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maxneale

idea Best clothing for cold, wet weather?

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Great write up.  Some thoughts. 

Police strength pepper spray can be up to 5 times stronger than bear spray, The gel spray may be better than fogger?

I like using a wide close cell foam sleeping pad. I set up my pack to carry it on the outside on the side , vertically.   Carried like this it is not so much a pain in brush ,  dont need a ground clothe. 

If on a budget any larger silnylon tarp works well as a shelter for most mild weather. I have a 10ft square tarp with ultra light lines, 6 stakes , less than 1lb 7oz. Use trecking poles to set up. Use head net and net clothes or regular clothes for bugs. (Note, a larger flat tarp can be used in bad weather with knowledge, can fold it in a pyramid shape, or bring all sides to the ground, or if in snow dig in, etc. If tarp is small,  set up options are less, I suggest a bit larger flat tarp for safety)

There are good tarp tents and shaped tarps on market, many made in the usa by cottage industry.  Check them out online.  I recently picked up a black diamond beta light tarp shelter for worse weather. 1.5 lb including stakes and guylines for two people, packed size same as water bottle, I shall see how it works.

Feathered freinds jackets are great. Use mine for good weather forecasts.  If on a budget any lightish jacket will do.  On a budget thin nylon chino stretch pants work very well.

For just in case rain gear "Rain O2" works great,  but not very tough for brush, however nothing is lighter or more breathable, and they are fairly cheap. I bring the jacket for good weather forecasts, the pants likely too fragile  to bring unless staying on trail.

Reactor stove is great for melting snow, other wise any quality canister stove works great, a cheap one should work fine if on budget.

The breathable SOL bivy sacks work great with sleeping bag under a tarp if want aditional protection. Can carry with you when leave base camp.

Any quality 20 to 30 degree sleeping bag works for summer apline and a bit into fall and spring.

Geigerrig water bladder system with filter is the best/lightest water system I have found for me.

Lately I have been exploring pile pertex clothing for truly nasty weather. I have the montane extream smock and bibs, I use them as over clothes for winter , they are heavy and bulky but the the best I have found for drying you out warmth. Too heavy for hiking in , unless very cold.  Im thinking of trying lighter weight pile pertex clothing some day. One could use a wind shirt, and wind pant with fleece or pile thermal under with similar good effect, if on budget.

Good day !!

Edited by DanO

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impressive body of work.  I'd offer a few options for your assessment.

1)  Since the 1970s I have carried a pressure cooker on any trip longer than a few days.  Sounds heavy, but on a trip of a week or more, I save more than its weight in fuel.  I can cook "real" food if I so choose, and its a small bear-proof food container.  It's especially nice at altitude when water boils away at too low a temperature to cook rice or regular noodles.

2)  electric bear fence - about the weight/bulk of a modern tent-pole, this item runs on a single AAA battery, and is utterly amazing.  on fly-in Alaskan river floats, I use one surrounding the cooking area, another surrounding sleeping area.  it doesn't look like much - flimsy poles and a couple strands of wire -  but I've risen some mornings and found BIG (Alaskan brown) bear tracks circling our undisturbed kitchen...  FAR more protection weight:volume than any "bear canister" or bag.

3)  I generally don't carry a spoon if I'm going light.  When I need one, I carve one - obviously not in places without wood

4)  speedy-stitcher sewing awl - I load it with 20lb spectra fishing line.  if you ever have to make a significant repair on a shoe, a backpack, or a loop on a tarp, you'll be glad you have it.

I take a different approach to sleeping systems:  when going ultralight, I don't carry a sleeping bag or quilt - sleep in whatever insulated clothing I'm carrying- usually enough in a light bivvy-bag.  A half-length ridge-rest pad functions as the "frame" for my pack as well as for sleeping.  When I do carry a sleeping bag, I carry an ultralight (1-lb down) bag for three-season use, a light (2-lb down) bag for colder shoulder-season trips, and the two bags layered (the 2 pounder is a feathered friends bag that I ordered "extra girth") for extreme cold (I've used the combination comfortably to below -30).  On the truly cold trips, I also carry a full-length foam pad to double with the half-pad.

 

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2 hours ago, montypiton said:

 electric bear fence - about the weight/bulk of a modern tent-pole, this item runs on a single AAA battery, and is utterly amazing.

