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Still figuring out the layers

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  • Dave
    I m just under three weeks away from starting my HI-WP trip, Sep 4 - 25. I m still trying to figure out what layers I should have, particularly since it
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 15, 2013
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      I'm just under three weeks away from starting my HI-WP trip, Sep 4 - 25.

      I'm still trying to figure out what layers I should have, particularly since it certainly can be butt freezing cold towards the end, not to mention there is, I suppose, a remote chance of snow south of MTR in the second half of September.

      I'm an hour away from an REI, and I have plenty of points on Amazon I'd like to use up. I do have a bit of "self insulation", but I've been cold before (unloaded railcars of road salt in International Falls, MN, you don't get to do that during summer....)and don't want to be cold again. I want to do this right to increase the odds that the trip will be successful.

      So I'm looking for a wicking layer, a base layer, a warmth layer, and rain protection. I'm presuming there won't be much of point to bringing shorts on this trip (even if the temperature is 80 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley, at 10000 feet it would be 45 degrees, and certainly 15-20 degrees is possible if I camp in a bowl.

      Any suggestions?
    • john_friend
      Here s the clothing I took for a late July JMT trip: Main clothing I would hike in: * Convertible pants (REI brand). While hiking, 95% of the time I was using
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 15, 2013
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        Here's the clothing I took for a late July JMT trip:

        Main clothing I would hike in:
        • Convertible pants (REI brand).  While hiking, 95% of the time I was using them as shorts.  Usually zipped the legs on in the evening or when lots of bugs.  I also really appreciated the velcro leg pockets in these pants (one pocket held the day's map in ziplock, the other pocket held my permit, ID and money in a ziplock).
        • ExOfficio long sleeve shirt (purchased at REI).  I wore long sleeve to avoid having to put sunscreen on my arms every day.  I really appreciated the velcro shirt pockets (eye glasses in one pocket for reading maps and sunglass cover/cleaner in the other pocket).  With the velcro, things wouldn't fall out when you bent over.
        • ExOfficio underwear
        • Hiking socks
        • Wide brim hat
        Other clothing I brought:
        • Swimsuit.  Didn't really need this.  It was my backup pants if the other pants were out of commission for some reason).  I swam in the underwear I had been wearing that day (as a means of washing/rinsing them out).
        • Non-cotton short sleeve shirt.  I wore this when my other shirt was particularly dirty, had just been washed or occasionally when it was just really hot.
        • REI Revelcloud insulated jacket.  This is a great all purpose jacket.  I'd wear it in the evenings or early morning in camp.  I only ever wore it twice while hiking (cold wind going up Forester and very cold up to Whitney)
        • REI Silk thermals (tops and bottoms).  I never needed these for warmth, but they were available for that if needed.  I always wore them at night just to protect my sleeping bag from my sometimes unclean skin and to avoid the skin/nylon feel in my down sleeping bag.  I had a 25 degree sleeping bag which is more than generally needed.  If you have a higher rated bag, you may need to wear extra clothing on cold nights.
        • Underwear (2nd pair - alternate each day and wash when you can)
        • Wind/Rain Jacket with hood
        • Gloves (only used these on Whitney)
        • Rain Mitts - worn over gloves if raining and need gloves (did not use these as rain was not that cold)
        • Extra hiking socks (I brought two extra pairs because it was not always easy to have dry socks - particularly when raining)
        • Buff (also from REI) for head warmth - I found this very useful.  I slept in it sometimes, used it in the evenings and mornings around camp and wore it on Whitney and Forester when it was cold
        • Drybag for all the clothing I wasn't wearing which guaranteed that my spare clothes stayed dry.
        I did not bring rain pants.  As it turns out, I had 6 days of rain but there was only one time I wished I had rain pants and it worked out fine without them (because it was better to not have the weight than to have used them once).  Obviously that's a tradeoff that depends upon your specific weather and whether you intend to continue hiking for a long time in a heavy rain.  My rain was usually in late afternoon or evenings and I only hiked in heavy rain a couple times and not for hours at a time.  When I was hiking in the rain, it was not super cold.  My backup plan for rain pants was to fashion a kilt out of a garbage bag (I had a couple large garbage bags with me for purposes like this).

