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#201831 - 09/30/18 09:20 PM Reducing the weight of your clothing...
Alf Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/18
Posts: 53
Loc: London, UK.
Here on the Lite Gear Talk forum we know the importance of using the lightest gear possible for camping, hiking and walking etc, but how many of you have thought about reducing the weight of your clothing too? Obviously I don't mean by cutting holes in your clothes, or cutting off the sleeves or legs etc, I mean replacing your existing heavy outdoor clothing with ultralight equivalents.
A typical UK-medium sized Cotton T-Shirt weighs around 160g, and whilst it can feel comfortable to wear, they are not very breathable, or fast drying plus they can trap a lot of your sweat in the Cotton fibres making them even heavier, and making it a good place for Fungus, Mould and Bacteria to grow. I only wear a shirt for one day before putting it in the laundry bag and wearing a clean one, and that's fine if I am only going for a weekend camping trip as I only need to carry one spare shirt in my pack, but if I was on a trail for two weeks and therefore carrying 14 T-shirts, the weight of all those T-shirts (2,240kg!)would obviously be a major issue.
Buying ultralight "Tech Tee" T-shirts is the solution. Not only are they at least half the weight of Cotton T-shirt, they are fast drying, very breathable and highly wicking, but most also employ Silver-based anti-bac treatments, which help keep you cool, dry and comfortable, and wiff free, even on very hot days.
The lightest available Tech Tee is the Rohan Ultra-Silver Tee, which weighs just 57g in UK-Medium size...Over 100g lighter than a typical Cotton T-shirt. The problem with the Rohan is, it only comes in two colours...Black (Graphite) or white, and at £30 each it's not cheap. The next lightest is the Outdoor Research Echo Tee, which weighs about 74g on average in UK-Medium size. Its a little bit cheaper than the Rohan, offers SPF15 Sun protection, has a built-in key pocket and is it available in a much wider range of colours. Then it's the Rab Interval Tee, which weighs about 78g in UK-Medium size and offers SPF35+ Sun protection. Its about the same cost as the OR Echo, but it's slightly shorter. However, it is a much better fit than the Echo. The Echo has a larger cut, which makes a US-Small size Echo Tee the same size as a UK-Medium size Rab Interval, but even then, the sleeves of a US Small sized Echo Tee feel baggy compared to the much better fitting Rab Interval. Both the Echo and the Interval use a Silver based PolyGiene anti-bac treatment, so they can be worn for at least two to three times longer than a Cotton T-shirt before getting smelly. This reduces the need to carry so many shirts with you, which in turn, greatly reduces the weight you need to carry. For example, I could make 4-5 Tech Tees last 14 days and they would reduce weight from 2.240kg down between 300-370g, which is far more acceptable.
That's your base layer sorted, now you need to replace that heavy fleece jacket with an ultralight "Tech L/S Tee" equivalent. I use the Rab Interval L/S half-zip...It weighs just 110g.
Trousers are the next thing to look at...My North Face zip-off-leg hiking/walking Cargo pocket trousers weigh 550g...Which IMHO is a lot. So I replaced them with a pair of Quechua Forclaz 100, zip-off-leg cargo "Tech-Pants" from Decathlon, which look very similar to my North Face pair, but they are 200g lighter and yet cost about a fifth of the price!
If you are not the sort who likes to go commando, then you can also save weight by buying ultralight Underwear too. I prefer wearing boxer shorts and the lightest boxer shorts you can currently get are the Rohan Ultra Silver Trunks, which weight about 40g...That's almost half the weight of your typical pair of boxers. However, at £22 a pair, they are ludicrously expensive for a pair of Boxers, especially if you need to buy enough of them to be able to change to a fresh pair every day.
Need an ultralight "beany" hat...Look no further than the Rab Merino Beany, which is wicking, breathable and offers just enough insulation to stop your head overheating...It weighs just 18g.
Still using a heavy headlight? I swapped by previous lightweight headlight, which weighed over 60g, for a Petzl E-Lite, which weighs just 27g.
Shoes are one area where you can save a lot of weight...I stopped wearing hiking boots when I realised how heavy they were...Up to a kg each boot! I now use modern high-tech trail running shoes, as they are much lighter and more breathable than traditional hiking shoes. They can be at least half the weight. The current favorites are my Salomon Speedcross 4's, which weigh 650g a pair in UK-size 9.5 (EU-size 44/US-size 10). There are even lighter trail running shoes available, but they probably wont last as long or fit as well. They fit me like a glove, so there is no chance of developing blisters whilst wearing them. From about £75 upwards, they are not cheap, but they are worth the money.
Wearing ultralight clothing makes me feel much lighter than before, which increases my mobility and helps me use less energy when walking too so I can walk for longer and stay more comfortable.
Obviously all this ultralight high-tech gear costs more than traditional clothing and luckily I can afford it but I realise not everyone can, but if you can, then do it as it can really transform your outdoor leisure time for the better!


