January 1, 2001


My clothing page is currently (as of Oct. 6th, 2012) under construction:

Alico Tahoe 
Hiking Boots

I use full grain leather boots. I like their durability; unfortunately, they're also very expensive. I got these on sale and they do alright. They're not quite as comfortable as my previous boots, but they work well enough. They're not Gore-tex either which would deter most people but they also dry easier because of their increased breathability.
Powermatic 200
Hiking Boots

Incredibly I bought these for $65 while working at REI. They broke in quickly and fit like glove ever after. Sadly, I abused them and failed to maintain them. Besides several backpacking trips, I wore these for my entire 2 1/2 month hiking tour through Scotland, England, and Wales. They served me well. At one point I should have had them resoled, but instead I kept wearing them until they got holes in the leather. They will be missed, but a replacement pair would cost me too much so I now wear a less comfortable albeit acceptable pair of Alicos.
Liner Socks

I used to wear liner socks all the time. I stopped. It's not worth the effort or cost anymore. They are useful if your feet are soft. Wear them under a pair of wool hiking socks to avoid blisters.
Hiking Socks

I downgraded from Smartwool to REI wool socks to save a little money. It was a bad move. The seams separated quickly leaving holes in the toes and heels. I returned several pairs. I would recommend Smartwool over these any day.
Hiking Socks

I wear these socks while backpacking or in everyday life. They're my regular socks. People rave about Smartwool. They're not that good anymore. I did wear a single pair of light hikers for 7 weeks in the UK, after leaving one pair by Loch Ness. Back then (2008) they were incredible socks. The several batches I've bought since then have not been nearly as durable. Still, I can't find anything better.
Sport Briefs

I call them 'wunderwear'. If you know me very well, you know that I love my ExOfficio Sport Briefs. They're my favorite article of clothing. So comfortable. So durable! They are certainly worth the cost. I've worn only these since 2008 and don't plan on buying cotton again. Read my complete review.
Rampart Pants

These are the only pants I wear now. I had one pair last me 1 1/2 years of almost continuous wear. Actually I still wear them a lot but mostly for lounging (I'm wearing them now!) and hiking. I have three newer pairs that I wear day to day. They're quite expensive and even on sale I have a hard time shelling out the money, but I love them. Read my complete review.
Underarmor Heatgear T-Shirt (s/s)

I like to wear a nylon or polyester short sleeve shirt when I hike. This is pretty standard in its performance excepting the fact that it's 'stretchy'. I suppose it's stretch allows it to fit more closely to the skin so that, in turn, it more easily wicks moisture away. It functions adequately; however, in the generally cool environments that I spend my time in, it's heat performance isn't really that relevant.
OXT Tech T-Shirt (s/s)

This is just a standard polyester t-shirt. It has good flex to it and fits well. This has been my standard shirt material for most of my hiking. The only think to keep in mind with this (and any clothing made of polyester) is that it will absorb odors very easily. For this reason I have come to prefer nylon and wool. On the other hand, polyester tends to be less expensive. 
Patagonia Capilene 1 T-Shirt (l/s)

I have worn this shirt on many adventures for many days. It was my everyday shirt for 10 weeks in the UK and for a majority of my day hikes and backpacking trips since 2007. Clearly it gets high marks for comfort and durability. I've preferred it for all these years because it has a wide temperature range and keeps me comfortable in anything from 60-80°F by itself or 20-60°F as a base layer. Its wide range makes it nice for hiking because I can start with it when I'm cool and only need to roll up the sleeves as I get warm.
Wool Top (l/s)

I love wool clothing. I wish I could own more but it's very expensive and doesn't last nearly as well as nylon. It's extraordinarily comfortable and great with odors (a plus in the backcountry). It's also one of the more sustainably produced materials available. I like it as a stand alone long sleeve in the backcountry or a base layer when it's chilly, I use it from 70°F down. Regarding brands, I certainly don't think that Smartwool is the be-all and end-all of wool clothing. The shirt pictured to the right, made by Icebreaker, has outlasted and outperformed my Smartwool.
Nylon Hiking Shirt
(s/s and l/s)

Almost all of my clothing is nylon now. I especially like my Marmot and The North Face nylon button downs. They are fairly comfortable, stay cool, and dry very quickly. When it's hot I like that I can unbutton to cool off. They last better than any other material and look pretty good. I wear them day-to-day, hiking, and travelling. They make great all around shirts.
Patagonia Vest

I wear vests because they help maintain proper body temperature. This specific vest is synthetic - I thought I'd venture out from having only down insulation - but when I replace it I'm going back to the good stuff. As pictured, I like to wear it outside my base layers and when it's quite chilly or very windy it more often then not finds its way under my outer shell. I even wear it while I'm hiking in cool-to-cold temperatures since it easily lets out excess heat. From 20-40°F while hiking and 40-60°F while still, it's my standard insulating layer.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket

Sometimes a wool base layer, vest, and shell don't cut it. When I'm in camp in sub-50°F temps I like to have a down jacket. Since I rarely camp in places that always stay above 50°, I've carried it with me almost every trip since 2005. It's so comfy to put on in the chilly morning. I always keep it out near my sleeping bag in case it gets cold at night (and to add a little fluff to my bed!) and I've worn it many occasions when my sleeping bag was pushed to its limit. Personally, I'd never need a down jacket that weighs more than 16 oz. Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, and Patagonia are a few of the companies that make great puffies.
Outdoor Research Ravel Rainjacket

I've used this relatively low-end rain jacket for years, including my trip to the UK. Since most of my adventures don't get too wet, it's sufficed. An outer shell is a must to stay dry or block wind. Sure, there's always the poncho, which has its virtues, but for anything long term or for day-to-day use, I need a rain jacket. 
Integral Designs 
Sil-nylon Poncho

I've carried a poncho on two backpacking trips and both times it was sufficient. I like that ponchos allow me to cover my pack (if it's not too large), let air flow more freely than a jacket, and keep everything dry if I hunker down during a downpour. Conversely, ponchos impede the use of my hands, especially in camp, and don't block wind as well as a jacket. In general, I only carry a poncho, instead of a jacket, if weight is a major concern.
Alpha AR Jacket

This is my high-end shell. It's three layer Gore-tex construction. I've mostly saved it for winter use, especially day hiking in the Tetons, but now it's my standard rain jacket in lovely, rainy Belgium. It's very durable, nicely ventilating, and gives incomparable protection. You can't compare with Arc'teryx; unfortunately the price reflects that fact.

Theta SV Pants

The compliment to my Arc'teryx jacket, these are too much for anything but snow travel. However on the snow, they can't be beat. I especially like that they're more of a bib than pants, with a very high waistline and suspender straps. I would only use bibs when doing snow travel.

Bandanas are another of those standard articles of clothing. They're just good to have on hand. It's nice to have a stray piece of cloth whether for washing or sun protection, to hold back my hair or use as a triangle bandage. I never go on a trip without one.
Mountain Hardwear
Liner Gloves

These polyester liner gloves were my standard glove for years. Most companies make something comparable. I like having some insulation without losing dexterity. However, they don't hold up well. I've gone through five pairs in as many years. The only think I would recommend them for is sleeping or as a true liner gloves (inside mittens).
Work Gloves

I started using lined leather work gloves (hardware store varieties are fine!) after perennially replacing my polyester liners. Now they're my standard backpacking and winter glove. They keep my hands warm down to around freezing, they repel water alright as long as I keep them waxed, and they make a decent cooking mitt for my backcountry kitchen. The only catch is that if I use them for cooking in bear country, it's inadvisable to keep them in the tent, though I can easily work around that complication. I don't know why it took me so long to discover these!

In many places, like Scotland and the Wind Rivers among countless others, a headnet is a must. Just make sure it's no-see-um mesh. When I put my headnet on in Scotland (the one pictured to the right) I watched in dismay as the midges crawled right through the holes.
Outdoor Research Sunhat

The story of my life: I loved this hat; I lost this hat. It kept the sun and rain out of my eyes and it kept me cool for years. I wore it every trip from 2007-2011. I would certainly prefer this hat, or those like it, to a standard cotton baseball cap. It's made of nylon so it dries quickly and lasts for ever (as long as you don't lose it!).
Synthetic Hat

This was one of two 'souvenirs' I brought back from Scotland. It's a standard fleece cool weather hat. I liked it.
The North Face

I like to use a headband for extreme cold weather camping. When I'm sleeping in sub-0°F temperatures, I have difficulty keeping my face warm without getting claustrophobic. I discovered that if I wear a bomber style hat on my head and a headband around my face I can cover my eyes with the bomber and my nose with the headband. As long as it's fairly loose, the headband makes a nice pocket of air around my mouth and nose without constricting my breathing. It allows for enough airflow to stay comfortable but not too much to get cold. Genius!

Yes, technically it's a neck gaiter, but I like to wear it on my head. I'll wear wool anywhere, but it's especially nice on my head. Warm and soft. I can pull it low on my face when I'm sleeping in cold conditions. I can open it wide on top (like a headband) if it's cool but not cold out. Over all, a neck gaiter is more flexible than a stocking cap. Of course, I can always use it on my neck too!
Pequam Toque
If I had a brand name, it would be Pequam. Therefore my line of homemade stocking caps, or toques, all go by this name (and of course, receive 5 stars!). The hat pictured here was my all time favorite and had great sentimental value, but I lost it in 2010.