View Full Version : thru-hike clothing

2006-07-23, 23:38
Okay, I don't want to be a pain in the butt. But I am trying to knock out
the "clothing" prep for my thru-hike. Here is a list of my complete "proposed"
clothing worn and packed for 3 month trek. I hope that the experienced
long distance hikers here will lend your 2 cents on this matter. If you can
tear into this list for me, and make any appropriate suggestions,
comments, offer better alternatives? I suppose I should outline a few of
my biggest concerns with clothing:

1) I will have laundry facilities 7 times through the course of the hike.
Hence my thoughts on carrying double of my next to skin items.
2) Shorts are not a good option. I need a really good pant that can dry fast.
Over 200 rivers to ford. And a pant that can take major wear and tear.
650km no trail sections.
3) I will be attempting to clean these items obviously many times in the field.
I have no experience with super space age materials, and I pretty much hate
to wear anything that doesnt feel like cotton.
Total hike clothing:
T-shirt / base layer (x2)
GoLite Drimove wt= 5oz
Long Sleeve Base Layer with wind protection
GoLite Endurance Hoody wt= 12oz
Storm Shell Top / Insulation layer
GoLite Xirtam Jacket wt= 15oz
24/7 everyday Pants
GoLite Valmont Pants wt= 8oz
Rain Pants
GoLite Reed Pants wt= 5oz
24/7 everyday Hat
GoLite Endurance Classic Cap wt= 1oz
Under Garments (x2)
GoLite Lite-Weight brief wt= 2oz
GoLite Team sock (x2) wt= 1oz
SealSkinz Ultralight waterproof (x2) wt = 3.5oz

Total Clothing wt= 64oz
Packed Clothing on warm day Aprox= 32.5oz
Packed Clothing on wet day Aprox = 24.5oz
Packed Clothing on cold day Aprox = 16.5oz

No, I am not actually lazy and didn't do my homework. I am looking
for sponsorship from the local GoLite dealer. So what I am really wondering
am I making any big sacrifices to quality or weight by going with one
brand name all the way in the clothing department? Is it worth being a
walking Golite billboard to get free clothes? Am I too heavy? Skimping on
any items? Anything here you own or have tried that you were unhappy
with? I thankyou in advance for your time, comments and considerations.
It is greatly appreciated.

2006-07-25, 10:53
I'm not a through hiker and haven't tried the go-lite stuff, but it looks good. I assume you are hiking in Canada or someplace similar.

I like all of the stuff above, except I tend to combine rain/wind pant into one, and rain/wind jacket into one, and then go with a rain poncho/tarp for shelter and when it is seriously raining. Also, for insulation I go with a wool sweater. Even in summer I would go with a wool sweater, just a really light one. This tends to be very forgiving moisture and dirt and smell wise and allows everything else to be light and packable. Also, for underwear I like something I can also hike in if I want to take the pants off for awhile. If it is remote enough anything will do. I don't mind a single pair of plaid flannel boxers. They provide a little extra warmth. They are soft even when damp. They can be worn on the head with style to dry out. If you have one small item of cotton, and and can use something like a wood hobbo stove for fuel, you can dry the cotton out now and then. The wool tends to stay dry enough just by wearing it continuosly. Where I hike (Fundy Footpath) there is lots of water so I don't carry soap but I can wash and do laundry quite regularly.

But I think what you listed might work better than what I describe if it is hotter and dryer than what I am used to. Have a great hike.

I am curious about the AT. Are there less travelled sections where you can use a few dry sticks for fuel now and then or is it too well travelled. Also, is there plenty of water for a swim and rinse and dry laundry every other day, or no? I am guessing once you get past Maine, or Georgia going the other way, the answer would be no to both. The Kelly Kettle only uses the equivalent of about 4 pencil and a piece of paper to boil a quart of water, but I think that would still be too much in high country or areas of high traffic.

2006-07-25, 21:21
Here's my 2 cents (a nickel north of the border):

I have worn Columbia PFG zip-off pants for several years now. The PFG stands for Performance Fishing Gear (I never thought I needed special clothes for fishing, what do I know?). They're 100% nylon, feel like cotton, and dry incredibly fast. I usually use just the shorts, packing the legs for cool evenings. The shorts have held up very well, through snags and butt-slides down steep rocks. Highly recommended, and I think they'll hold up to bushwhacking.

My experience with SealSkin socks was this: like any other W/B equipment, they really don't breathe as well as they claim, and under active-use conditions, your feet will be just as wet from the inside. And make no mistake, your feet will smell worse than they ever have. If you're not alone, you soon will be! They are fantastic for ice-fishing or any low-intensity activity where you aren't generating body heat, but for all-day hiking I found them way too hot, and was more comfortable just wearing regular footwear and changing socks more often.

2006-07-26, 01:12
My only suggestion is carry more socks, and change them often. Feet don't like to be dirty and sweaty, and if your feet start having problems your hike is either going to end early or become a nightmare.

I wear wool socks on long hikes, but also carry cotton socks. They can be rinsed out and attached to the outside of your pack to dry.

-Another hint - don't wear the same socks you hike in to bed, hang you hiking socks up to air out. Your feet will thank you.

2006-07-26, 04:45
A sterile pair of cotton socks vacuum sealed in your first aid kit makes a good dressing or compress for emergencies. You can apply it to a wound as a compress, or cut off the toes and pull it up an arm or leg. If your feet get realy bad, or even not real bad but it's the last day or two, you can use them as socks.

2006-07-26, 21:11
That is a cool idea about the sterile socks, but how do you get them sterile?

I guess you could improvise an autoclave of sorts with a rack inside a pressure cooker. The vacuum bags wouldn't be sterile but it would be clean enough I'm sure.

2006-07-27, 05:36
That is a cool idea about the sterile socks, but how do you get them sterile?

I guess you could improvise an autoclave of sorts with a rack inside a pressure cooker. The vacuum bags wouldn't be sterile but it would be clean enough I'm sure.
Bake at 200F for at least 15 minutes in a sealed oven bag.

2006-07-27, 08:43
Perhaps I should have said sanitary, but sterile would be better.
Oven idea sounds good.