View Full Version : Clothes??

02-26-2003, 01:30 PM
Through reading Patrick's essays, this and a few other message boards I've gotten a pretty good handle on what I want when it comes to packs, guns, sleeping bags etc. The one thing I don't hear too much about is clothes. What clothes do you use? Is it possible to build a clothing system where the outerware stays pretty much the same and only the underlayers change? So, tell me what you wear?

02-26-2003, 02:46 PM
Military SPEAR underlayer system (fleece system designed to be mixed and matched for temps from +50f to -40f)

Use your usual warm weather outerwear while its dry, and when the wind kicks up or it gets a little wet pull on the Gore-Tex.

02-27-2003, 07:01 PM
Pointer, I ws hoping you would get several responses to your question since I could use the help with zero and below cold weather gear. Maybe when Patrick gets back, if he catches this, he'll share what he used on his goat hunt? Or maybe a few others will pipe in. Anyway for fall elk, down to teens weather, I use synthetic underwear, a pair of light and medium sythetic long johns, micro fleece shirt and pant, light weight fleece vest and jacket, and coated rain/wind gear. I've dragged around a packable down jacket which, thanks to Kevin, I'll replace with Wiggys gear. A pair of cool max and another of wool socks, with 200 gram thinsulate boots and boot gaiters. Toss in a couple of pairs of handwarmers, a light weight synthetic balaclava, gloves and liners, and a manzella hat.

03-02-2003, 09:34 AM
I live in upstate NY and get plenty of snow and rain; usually all at once. I totally agree about the SPEARS system with gore-tex shells and fleece in general. Cabela's master fall 2002 ed.2 catalog has a polartec line that is "special forces" style. I don't know about that but I have bought most of that line piece by piece and am totally happy with quality/price. If I can afford the weight, I usually treat myself to one big wool overshirt for hanging around camp, too. On the other hand, I'm the weight/in3 stickler and I'm taking Patrick's "dry what you wear" concept pretty serious. I don't know if you can beat fleece/g-tex for weight/warmth/windproof, but every dollar past a basic outfit could be another dollar toward tipi/stove! Right, Patrick!!??

03-02-2003, 08:32 PM
Just got back fom a weekend in the hills...

Snowed everynight and cold as all get out.

I only needed the SPEAR baselayer and midweights... even did ok without Gore-Tex.

03-05-2003, 07:31 PM

Yes, I do tend to "basic outfits" clothing-wise, but not because I'm saving for a Tipi/stove <grin>. But it is, at least in part, because I always have a heated tipi waiting for me at the end of even the most miserable day--a place where I can get dried out and saturated with warmth. I wear synthetics, period. The lightest I can get. The only "natural" fabric I tote is my cotton bandana. Oops! I take that back. Smartwool sox are pretty dang good gear.


03-06-2003, 10:04 AM
Could anybody enlighten me on the SPEARS underwear? Where can it be found online? I've been happy so far with the Smartwool long underwear, but I'd hate to be ingorant of something better. Thanks.

03-06-2003, 10:11 AM

The Smartwool long underwear are also very impressive. Seems to me they work as well or better than the synthetics, plus they don't stink as much after several days' wear.


Here is a link to SPEARS (http://www.sbccom.army.mil/products/cie/SPEAR_LEP.htm) , plus a description from a FAQ page...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Question: I have heard about something called a “SPEAR Suit” that is for cold-weather operations also. What is it?

Answer: First, the U.S. Military SPEAR Suit is actually a series of layered under-garments. SPEAR stands for Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements. The “suit” is actually called the “SPEAR-LEP” by the U.S. Military, and the LEP stands for Lightweight Environmental Protection. The SPEAR insulation system is advanced cold weather protection for -40°F, and is intended to be used by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) personnel. This flexible multi-layer system features 4 layers with 6 different garments. These are: SPEAR-LEP Layer 1: Silkweight Underwear Set, made of 100% polyester, undershirt w/crew neck, drawers w/elastic waistband, access fly &amp; flat seam construction. SPEAR-LEP Layer 2: Midweight Underwear Set, made of 100% polyester, undershirt with foldover collar &amp; neck to chest zipper,drawers w/elastic waistband, access fly &amp; flat seam construction. SPEAR-LEP Layer 3: POLARTEC® Bib Overall w/Drop Seat, Stretch Overall - 100% polyester,one piece bib w/2 way front zipper, full length side zippers, mid chest inner pockets, drop seat, reinforce knees &amp; seat. SPEAR-LEP Layer 4: Fleece Jacket, 100% polyester, zipper front, 2 zipper front pockets, inner pockets. And yes, Tactical Gear Command (http://www.tacticalgearcommand.com/) ™ has SPEAR-LEP “suits” in a variety of sizes.</div></div>SPEARS is basically just a layering system and can be upgraded by using the Smartwool LJs in place of the GI synthetics, substituting your own fleece jackets and bibs, etc.


