The sky my roof till Christmas... .

If you had only the one outfit . . .

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29/04/2012 at 03:16

. . what would it be?

Say you were going to be outdoors all the time, through rainy English spring and on into winter, footing it around Britain, travelling light, camping wild, and in only the clothes you stand up in what would they be? (No mountaineering is in prospect.)

Budget's not the issue: getting it right is. In advance, I thank you for your suggestions.


29/04/2012 at 05:36
It doesn't work that way. Wear one set, one set in the bag; one set heavier than the other, some crossover such that you can mix'n'match layers to cover all/most weathers. The clean, dry stuff in the bag needs to stay clean and dry: you need this as a contingency, or when e.g. doing laundry. Hygiene is essential, baby wipes and alcohol gel if washing isn't possible. Fail to do this in the longer term and things are going downhill rapidly. You'd need something in reserve for full-on winter conditions, but I'd only carry it late November to late February.
Edited: 29/04/2012 at 05:39
29/04/2012 at 09:51

I think you can do it without too much duplication. As long as you have two baselayers, one of everything else should be fine. Your biggest decision will be waterproof (paramo vs other). At the moment seems to me that the best "other" would be neoshell (for that length of time event would need many reproofs and gore active shell would rip). People will give you advice either way but personally I prefer paramo velez trousers and a non-paramo jacket (when it might rain it's never been too warm for paramo trousers with venting open) but lots of time when it may rain a paramo jacket is too warm in summer. 

You'll need another pair of trousers, personally I'd go for a softshell e.g. powershield (not  windstopper whatever you do) for warmer weather with light rain possible and a pair of shorts.

Baselayer is up to you, can't say I notice any difference from any of mine (icebreaker, polypro, polyester) but then I haven't tried the latest meco or arcteryx (and don't intend to as can't afford another top for only incremental improvement.

Mid-layers personally I use 2: powerdry and powerstretch layered as necessary. Don't get a full weight fleece as for real warmth you'll get better use out of synthetic (don't get down for that length of time). If sitting around in evenings you'll probably want at least 133g/m2 thickness (but likely more). I'd get the more by layering a synthetic gillet with a synthetic belay jacket for more flexibility. 

Finally a thin pertex windjacket (many available, no real difference but you'll want microlight not quantum for that length of time).

Only other thing to note is don't wear normal cotton underwear, saying above that I don't notice the difference between different baselayers, I really do notice the downside to cotton underwear (gets damp, stays damp, then rubs) many options available.

Sorry but all of that's around 1000pounds. Notice that I haven't listed specific products as I don't think any one brand is really much better than another, fit is far more important. I've also not made it ultralight but have cut down to allow you to wash one set whilst wearing another.

Be interesting to see other opinions though.

29/04/2012 at 10:15

check the extremes - in hot weather you need shorts and a t shirt

in cold weather you want something bombproof that'll keep you alive in poor conditions, I might want buffalo or similar.

you need robust and repairable gear, check what the professional outdoor workers wear.

boots need careful selection they need to be exactly right. 

29/04/2012 at 10:45

AllFumbs wrote (see)

only the clothes you stand up in
AllFumbs wrote (see)
Budget's not the issue

 A contradiction surely!

29/04/2012 at 12:30

Bedouin wrote (see)

AllFumbs wrote (see)

only the clothes you stand up in
AllFumbs wrote (see)
Budget's not the issue

A contradiction surely!

I guess AllFumbs really means "as light/low bulk as possible, to cover this range of situations".

For extended durations in remote areas, bombproofness will be important, as will hygiene. There is a reason why armies have procedures about this.

29/04/2012 at 12:57
I don't have a thing about person hygiene..... HONEST!!!

Its more that if you have limited clothing over an extended period it becomes vital that its properly cared for to ensure that it performs and to ensure its longevity.