        In late Sept, I would expect your temps to be colder than my July temps so you need to adjust from my list for that, but I would still think you would want shorts on some days (I used shorts every day).

        With everything on (a condition I never encountered), I would have had these layers on:
        • Silk thermals (top/bottom)
        • Long convertible pants
        • Short sleeve shirt worn as undershirt
        • Long sleeve shirt
        • Insulated jacket
        • Rain/wind jacket
        • Buff on head
        • Rain/wind jacket hood on head
        Keep in mind that you generate a lot of heat while hiking.  It was high 30's on my approach to Whitney and I was comfortable with my long pants, long shirt, insulated jacket and buff (I actually didn't even wear the insulated jacket coming up the switchbacks).  If you're particularly cold in camp, you will get in your sleeping bag to warm up.  Mornings often started out cold, but warmed up quite quickly.  Evenings dropped in temp when sun went down, but didn't get cold quickly (probably stored heat in large slabs of granite).

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" wrote:
        >
        > I'm just under three weeks away from starting my HI-WP trip, Sep 4 - 25.
        >
        > I'm still trying to figure out what layers I should have, particularly since it certainly can be butt freezing cold towards the end, not to mention there is, I suppose, a remote chance of snow south of MTR in the second half of September.
        >
        > I'm an hour away from an REI, and I have plenty of points on Amazon I'd like to use up. I do have a bit of "self insulation", but I've been cold before (unloaded railcars of road salt in International Falls, MN, you don't get to do that during summer....)and don't want to be cold again. I want to do this right to increase the odds that the trip will be successful.
        >
        > So I'm looking for a wicking layer, a base layer, a warmth layer, and rain protection. I'm presuming there won't be much of point to bringing shorts on this trip (even if the temperature is 80 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley, at 10000 feet it would be 45 degrees, and certainly 15-20 degrees is possible if I camp in a bowl.
        >
        > Any suggestions?
        >
      • John Ladd
        You can search Amazon for ECWCS (the Army s layering system) - look at Level 1 (silkweight baselayer), Level 2 (expedition weight baselayer) and Level 3
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 16, 2013
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          You can search Amazon for ECWCS (the Army's layering system) - look at Level 1 (silkweight baselayer), Level 2 (expedition weight baselayer) and Level 3 (high-loft jacket). For rain, I suggest looking for a jacket and pants made with GoreTex PacLite with lots of ventilation options on the jacket. ( find the ECWCS outer layers too 

          ECWCS system is the 3rd version used by the system, so it will be identified as "Gen III". Gen II used different, less ideal materials.

          There are a lot of sizing options with ECWCS clothing which is nice. I prefer Large-Long and I am 6 ft tall and 170 lbs. The "long" refers to sleeve and leg length

          Sizing chart here


          I'm hiking same time as you (Northbound,so we will see each other if you are going South) and I'll bring

          Two Levels 1 tops only for hiking in - exchange during the day to enjoy dry fabric next to my skin and to double up in cold

          SmartWool baselayer top and bottom for sleeping (could use Level 1 for this - but nice to have a dry thing to sleep in)

          Level 2 expedition weight baselayer top and bottom for esp. cold nights in the bag and for being around camp evenings and mornings

          Level 3 pile jacket for hiking on cold days (ventilates well once it warms up and can handle a light rain)

          PacLite jacket and rainpants (Marmot for bottoms, Mountain hardware for top) - for rain, wind or really unusual cold

          I could layer everything and be OK in quite cold weather.

          My main reason for as much insulation as this is that I like getting up when it is still dark in order to start hiking with the early morning light. It can be pretty cold that time of day and I need the warmth until I start hiking. If I was willing to stay in the bag until the day warmed up a bit, I'd probably ditch the Level 3 jacket.
           
