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Looking to other sports for gear.

Maybe I've mentioned this before.  Sorry if I have.

When I'm shopping for hiking wear, at Sierra Trading Post or REI outlet, for instance, I don't just shop under hiking clothes, I also look at running and cycling clothes.  A lot of it is really high tech, very light, and more form fitting than most hiking clothes.  Both, but more so with cycling clothes, are designed to be more protective on the front, since you are moving forward at a good clip.  The reason this also makes sense for hikers, though we are moving slower, is we are wearing a backpack.  Don't really need Windstopper on the back, or as much insulation on the back, because we have a backpack protecting our back.  A lot of cycling outerwear has pockets In the back, which, obviously aren't functional while wearing your pack, and a possible source of annoyance, but can also serve to carry a water bottle, a windbreaker, and some snacks, if you want to drop your pack and make a quick dash to the summit, or down to a stream to get water.  And, of course, if you run or cycle, they serve double duty.  I find some really fantastic bargains on running and cycling wear and don't pass it up just because it wasn't intended as hiking wear.  Recently I've bought a lot of Gore bikewear with Windstopper.  I bought it mostly for cycling, but I'm not adverse to throwing it in my pack.  Really nice stuff.  Pearl Izumi makes fantastic stuff too.

I like fishing clothes for everything. 

Good suggestion, Randall. I use my running gear for hiking often.

Other gear and other materials -- for you MYOGers. After all, we got Cuben Fiber from the sailing folks (not to mention Railriders).

Another place I like to look is with the "tactical" outfitters, like 5.11 Tactical (interestingly started as a climbing gear company), which might just have the best hiking pants out there.

Don't try that in a National Park.  You will be cited for improper clothing.....(grin).

Clothes is clothes.

Cycling tights over long johns gets me down to the low 40s.

Hawaiian shirts, both rayon and silk wick sweat away and dry fast, making good skin layers in the cold, or the sole layer in the heat.

I know these other adaptations are not based on sports equipment, but extend thinking out of the box...

A carpenters tool belt suspender is good for holding up several loose fitting bottom layers.

Latex dishwashing gloves are good for use around cold camps when doing chores requiring dexterity.  They also are good for a glove inner VBL.

1.3 mil black trash can bags are excellent pack rain covers.  Just punch holes where the shoulder straps protrude on top, and make cuts on the bottom, similar to a dress hem slit, to allow the bag to fit around the bottom of the shoulder straps, allowing you to lift the cover when accessing your bag.  If the bag gets a hole, duct tape to the rescue.  Since these bags are cheap you can re-purpose the bag back home, and always start your trip with a fresh one.  Get bags sized for you pack - they cover everything from 30L to gihugejic!

Foil pie pans make good frying pan covers.

Document binder clips that you can get at the stationary store make good clamps to attach wet clothes and other things to lines, or hold things together, like retaining the shape of a foil stove wind screen close around a pot.

Spectra fishing line is a high strength, UL alternative to light cordage.  


Balega's blister resist socks are a hybrid of mohair (goat hair, basically) and synthetic.  they're great.

under armour, nike, and saucony cold weather bottoms are very good as winter layers. they're warm and they wick really well.  

many running hats and gloves translate well to hiking, snowshoeing, nordic skiing.  

I've been wearing midweight cycling tights as long underwear for years. For a while there cycling bib tights were my favorite xc ski wear.

I was just listening to an NPR interview of Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and I was reminded that C imported British rugby shirts and used and sold them to rock climbers in the 60s.

I walked into my local climbing store and was told "Yvon is making clothes now." I thereupon bought my first Patagonia fleece jacket.  It has served wonderfully since 1981 and I still wear it from time to time, although the fleece is wearing thin in some spots.

November 25, 2020
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