Do you want to be stood there in mid-winter in your underwear washing your only pair of trousers. Underwear needs regular washing to prevent a possibly debilitating case of nappy rash not to mention rotting the fabric. Socks ditto. Drying is also going to be an issue at cooler times.
29/04/2012 at 13:53
Valid comments, but that doesn't mean his request for one set of clothes, coupled with an unlimited budget, are 'contradictory'. They're not mutually exclusive criteria, but they are misguided.
29/04/2012 at 17:05
Thank you, All,

Please do excuse me, for I phrased my question inelegantly (and, certainly, incompletely).

I didn't mean to suggest that I would not pack a change of nether-garments and socks. Truly, I am interested in canvassing opinion as to the togs in which to step out of the door as confident as can be that I won't really miss it for eight months, whatever the weather. (I don't intend to scale Britain's highest mountains. I'm not out to 'bag' anything.)

What I meant is were you going to be out there for months whether there would be a basic suit of clothes on which you could be confident to depend. I'm aware that you do get those days, even in winter and for days at a time, when the weather goes soft, warm and miraculous making it seem none of your real gear was necessary.

Then it rains without let for a ten days. I wonder how you would prepare for that; and, after a few weeks of being out, be back into the rhythym of being out. What gear would be your touchstone?

Thanks again,

29/04/2012 at 17:20
Well if i was to start anywhere it would be meeeee trooos so i personaly would bag misen a pair of Haglofs rugged mountain pants...



30/04/2012 at 18:37

Thanks, Didster,

I was going to have a look at the Haglofs Rugged Mountain Pants. (A fan of 'Father Ted', I wonder if a rival firm does 'Craggy Mountain' ones.) 

I think Montgomery Wick had lauded them in a separate thread; but what I could do with asking is are they properly waterproof? I really don't want to faff-about with overtrousers so whatever I end-up getting must keep an all-day downpour out.

Thanks again,


30/04/2012 at 20:46
The only thing that's going to be properly waterproof and not leave you needing to "faff-about with overtrousers" is going to be the paramo trousers (but as I think I said earlier, they're too warm for summer). You could just accept that your legs get a bit wet (I certainly don't feel wetness on my legs as much as on my upper body) and something softshellish (like the Haglofs) may be a good compromise.
01/05/2012 at 07:16
I have the Fjel pants by Haglofs and they shrug off a decent shower but i wouldnt want to wear them in rain all day long,saying that you could try some spray on waterproofer...
Mine are so tough i wear them all the time on the hill and they dont even show any signs that they are probably well over 3 years old now,they could pass as new...Ubber hard wearing .....



02/05/2012 at 20:51
Am thinking that your tent/bivy whatever is going to take a pretty hard hammering in terms of packing it away wet/damp over extended periods. My bivy can start smelling unpleasant after a few days of being used in wet conditions.... bit like a wet dog as my SO says
02/05/2012 at 21:09
How do you cope on the Tube bedders with all those smelly people around?
Edited: 02/05/2012 at 21:09
02/05/2012 at 23:41

Try airing and drying the bivvy bedders. Just like washing - only smells if you can't be arsed or think you're too busy.

Unless you are referring to the inside of your bivvy then washing helps...
03/05/2012 at 09:38

I'd also be worried about the need for washing/reproofing Paramo would work if worn for this sort of length of time with all the need for washing/reproofing. Ditto any water repellency gained via a DWR of course.

So overtrousers going to be needed really.  Although double ventile might do it.

Anyway some good information about long term durability on this backpacking light thread. I'd actually go and ask some of the people on there who've been doing this sort of thing for their advice. They'll know!

03/05/2012 at 16:41

Thank you, All,

Esp. those who've given our nomadic-tribesman correspondent a bit of a ragging. Can't beat a bit o' banter. 

Good point, 'Martin Carpenter', about re-proofing Paramo (and the like). I'd thought of double-Ventile but read somewhere that even its adherents don't reckon to it much for legwear. Jackets and smocks, yes : trews, no.

And I'll have a look at that website to which you helpfully gave the link. Thanks.


03/05/2012 at 21:32
Parky, its not always possible to dry/air a bivy especially when out in winter conditions.

Drying it defiantly helps negate the smell but as soon as it gets wet/damp again it starts to smell wet dogish!
03/05/2012 at 21:38
If there's no mountains involved, a big umbrella would solve a lot of problems.
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