Edited by Alf (09/30/18 09:21 PM)

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#201832 - 10/01/18 12:59 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Alf]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2970
Loc: Portland, OR
how many of you have thought about reducing the weight of your clothing

Reducing clothing weight is one of the first and one of the cheaper places to look for weight savings and one of the first recommendations I make to newbies. The first step is taking exactly as much clothing as one needs to stay warm, dry and alive, taking no changes of clothes just for the sake of cleanliness, unless it is an extra set of clean socks. Reducing the amount of clothes generally costs nothing at all.

The next step is getting that minimum of clothes optimized for weight and effectiveness. This usually requires some cash outlay, but that outlay can be spread over time by a backpacker who has little money to spend. The more you go out and experience life outdoors in the places you choose to hike, the better your sense of what works and what doesn't.

The lightest choice is not always the best, and the best choice can sometimes be postponed while you wait for your finances to support the purchase, while you settle for "good enough".

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#201837 - 10/01/18 01:48 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Alf]
Petro1234 Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 36
Loc: engeland
Learn to wash your clothes ? If you are going for 14 days, the fuel and food will surely outweigh the weight of the clothes.

Most, most important is the clean socks. A clean pair of socks per day is the best way to prevent blisters and sore feet. Thorough washing. 4 spare pair. Wash them thoroughly.

A pair of super light shorts for laundry times.

2 spare pair of underwear and a spare tee shirt, possibly 2.

If your coat is thin, also a jumper, but this will be as often worn as carried, like a coat.

Gloves, these make exellent toe warmers for when your toes poke through in a sleeping bag.

Clothes worn, mid weight trousers 300g ish, thick enough to provide thorn protection, and a little insulation, without being too warm. 1 tee shirt 1 pants and 1 socks.

Qim for under 500g total spare carried.


Edited by Petro1234 (10/01/18 02:01 PM)

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#201839 - 10/01/18 03:30 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Petro1234]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6585
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
It's taking unnecessary clothing changes that adds to the unnecessary weight. I take an extra pair of clean socks and that's the only clean clothing I take. At the end of the day, I rinse out the pair of socks I've been wearing. They normally are dry (or at least clean and only slightly damp) by the end of the next day. If it appears that the trip will be cold and wet (shoulder season), I may take a third pair of socks, that I keep dry for sleeping.

My rule on clothing is to take only what I need to keep comfortably warm and dry, during the worst conditions that can be expected out there. while wearing it all at the same time,. That would be maybe 5 degrees above the record low for that month. Plus, of course, those spare socks!

It is good to have lighter choices, when available, assuming they are equal in function and don't break the bank. I get more use out of my insulating clothing by using it as regular winter wear at home (of course, Oregon has relatively mild, although a bit wet, winters, If I lived in the Midwest or northern Rockies, my backpacking insulation would be fall and spring clothing, but it wouldn't do for -30*F winter days!

All other clean clothing, along with a package of wet wipes, stays in my car at the trailhead for me to change into for the drive home. I do sponge off critical areas in my tent at bedtime, which reduces the funk quite a bit.

I have been known to rinse out my undies every few days and let them dry on my body, which takes less than an hour on a warm dry day, since the undies are of quick-drying fabric.

After all, your fellow hikers will be similarly grungy!

.


Edited by OregonMouse (10/01/18 03:32 PM)
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#201840 - 10/01/18 06:15 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1582
Loc: Southwest Ohio
What Mouse said.

In summer, if I’m out more than two nights, I MIGHT consider taking a spare set of boxers and a T-shirt (both are OR Echo material.) This is strictly a matter of convenience, only if I don’t want to be bothered to rinse out what I’m wearing.

But overall, exactly what Mouse said.

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#201841 - 10/01/18 07:55 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: OregonMouse]
Talthing Offline
member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 18
This is totally my problem too. I cannot seem to get down to 15 lbs base weight... my biggest problems are

1. the long johns (I carry the smartwool 250 medium weight top and bottoms) I've tried the 32 degrees poly set and the Pategonia capilene set.

