Thursday, November 8, 2007

How much clothes?

Another issue is clothing. Traditionally, I have carried the following:

[links are to same or similar products]

fleece skullcap
power stretch fleece gloves
Wool shirt (old REI sweater)
wicking shirt
Poly pro top&bottom
Spandex shorts
Pants /w zip off legs
3x liner socks
1x SmartWool medium cushion hiking socks
Precip Jacket
Precip Pants (mid-calf zip)
Keen Targhee II (low top) eVENT boots

Some recent additions are questioning portions of the above.

First, I picked up a Marmot Ion windshirt (5 oz, reasonably breathable) that one amazing piece of gear. It is a size small, one size less than it probably should be, but is is a snug fit moves well. Marmot's website says it is designed to be worn over a base layer or minimal insulation (think 100 or 200 wgt fleece). My testing (running /w base layer top) has confirmed this. The fabric appears water-resistant, but the seams are not sealed. My only test was in a heavy downpour during a 15 bike ride. The sleeves filled with water, but the water stayed there. It must have been leaking in from the seams.

I am going to carry this, even though it is additional weight, because it is annoying to wear a full-on raincoat/hardshell (Marmot Precip jacket) when the wind picks up but there is no rain. In comes the jacket. I have also found that if I do not wear a long-sleeve shirt, the fabric will hug my skin and make my forearms cold. The jacket also stuffs to apple size.

Second, I acquired a 200 wgt polartech fleece vest from REI (on sale for $10, normally $30). It is incredibly soft and sweet. I'm thinking about dropping the wool shirt in favor of this vest. It weighs less and takes up less room in the pack. My only worry is if it will be cold on the forearms at night.

I'm going to say no to that one. I'll be moving during the day, and I generate and retain a lot of body heat, especially if I wear hat/gloves. Wind and/or rain is covered by the marmot coats. At night, I'll be cooking under the tarp, and can lay sleeping bag whilst my dinner cooks.

I'm going to design the sleeping bag this weekend. The first prototype should be done by Sunday sometime. As I said earlier, it will be a snug fit and have a jacket-like hood a-la Sierra Designs bags. example

I'm not sure which insulation I'm going to use. I'd like to go with down on this one, but is is quite a bit more expensive than Climashield XP or Combat. (XP @ 5.0 oz/yd^2 /w 1.2" loft and 0.82 CLO is $13.95 or so per linear yard (36"x60"). I would need at least two yards, maybe four. Down is $25.95/3 oz. Just with rough calculations (36" x 72" x 2" = 5184 in^3)/800 in^3/oz I need at least 6 oz, and I bet I'll need much more than that, at least another 3 oz package.

I'm aiming for about 20 deg F with the bag. I'm making it with no insulation on the bottom (like Big Agnes and Stephenson Warmlite bags) and a full two-way separating zipper. The goal is to keep it under 32 oz (2 lb).

Tarp update - I'm definitely going to go with a tarp, a 5'x9' one at that. I will be bringing the tent (Tarptent Double Rainbow by Henry Shires ) in the car and will take it if the weather looks really nasty for the week. I'll be using 1.1 oz silicon impregnated ripstop nylon. It comes in at ~1.3 oz/yd^2 after the impregnation. The tarp (6.5 oz) /w 6 stakes (2.1 oz), 50' of Kelty Triptease (1 oz), 6 webbing loops ( .5 oz) and a 40" x 72" Tyvek groundsheet (~5?) should come in at about 14-16 oz (it's a guesstimate, mostly on the Tyvek).

I would use the .7 SpinnTex (.88 after impregnation), but it comes in rolls of 54" wide, and I need all of the width I can get. It would save me about 2 oz. I'll take the protection.

I'm going to also make a pot cozy out of close-cell foam. It will weigh may an ounce or two and allow me to get away with two fuel canisters instead of three (4 oz canister, 8 oz of fuel per bottle). I am planning to use the stove only for supper.

I'll try and post some pics of the design this weekend.

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