03-06-2003, 12:28 PM
Shu pretty much nailed it.

Its just a layering system... I dont know much about the Smartwool stuff, but the SPEAR system is what I prefer for a few reasons... 1) it is designed to be fully modular. Unlike single piece suits you can only wear the shirt layers, or the pant layers, or mix and match weights, etc... something I like. 2)Its synthetic... It compresses, it doesnt itch (for those who are allergic to wool), it doesnt absorb water, and all the other fleece virtues. 3)It is ment to work together. The layers dont bind, the cut is made to accomodate underlayers, etc. 4)Its not made out of PolyPro (excellent for those who dont want be smelled 5 miles UPWIND:) )

Cabelas has a range which seems to be rather nice, and seems to have been made as a layering system as well (Ive only seen the midweight capilene) and Outdoor Research has several lines of high performance underwear which are designed for layering.

03-06-2003, 12:37 PM
Anyone have any experience with the Patagonia Regulator line of fleece and undergarments? I recently picked up one of their 'soft shell' jackets and have been pretty impressed. I went this route because, living in UT and being somewhat of a sweater, I wanted something with mucho breathability.

03-06-2003, 12:40 PM
These guys actually SELL the SPEARS system in case you are interested.

Unfortunatly the site software doesnt allow for me to link directly to the product (it is a cookied system with 60 minute time outs)


Click on the button "Onlne store" (top frame), then click out the button "Clothing", then "Outdoor Clothing"... it is on page 2.

If you decide to buy it, Id wait until the Wind Resistant version comes off back order. The WR shell has nicer cuffs and a hood.

03-06-2003, 02:37 PM
Thanks fellas, I think I'll run with the smartwool-fleece-Goretex system that I have at the moment (mostly because it's already paid for!, gotta save for the tipi /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif ), but when this stuff starts showing it's age, I'll have to give the Spears system another look.

03-09-2003, 12:58 AM
One good way to build a system is to use multiple light pieces of gear. I use a Helly-Hansen outer shell (Mountain Parka)of a breathable fabric that Cabella's has for $50.00. It has zero insulation built in. But it cuts the wind and keeps me dry. Then I use all kinds of odds and ends picked up when they were on sale. It includes capalene, and silk items, Helly-tech and many others including Wal-Mart poly pro gloves, plus some Columbia stuff too. I have been an REI member since the mid 1970's, and they are a great source of gear. The range of temperature and moisture you can experience is infinate, so you need a big bag of goodies to chose from when you set out at the trailhead. Of course you need to be in the habit of making a prediction about the conditions you will have on a given trip. A big pack like the Longhunter helps you to carry enough items to meet the conditions in extreme places. And, dont overlook the importance of hats and gloves. They can make all the difference. Overall Helly Hansen and REI gear have given me solid long lasting performance, but the important thing when you are starting out is not to buy one expensive very specialized piece of gear at the expense of flexability. Cotton kills.

03-09-2003, 08:54 AM

Like yours, my "system" has been collected over decades from REI (I've been a member since 1970), Patagonia, Chuck Roast and other outfits that are no longer even in business. It includes every sort of synthetic garment ever invented and in every weight--tho definitely tending towards lightness. Every outing I dig thru the inventory and pluck an assortment that involves layers of light items that will cover what I expect plus a small "cushion". The outer layer is purely for wind/moisture and is currently an REI hooded rain jacket that weighs ounces and cost about 35 bucks. I let the legs just get wet--I'll dry out at the tipi. It is impossible to really describe my "system" because "it" is a hodge-podge of dozens of items; but in aggregate there is enough resouces in the pile to cover any contingency on earth, even tho I haven't added anything (except for replacing camo trousers now and then) in years. I imagine you know exactly what I mean, and have rather the same ensemble of "stuff" in your inventory, tho maybe not from the same manufacturers.

I believe if I were starting afresh I'd collect light to midweight items for the inner and insulating layers and stay very light for the outer. All in synthetic. Lastly, I really like those synthetic shirts--yes, real shirts that you can wear anywhere--Cabelas sells. They do a great job of intermediate layering and wear like iron--better than wool and don't have to be dry cleaned. A thickish fleece hooded jacket just under that outer "skin" item is a must. And yes, hat/gloves are essential, extremely important--especially the hat. Get one that seals against wind; that's much more important than "thickness". And I've yet to find a better hat than the Manzella--best on the planet.

Yep, Rick, you've nailed it--flexibility rules, and cotton kills. (Let me tell you about that ultralight synthetic "fishing" shirt I picked up on sale a few years back....)


03-09-2003, 11:55 AM

Make that hat, above, Turtle Fur. Manzella makes gloves, and they're the best too.