The capilene set works for super dry areas...and the 32 degrees poly set really doesn't work at all (breeze goes right through them)

2. is the jacket...best one I could find is 22 oz (Mtn Hardware quasar full zip). I got an REI 600 fill down jacket...which is great if temps don't get below the mid 50s...but it makes me nervous feeling like 'thank goodness it's not any colder'

...so the jacket and the long johns make my clothing 2 lbs (add some gloves, a snow hat, extra socks, extra t-shirt, and undies and the clothes bag is up to 60.9 oz)



anyone else have this issue? Or am I just the only wimp here?

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#201843 - 10/01/18 08:30 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Talthing]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1582
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I doubt you’re the only one like that.

For me, though, you’re talking about my cold-weather gear. At age 68, I usually don’t go out when it’s going to be colder than about 35 degrees. When I go out under those conditions, I carry a down “sweater” hooded jacket, wear my longjohns, and a fleece top. (I wear the fleece top on the trail, and add the jacket in camp.) Sometimes, I’ll also add fleece pants for camp. Naturally, there are also gloves and hats. The jacket and fleece add 2-3 pounds to my pack; I don’t count the weight of the longjohns, since I’m wearing them. My base weight is then about 15 pounds (16 if you count the longjohns.) If I’m wearing everything in camp, I’m warm enough (just barely) on a 35-degree night.

So, what you’re describing isn’t out of line.

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#201847 - 10/02/18 04:11 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Talthing]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 127
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Clothing is a major stumbling block for me, too, in reducing pack weight. I get cold easily, and fast, and really hate being cold for any length of time. I'm 70 now, but I've always been this way (but it's not getting any better:)

So, I always (including summer)take light long johns, long pants, a light down jacket, a fleece, and a long-sleeved shirt, as well as a hat and gloves. Even though all are fairly lightweight, they add up.

My in-the-pack clothes add up to 4.26lbs. at the lightest, including socks, raingear, etc. And I'm liable at the last minute to decide on heavier pants and an extra pair of socks (3 total). Or maybe the better, 2.5oz heavier rain jacket smile
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#201849 - 10/02/18 01:37 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Bill Kennedy]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1809
Loc: Napa, CA
Wow. I take a clean pair of socks and undies, very lightweight PJs that also serve as long-johns when it is very cold, and a puffy down jacket. That's it. I wash the undies and socks every night to have a clean pair drying during the day. And I wear the same shirt and pants for at least a week at a time---sometimes washing the shirt in a stream.

In winter, add one more layer on top and bottom--wool long underwear.
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balzaccom

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#201850 - 10/02/18 03:49 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: balzaccom]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 753
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I don't actually own all of this stuff, because I've yet to hike in truly cold conditions (went skiing once in -40F wind chill, but that's another story), and a few of the nick-knacks I haven't gotten around to making yet, but here's my all-inclusive all-conditions list of things worn.

ALWAYS WORN HIKING
  • breathable trail running shoes
  • athletic/synthetic crew socks
  • light polyester cargo pants
  • athletic/synthetic briefs
  • light long sleeve polyester sun shirt
  • sun gloves
  • baseball cap
  • neck shade
  • sunglasses


ALWAYS PACKED (OR WORN)
  • rain pants
  • rain jacket
  • rain mitts
  • 2nd pair of socks (weighted for temps)
  • 2nd pair of briefs
  • long john/PJ pants
    or light shorts (warm temps)
  • 2nd light long sleeve polyester shirt
    or short sleeve t-shirt (warm temps)
  • 2 roasting bags (keeps spare socks dry in camp)


COOL & COLD TEMPS ONLY
  • jacket (weighted for temps)
  • polyester sweat pants (cold temps only)
  • knit, fleece, or down hat (weighted for temps)
  • knit liner gloves
  • mittens (cold temps only)
  • balaclava, scarf, or similar (cold temps only)


Obviously the listed footwear wouldn't work in truly cold sloppy nasty conditions, but I'll cross that bridge if/when I get there.

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#201853 - 10/02/18 07:20 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Alf]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2806
Loc: California
Depends on where you backpack and your style of backpacking.

In some places, like the Sierra, if you decide simply to not walk in rain (set up tent if it rains) you do not need rain gear given that most rain in the summer in the Sierra is a short thunderstorm with plenty of next day sun to dry things out. If on the other hand, you backpack in an area with regular rains, you simply have to walk in the rain some days. If you plan on hiking hard all day (like the PCT hikers) and then just quickly eat and get inside your sleeping bag, then you can get by with less insulating clothing. If instead you like to sit out after the sun goes down, then you need a layer for that.

