Recommended clothing systems: Backpacking in the Mountain West

What clothing is necessary for backpacking in the Mountain West in 3-season conditions? Let’s discuss.

I define the Mountain West as the semi-arid ranges of the Sierra Nevada, Intermountain West, and Rockies. Examples:

  • Pacific Crest Trail in California and southern Oregon
  • High Sierra, including the John Muir Trail and multiple high routes, e.g. Sierra High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route
  • Colorado Trail and Pfiffner Traverse
  • Northern Rockies: Wind River Range, Yellowstone, Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Glacier National Park
  • High Uintas and Wasatch
  • Sky Islands in Arizona and New Mexico

From the Core 13 Clothing Collection, I recommend just ten items for the Mountain West. Mix-and-match them to create appropriate clothing systems for each season. Watch the video above for a general explanation, and review the lists below for specific recommendations.

Spring

Early-Summer

Late-Summer through early-Fall

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