I didn't think we were supposed to have rain this afternoon, and planned a bike ride after cleaning the restrooms after I got home from church.
But when the restrooms were done, the sky looked bad. And it proceeded to rain. And it proceeded to pour. And the wind proceeded to gust and the camper to rock.
I guessed I wouldn't be biking, second day in a row.
So I sewed myself a hiking outfit. Skirt (with pockets) and matching loose shorts (also with pockets) of thin, lightweight cotton (yeah, cotton, more on that in a minute.)
Lots of hikers are hiking in skirts nowadays, including the guys, because of the ventilation they offer -- when you hike 8 or 10 hours in a day, this becomes important, especially if you're on a long-distance hike without laundry facilities and limited changes of underwear in your pack.
I had thought I'd go for the best of both worlds: lightweight skirt over men's Hanes boxers, which are lightweight, thin, airy, and dry quickly. But I didn't like the cut of the boxers. They just didn't feel right.
So I made my own. They fit like they were made for me :-) And a skirt to go over them. Why do I need a skirt if I have shorts that don't look like underwear? Well, a skirt provides a little "tent" for privacy when nature calls. I've learned to pee standing up without baring my butt (that's why I want loose shorts) but you can't do everything standing up. And although you go off the trail by yourself to answer said calls of nature, still, someone might happen by. Anyway, I'm going to try this skirt/shorts duo. It will make it easy to put on a warm layer, if needed... just put it over the shorts under the skirt, rather than under my shorts like most people do, which would defeat the purpose of the shorts.
Now, about cotton. Ordinarily, you don't want to wear cotton because it's too absorbent, gets wet with sweat, and doesn't dry quickly. You can get very cold wearing cotton. However, most hikers won't leave home without a cotton bandanna for 101 purposes. The main virtues of these bandannas are their absorbency (sweat, wet dishes, condensation inside your tent, etc., etc.) AND their ability to dry fast. So, I've harnessed those qualities for under-shorts. For my AT hike, I figure on 3 pairs: one to wear, one to wash, one in reserve. After a day's hiking, I'll rinse 'em out, then hang them on my backpack to dry during the next day's hike, and it won't look like I've got underwear hanging on my pack.
My friend Sally and I are going for a 6-8-mile dayhike Tuesday. I'll try 'em then.