Wearing Your House: Selecting My Gear, Part 2
There’s the matter of what one will be wearing on such an excursion. Your entire life is on your back. It certainly brings life to the phrase “the world is on your shoulders.”
What I’ll be Wearing
For this segment, you can refer to my packing guide (links included).
- UA 4.0 Base layer
- UA 4.0 Base layer
- Foot love
- Darn tough Vermont midweight socks (x2)
- Injinji liners
- Injinji mid-weights
- Smartwool Mountaineering
- Head protection
- Turtle fur fleece hat
- Turtle fur fleece headband
I have used the UA 4.0 base layer on many of my hikes in the Smokies. At upper elevations, the temperature can become frigid. Yet these layers keep me in sweats for the duration of my hike. I considered wearing something lighter, but I feel more comfortable sticking with what works. Same for my bottoms… although I am considering forgoing the bottom base layers.
This is an important consideration for all hikers. I, in particular, have severe sensitivity to cold weather. Therefore, I chose to supplement my gear with a pair of mountaineering Smartwool socks for wearing overnight. My Darn Tough are warm and durable, and I tend to wear them even in my everyday. They offer midlevel cushion with wicking merino wool that holds heat in the winter and cools in the summer. They also offer a lifetime guarantee, which is always nice when you know there is a possibility of requiring replacement gear.
My midweight outdoor crew Injinji socks are made from Nuwool merino wool fibers that also strive to the same support and comfort of Darn Tough. I am a fan of toe socks and saw this as an opportunity to give these a try as a blister prevention regiment. These are designed for all weather types and share the same wicking properties.
Always makes sure your gear is wicking.
I pair these with the Injinji liners, and I will wear them under my socks to reduce the friction between the foot and my shoe.
Both of my headwear options are so soft. I am funny about hats making my head itch when I am hiking, and I am unlikely to wear them if so. Especially on a 2,180-mile trek. My Turtle Furs are both made from fleece and I will probably end up wearing them to bed most nights. Ultimately, I feel like headwear is a preference. As long as my ears are warm and don’t itch, I will be a happy hiker.
Gloves are also a preference. I have used my Sirrus gloves on many hikes and love them.
I currently have a pair of Salomon’s X Ultra Mid GTX W’s I plan on wearing throughout the winter portion of our trek. They’re waterproof and mids, which I feel will help protect my ankles from the uncomfortable, unsteady tromping through snow and, at the very least, keep my feet dry.
The outside of them is comprised of Gore-Tex fabric that repels water. They weigh about 15 ounces (so they’re fairly light) and the sole provides high traction. I’m in love with the ortho-lite insoles!
- sports bra
- NF Paramount II Convertible
- Exofficio underwear (x2)
- Buff headband
- Rain Gear
- NF Venture 2 rain jacket
- NF Venture 2 half-zip rain pants
Summer is a bit lighter because you don’t have to worry about layers anymore. I plan to wear a T-shirt I already own and the same sports bra I wear to the gym that I bought from Walmart last year. The bottom line is that you want to have the max breathability and comfort. Don’t take anything you wouldn’t mind leaving.
I love these pants because they can function as pants and zip off into shorts when needed. I have considered carrying a pair of lightweight, quick-dry shorts to wear on the really hot days, but it will depend on my final weight. At the very least, it is something I could pick up on the trail.
My North Face convertibles are made of lightweight nylon and with build in SPF and can be rolled up into capris as well. I like having the extra front and back cargo pockets and the flash dry material to wick moisture away.
Buffs are one of my all time favorite hiking necessities because they have so many uses. Aside from being able to be worn in so many different fashions, they are great for dipping into a nice cool stream on a hot day. You put that thing around your head and I promise… you will die from the utter relief that is the clear, holy liquid on your face and neck. Amen.
I just opted for the cheapest, lightest option on this one. I already had the jacket and loved it, so I just paired it with the pants. I, fortunately, had an additional discount for the pants in this set, so it didn’t gouge me and ended up being my most economical choice.
This jacket is waterproof but breathable, and it can be stowed in the front pocket. Velcro covers the front closure and has a built in cinch cord around the hem. It is unbelievably lightweight, windproof, and has pit zips (praise the pit zips, my friends).
I will be, hopefully, wearing Altras in the summer. I am still deliberating this element of my hike and will probably regret my late decision making come the warm months, but I love the Altra’s insoles, tread and toe box.
- Cuddl Dud Climatesmart leggings
- water shoes
I thought having a separate pair of soft, lightweight leggings might be a nice addition after hiking all day. They might get ditched at some point, but I feel confident taking them.
My water shoes are just a lightweight pair I got off Amazon (link in my gear list) to allow my feet time to rest and air out once at camp. From everything I’ve read, the most important part of any hike is foot care. What you do before, during and after a hike all contributes to your foot health and how much farther you will be able to go. So take care of your tootsies.
These are a few of the links I used when I was seeking out gear advice. I hope they help.
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