          I don't bring down on a trip like this - too fussy. I have a high-volume pack yo I don't need the compressability advantages of down (other than for my sleeping bag)

          John Curran Ladd
          1616 Castro Street
          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
          415-648-9279


          On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Dave <groundhogsteve@...> wrote:
           

          I'm just under three weeks away from starting my HI-WP trip, Sep 4 - 25.

          I'm still trying to figure out what layers I should have, particularly since it certainly can be butt freezing cold towards the end, not to mention there is, I suppose, a remote chance of snow south of MTR in the second half of September.

          I'm an hour away from an REI, and I have plenty of points on Amazon I'd like to use up. I do have a bit of "self insulation", but I've been cold before (unloaded railcars of road salt in International Falls, MN, you don't get to do that during summer....)and don't want to be cold again. I want to do this right to increase the odds that the trip will be successful.

          So I'm looking for a wicking layer, a base layer, a warmth layer, and rain protection. I'm presuming there won't be much of point to bringing shorts on this trip (even if the temperature is 80 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley, at 10000 feet it would be 45 degrees, and certainly 15-20 degrees is possible if I camp in a bowl.

          Any suggestions?


        • woodyrtt
          I agree with John. Heidi and I completed the JMT Aug. 9 and spent the night on Whitney (why there were only 5 of us at sunset and 15 times that many at
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 21, 2013
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            I agree with John. Heidi and I completed the JMT Aug. 9 and spent the night on Whitney (why there were only 5 of us at sunset and 15 times that many at sunrise is a mystery to me; the former was much more spectacular than the latter). Anyway...when hiking, we were never cold, even in rain and hail. If we stopped too early, we faced being inactive in wind. We quickly learned to keep on the trail later, reducing the time spent physically inactive in the wind (the wind promptly ended at sundown) and cutting down on how much we had to climb the next morning. What worked for us when we were faced with inclement weather while not hiking: layers, just as John Friend suggests. A good down sleeping bag is worth its weight and more. I got soaked battening down our tarp during the storm that caused the Aspen Fire, but my damp down sleeping bag kept me warm. Rod

