scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Camping 101
Sun Mar 12 2000 - 21:28:33 CST
Sure, I'll put my oar in...
> My next investment is to be a good rainsuit. ><snip><
And you've picked a good time of year to buy one - if you
are considering some of the "higher end"
Gore-Tex is the standard by which all waterproof-breathable
clothing gets measured. Some other things on the market
include Lowe-Alpine's "Triple Point Ceramic", Marmot
"MemBrain", REI "Elements", and the list goes on.
You can pick up a name brand $350 Gore-Tex jacket like a
North Face Mountain Light or Marmot Thunderlight for
$200-$250 on sale at the end of the season. You can get a
non Gore-Tex jacket or house brand Gore-Tex jacket on sale
for even less at this time of year. You may be limited in
your choice of colors and styles but, you're buying
protection - not fashion. Right? Also it's "de rigeur" to
look like a geek when you're backpacking :-)
That's the good news. The bad news is that *none* of the
waterproof-breathable fabrics is going to "breathe" very
well when the temperature gets up above 70 or so. This is
because you need a temperature differential of 10 - 20
degrees between the inside of the jacket and the outside
ambient air for the process to work. So, in the summer,
your new Gore-Tex jacket will absolutely, positively keep
the rain out however you're likely to get soaked in you own
sweat :-) (YMMV)
I wouldn't skimp on the jacket. Look for features like a
zip-in fleece or down vest option. Be sure the jacket has
"Pit-Zips" or Core Vents. If you do a lot of backpacking,
you'll want to avoid the parka style jackets with pockets
below waist level - interferes with the pack's waist belt.
Make sure that the jacket has hood with a billed visor.
Velcro adjustments to seal the wrists are a nice feature.
Make sure you buy something large enough for "layering".
There are some subtleties to the choice of "2 layer" vs. "3
layer" Gore-TEx jakets - they are lost on me.
I'm not sure I'd put as much money into the pants because,
in the real world, you're just not going to wear them that
often. You'll need them in the winter either for snow or
wind protection when "breathability" is not a big issue or
for hiking overgrown trails or wet grass where gaiters
aren't high enough. Calf length zippers for getting them on
over your hiking boots are a nice to have feature. I'd
consider a Gore-Tex imitation or even a decent coated nylon
fabric for pants.
For a waterproof *non* breathable rain suit, look at Sierra
Designs, Walls and Helly Hanson. You can get a good
quality, well ventilated, non-breathable suit from any of
those for $60-$80. Also, don't overlook the house brands at
REI and Campmor.
See you on the trail :-)