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Hiking Clothing in Our Brave New World

mak1277

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Jeans definitely fail the comfort requirement for me in terms of wearing something for hiking.
 

double00

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Hiking is markedly different from logging and/or any manual labor. Wildland firefighting is different still. You cannot wear synthetics for firefighting, period. Also, you spend most of the day standing rather than walking. This is similar for logging and comparable work, durability and protection from is of utmost importance. For hiking, you want something lightweight and flexible that protects you from the elements, minor abrasions, and minimizes chafing from extended periods of walking and scrambling. If you are scrambling while you do logging, you are definitely doing something very wrong.

You wear the clothes that suit the activity. Can you hike in jeans? Sure. Is it an optimal or even good choice? Nope.
imo summertime pnw is basically the same dryness as the southwest , there is a mediterranean senescence ( oceanic deluge aside )

i've never not hiked in jeans , from inland san diego to mt hood . the softness , the breathability , the abrasion resistance ( important in the spring/summer when single tracks get overgrown ) . if i'm trail running (rip :( ) i might be in shorts but i'd also be on a fire road .

i leave you with the pathfinder , willis linn jepson

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 5.43.20 PM.png
 

breakaway01

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imo summertime pnw is basically the same dryness as the southwest , there is a mediterranean senescence ( oceanic deluge aside )

i've never not hiked in jeans , from inland san diego to mt hood . the softness , the breathability , the abrasion resistance ( important in the spring/summer when single tracks get overgrown ) . if i'm trail running (rip :( ) i might be in shorts but i'd also be on a fire road .

i leave you with the pathfinder , willis linn jepson
I grew up hiking in the PNW and anyone who hikes in the mountains knows how quickly the weather can turn. Any reputable mountaineering or backcountry expert will advise against cotton in adverse (particularly wet) conditions.

This is something that has been known for decades.

This article below covers research done in the 1960s on deaths of three young men who died in 1964 wearing mostly cotton clothing (including jeans) on a wet and windy low-altitude hike in the UK. The research was published in Nature (then and now one of the preeminent research journals in the world). A quote from the article: "In particular, jeans proved to be very poor choices for bad weather; when worn wet during exercise in 9mph winds the “thermal value” of the walkers’ outfit fell by an astonishing 85%"

 

LA Guy

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imo summertime pnw is basically the same dryness as the southwest , there is a mediterranean senescence ( oceanic deluge aside )

i've never not hiked in jeans , from inland san diego to mt hood . the softness , the breathability , the abrasion resistance ( important in the spring/summer when single tracks get overgrown ) . if i'm trail running (rip :( ) i might be in shorts but i'd also be on a fire road .

i leave you with the pathfinder , willis linn jepson

View attachment 1794960
I have hiked a lot in the PNW, the Inland NW, and also in the Sierras and also, the Canadian Rockies. The Inland NW, IME over some 15 years now, is close to the Sierras and other ranges around the SoCal region - arid to semi-arid. I hiked extensively in SoCal and did Mt Whitney one day up and back thing a few times over the course of about 6 years. The PNW, again ime, is markedly different, and considerably wetter. I was just out doing a short day hike yesterday, and this is the Inland NW, and it was rainy and everything was mossy. Too cold to find morels, but I have never seen this kid of weather in SoCal. In the Sierras in the winters, it's colder, but rarely this wet.

I dunno. I suppose that if you want to hike in jeans, I'm not going to stop anyone, but I prefer lightweight goretex boots and technical gear. Is it absolutely necessary? Probably not, but it's a whole lot more comfortable and appropriate.
 

double00

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I grew up hiking in the PNW and anyone who hikes in the mountains knows how quickly the weather can turn.
guessing we're talking cascades etc at this point and not coast range , look there is a diff between the dusty single tracks on the north side of mt diablo or the thickets of big sur vs getting caught at sunset on a alpine lakeshore .

ok so post your fave shit and talk story here we go
 

LA Guy

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ok so post your fave shit and talk story here we go
Coming down off Half Dome and King's Dome, we were all pretty tired and trying to get down as quickly as possible, to get to our hotel down the road and a nice spaghetti dinner. There's nothing like the great outdoors to make you appreciate the great indoors. I was stepping side to side to avoid slipping on the trail, and we were making good pace. I stepped on something soft, and as my foot came off, I heard the indelible rattle of well, a rattler, curled up on the side of the path. I saw it slither to the other side as I just kept on making my way down. That was a good 4-5 hours up from the trailhead. I am super glad that it did not bite me, because that would have been serious bad news. That was back in, iirc, 2000 or maybe 1999.
 

GeneralEmployer

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Continued w/ my search. Some great suggestions above. My favorites were stuff from Kuhl, Outdoor Research, and some select stuff from Vuori (fit can get overly aggressive and many things not long trail appropriate so it’s limited). Will try to get my hands on more of the recs and report back to the class over time. Thanks everyone, even @FlyingMonkey.
 

GeneralEmployer

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Also, just a psa that the SoHo REI can be safely avoided.
 

breakaway01

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Not a war story in the way that @double00 is looking for but I have to say it is a little scary to see people on dayhikes 2+ hours and 6+ miles away from the nearest road with no equipment. I think COVID pushed a lot of people to the outdoors but it seems that there are more people who are not prepared out there. Was in Telluride last summer and some of those hikes are reasonably remote and at altitude. People in shorts and T-shirt for a hike in 65 degree weather but no extra layers for an unplanned overnight with temps into the 40s. Carrying maybe 1 liter of water.
 

bsyde82

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Obviously depends on the weather. Here in norcal, hiking is year round but I'm mostly a warm weather hiker and sometimes it gets real warm. I find running shorts to be my favorite hiking short, like some 5 inchers. Nike trail run shorts are pretty good because they're very light and airy, have hand pockets and a pack pocket and look like at home on the trail. On top I'll wear a tank (the brand outdoor voices makes a really nice tank, best one I've tried) and maybe a light flannel over if I'm starting when it's still a bit cool. If I'm backpacking, I wear a slightly more rugged short but it's still a workout short, I can never go back to thicker heavy duty shorts.

If it's cooler, lulu joggers work nicely. They did make this slightly cropped cargo jogger w/ ripstop fabric and long bottom leg zips - ideal for cooler weather hiking imo, but they seem to be discontinued.

In short, activewear makes great hiking wear, I would never buy actual hiking clothes from REI unless you want to sport that granola look.
 

cocostella

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Hiking and backpacking are often two different animals. Nice (even rigorous) day hiking can generally be done in most any comfortable activewear, or yes, even jeans... as long as you’re not wandering too far and there isn’t the possibility of crazy weather. Serious backpacking requires a more thoughtful layering system and much more consideration of the weather and distance from any medical help. At this point your shelter, quilt/bag and pad become a major part of your overall system anyway. Trail running shorts (with some warm tights to wear under if necessary), Iceberg merino tee, Patagonia down sweater, waterproof shell, sun hat and beanie will cover 90% of your needs. Shoes are the most important “clothing” article anyway…
 
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breakaway01

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Hiking and backpacking are often two different animals. Nice (even rigorous) day hiking can generally be done in most any comfortable activewear, or yes, even jeans... as long as you’re not wandering too far and there isn’t the possibility of crazy weather. Serious backpacking requires a more thoughtful layering system and much more consideration of the weather and distance from any medical help.
I generally agree with this -- but would point out that someone in reasonably good shape can fairly easily end up 5-8 miles away from medical help in a few hours while dayhiking. In that situation I'd still strongly urge anyone to bring an extra layer or two, a flashlight/headlamp, and extra water. A badly sprained ankle at 4 pm while still 5 miles and 2000 feet of vertical from civilization could easily mean an unplanned overnight.
 

mhip

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ok so post your fave shit and talk story here we go
My friend planned a Mt Whitney climb. He told me everyone would have to poop in a bag ( not the same bag ) and carry it, and bring it back down.
I said I'm not going.......the end.
 

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