What brand? All I'm aware of is UDAP.

Edited by pcg
trying to quote another person

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On 1/25/2019 at 1:23 PM, montypiton said:

 

2)  electric bear fence - about the weight/bulk of a modern tent-pole, this item runs on a single AAA battery, and is utterly amazing.  on fly-in Alaskan river floats, I use one surrounding the cooking area, another surrounding sleeping area.  it doesn't look like much - flimsy poles and a couple strands of wire -  but I've risen some mornings and found BIG (Alaskan brown) bear tracks circling our undisturbed kitchen...  FAR more protection weight:volume than any "bear canister" or bag.

 

 

-Picked one of these up recently for a trip in BC. Glad to hear the real-world testing was favorable.

-Any favorite river trips in Alaska? Kind of over the horizon for me, but it's on the list. Would probably opt for a frame-raft based trip, and emphasize scenery and fishing. Rapids up to mild class IV would add to the fun but wouldn't be necessary.

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I'd have to check with my  brother-in-law to check exactly where he got his -- I think LLBean or Cabelas.  All I know is I was skeptical as hell but they damn well work!

I''ve only done a few Alaskan rivers, but two stand out for me:  The Ivishak (north slope Brooks range) is fly-in drive out - you end the trip at Prudhoe Bay.  Not having to fly at both ends makes it less expensive. no native villages to float through, small water - may have to drag boats in places....  bears, caribou, fish, birds...

Kobuk - done in September/October, you can hit the sheefish ("tarpon of the north") run, and the largest caribou migration in North America.  sheefish only exist in maybe a half-dozen arctic rivers in Alaska & Siberia, and the Kobuk has the worlds largest population of this delectable treat.  This is the  "lazy" river:  enough water that you never have to drag boats, ("kobuk" translates "big river") and the fishing is great even if you haven''t timed your trip for the fall sheefish run.  but do try to go for the sheefish- afficionados describe their meat as a hybrid of crab and halibut --- must be tasted to be believed.

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I dont go out much during nasty cascade weather.  When I do, usually it is a day trip in winter. The worse I dealt with is rain going to snow when going up higher with wind.  Also I have been out a few times in winter in the very cold windy white mountains in the the north east.

I have found most waterproof breathables in time saturate with water inside out and outside in, if in rain and wet snow long enough. It takes much body heat to dry out saturated clothing.

I have had my clothing saturated wet and a good synthetic puffy over it all , and feeling very cold,  and very glad to be on a day trip.

I have found couple of ways to deal with this situation. 

One way is to use waterproof non breathable outer clothing, or breathable rain gear that does not hold much water inside it .  Hike with minimal under clothes. When at camp. Shake out shell gear and hang up or put away somehow, this shell gear is not saturated , since it is not permable.  Put on warm camp clothes and keep these dry. In morning put on shell gear and start moving and  hiking again to be warm.

Other way is pile pertex method or (wind shirt with fleece). Even though pile pertex will get wet in time. The pile next to skin will wick away water from the skin to keep you warmish and dryish. At camp it would best to have a OVER rated sleeping bag and a semi breathable (something like goretex in effect)  inner bag to go inside the sleeping bag to prevent saturating the down sleeping bag with water. This will enable you to safely dry yourself out in a few hours. I do not favor wool anything it's too slow to dry out, most any synthetic is good, no wool socks or gloves for me either, they rarely dry out, where as sythetic items are usually dry in a few hours.

If raining really hard can throw a rain jacket over the pertex. If the rain stops or mild enough body heat can dry out the pile while hiking.

In any case have a good shelter with a sleeping bag at least 20 degrees over rated for expected tempature , along with a semi breathable membrane on the insiide. The down can pass a slow amount of moisture over time with a warm body inside. One may be able to use a SOL breathable 5oz bivy sack for this usage but I have not tested it. I have used a stephensons warmlite sleeping bag which has this semi breathable inside fabric built in, works very good. Why isn't this copied?? I have been out in my stephensons bag in winter and very wet, After warming up I would fan the extra wetness to the outside out the top of bag and after a few hours be bone dry. The goose down perfectly fine.

 

Best to test such things out in a safe situation.  

