Question about choosing proper clothes for outdoor activity and repairing/replacing them while being outside.

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42
votes
7answers
11k views

Does cotton really kill?

For outdoor hiking, backpacking or camping trips, I always hear people saying Cotton Kills. That means don't wear cotton anywhere (underwear, shirts, pants), and no cotton blends. Usually it's given ...
32
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I wash Gore-Tex clothing?

I have a bunch of dirty hard-shell pants and jackets. