I have spent a couple of years dialing in my clothing choices for the Appalachian Trail and my layering system and finally have it dialed in for good (time to send it all off to InsectShield).
For a complete list of my gear, you can click here. Or rather watch a video? That is below, just scroll down.
So let’s break my Appalachian Trail clothing choices up into what touches my body first and so forth.
Bra: Even though I am large chested, I don’t need something crazy restrictive while hiking. I do however want something that will whisk sweat and dry quickly. After trying a ton of different styles and brands, I went with Hanes Women’s Cozy Seamless Wire-Free Bra. It comes in a ton of different colors and dries quickly, but also offers some support.
Underwear: For my underwear (2), I decided to go with Fruit of the Loom Women’s Everlight Underwear. It is super lightweight, dries super quick and has a cotton-lined crotch (which is best for va jay jay health when you are prone to certain girl problems down there). Another great brand that I have also used that is synthetic (including the liner, for those that are lucky enough to not need a cotton liner) is Reebok Women’s Seamless Hipster. I really loved these, but due to the synthetic liner in them was unable to continue to wear them. I have also used ExOfficio in the past as well, but again the same issues as the Reebok brand. However, if I had to choose between the two Reebok was not only more comfortable but A LOT cheaper!
Socks: For socks, I am going with Injinji 2.0 Outdoor Midweight Mini Crew Nuwwol Socks (2 pair). I love darn tough, but after converting to toe socks, I now can no longer stand my toes touching! LOL. Also, I have found that after breaking my toes (a couple of times now) that these socks actually help with the “aching” of the toe. I will also be bringing a pair of Darn Tough socks just to use to layer for those really cold days. One thing about Injinji is that they don’t last very long at all, so I will go through a lot of pairs I am sure. Darn Tough, if you are listening, please start making toe socks!!!!!
Baselayer Top: For my baselayer top I will be using Terramar Cloud Nine Scoop Neck. It is super soft and does great at wicking moisture away.
Baselayer Bottoms: For my baselayer bottoms I chose to go with Patagonia Capilene Midweight leggings. Although, I may switch to their thermal weight. I am not loving the way the Midweights feel against my skin (irritating and itchy). I have the Air Top (used as part of my sleep clothes) and love it.
Top: Short sleeve, synthetic and super lightweight shirt that I bought at Clothing & Sales on post (Fort Hood) before my husband retired =) Says U.S. Army and I have had it for years. Dries SUPER quick and also wicks moisture very well.
Pants: Originally I had opted for the Prana Halle Pants, which I do love but found the material to be a little too “heavy” for my liking. Due to the material, it took forever for the pants to dry if they got wet. So I switched to Columbia Saturday Trail pants which I love. The material is lighter weight but not too lightweight.
Mid / Insulating Layers
Fleece: For my hiking insulating layer I went with Patagonia Crosstrek 1/4-Zip Fleece. It insulates very well. I went with 1/4 zip instead of full zip simply for the weight savings, although if I had to choose again I would have gone with full zip as it is easier to put on and take off.
Puffy Coat: After trying about 4 different puffies, I decided on the Sierra Designs Whitney Hoodie. It is super warm which is what I need for around camp. Sure there are lighter-weight puffy coats out there (this one in an XL comes in at 15oz), but I am finally happy with my purchase.
Rain Jacket: For my rain/wind jacket I originally went with the MyTrail rain jacket, and then switched out to the OR Helium II for weight savings. I may end up switching back to the MyTrail one last minute (I really liked the pit zips and felt it kept me dryer).
Rain Pants: For my rain pants I am taking the Marmot Women’s Precip Pant. I have taken it on 2 test runs and it seems to work just fine.
Dedicated Sleep Clothes
For the most part, these will be the clothes that I only sleep in, to ensure that I always have a dry pair of clothes at night to change into. However, in the event I have to wear a heavier base layer, (drops to single digits, snowstorm coming and we are hiking into town to get out of the cold) I can use these as an extra layer to keep warm while trying to get out of the weather.
Sleep top: Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Crew. Super warm and super soft. Feels great against the skin.
Sleep pants: For my dedicated sleep pants and heavyweight base layer, I found a pair on Amazon called YogiPlace Fleece Lined Thermal Tights. I am 5′ 9″ so finding leggings has always been difficult. These come in petite, regular and tall lengths. They are super warm and soft.
Dedicated sleep socks: I wanted something thick and comfy for sleep socks that would keep my always ice-cold feet warm, so I went with Icebreaker Merino Hike Socks.
Misc. Clothing Items
Beanie: For my beanie, I am wearing the Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie. It is lightweight and does a good job of covering my entire head to include my ears.
Balaclava: I went to clothing and sales on post and bought the waffle style that the military uses.
Gloves/Rain Shell: Originally I was going to go with a pair of Walmart fleece gloves and REI Rain Mitts, but decided to switch over to Burton liners and mittens due to my start date and knowing I could see single digits.
Shoes: After trying several different brands of shoes, I went back to old faithful (Merrell) and will be taking the Merrell Moab FST 2 Hiking Shoe.
Camp Shoes: For my camp shoes (what I will change into after a day of hiking to allow my feet to air out) I am going with a generic brand from Amazon that I found. They are lightweight and surprisingly comfortable.
Hat: An old baseball cap of mine that I got from Walmart a long time ago but love! lol.
Show & Tell Video
If you want to see everything I am bringing in video format, well here you go =) This was made before I made a couple of small changes.
If you have any questions about my Appalachian Trail clothing choices, feel free to comment below and I will answer them as soon as I can!