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Topic: Rain Gear, Do ya need pants?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:26 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Starting up overnight hiking with my sons and my oldest and I are going to Philmont BSA camp this summer.

For normal backpack outings does anyone bring rain pants or just use their nylon zip off pants as they dry relatively quickly.

We already have rain jackets that should work great.

J.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes. I bring rain pants and recommend them. Chance of hypothermia would be the primary reason.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I always carry rain pants, although I virtually never wear them  on the trail. I do wear them in camp most evenings, and in heavy rain.

You could certainly make do without them, but for a small amount of weight they sure are nice to have when you get that occasional honest-to-goodness downpour.

I usually wear zip-offs, but I have them in shorts mode about 90% of the time. Sometimes, for summer mountain trips, I forego the zipoffs altogether and just take a more comfortable pair of quick-drying shorts. Then my rain pants are my only long pants.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If  the temps are going to be on the low side then yes, if it's going to be hot then no. They work great as an extra pair of pants and for the wind too if cold
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any place there's even a chance of wind with the rain pants are a necessity: otherwise you'll lose an immense amount of heat out your wet legs and that leads, even at mild tempertatures, to the risks of hypothermia.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Plus just for general comfort around camp. Sitting on wet stones/logs etc and soaking your butts is just not comfortable.

Even if you don't wear them on the trail, you'll want a dry pair of pant for camp and a pair of rain pants to keep them dry.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, for all the reasons mentioned above.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 1:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

what they all said.....if its going to be HOT out, then probably dont need the pants...

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 2:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The ONLY time I do not have them along is when it's mid summer here (SC) and then only when I know I'm not going to be at elevations where it will be chilly at night.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 2:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks everyone.
Now, to find some for a decent price.  
J.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 2:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JasonT2000 @ Apr. 30 2013, 1:32 pm)
QUOTE
Thanks everyone.
Now, to find some for a decent price.  
J.

This is one piece of gear where I have never hesitated to buy cheaper models.  I've even scored some good quality pairs second hand over the years.

I wouldn't pinch pennies with a rain jacket--because having the most waterproof and breathable jacket you can afford really does help your "quality of life" in the backcountry. But since I never hike in rain pants (unless it's armageddon), the breathability is not as critical.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 3:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I ran my hiking pants through a couple of rounds of Nikwax and they bead water pretty well. If I think it's gonna be chilly, I bring a thin base layer. I have a pair of rain pants I've never, ever worn, and stopped packing them after the Nikwax treatment.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 4:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Since I hike primarily in the northern Rockies, usually at elevation, I always take them.  When it rains here, it's usually a rather cold rain accompanied by cold temps.  I feel you need them not only to stay dry but for protection against hypothermia.  I am considering a rain skirt/kilt for hiking in warmer climates. Much better ventilation, lighter and if it's at all warm, I don't think you need protection for your lower legs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 4:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, we are in Chicagoland and will be going to Wisconsin and Michigan primarily as the backpacking in this area leaves much to be desired.

Thanks for the suggestions.
J.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use Army Surplus rain pants. Inexpensive, Gore-Tex, zip and velcro at the bottom (for putting on over boots). Cost me a whopping $30.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 4:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out REI brand rain pants. Good for the $$.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 4:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JasonT2000 @ Apr. 30 2013, 4:22 pm)
QUOTE
Well, we are in Chicagoland and will be going to Wisconsin and Michigan primarily as the backpacking in this area leaves much to be desired.

Thanks for the suggestions.
J.

This is similar to the Ontario climate I hike in. I concur with others that cheap is fine for pants (much more than for the jacket). But one thing that serves me well are having side leg zips - you can zip the tops down on the legs about 6" to increase ventilation in the pants. Plus you can put them on or take them off without taking your boots off. Makes the pants slightly heavier but totally worth the improved breathability IMO.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 5:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SmokeyBear @ Apr. 30 2013, 4:45 pm)
QUOTE

(JasonT2000 @ Apr. 30 2013, 4:22 pm)
QUOTE
Well, we are in Chicagoland and will be going to Wisconsin and Michigan primarily as the backpacking in this area leaves much to be desired.

Thanks for the suggestions.
J.

This is similar to the Ontario climate I hike in. I concur with others that cheap is fine for pants (much more than for the jacket). But one thing that serves me well are having side leg zips - you can zip the tops down on the legs about 6" to increase ventilation in the pants. Plus you can put them on or take them off without taking your boots off. Makes the pants slightly heavier but totally worth the improved breathability IMO.

