[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his page is about my research of the clothes I choose to bring and wear. I am probably a little obsessed with counting the weight of the stuff I bring. In the end my pack will not be very ultra light weight. General rule I found in my research on finding the lightest gear and clothes versus price: If you want to safe weight you’ll have to pay about a dollar/euro per gram. Everything that I need to purchase I will research and try to get the lightest (vs. trustworthy vs. price).
Shoes – Brooks Cascadias
When I go to an outdoor shop in the Netherlands and I tell I will be hiking in the mountains they don’t want to sell me trail runners any more. However lots of books and blogs about ultra light backpacking say that it is actually better to have light running shoes: trail runners. Also if they are not waterproof they will breath better in the desert, and they will dry quicker after river crossings. The lightweight shoes that the dutch outdoor shop sold me about a year ago, are good walking shoes, low and lightweight-ish, but waterproof. These were the best I could find at the time.
I want to follow the advice of the other hikers. Apparently nearly everyone hikes in Brooks Cascadias. Carrot Quinn wrote a nice post on all the footwear, please check it out: http://carrotquinn.com/2013/06/13/an-extra-post-all-about-footwear/ . After reading this post I thought, why not. I can buy these shoes easily in the USA when I need replacements, I will need at least two times a new pair of shoes. Better start getting used to then from the start.
Gaiters – Dirty girl gaiters
Yes I also have the famous dirty girl gaiters. I like black so I have choosen a black-ish colour ‘Manasa’.
Down jacket – Mountain Hardwear – Ghost Whistperer
The mountain hardwear ghost whisperer is with 180 grams the lightest downjacket I could find. Lots of people on the PCT wear this jacket and write good reviews on this jacket.
Rain clothes – Haglöfs – LIM III Q jacket & Haglöfs – LIM proof rain trousers
First of all, I am not a big fan of jackets, especially not of rainjackets. However I think this is a really important piece of clothing since it could keep me dry. I see on blogs that all the ultralight hikers have very light rainjackets that weigh not more than 200 grams. However when I ask for advice in outdoorshops they want me to buy a very expensive and heavy coat. I need goretex and stronger shoulder pads. Well I don’t know yet.
I found a compromise I think. The Haglöfs LIM (Less Is More, just love it for the name already) III Q, made of a super lightweight yet durable 20D Gore-Tex® Paclite® with a carbon reinforcement instead of a backer for reduced weight. The jacket only weights 215 grams (size M), is very breathable, has water resistant zippers throughout, no shoulder side and inner sleeve seams to avoid chafing and enhanced durability it has a dropped rear hem, elasticated cuffs with thumb hole and is packable in one of its sleeves. Sounds perfect!
I think you can guess that I am also not a big fan of rain trousers. Stupid, noisy trousers. They are probably very useful again when there are lots of bugs around. And maybe in snowy areas. Oh and when there is horizontal rain of course. A must to bring with me, even though I probably hardly use them unless I really need to. As there is no heavy pack straining them so I choose the lighter and cheeper version of the rainjacket, the non gore-tex version. This is the only item so far that gets cheaper as it goes lighter!
I will be hiking in a tennis skirt. I figure that when I am moving my legs won’t be cold. If it is raining there is less fabric to get wet. I will wear a lightweight Icebreaker merino wool top and long-sleeved Graghoppers nosilife blouse, and when it is cold I can put a merino wool Icebreaker jumper over it. The good thing about merino wool is that it will not get smelly soon. The graghopper blouse should be mosquito repellent and should have an UV protection. I will bring three pair of Falke tk5 and/or tk3 socks, two for hiking and one extra just in case.
Another merino wool top to sleep in. This also can be used as town shirt. Also I will bring Icebreaker thermal leggings for cold nights and cold days. And maybe a pair of warm socks, at some point when I expect real cold nights.
I am not going without. My feet need air whenever possible. I love these flip flops but they are really comfortable.
Bandana – Original Buff Head Gear Multi Scarf
I love the buffs! I am already wearing them in daily life, a lot. I will bring at least one of these. I got a very colourful buff from my brother on my birthday, this will probably the only very colourful peace I will bring, love it.
Sun hat – Panama Hat
I will bring an original panama hat from Ecuador to keep the sun out of my face. This hat can be rolled up and thus stored away. I will make a string on it so it cannot fly off my head. I have actually not worn this hat in all the years that I owned it. I hope it will last for a while, because I noticed that it starts breaking a little, oops…
For when I am in buggy country. Maybe I can use this as well as stuff sack. I still need to unpack it though.
I will take a lightweight warm beenie. I don’t know the brand of it, I got it for free on one of the projects I worked on. It covers my ears, if not I will have my bandana for extra head warmth and have my towel as a scarf for neck warmth.
During the training hikes I noticed my hands get cold real quickly. So I also be taking gloves. Gloves that have the special finger tops so I can also use my phone with them. I will be bringing them through the desert, I hear it can be cold in the desert during the nights and in the mountains.
I have been using a pair of sunglasses of my boyfriend. I have taken them with me to projects now. Guess you could say I have stolen the sunglasses from my boyfriend. I hope he does not mind too much.