Post by klementine on Feb 19, 2018 15:33:32 GMT -8
Hello! So I've read quite a few threads on here about bras/underwear and what's more comfortable, but I have a quick question for you guys. I am new to the whole backpacking gig and I have only done a few overnight/weekend trips. However, a friend (who has way more experience than I do) offer to hike the Grand Canyon with me this October. I'm super excited but that also means having to buy new gear (bigger pack and better-suited clothes) to do so. When I asked her about the number of clothes I should bring, she said one pair of everything and a backup. Now this seems a little gross to me or maybe I'm not getting what she is saying, but is it normal to only bring 1-2 pairs of underwear? I know we can wash but it won't be every night. SO my question is how much clothing would you recommend on an extended trip along with any other advice you can offer me about long trips? Thank you!!
By the way, she is rather strict on weight and told me I should be sticking to ~25 pounds.
First, hello and welcome! You'll find some gear lists and discussions of these things in the Gear forum, but since some of this is about being female, I'll tackle it here...
For pants and shirt (outer wear), just one set. Yeah, it'll get dirty. Let it. I keep a clean(ish) thermal shirt and long underwear for sleeping, but no change of hiking clothes. I do rinse them if I can, usually at least every other day for the shirt, and maybe once in a week-long trip for my pants.
Undies? I bring 3 pairs. One to wear, once to wash, and one in case the drying takes too long. They're fairly skimpy and light enough that extra pair is worth it, to me. Socks, same thing.
I only bring the one bra, and just make sure it gets rinsed or at least aired well every day.
What I *do* have is a complete set of clean clothes in the car for when I get done hiking. If possible, I find a shower before changing, if not, then it's nice to at least not drive for hours in dirty clothes.
I like to bathe every day when backpacking, but being in the desert changes that, since you may have dry camps, or places with very limited water.
Your friend is wise about the weight, too, if you can do it. If possible, keep your pack before food and water under 20 lbs, because at times in the GC you'll be carrying quite a bit of water, and that stuff is heavy.
Oh, and unless you are also joining in on the menopause thread, take tampons and all, even if you aren't supposed to be having a period anywhere near the trip. Trust me on this one :-p
But I agree with Rebecca - 3 pairs of undies, for the reasons stated. They don't weigh much. I like a set of clean (cotton if weather-appropriate) clothes to sleep in - in hot weather, that's just a t-shirt and boxer shorts.
Remember to figure water in that weight - it will likely be the heaviest thing you carry in the canyon!
I have small breasts, so it's easy for me to bring three sets of lightweight bras and panties. Currently, those happen to be UnderArmor HeatGear, like this sort of thing:
Did your friend say 25 lbs total load-out, or 25 lbs base weight (before food and water)? Because those are two totally different things. No matter what kind of backpacking you are doing, lighter is always better, as long as you are within safety limits.
I also agree with Rebecca with only a few exceptions/changes: I would make that shirt long sleeve - keep the sun off. Also, two jogging bras - chances are I'll never wear the second but it is there and dry. Think about a hiking skirt rather than pants - I have done four rim-to-rims, and numerous other hikes, in skirts and will never go back to pants (cold weather tights underneath). Underwear -why?? Tampons definitely! - and a ziplock for them and toilet paper #2. Handiwipes x 2 for "cleaning" at the river/creek, rinsing, and hanging on pack to dry in the 2% humidity. Vaseline to prevent nose bleeds. PStyle - read my thread from earlier today. Also, unless you are rich I would start frequenting resale shops in your area. You won't believe the Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, Icebreaker items I have found for less than $1!
Regarding choice of shirt and sun protection, I have had a lighter pack since I discovered sun sleeves. They are made for bicyclists, but work great for kayaking and hiking too. I like them with a tech t-shirt better than I like roll-up sleeves on a button-type shirt.. After losing my sunscreen on a kayak trip and getting blistered sunburn on my forearms, I had to find something........
I, too, have dedicated sleeping clothes, and these include a sports bra because walking around camp (even at night in the dark) braless is not something I do. And the daytime one is going to need to dry out. So I have two on any trip. In the Canyon on a 4 or 5 day trip, I have one pair of pants and two short-sleeve performance t-shirts, plus one 3/4 zip long-sleeve shirt. "Clean shirt day" is usually the day we hike out. Undies for each day -- I have splurged on Patagonia because they are comfortable and lightweight. Cute patterns/colors are a bonus. Two pairs of socks and another pair just for sleeping. My puffy jacket goes with me just about everywhere.
I prefer hiking in pants -- especially in the desert. My ability to find the cacti is well-known in my group. I once rode down a scree slope on my behind (not on purpose) and side-swiped a cactus on the 90-degree turn at the bottom. A hiking skirt commando is a big nope for me. Too clumsy!
I think it's important to really think about what your comfort level is in terms of what you need to be happy and comfortable, and go from there. I take wet wipes for all-over cleaning, and also deodorant because while I can stand my smell, I can't stand the smell of the performance shirts. And a little deodorant makes that tolerable. I also take a decongestant nasal spray because my sinuses clog up when sleeping outdoors on the ground.