type of athletic leggings. I also wear fleece gloves when it is colder, and carry one pair of mid-weight wool socks for sleeping.

  8. #28
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    Like others I only carry two sets of clothes. One is primarily for sleeping (my luxury item I guess - sleeping in "cleanish" clothes). In summer my only base is polypro or equivalent shirts and socks for wicking purposes. In winter long shirt and pants polypro if needed, but usually just shirt by day, poly leggings by night if needed. But if I was generally a cold hiker, would have two pair.

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