Light does not always mean expensive. I use 3-oz $3 T-shirts from Walmart as my underlayer. Also bought a $45 "puffer" at Target that is 4 oz heavier than my $100 down sweater from Montbell. I buy 100-wt fleece zip tops from Lands End for $20 on sale. Lots of good finds at Goodwill for hiking shirts.

I am not that concerned about the weight of the clothing I always wear. I have never had trouble with anything not in my pack. For me, it is the weight on my back that is critical. I rarely lack energy going uphill, but my back gets sore during a long day.

I over-pack for normal conditions, but several times that extra layer was a life-saver when the weather went poor for several days. I can cut corners on a 2-3 day trip, but on a 10-day trip, the weather reports are not that accurate so I feel I have to pack for the worst.

Everyone has different tolerances for cold. I have a lot of trouble keeping warm, even at home in summer, but my hands rarely get cold, so often I only take gloves in late fall.

Different trips have different conditions. Cold-sunny, cold-wet or cloudy, windy or calm, low humidity or high humidity, dewy vegetation to walk through every day, or dry rock or dirt.

So there is no one answer.

My biggest problem now is raingear. I have been experimenting with an umbrella (in the Sierra). I have also experimented with dedicated "wet" clothes and dedicated "dry" clothes, not taking rain gear at all (this is what I do for coastal hiking with its constant temperature and constant wetness). My rain jacket for my normal Rocky Mountain hikes is heavy (15 oz) but it also doubles as a wind jacket and insulating layer. No rain pants in the Sierra, rain pants in the Rockies.

In all cases, I NEVER take extra's for cleanliness. I always wash in the field. I take 3 pr of socks, because socks are so light. One pair are dedicated for sleeping only.

I also do not trust my down sweater- it only weighs 4 oz so it is a luxury item. Granted it has the most warmth for weight, but worthless if it gets wet.

Hiking layers go on in this order:

3-oz cotton T- this gets sweaty so I rinse it out every day
7-oz long sleeve hiking shirt-loose fit so mosquitoes cannot bite through (Orvis fishing shirt my favorite)
8 oz hiking pants (mid-summer) and 12-oz pants shoulder season
6 oz long gaiters (am addicted to these for various reasons)
2-3 oz Smartwool socks
1-2 oz cotton bandana (to hold my hair back)
3 oz baseball cap
2 oz hiking gloves (light canvas garden gloves)
1-2 oz seamless under pants - expensive no seams to rub on hips

Camp layers
5-7 oz wool long sleeve undershirt (Ibex)
6-7 oz 100-wt fleece zip top (Lands End)
4 oz down sweater (Montbell) or 7-8-oz cheap hooded "puffers"
7 oz light weight Smartwool long johns or 11-oz Arcterex Rho long johns shoulder season
2 oz sleeping socks
3 oz fleece stocking cap

I never sleep in my hiking clothes unless newly washed because I am very particular about keeping my sleeping bag clean. Most of the time, I also take a bath myself! The t-shirt usually dries so I can put it on before bed.

Emergency layers
15 oz rain jacket (Montbell)
8 oz rainpants (REI kids)
2-3 oz balaclava (shoulder season)
2 oz fleece gloves (only taken shoulder season)
3 oz wind shirt, occasionally
7 oz umbrella (no rain clothes if I take this)
1 pr extra wool socks

I have wading shoes (10 oz) that I take if I have several streams to cross each day, otherwise I do not take any extra camp shoes.

With shoes, the most important thing is that they fit well and I am not at all concerned with weight or even if they last long. I now use Merrell All-out Blaze low cut shoes that only last one season, but a willing sacrifice to keep my feet comfortable.

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#201855 - 10/02/18 08:31 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: OregonMouse]
Petro1234 Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/16
Posts: 36
Loc: engeland
I take an extra tee shirt shorts for when go through a town/camp etc and have a wash, its nice not to reek ! I find that over the course of a few days that rinsing socks does not work, especially if the socks are getting damp with dirt engrained in, a thorough wash is whats needed and underwear can rub too if dirty. Without fail, dirty insoles socks and i get blisters, a nice pair of fresh socks is so soothing! Given that the feet are a major part of back packing equipment i do not mind the weight. Washing the feet is also important ! If i have a jumper etc the extra tee shirt doesnt go.

