Several months ago I posted a big breakdown of my updated winter, spring, and fall outfits for wilderness backpacking. Well it's also been a while since I posted about my summer outfits, and I recently came back from a great section hike where I was really happy with how my clothing performed, so let's do this.
By "summer" what I really mean is when low temperatures at night are generally warmer than around 5C/41F, so here in Scandinavia that means from roughly early May to mid September. But I've mentioned before several times here on my blog, and in videos, and on forums that there are quite a lot of cold snaps in Scandinavia. So I need clothing combinations that are very flexible. Throughout the day and into the evening I am regularly fine-tuning what clothing I am wearing, at times wearing all my clothing worn tops (early morning and in the evening/night), and other times I will just wear a t-shirt on top, or maybe my windshirt too (during the day).
There have been trips when during the day it's a mild 20C/68F, only to drop down to nearly freezing at night. I can recall hot July trips at the peak of summer spent swimming for hours in the warm sun during the day, only for it to drop down to 8C/46F at night. So this clothing can handle temps from 25C/77F+ to just above freezing if needed, and I have two different outfits: one for trips that involve going above treeline in the mountains, and one for below treeline down in the forests.
The difference in the two outfits is made only by swapping out one top layer for two others, so I won't breakdown two separate lists, but highlight what gets swapped. Why I swap is pretty straight forward: two layers swapped for one is much warmer, and for only a 105g/3.7oz penalty. Cold snaps in the mountains are more hardcore, duh.
I am not going to get into either shoes or rain gear, those are stories for another time. But I generally prefer barefoot/minimalist high-top shoes below treeline, and Merrell Trail Gloves above treeline. And for rain gear I always use a poncho/tarp for my rain top and pack cover--either my MLD simple P/T (290g/10.2oz) or my Golite P/T (200g/7oz)--and usually a pair of silnylon rain pants (100g/3.5oz).
Clothing worn, from head to toe:
- Trucker cap, polyester and mesh, 60g/2.1oz
- Smartwool medium merino wool buff, 50g/1.8oz
- Generic, thin merino wool t-shirt, size large, 140g/4.9oz
- Nike polyester hoody, size large, 330g/11.6oz (below treeline)
Puma polyester long sleeve shirt, size large, 185g/6.5oz
+ Merino wool hoody, size large, 250g/8.8oz (above treeline)
- Zpacks windshirt, size large, 60g/2.1oz
- Generic, thin synthetic work gloves, 40g/1.4oz
- Generic, thin merino wool boxers, 65g/2.3oz
- Puma nylon running pants with mesh liner, size large, 250g/8.8oz
- Generic, thin merino wool socks, 45g/1.6oz
- MLD eVent gaiters, 60g/2.1oz
- Total CW weight: 1100g/38.8oz (below treeline) or 1205g/42.5oz (above treeline)
- Borah Gear down vest, size large, 105g/3.7oz
- Thin merino hat, 30g/1.1oz
- REI silk tights, size large, 100g/3.5oz
- Spare thin merino wool socks, 45g/1.6oz
- Total packed: 280g/9.9oz
If you are interested in seeing my base pack weight, I recently put together a gear list of it from my last section hike, which you can check out here.
I also recently shot and uploaded a video to compliment this text, where I show off all the above clothing and talk about them in more detail, as well as discuss cheaper alternatives to some of the fancier UL pieces of clothing. But overall I think my clothing choices are fairly affordable, especially if you consider how many years I have been using some of them, and that I often buy clothing on sale or from the bargain bin. You can watch the video down below.
But otherwise, that wraps up another breakdown for the current evolution of my summertime (or rather, May-September) clothing combos. Really looking forward to more great trips this summer, and happy trails to all of you!