Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CT Gear Post #1 ~ My Clothes

My MO for getting together gear for our upcoming hiking trip is to get the weight of the stuff we're going to take down as low as possible without breaking the bank. You could easily outfit yourself with the highest-tech lightweight gear for a few thousand dollars. Multiply that by five people and we'd be saving up for this trip until we are old and gray and unable to hike anymore. That's not the way I want to go, so I've been looking for ways to lighten up and minimize on a budget. I've been thinking about gear for this trip for a long time, so I had a pretty good mental list of what I wanted to take. As I've started acquiring those items, I first look in my closet, then at discount stores (both real shops, like T.J. Max and our local staple Reny's, and online outlets like Sierra Trading Post and Campmor; I include Target and Goodwill in this category, too). From there I check outlet stores (living near Freeport makes this easy). Oh, yes, and for a few things I made them myself. Only then do I search out items at the gear retailers like REI. I've managed to put together a set of clothes I'm pleased with for not a lot of money this way.

These clothes I'll wear:

And here are the details about them. I don't have a digital scale yet, so weights are rounded to the nearest ounce:

Item Brand Ounces Source / Notes
Shirt Eddie Bauer
Closet. I bought this shirt last summer at Reny’s, so it doesn’t quite count as new. I like the long length and the soft finish of the fabric.
Socks Smart Wool
LL Bean Outlet. They have “irregular” SmartWool socks for about 1/3 the price of regular. I haven’t noticed anything wrong with them.
Skirt Purple Rain
Purple Rain Skirts. I bought this skirt last summer on a whim, and I LOVE it. So comfortable (yoga waistband!!). I tried it out on a couple of day hikes and am excited to wear it all summer.
Hat Kavu
Closet. I’ve had this hat for years. It doesn’t have vented mesh sides, but I wear it all the time and it hasn’t cooked my brains yet.
Bra Champion
Closet. Originally from Target. I’m excited to not wear a real bra all summer long!
Underwear Champion
Target. I know these look sized to fit a four-year-old, but they’re super comfy and stretchy.

And these are the clothes I'll pack:

Item Brand Ounces Source / Notes
Bug/ Sun Shirt Patagonia
Closet / Patagonia outlet. I was kind of undecided about whether this shirt would be worth the weight, and then I got sunburned on my forearms at baseball last weekend and decided that it is.
Rain Coat White Sierra
Closet / Sierra Trading Post. I got this rain coat a couple of years ago when I realized my old one no longer kept out the water. It’s pretty cheap and the sleeves aren’t quite long enough, but it’s light.
Extra Socks (2) ??
Closet / Target. I know a lot of people don’t believe in extra socks while hiking, but I like to have one pair on my feet, one drying after a wash, and one ready to go. At 1/2 ounce each, I think it’s worth it.
Extra Undies (2) Champion
Target. See above
Down Coat Patagonia
Closet / Patagonia outlet. This has been my down coat for several years. I finally upgraded to something warmer/ less stained last winter. It’s my heaviest clothing item, but when I compared it to a fleece, it only weighed one ounce more.
Beanie Hat DIY
Made a bunch of these earlier this year.
Neck Warmer Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer Outlet. A cheaper version of the Buff.
Gloves ??
Reny’s. These are those one-size-fits-all jobbies that cost about $1.99.
Wind Pants DIY
I used wind pants from Goodwill rather than rain pants on our first CT hike, and they worked out fine, even though it was a really rainy summer. I was planning to do the same, when I remembered that I had these home made wind pants that weighed a few ounces less than the ones I got at the thrift store. They’re a little snug through the hips (ahem), but I hope a couple of weeks on the trail will take care of that.
Silk Turtleneck LL Bean
Closet / Sierra Trading Post. I’ve had this thing since college. I at first planned to wear a polypro shirt (which might be the one I took on our first CT hike), but it weighed a whopping 6 ounces. I considered buying something new, but decided to check my drawers and found this turtleneck. 
Hankie Gap
Closet. Pretty sure I’ve owned this since high school and it came on our first CT hike. 
Microfleece Leggings Jockey
TJ Maxx. I got these for like 12 bucks this past winter and love them. I finally had to hide them in the closet so I wouldn’t wear them out before the trail. Just to compare, I also weighed a pair of regular long johns and they weighed more than the fleece!
Trekking Umbrella euroSCHRIM
Campmor. Used this last summer and loved it!

Sorry the table font is so small! Shoes are not yet on this list, because I haven't gotten them yet, and neither are dirt gaiters, which I'll talk about next week. I wrote more about the trekking umbrella, which I love, here. I haven't kept exact records, but if I include everything I've bought in the last two years, I think I've spent less than $200 on my entire clothing budget (the most expensive item being the Purple Rain Skirt, which I might not have bought if I'd waited till this summer, so I'm glad I didn't!!).

All of my carried clothing weighs just over three pounds and the worn items are less than a pound. My goal is a base weight of 10 pounds or less, so we'll see how everything else adds up!

After I got all my items sorted and weighed, I had a little fun cutting off tags and annoying and unnecessary velcro tabs. All together they didn't even vibrate the needle on the scale, but I felt pretty hard core doing it.


  1. Lol, cutting off the tabs...you are hard core :)

  2. Awesome, Andrea! I was just thinking about your hike this morning. Funny how that works.
    The tags! I would have never thought... You are taking it to the next level for sure! (Taking notes here.)

    1. Haha! I got that idea from a book. It felt very subversive. ;)


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