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Rain gear: DWR or waterproof

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  • jmthodge
    Hi everyone, I am planning my gear list for a thru hike of the JMT next August. I am looking to save some weight in all areas to make the trip as enjoyable as
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 20, 2013
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      Hi everyone,


      I am planning my gear list for a thru hike of the JMT next August.  I am looking to save some weight in all areas to make the trip as enjoyable as possible and I have a question on rain gear.  If I'm thru hiking is it a good idea to bring completely waterproof rain gear?  Or are the storms infrequent and not long lasting enough that I would be ok with something that has a good DWR coating on it?  I am looking to make my own rain gear and am trying to decide on what fabric to use, and am debating between the M50 from thru-hiker (DWR) or the waterproof but breathable Cuben Fiber from ZPacks.  None of my hiking trips with DWR gear have had enough rain for me to have an idea on how long it takes for this stuff to wet out so I'm not sure how effective it would be on the JMT.  
    • CHARLES C KATHLEEN GRIER
      You are most likely to encounter afternoon thunderstorms along the JMT. It can rain hard for an hour or so and then clear up for the night. I have only
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 20, 2013
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        You are most likely to encounter afternoon thunderstorms along the JMT.  It can rain hard for an hour or so and then clear up for the night.  I have only encountered sustained rain a few times in August and I have been hiking in the Sierra for nearly 70 years.  My choice of summer rain gear is the Dri Ducks rain jacket and a garbage bag rain "kilt": light (7oz), cheap ($20.00) and adequate.  I use the Dri Ducks jacket as a wind shirt as well when called for.

        Sent from my iPad

        On Nov 20, 2013, at 6:43 AM, "jmthodge" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

         

        Hi everyone,


        I am planning my gear list for a thru hike of the JMT next August.  I am looking to save some weight in all areas to make the trip as enjoyable as possible and I have a question on rain gear.  If I'm thru hiking is it a good idea to bring completely waterproof rain gear?  Or are the storms infrequent and not long lasting enough that I would be ok with something that has a good DWR coating on it?  I am looking to make my own rain gear and am trying to decide on what fabric to use, and am debating between the M50 from thru-hiker (DWR) or the waterproof but breathable Cuben Fiber from ZPacks.  None of my hiking trips with DWR gear have had enough rain for me to have an idea on how long it takes for this stuff to wet out so I'm not sure how effective it would be on the JMT.  

      • johndittli
        Rain gear selection in the Sierra can be dependent on a number of factors: length of outing, time of year, hiking camping style. In the Sierra one can go all
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 20, 2013
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          Rain gear selection in the Sierra can be dependent on a number of factors: length of outing, time of year, hiking camping style. 


          In the Sierra one can go all summer with rarely a drop of rain, or it can rain somewhat regularly. The height of the monsoon is usually late July early August. The last two summers have been wetter than average, this summer could be dry; or not!


          During the summer, forecasts are usually pretty accurate a week out, so if your planning a fast trip you may plan accordingly.


          Lastly, hiking style. Do you hike through the rain no matter what, or do you "hole up" during an onslaught? 


          In June and early July as well as late August and September, I rarely take rain pants if the forecast is favorable, my jacket is a very light water resistant fabric (some old Patagonia thing). Mid-summer, I want pants for bugs, so I take a very light rain pant and a very light waterproof parka (I don't take any other pants). These work for bugs and rain. I also tend to lay low during the hardest rain. I once did a thru hike with a CF poncho. It worked great for trail walking and hunkering (I sat out a record 6" rain event in it near Whitney)! Also it worked well to keep my pack dry and as a ground cloth. However, I don't like it much in the wind or for the majority of my hiking (off trail). For casual thru hiking, I kinda think ponchos are under rated.


          If you are unsure of the water resistance of your DWR, hop in the shower, turn on to the max rain you think you'll want to walk in (it can rain quite hard), stay in there for a half hour and see if you get wet!


          John Dittli

          Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail




          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          Hi everyone,

          I am planning my gear list for a thru hike of the JMT next August.  I am looking to save some weight in all areas to make the trip as enjoyable as possible and I have a question on rain gear.  If I'm thru hiking is it a good idea to bring completely waterproof rain gear?  Or are the storms infrequent and not long lasting enough that I would be ok with something that has a good DWR coating on it?  I am looking to make my own rain gear and am trying to decide on what fabric to use, and am debating between the M50 from thru-hiker (DWR) or the waterproof but breathable Cuben Fiber from ZPacks.  None of my hiking trips with DWR gear have had enough rain for me to have an idea on how long it takes for this stuff to wet out so I'm not sure how effective it would be on the JMT.  
        • Joe MacLeish
          Hodge: I carry a light weight but fully waterproof jacket and pants. Rain pants are 4.4 oz, jacket is 10.1 oz and a pack cover 4.5 oz. I also use a pack
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 20, 2013
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            Hodge:

            I carry a light weight but fully waterproof jacket and pants.  Rain pants are 4.4 oz, jacket is 10.1 oz and a pack cover 4.5 oz.  I also use a pack liner at 1.2 oz.  Seems like overkill?  Not in my experience.  I have been snowed on in every month of the year and usually wet snow as is typical of the Sierras.  I have done multiple section hikes but the two full JMTs I did in 2008 and 2011 were both hit with 4-5 days of Monsoon in late July.  I was ultimately wet even with my full kit.  I have moved to a "waterproof pack" since then and with the pack cover and liner that seems to keep the contents dry in a full Monsoon rain over 4-5 days.  I keep hiking when it rains. 

            By the by full pack weight with 6-7 days of food, water, and fuel is 33 lbs

            Body wetness is as much a function of sweating as of rain but I still like a well vented fully waterproof jacket and pants vs. material that is supposed to breathe.

            Joe

             

            From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jmthodge
            Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 5:43 AM
            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [John Muir Trail] Rain gear: DWR or waterproof

             

             

            Hi everyone,

             

            I am planning my gear list for a thru hike of the JMT next August.  I am looking to save some weight in all areas to make the trip as enjoyable as possible and I have a question on rain gear.  If I'm thru hiking is it a good idea to bring completely waterproof rain gear?  Or are the storms infrequent and not long lasting enough that I would be ok with something that has a good DWR coating on it?  I am looking to make my own rain gear and am trying to decide on what fabric to use, and am debating between the M50 from thru-hiker (DWR) or the waterproof but breathable Cuben Fiber from ZPacks.  None of my hiking trips with DWR gear have had enough rain for me to have an idea on how long it takes for this stuff to wet out so I'm not sure how effective it would be on the JMT.  

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