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Sometimes it rains. Next SD LIVE event: Tues, Mar 31

The next SD LIVE online event will air at 11:30 am PDT on Tuesday, March 31. I will start it off by sharing a series of tips I’ve learned about backpacking in the rain — foot care, fire starting, campsite selection, gear selection, etc. In the second half, Michael Glavin, the Brand Manager of Sierra […]

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Core Clothing || Lists & systems for 3-season conditions

Earlier this month I introduced the Core 13, a tight collection of hiking and backpacking clothing that can be mixed-and-matched to create appropriate systems for every set of 3-season conditions. The Core 13 are meant to be specific products, not just product types, e.g. ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs, not just underwear, and not three pairs of underwear that […]

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Core Clothing || Sleep — Items 12 & 13: Sleeping clothes

In climates with regular and long-lasting rain events, high humidity, and/or weak sunlight (due to shade, cloud-cover, or low sun angle), getting damp, wet, or even soaked seems to be an inherent part of the backpacking experience. If you wish to dry out completely during a backpacking trip in the eastern woodlands, Pacific Northwest, or Alaska, I’d recommend you find a […]

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Core Clothing || Items 10 & 11: Rain Jacket & Rain Pants

In a few instances I will leave behind my rain gear, notably short backpacking trips in dry environments when there is no precipitation in the forecast, and longer trips in hot and humid environments when a soaking is actually welcomed. But otherwise I bring something to help keep me dry when it rains. A rain […]

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Core Clothing || Stop — Items 8-9: Insulated Jacket & Pants

During cool camps, cold nights, and crisp mid-day rest stops, I retain my body heat with a puffy jacket containing down or synthetic insulation. If I expect nighttime temperatures below about 30 degrees, or long camps with temperatures below about 40 degrees, I will add insulated pants to my kit. Down- and synthetic-filled garments are far more thermally efficient […]

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Core Clothing || Go Suit — Item 7: Fleece Top

In warmer months, a fleece top may offer adequate insulation for lower overnight temperatures. However, it is less thermally efficient (i.e. less warm for its weight) than down- and synthetic-insulated jackets, which I will discuss later in this series. So I do not consider fleece to be an optimal “stop” piece when backpacking. Applications Instead, I include a […]

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Core Clothing || Go Suit — Item 5-6: Pants & Underwear

In temperatures too cool for running shorts (less than about 50 degrees), I wear hiking pants and underwear. Probably more often, however, I wear pants only to protect my legs from brush, sun, and bugs. In these instances, the additional warmth of pants is actually a liability. Pants and underwear are Items 5 & 6 of […]

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Core Clothing || Go Suit — Item 4: Running Shorts

So long as I’m not bushwhacking, being pestered by biting insects, or needing to protect my legs from intense sun, in warmer conditions I wear shorts. But I don’t wear “hiking shorts” like the Mountain Hardwear Canyon Short or “convertible pants” like the prAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pant that can be made into shorts. Instead, […]

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Needed: Portland-based female model for Sierra Designs live event

For the next SD Live online event on Tuesday, March 31 — which will focus on techniques to deal with rain — we need a Portland-based female to model some Sierra Designs rain wear. The filming time is still TBD, but plan to be available for 2-3 hours sometime between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The location is in […]

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Core Clothing || Go Suit — Item 3: Bug Shirt

I learned the hard way that mosquitoes and blackflies can bite through my knit polyester and knit merino wool hiking shirts. Another lesson: A rain jacket is effective insect protection, but wearing one in the High Sierra during the middle of the day under a blazing sun is completely unbearable. A better bug strategy is a dedicated […]

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