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Re: [at-l] Clothing?

Hello Jim -

You asked:

>What is a "light nylon wind suit" and where do they come from?...

Wellll....you might try looking under a cabbage leaf...

(My pardons if you are either too young or too Yankee to recognize the
reference <g>...I can't tell where you hail from.)

There is a pretty wide range of garments available now that might be called
"wind suits."  I like to use the term to differentiate an outer-layer
garment from a "rain suit."  If it worries about keeping moisture out, then
I call it a rain suit (ranging from PVC coated sweat tents to hi-tech
multi-bells&whistles gor-tex hi-$ outfits).  If all it wants to do is keep
warmth in and wind/blackflies out, then I call it a wind suit.

My all-time favorite windsuit is made of uncoated nylon cloth.  It is
definately not water proof...you could use it to strain the noodles for
supper <g>.  The top has a hood, simple hug-tummy pockets, a zipper that
opens down to about my sternum, and is cut REAL big (LOTS of room for all
that warm dead-air on those breezy cold nights).  The pants are from an
ancient K-Mart rain suit that used to be polyU-coated.  The coating has
long since flaked off and all I have left is the nylon cloth.  Elastic
waist band (replaced every couple of years), no pockets (pull 'em down to
get to the hard candy or to take a whiz), elastic at the cuffs (changed a
little more frequently than the waist band...will probably use light velcro
next time). I have been using the pants on the trail for over ten years...I
don't guess they will ever wear out <g>.

I can wad the anorak up inside one fist and the pants inside the other.  I
toss them in the washer with my other trail clothes (hot water, detergent,
no bleach) and usually don't put them in the dryer at town stops (can't
trust the low-temp settings on most old laundrymat dryers).  I don't use
campfires much or smoke any, so spark/ash holes aren't a problem.  The wind
suit isn't very efficient at dumping excess body-heat, so I don't use it
much for hiking (my supplex shirt and zip-leg shorts do just fine)  The
wind suit does best as an outer layer for my sleep clothing while I putz
around camp at night.  I would weigh the suit, but I don't have a scale
that goes that low.

I also have a pair of ripstop/cordura wind pants that are a little more
serious.  I got them thru a friend who is a NOLS instructor and they are
super-tough at all the places I tend to wear out pants when caving,
bouldering, etc.  The only problem with them is that the calf-zippers are
too short to allow them to be pulled on over my rather bulky Salomon boots.
One of these days I will probably replace the little zipper with full side
zippers and start using these wind pants more.

I ordered a pair of polyester wind pants (Sierra Designs, full side-zips)
from Sierra Trading Post just before Christmas.  The price was right for an
experimental try-out (first time I have used polyester), but unfortunately
I have porked out a little more than I thought (ordered too small <g>).
These have a coating on the inside, so I probably will trade them for
something else when I return them (last time I called they still had some
of the Sportif supplex shirts that I really like...interesting colors,

> I haven't located a supplex shirt in a Large/Tall size yet...

The Sportif supplex shirts are HUGE.  I wear a 43 suit coat, wear XL
t-shirts, and usually get a 16 1/2 x 35 dress shirt.  I use the Large size
Sportif supplex shirts (there is a couple inches of shoulder seam hanging
down my arms and I can pull the shirt 6-8 inches out in front)...LOTS of
room <g>.  I am sure that I could fit into a Medium, but the too-large size
works great for me in both hot and cold weather.  I am NOT short-waisted
and the shirt tails stick out the legs of my hiking shorts sometimes...

Sierra Trading Post probably has some cheap ones left <g>.  (800)713-4534

>...Should I be looking in running stores?...

I like Roadrunner Sports for a lot of my trail stuff.  They have lots of
clothing (wind suits, lite boggins, shirts, shorts, underwear, socks,
running shoes, etc.) that are designed to stand up to plenty of activity
and sweat <g>.  A lot of the solutions for runner's problems seem to work
fine for thru-hikers too.  I use them as a price benchmark when I am
shopping around for running stuff and have found them good to do mail-order
business with.  You can get to them at:

http://www.roadrunnersports.com     or     (800)551-5558

Campmor is beefing up their line of wind garments and they also sell the
Sportif supplex shirts/shorts below usual retail.  I like to use Campmor as
a price benchmark when I am shopping around for backpacking stuff.  They
have always done great on returns and keeping your order straight...they
have gone the extra mile a couple times to get stuff to my next town stop
on both the AT and PCT.  You can get to them at:

http://www.campmor.com     or     (800)525-4784 for product info.

>...Most of the "outdoor" lines of clothing seem to have too many pockets,
>>zippers, etc. to be really light weight....

I completely agree.  The only thru-hike garment covered with zippers that I
use is my rain parka (Moonstone, lined gor-tex).  I really like the
pit-zips and the slash pockets high on my chest (I use them for vents, not
pockets).  The coat has done two thru-hikes and still seems to be going
strong (I have done the Nik-Wax/steamiron thing a couple times).

Good luck and good hiking!

y'all come,
            Charlie II

charlie2@ro.com    Huntsville,Al

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