Backpacking, hiking, Observations, PCT, Things I've Learned

The Social Side of Layering (from REI’s blog)

This is something I hadn’t considered, but a new post from REI that I received in an email today takes the idea of layering clothing to a different level. It never occurred to me that who you’re hiking with might influence what you should wear!

Click link below to read the post:

The Social Side of Layering

Hiking group at Tumalo Falls, OR
Marnie (Kangaroo) wearing a t-shirt and shorts for a warm summer backpacking trip

In summer I always take (or wear in the morning) a light merino jacket when hiking, and in spring/fall/winter I take my puffy (Patagonia Micropuff) in my pack for lunch stops. I hardly ever start out wearing my puffy because I just get too warm too fast and have to stop to take it off, so I try to start off “cold” because I know I’ll warm up, especially if hiking uphill. When it is raining or snowing, I wear my rain jacket to stay dry, with a merino or fleece underneath. In cold weather I’m usually wearing a merino base layer top under my merino jacket or fleece, and if it’s very cold I’ll wear some base layer leggings under my hiking pants or rain pants. Sometimes if I know I will be exerting myself a lot I’ll wear my merino knee warmers instead of leggings, because my knees/shins get cold faster than the rest of my legs and then there is no danger of getting uncomfortably warm. I also wear a merino Buff to keep my neck cozy. I wore a sunshirt in the desert on the PCT with light pants, and with shorts for our July/August PCT backpacking trip in southern Oregon. (Advantage: get a great “hiker tan” from where your shorts hit down to where your socks come up to!) When backpacking, I always have my puffy for cool nights. I pretty much layer the same way no matter who I’m hiking with, but will think more about that from now on!

What’s your layering strategy? Comment below!