Rain Jacket – Arc’teryx Beta LT Hybrid
Two things I harbor a deep dislike for: being cold (it’s distracting), and being sopping wet (it’s sticky). While I’ve managed to develop somewhat of a tolerance to both of those things, the two of them together still make me sad. Thus, bombproof rain gear. Since my torso’s the thing I needed to keep warm, I didn’t use rain pants, though I threw on my leggings to have some sort of layer between me and the cold.
Wind Shirt – Montbell Tachyon
Good for cutting the chill, and also adding a hint of insulation. Not even heavy enough to consider not taking. Oddly, the full zip is lighter than the half zip. PCT Note: You should probably keep this stowed in its stow pocket, away from zippers – mine now has a hole in it from where I did neither of those things.
Weight: 1.6 oz
Puffy – Mountain Hardwear Hooded Ghost Whisperer
I think this was the piece of gear I was the most thoroughly impressed with. I’m basically always cold, but this thing has no right to be both as small as it is and as warm as it is. I wouldn’t use it for winter camping or anything, but for thruhiking, it’s magical.
Gloves – Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Stimulus
These gloves were the perfect weight for thruhiking, and they made it most of the way before developing small holes in the index fingers. It kind of just made it easier for me to work my phone when it was cold out, though.
Leggings – Montbell Super Merino Wool Expedition Tights
After about a month of ill-fitting Patagonia Capilene 3s – they did not fit the junketh in mine trunketh to begin with, and the way I was losing weight meant they wouldn’t stay on of their own accord – I gave up and had these sent to me. These were amazing and wonderful and actually fit – and still worked pretty well even after an ill-timed glissade down Mather Pass ripped holes in the butt, which gradually got bigger (and especially after a slip down a ravine wall to a water source in Washington).