I have found that long underwear is really nice to have in the sierras. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />For one thing you can sit around in it and mosquitos have a tough time biting through it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />Its way soft and flexible and after a long days hike its a luxery. Pull anything on over it and your warmer than you would be without it. AND Its the nicest thing to sleep in. I leave a lot at home, but I always take long underwear. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
The point is - no you don't need it - or any gear at all, but your comfort will suffer. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Almost all the hikers I know of use long underwear. It's a practicality thing; they make you warmer without adding much bulk, so they fit easily under clothes & raingear. I usually end up wearing them at night and in the early mornging when it's chilly out. I'd recommend midweight ones for general use, but in summer you can sometimes get away with silkweight ones. My dad even knew a guy who liked to use pantyhose. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
To keep warm while on the move it's easier to use a warm hat and vest, otherwise you end up changing clothes every time you stop.
Since nights are never warm where I camp, long underwear is de rigeur for me. Make sure they are the synthetic, quick-drying variety. They also make a good emergency outfit when your clothes get wet and you're trying to dry them on a rock somewhere.
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
Yeah, long underwear is nice for sitting around in the cold. I carry synthetic filled pants (BPL Cocoon) in lieu of long underwear most of the time though cause they weigh about the same, but are much warmer. I also use them in to add warmth in my sleeping bag so that I can carry a lighter bag.
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