I must say too daisy the waterproof penalty is probably the worst weight, not used most of the time, but weigh around a pound. I have no answer.

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#201861 - 10/04/18 05:25 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 127
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I imagine you already know this, but the Marmot Precip rain jacket would save you some weight, and is fairly affordable. My men's small is 10.2oz. Good for rain and wind, but not an insulating layer.

The 4-oz. down sweater you mention...is that the Montbell "down inner?" I have one of those, 6.6oz. in men's small. I added Lycra binding around the hem, which makes it more jacket-like. They don't make it anymore, but they do have the "Superior Down Parka," at 8.7oz., with a hood. I'd like to have one, but can't justify the $209.

Can you point me to the "7-8-oz cheap hooded 'puffers'" you mention? Also the 6-7oz fleece 100wt fleece. I looked at Land's End's web site but couldn't find them, and of course, they don't list the weight. Thanks.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#201863 - 10/04/18 10:46 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Bill Kennedy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 913
Loc: Torrance, CA
I'm not willing to spend the big bucks for the name brand clothing either. I bought a cheap down jacket off of Amazon. I imagine it is similar to what they often sell at Costco (but I no longer have a membership). Very light and warm. The price seems to fluctuate quite a bit anywhere from $25-50. I think its a good deal at any of those prices. I think this is the one I got:

https://www.amazon.com/Hawke-Co-Packable...down+jacket+men

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#201864 - 10/05/18 01:23 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Bill Kennedy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2806
Loc: California
Just saw in Macy's Columbus Day flyer this morning- "down Puffer", $50 (woman's). They usually have the equivalent in men's. Keep an eye on Target- these will be coming out as winter arrives.

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#201865 - 10/05/18 01:26 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Bill Kennedy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2806
Loc: California
I have had my fill of Marmot Precip jackets. They are junk. They only work for one season. Every time they have failed in heavy downpours or long term moderate rain.

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#201866 - 10/05/18 03:23 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1582
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I gave up on Precip about 10-15 years ago, for the very same reason. Mine failed in the first moderate rain I was in - seams leaked, zippers leaked, water ran down the front of my neck from the hood (and I had it adjusted to fit properly.) Went right back to the Campmor house-brand GoreTex I had been using - of course, it died about 3 years later; I replaced it with the OR Foray GoreTex set, and then switched to the OR Helium (at least for summer hiking.) The Helium has worked fine, and the Pertex material is about the best compromise of waterproof and breathable I’ve found yet. Seems decently durable after three years, although I don’t expect it to last more than five.

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#201867 - 10/05/18 04:04 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6585
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I bought a Marmot Precip jacket a few years back, and it failed in a few months--especially where my pack straps crossed the shoulders. I tried renewing the DWR and it didn't help at all. Big waste of money!

Since 2007, my rain gear has been silnylon. I bought what was probably the last of the "Brawny Gear" jackets and rain pants. Each weighs about 4 oz. (including the necessary seam sealing). The jacket is roomy enough (I bought it that way) that there's plenty of ventilation, and I can snug it down if it's cold and windy.

Having tried both "breathable" and truly waterproof gear, I have found that "breathable" rain gear does not breathe enough to make any difference--I still get wet inside from sweat-- and if it's breathable, it's not waterproof.

If it's warm (say above 60*F) and raining, I just leave off the rain gear and get wet. With lightweight synthetics, my body heat will dry the clothing in half an hour if it stops raining. If it doesn't stop raining, I still have a dry layer (my base layer) to wear in the sleeping bag. The damp hiking clothing goes into a 2 gallon ziplock bag which I put at the foot of my sleeping bag. No, it doesn't dry, but at least it's body temperature when I put it on in the morning (so no loud screams). And the "prewarmed" clothing is often dry before I even exit the tent!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201868 - 10/06/18 12:13 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2970
Loc: Portland, OR
Depends on where you backpack and your style of backpacking.

This is most basic truth.

A backpacker who mostly hikes in Norway will have entirely different needs compared to a backpacker who mostly hikes in Arkansas. There's a considerable difference between what is "lightweight" clothing in Oregon in August and in October, at 1000 feet of elevation or 7000 feet of elevation. This sort of knowledge is best gained over time, by repeatedly experiencing the weather in the places you hike, during the seasons when you hike.

