Archive | How To RSS feed for this section

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 8 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 11 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 33 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 34 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 22 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 25 }

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, […]

Read full story Comments { 12 }

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 […]

Read full story Comments { 17 }

Core Clothing || Go Suit — Items 1-2: Short- & long-sleeve shirt

My Go Suit is my backpacking uniform, and I wear these clothing items every day from sunrise to sunset — and, unless they’re wet, at night too. Additional layers from my “Stop” and “Storm” categories are worn over them, while my “Sleep” layers replace them when wet for improved nighttime comfort. Out of the Core 13, my […]

Read full story Comments { 25 }

Core Clothing || Introduction: With just 13 items, backpack anywhere in 3-season conditions

To backpack anywhere in 3-seasons conditions, how few articles of clothing are needed to mix-and-match appropriate systems? I say: thirteen — the Core 13, I’ll call the collection. However, a decent argument could be made for 11, and for a narrower range of applications or conditions, even fewer are relevant. For instance, just 9 for the Colorado Rockies and […]

Read full story Comments { 6 }