Edited by DanO

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re: bear fence question --  Alaska Fish & Game has a video online describing several options.  the one I've used is the Eagle Enterprises "Electro Bear Guard Fence".  total kit with poles, wire, batteries (I lied, it uses 2 AAs) weighs about 2 lbs.  on three different 7-10 day long trips, has performed flawlessly.

also, I would second DanO's comments about non-permeable rain gear for long trips in truly sloppy weather.  decades ago, I taught 21-day long Outward Bound courses in Oregon's Sisters Wilderness in May.  typically we'd get 15-20 days of rain on these trips.  I actually carried rubber fishermans raingear for these trips - hideously heavy, but worked better than any lightweight option.  when moving, I'd wear as little as possible underneath, and layer up with thermal pile underneath for sitting around.  I still used goose-down sleeping bag, but I would not recommend that unless/until you've had a LOT of experience caring for down on shorter wet-weather trips.

a word about the pile - I havent seen the old-style pile fabric much in recent years, except at fabric sources where you can find "sherpa pile".  what folks call "fleece" these days is not the same, retains more water, doesn't dry nearly as well.  I've had the misfortune to SWIM in the sherpa pile on shoulder-season river trips, and can attest it helps keep ya warm while in the drink, and when you get out, you can wring the water out of it, and it will truly function as insulation while it dries the rest of the way with body heat.  I am totally baffled why this stuff ever went out of fashion.  if you can't find it in a finished product, its worth making your own or having it made.

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Wow, what a great thread!!!  Thanks for some awesome ideas!

I especially like the river trip comments. As I age I'd like to think about adventures that dont involve me humping heavy ropes and rack into mountains to climb alpine routes.

@montypiton were the mosquitoes atrocious? What did you do for a boat?

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Yeah good pile with a windshirt is the best way to go , fleece is not as good, is fleece good enough???? I dont know,  a wind shirt with fleece is easier and cheaper to find.

The montane extreme smock and bibs ,  they just keep you warm and dry,  just pulls the

wetness away. It really works for most nasty conditions, it may start to fail in 

monsoon rain conditions after awhlie, but a rainshell may fix that.

 

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Rad -

mosquitoes were not a problem, but we were north of the Arctic Circle...

brother-in-law has garden variety 14' self-bailing raft.  we've also rented same in Fairbanks for bigger groups...  I've also had good experience with tandem inflatable kayak, (with raft for freight) but haven't flown that to Alaska...  even used my tiny trout-fishing pontoon in up to class IV water, but would only recommend that for expert-level whitewater oarsperson...  probably should carry on this discussion by pm -- apologies for thread drift...

Edited by montypiton

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Just a note, I have been thinking of getting a item or two of new climbing clothing. It is diificult for any one type of gear selection to work for everyone and siituation because every person has a different body type, mindset, type of activities etc.

I have been thinking of getting a pile pertex jacket for awhile , but for my body type and the bulk of my outdoor activity and what i prefer, i decided on a new synthetic jacket. 

Why?  I rarely hike in very nasty cold maratime weather if i more so did my next selection would be different. Also I tend to be hot when I hike, and I like to be cool so I have the least amount of clothing while moving. Even in winter in dry weather I often have a single thin layer top and bottom.  If raining or snowing then often two layers. For me pile pertex ( while moving working hard) would be used in the most horrible cold wetish conditions moving uphill or in stop and go situations (pitched climbing) or moving slowly downhill in better weather, but still cold. I still want some lighter pile pertex gear someday but my money is better spent elsewhere at this time.

Most often these days i go in good or semi good weather I use very light layers while moving and a slingle over layer for camp, stops and for emergency.. Note, I hike nuke hot and sleep ice cold, these days I mostly hike recent years and sometimes do easy scrambles. I dont look for bad weather.

So what I am thinking of at this point is a  Nunatak PCT jacket. With a waterproof outer fabric, I won't carry a extra water proof most trips depending on forcast. 

I will size it long and warm for suitable emergency usage. Weight at around a pound, slightly bulky. Part of my sleep system with light down bag.

The next buy i am thinking of someday is a light pertex pile bib from buffalosystems. Teclite bibs. Which for me should be a upgrade for certain situations for legware. They also should be good for most bad weather.

Note,  If you sweat a lot goretex can be a sweatbox. If you run cool and sweat little,  goretex can be ok. If you sweat,  pertex (or something simular) may be better in most conditions.

 

Edited by DanO

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