Clothing Selection for Summer WLT Hike

4:49 a.m. on January 5, 2008 (EST)
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I'm planning a hike around Mount Rainier along the Wonderland Trail for this summer and am looking at getting some cloths better suited to hiking then my normal jeans and T-shirts. It's a 2 week hike, the longest hike I've ever even contemplated, so I am expecting Rain and Sun and Rain. I already have good rain gear to put on over anything else as well as waterproof hiking boots. Everything else is just your everyday street cloths. So, what do you recomend that won't break the bank and will make me more comfortable in the changing weather associated with a mountain like Rainier?

Oh, and I know it sounds odd, but I'm NOT worried about sun burns or Bug Bites, I don't burn easy and bugs don't like the taste of me, might be the garlic I put in just about everything :)

11:15 a.m. on January 5, 2008 (EST)
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Summer weather in the Northwest is typically extremely stable and pleasant, although there can be exceptions. Don't bet on not getting too much sun, or too many bugs.

Superlight synthetic pants and tee-shirt are very nice, because they dry so quickly when you wash them or otherwise get them wet. Morning low temps in clear weather at treeline there are typically 35-45 degrees.

12:43 p.m. on January 5, 2008 (EST)
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Sounds like a fun trip! I prefer to hike in synthetic shirts and mesh shorts that I get from the sporting goods store. I think mine are Russell Athletic and were around 10 bucks. I even get some clothes from Goodwill from time to time. I thru-hiked the AT in a $2 soccer shirt I got from Goodwill. REI has very nice long underwear for not too much $. Id definitely bring along a pair of light-medium weight thermal underwear bottoms and a lightweight thermal zip top. I do not bring long pants I just wear my thermal undies with shorts when it gets a little chilly. IMO pants are extra un-needed weight if you are already bringing rain pants. As Calamity said it will be cold in the morning so you will also need some fleece or other insulating layers. I was a little cold on Rainier in early June inside my 15 degree bag on a cloudy rainy morning. But I was sweating inside that same bag on Mt. Adams in July so I guess it also depends on what time of the summer you go.

Is the Wonderland Trail repaired from all of the flooding last year?? I have not heard yet.

You will also need to get a permit for camping on the WLT.

5:32 p.m. on January 5, 2008 (EST)
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"Summer weather in the Northwest is typically extremely stable and pleasant, although there can be exceptions. Don't bet on not getting too much sun, or too many bugs. "

Being from the area I know you must always be prepared for the rain, you can take a day hike to a peak in the sun and come back in the rain. I've even seen it pour rain on one side of a house and sun on the other during the summer.

The sun burn issue isn't related to the weather, as long as I've taken the trouble to get a decent tan before I leave I just won't burn. The bugs, I don't know for sure what it realy is, but I can sit next so some one who is getting eaten alive and I don't get a single bite.

The WLT is mostly repaired, I assisted with some of it this year, installing a culvert about a mile from the nearest intersection with a road, those things are heavy. Its a $20 fee to submit your itinirary that reserves your camping spaces along the trail and is good for your entire group up to 5 people for non-group sites. I'll be submiting mine on March 15th, the earliest they let you. I picked August because they say the snow can last as late as early July and start as soon as mid september.

So for cloths I'm currently looking at synthetic Tees and am still looking around for good pants, I don't like to get my legs scratched up from the underbrush but want something that dries quickly and is breathable, Jeans definatly don't fit the bill.

7:04 p.m. on January 5, 2008 (EST)
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I own a pair of convertable pants that I ocasionaly wear. I got them on sale at REI. I think they are called Sahara pants. They dry very quickly and would be perfect for your trip. They also help with the bugs!!! They were on sale for around $35 bucks but I'd bet you could find a imitation pair for way cheaper at a sporting goods store. I think I have seen somthing similar at Dicks sporting goods if you have one neer you. I can't wait to go hiking this summer!

6:42 p.m. on January 7, 2008 (EST)
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Tacoma's average July precipitation is about 0.75 inches; or somewhat like the monthly average for Phoenix, Ariz. At treeline on Rainier, Paradise station's July average is something like 1.8 inches, which is only a bit more than the August average for Albuquerque, NM.

10:16 p.m. on January 7, 2008 (EST)
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Direct quote from the NPS website for Mt. Rainier

"Weather patterns at Mount Rainier are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean, elevation, and latitude. The climate is generally cool and rainy, with summer highs in the 60s and 70s. While July and August are the sunniest months of the year, rain is possible any day, and very likely in spring, fall, and winter.

Visitors should be aware that mountain weather is very changeable. Wet, cold weather can occur anytime of the year. Although late-July and August are generally the driest and warmest time of the year, summer can also be wet and cool. Snow will remain at the 5,000 to 8,000 feet elevation well into mid-July.

Hikers and mountain climbers should be prepared for changing weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts, both one day and long range, avalanche warnings, and special weather alerts. Have extra clothing, rain gear, and a tent for protection against storms anytime of the year. Know the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly."

Additionaly, I live within site of the mountain and when I see the nice dark clouds over the mountain in August I know it's usualy raining there.

Jeffrey, I just bought a pair of Convertables today, I'll be trying them out on my next hike.

8:33 p.m. on January 9, 2008 (EST)
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Tisk...averages is averages... Nice weather in July out there for damned certain.

5:24 p.m. on January 10, 2008 (EST)
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The average rainfall for July and August in Ashford, WA near Mt. Rainier is about 2.15 inches each month.

I think it is wise to bring along some rain gear on a hike of the WLT even though it may not rain all that much. It rained two out of three days for me when I was on mt Baker this summer in late July. I was happy I brought my rain gear! I would definitly bring some sun protection even if you do not burn because the sun can cause dehydration and can make your trip less enjoyable.

1:01 p.m. on January 11, 2008 (EST)
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From an page:

Average monthly and annual precipitation.

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul.
Longmire 12.57 7.97 8.06 5.07 4.01 2.73 1.12
Paradise 15.93 9.28 10.67 6.31 4.97 3.59 1.28

Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Annual
Longmire 1.73 3.79 7.89 10.19 13.05 78.25
Paradise 2.97 7.18 9.79 11.58 15.41 100.14


6:52 p.m. on January 23, 2008 (EST)
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I just bought a SmartWool short sleeve t-shirt that I don't know how I ever lived without it. I've had it for 3 days, and decided to test out it's natural odor fighting claims. I haven't showered or taken the thing off in 3 days and you can't smell a thing. Really, and I usually have quite impressive BO, if I do say so myself. I'm going to go out and by 1 more shortsleeve, and a longsleeve so I can have them in my hiking clothes rotation at all times. I swear this is the best camping gear purchase I've ever made. I'm going to go shower now.

April 22, 2018
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