The Windstopper Tech Fleece
The Windstopper Tech Fleece

How much clothing should I pack for a ten-day trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area?

I'm going into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a ten-day trip. On previous excursions I've taken too many clothes and too few clothes, but never found the perfect mix. How do you pack clothing for a long trip? Greg Flower Mound, TX

The Windstopper Tech Fleece

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Well, figure out what you need for the coldest day, the warmest day, and the wettest day. Then add a few pairs of clean underwear. Presto!

The Windstopper Tech Fleece The Windstopper Tech Fleece

The key is to layer. If I were going on a ten-day drip during the summer, I would start by deciding what I would need when it was warm. That would be a light synthetic T-shirt (Patagonia Capilene 1 T-shirt, $39), and a light pair of shorts (ExOfficio Amphi Shorts, $50).

Temp drops a bit? I put on a warmer layer, like the Icebreaker long-sleeve Atlas Half Zip ($65) for the torso, maybe the Cap 1 tights ($40) for the legs.

Cooler still, add a fleece jacket (Mountain Hardwear Windstopper Tech Fleece, $185), and some pants (Arc’teryx Gamma LT, $169). I might also add a down sweater, such as MontBell’s Ex Light Down jacket ($160). That’s for here in Washington—maybe not so good in humid Minnesota. Add instead a heavier wool layer.

Then, when wet, some rain gear. REI’s Shuksan ($299) is fantastic; they’d go well with Marmot’s PreCip Full Zip Pants ($90), which aren’t as breathable as the Shuksan jacket but would be fine when sitting in a boat—and could double as an extra warm layer.

Then, as I say, add some changes of underwear, and you’re off!