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#201871 - 10/06/18 04:02 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 127
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I gather you're not the only one who's had the Precip jackets fail. I've had just the opposite experience. I have a very old one, maybe 15 years, that still works, although the coating's worn off in a few small spots. I was caught in a downpour last spring, and no leaks. I have the anorak, too, also old, and it works well, too. I did buy a new Precip jacket a while back, but it hasn't had a real test. I hope the quality control hasn't declined.

I've been tempted to go back to coated nylon, or maybe silnylon, but I find that the w/b jackets eliminate that stuffy, stifled feeling I get sometimes.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#201873 - 10/06/18 04:28 AM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 127
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks, I will. I seem to always be looking for clothing in the wrong season.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#201884 - 10/08/18 01:54 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: Alf]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 39
Loc: Lakewood, CO
I've actually been slightly increasing my clothing in order to supplement my sleep system. And so that when I do get up at night or in the morning, I already have warm clothes on and am mostly already dressed to get out of the tent or hammock.

In CO, it's not at all unusual for a mountain hike to start the day at 50 degrees, peak at 80 and then plunge into the 30's in Summer, especially if you're gaining a lot of elevation. Thus, my clothing and sleep system is just one big layering system. Of course, everything is either paper-thin synthetic for wicking or wool or down for warmth. The only extra I bring is socks.

A few years ago, I realized that since I was bringing a down jacket already, I decided to wear it to sleep. Last year, I added insulated pants and booties, which allowed me to start using a smaller/lighter quilt. Now that I consider the quilt to just be another layer in the system. I can take off layers if I get warm and put them back on in the small hours when it gets cold, whether I'm sleeping or out doing something.

The disadvantage of this becomes pretty apparent if you've gotten dirty or if you've had a fire. Your quilt gets dirty and smelly faster. This can be minimized, of course, but it's something I just put up with since I'm not doing long trips, at this point.

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#201890 - 10/09/18 09:00 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: DustinV]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6585
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
IMHO, several lightweight layers are better than one heavy layer. With several lightweight layers, you can better adjust to varying temperatures.

If your shopping coincides with end-of-season sales, you can save a lot of money. Even my expensive items were bought as discontinued models and/or colors. That explains the color of my 2 oz. Montbell wind shirt, one of my favorite layering pieces despite its awful color--wine vomit. I love to wear it, but I try not to look at it!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201910 - 10/11/18 03:13 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2806
Loc: California
The most efficient way to stay warm at night, with respect to weight, is an adequately rated sleeping bag. Using liners or clothing to supplement is not as weight efficient. Remember that when conditions get really bad, you may well have to wear that clothing while hiking and it may get wet, rendering it useless for night warmth. Some clothing systems work well in easy to moderate conditions but fail in extreme conditions.

Layering has always been the "bible" of backpacking clothing. I generally agree, but there are exceptions. For clothing to be used while hiking, that flexibility is very important. I am not 100% convinced that bringing one heavier layer for cold evenings and mornings is a bad idea, particularly if you are going from 60+/- degree days to sub-freezing nights. Shoulder season, I still like to get an early start, but it is sub-freezing and shadows linger until mid-morning, and that is when I bring a very fluffy (and heavier) down jacket.

Also with layering, those layers are not efficiently used if you cannot put all on at once. So be careful to size each layer so they do not pinch the layer beneath. If you squish the under layers, you loose some of the warmth. I find the most difficult part of this is with sleeves, particularly women's clothing where they make the sleeves too tight to begin with (and I have skinny arms!). I always buy a size larger for my outermost layers, or if an item fits other places, I buy men's clothing, which generally are more roomy.

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#201913 - 10/11/18 03:30 PM Re: Reducing the weight of your clothing... [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6585
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree! That sleeping bag is the last resort when your other clothing gets wet! You don't want wet or even damp clothing inside the sleeping bag where the evaporating moisture will degrade your down! The bag needs to be adequate enough to

I have, on several occasions, worn all my insulating clothing (plus a vapor barrier over the base layer) inside the sleeping bag, but that was for unusually and unexpectedly low temps well below the rating on my sleeping bag.

Which also raises the extreme importance of keeping your insulating layers dry! You may need to wear that down jacket for hiking the first hour or so of the day, but be sure to take if off before you start sweating inside it. I prefer to be cold my first 15-20 minutes of hiking than either to stop that soon or to get sweaty. On the other hand, I tend to be a late starter, especially on cold mornings.

W_D also raises the importance of making sure your layers are sized so you can wear all of them at the same time. Your sleeping bag needs to be big enough to accommodate you with all those layers without compressing the down, even though you rarely layer up that much inside.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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