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Hampton

what to wear - spring hiking, climbing

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Hi. First post here. Question about clothing:

 

I'm just getting back into hiking/alpine climbing after many years away. I'm pretty much getting the whole base/insulating/shell idea. What I can't quite figure out is what people wear on their lower bodies in dry weather? I've got waterproof, breathable shell bottoms, but if it's dry and not cold and I leave those in my pack what is the best thing for me to wear?

 

Thanks.

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i usually wear softshell bottoms in all conditions. For winter/spring I have a pair of lightly insulated OR exos pants. For warmer days I have some schoeller dynamic (really light) moonstone pants and some cordura based OR pants. I only wear waterproof breathable pants for skiing/snowboarding.

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If it's dry, whatever comes from the Goodwill for $2 will suffice. You're just going to trash them anyways.

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If it's dry and not cold, then shorts work well. Shorts (coupled with your aforementioned shell pants) work well if it's wet and not cold also.

Edited by chucK

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In warm weather I wear shorts and/or pants made from that quick dry material many of the zip off pants are made of. Quick drying (hence the name), durable, light, and pretty wind proof. I don't like the zip offs, though. Other than being really stupid looking, you're not going to just zip the pant legs onto your sweaty assed shorts when the sun goes down...you're going to want those shorts off entirely.

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Regardless of how dry it is or I expect it to be, if I'm very far from the trailhead, I'm going to avoid cotton.

 

There are all sorts of ways to get wet, from sweat to wet brush, stream crossings, etc. If I do wear cotton, such as on a really hot day, I still have synthetic clothes like (nylon, polyester or polypropylene) in my pack to change into.

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If it's dry, whatever comes from the Goodwill for $2 will suffice. You're just going to trash them anyways.

I'm always stylin in my bright red poly pro under those spandex shorts from the 70's. I can't believe nobody bought this stuff before it went down to 50%!

 

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Yea Bug! I'm going stand behind my assertion...$2 polyester pants are great since if it's raining or if you're getting soaked, you're going home anyways. It sucks to trash expensive gear when it's not even remotely necessary to use said gear.

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REI Mistral softshell pants (or Acme, the heavier model) are a great value for spring/fall/winter.

 

Sub a windshirt and windpants for your outer shells during good weather to save weight.

 

A lite down sweater comes in very handy.

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I'm with Hicks. For day trips in dry weather, it generally doesn't matter much what you wear and the cheapo pants from Goodwill are going to perform just about as well as the $200.00 soft shells.

 

For crawling through the bushes you want something fairly tough, for snow climbing you want some synthetic that dries fast, and in general you should probably tend toward the stretchy or baggy. I generally prefer jeans for bushes and some cragging and for skiing or snow climbing I'll wear synthetics. Goodwill old man's dress slacks are about as comfortable and cheap as it gets, but you don't win style points. Same with shorts over long underwear - a very practical combination for general hiking and moderate mountaineering that has become cc.com's biggest fashion faux pas.

 

In the end, style and color are probably about as important as function for most of us.

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Nylon shorts to just above the knee, over polypro long underwear. Gaiters can be worn when hiking thru wet brush, snow, or when the weather is a a bit cold or windy. In the coldest or wettest conditions, waterproof-breathable pants with full side zips can be layered over the top.

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I'm all about the cotton!!!!

 

I have softshell pants and jackets and all that other high tech fabric shit and they are great for cool or wet weather. But when the sun is out... Cotton.

 

I like to wear my nylon pants on occasion, smart wool socks most of the time. Maybe if I try a thin wool teeshirt I'll like it.

 

Untill then Tee-shirt and cotton work type pants.

 

 

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