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
            >
            > Here's the clothing I took for a late July JMT trip:
            > Main clothing I would hike in:
            > * Convertible pants (REI brand). While hiking, 95% of the time I was
            > using them as shorts. Usually zipped the legs on in the evening or when
            > lots of bugs. I also really appreciated the velcro leg pockets in these
            > pants (one pocket held the day's map in ziplock, the other pocket held
            > my permit, ID and money in a ziplock).
            > * ExOfficio long sleeve shirt (purchased at REI). I wore long sleeve
            > to avoid having to put sunscreen on my arms every day. I really
            > appreciated the velcro shirt pockets (eye glasses in one pocket for
            > reading maps and sunglass cover/cleaner in the other pocket). With the
            > velcro, things wouldn't fall out when you bent over.
            > * ExOfficio underwear
            > * Hiking socks
            > * Wide brim hat
            > Other clothing I brought:
            > * Swimsuit. Didn't really need this. It was my backup pants if the
            > other pants were out of commission for some reason). I swam in the
            > underwear I had been wearing that day (as a means of washing/rinsing
            > them out).
            > * Non-cotton short sleeve shirt. I wore this when my other shirt was
            > particularly dirty, had just been washed or occasionally when it was
            > just really hot.
            > * REI Revelcloud insulated jacket. This is a great all purpose
            > jacket. I'd wear it in the evenings or early morning in camp. I only
            > ever wore it twice while hiking (cold wind going up Forester and very
            > cold up to Whitney)
            > * REI Silk thermals (tops and bottoms). I never needed these for
            > warmth, but they were available for that if needed. I always wore them
            > at night just to protect my sleeping bag from my sometimes unclean skin
            > and to avoid the skin/nylon feel in my down sleeping bag. I had a 25
            > degree sleeping bag which is more than generally needed. If you have a
            > higher rated bag, you may need to wear extra clothing on cold nights.
            > * Underwear (2nd pair - alternate each day and wash when you can)
            > * Wind/Rain Jacket with hood
            > * Gloves (only used these on Whitney)
            > * Rain Mitts - worn over gloves if raining and need gloves (did not
            > use these as rain was not that cold)
            > * Extra hiking socks (I brought two extra pairs because it was not
            > always easy to have dry socks - particularly when raining)
            > * Buff (also from REI) for head warmth - I found this very useful. I
            > slept in it sometimes, used it in the evenings and mornings around camp
            > and wore it on Whitney and Forester when it was cold
            > * Drybag for all the clothing I wasn't wearing which guaranteed that
            > my spare clothes stayed dry.
            > I did not bring rain pants. As it turns out, I had 6 days of rain but
            > there was only one time I wished I had rain pants and it worked out fine
            > without them (because it was better to not have the weight than to have
            > used them once). Obviously that's a tradeoff that depends upon your
            > specific weather and whether you intend to continue hiking for a long
            > time in a heavy rain. My rain was usually in late afternoon or evenings
            > and I only hiked in heavy rain a couple times and not for hours at a
            > time. When I was hiking in the rain, it was not super cold. My backup
            > plan for rain pants was to fashion a kilt out of a garbage bag (I had a
            > couple large garbage bags with me for purposes like this).
            > In late Sept, I would expect your temps to be colder than my July temps
            > so you need to adjust from my list for that, but I would still think you
            > would want shorts on some days (I used shorts every day).
            > With everything on (a condition I never encountered), I would have had
            > these layers on:
            > * Silk thermals (top/bottom)
            > * Long convertible pants
            > * Short sleeve shirt worn as undershirt
            > * Long sleeve shirt
            > * Insulated jacket
            > * Rain/wind jacket
            > * Buff on head
            > * Rain/wind jacket hood on head
            > Keep in mind that you generate a lot of heat while hiking. It was high
            > 30's on my approach to Whitney and I was comfortable with my long pants,
            > long shirt, insulated jacket and buff (I actually didn't even wear the
            > insulated jacket coming up the switchbacks). If you're particularly
            > cold in camp, you will get in your sleeping bag to warm up. Mornings
            > often started out cold, but warmed up quite quickly. Evenings dropped
            > in temp when sun went down, but didn't get cold quickly (probably stored
            > heat in large slabs of granite).
            > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" wrote:
            > >
            > > I'm just under three weeks away from starting my HI-WP trip, Sep 4 -
            > 25.
            > >
            > > I'm still trying to figure out what layers I should have, particularly
            > since it certainly can be butt freezing cold towards the end, not to
            > mention there is, I suppose, a remote chance of snow south of MTR in the
            > second half of September.
            > >
            > > I'm an hour away from an REI, and I have plenty of points on Amazon
            > I'd like to use up. I do have a bit of "self insulation", but I've been
            > cold before (unloaded railcars of road salt in International Falls, MN,
            > you don't get to do that during summer....)and don't want to be cold
            > again. I want to do this right to increase the odds that the trip will
            > be successful.
            > >
            > > So I'm looking for a wicking layer, a base layer, a warmth layer, and
            > rain protection. I'm presuming there won't be much of point to bringing
            > shorts on this trip (even if the temperature is 80 degrees in the San
            > Joaquin Valley, at 10000 feet it would be 45 degrees, and certainly
            > 15-20 degrees is possible if I camp in a bowl.
            > >
            > > Any suggestions?
            > >
            >
          • ravi_jmt2013
            ... I hope to spend the night on Whitney if weather looks good and I get to Guitar Lake by mid afternoon, assuming I feel like my sleep system is working well.
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 21, 2013
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              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "woodyrtt" <rod.tayler@...> wrote:
              >
              > I agree with John. Heidi and I completed the JMT Aug. 9 and spent the night on Whitney (why there were only 5 of us at sunset and 15 times that many at sunrise is a mystery to me

              I hope to spend the night on Whitney if weather looks good and I get to Guitar Lake by mid afternoon, assuming I feel like my sleep system is working well. I should know by that point in the hike!
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