Once you add zippers it really increases the price for what I have found so far.   Having to remove your boots is a big pain, but for the occasional use, i'll deal with it.
I really don't want to spend the extra $$.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 6:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Scored a pair of these bad boys last year for $90.00 on sale @ Backcountry.com.

They weight so little and pack down so small.

http://www.outdoorresearch.com/en....04.html


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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 1:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rain gear "type" necessity is highly dependent on location.  For Philmont, northern New Mexico, in the summertime, you can have daily thunderstorms.  But temps will generally be warm.

So realistically a large trashbag fashioned as a poncho is sufficient rain protection.  Now these have several drawbacks as there is zero breathability, and they don't last very long if you have to hike in them.  But the point is, you don't need much as long as you can keep your core dry.

In my opinion rain paints, in fact a rain jacket will be overkill.   More simple, and more versatile and in most cases more functional, would be a poncho with an elastic band to cinch it around your waist and if hiking keep your pack enclosed.  This worked for me in my 7 years as a Boy Scout with weeklong summer hikes in the Sierra Nevada, and works for me now in the Sierra, Arizona, and Colorado Rockies.

Now if in the northwest (Oregon, Washington) I'll bring the rainsuit...jacket and pants.  

So consider where you will be hiking, and take the gear appropriate for those conditions.  For me, for Philmont, I'd take a poncho and call it good.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 2:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JasonT2000 @ Apr. 30 2013, 5:27 pm)
QUOTE

(SmokeyBear @ Apr. 30 2013, 4:45 pm)
QUOTE

(JasonT2000 @ Apr. 30 2013, 4:22 pm)
QUOTE
Well, we are in Chicagoland and will be going to Wisconsin and Michigan primarily as the backpacking in this area leaves much to be desired.

Thanks for the suggestions.
J.

This is similar to the Ontario climate I hike in. I concur with others that cheap is fine for pants (much more than for the jacket). But one thing that serves me well are having side leg zips - you can zip the tops down on the legs about 6" to increase ventilation in the pants. Plus you can put them on or take them off without taking your boots off. Makes the pants slightly heavier but totally worth the improved breathability IMO.

Once you add zippers it really increases the price for what I have found so far.   Having to remove your boots is a big pain, but for the occasional use, i'll deal with it.
I really don't want to spend the extra $$.

Depends I suppose - I bought mine for $30 on clearance from Mountain Equipment Coop. They're not very light-weight compared with some but super durable for bushwacking, which is my main use.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 3:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

campmor brand has full-zip rain pants for $35

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(QCHIKER @ Apr. 30 2013, 1:37 pm)
QUOTE
If  the temps are going to be on the low side then yes, if it's going to be hot then no. They work great as an extra pair of pants and for the wind too if cold

+1

Since I do my backpacking in the Northern Rockies that means I carry them all the time.  It can get cold and nasty even in July and August.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 1:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good to have at Philmont.  If you trail ride at a horse camp, long pants are required, you can use your rain pants.

They also keep rain from running down your legs into your boots.  Goretex boots keep water in just as well as they keep it out.

Get Dri Ducks coat and pants.  They are lightweight, breathable, and inexpensive - $20.  Not very sturdy, but  they will be in your pack most of the time.  That is all I use now, no need to spend more.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 8:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have gaiters and a poncho . . . no rain pants needed.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wish I would have had some today when I was freezing in a drizzly rain on the ridge in the Smokies. But I think I am going to get a rain skirt next. At least for the summer

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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2013, 3:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you have room in your pack I would take your rain pants in case you need them. Rain can definitely make a camping/hiking trip pretty miserable.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 09 2013, 8:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You don't need rain pants in Philmont. I've never ever carried rain pants in the Rockies or California.

You will get afternoon thunderstorms, but you'll probably be in camp by then.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 09 2013, 9:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dri Ducks are the way to go for me. I rarely wear the pants. They're also the most breathable rainwear so do a so-so job as a poor man's windshirt.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 09 2013, 2:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jason, I think the answer is, as you've probably gathered from the other responses, "it depends."  Rain pants are not a must-have for PHAB, depending on:
- the date of your trek (rain probability increases as the season progresses)
- your personal internal thermostat (do you run hot, cold or in-between?)
- your backpacking experience (the more experience you have the better you can stay dry and the better you know your needs/preferences).

Frogg Toggs are cheap and light insurance, IMO.
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