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#88869 - 02/03/08 12:42 PM Hard Shells
kentwilliams Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 1
I am getting back into backpacking after a long time away from the game and can tell a lot has changed. Question: are people leaving their hard shells at home these days? I do have scholler pants, a Houdini wind shirt & Driclime windshirt along with an Wild Things EP Jacket, (hooded Primaloft insulated jacket with Epic shell). I love windshirts and my scholler pant, so I would love to be able to cut pack weight and bulk by leaving the shells out if this is something you can usually get away with. Thks

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#88870 - 02/03/08 12:44 PM Re: Hard Shells [Re: kentwilliams]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
If there is a chance of significant rain and cool/cold weather, I carry the hardshell. Otherwise I don't.

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#88871 - 02/03/08 05:48 PM Re: Hard Shells [Re: Paddy_Crow]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I live in a part of the country (Pacific NW) where weather is hard to predict more than a day or two out (too much ocean out there). And if you're hiking in the Rockies you can usually assume afternoon thunderstorms, with cloudburst, wind, hail, even snow. I don't rely on weather forecasts to stay dry (bitter experience here!) and would never go out without good rain gear.

On the other hand, if it looks like a long dry spell ahead (contrary to prevailing myths, we do get them in Northwest summers), I may just pack a suit of Dri-Ducks, which are quite light, although not very durable, and hope never to have to wear them.

There are a number of lightweight rain gear options. Red Ledge Thunderlight (which I've found quite good) and Marmot Precip (which I haven't tried) are among them. Red Ledge is a bit easier on the budget (Campmor has them).

There have been many times when I've worn only the pants--it may stop raining but it takes hours for tall grass and brush along the trail to dry out.

I usually don't bother with soft shells unless I'm taking a non-breathable rain jacket. The hard shell works just fine to keep the wind out. I remember one cold, windy day when I couldn't figure out why I was so cold inside my Red Ledge jacket. Finally I realized that I had left the pit zips open--just a little too much ventilation!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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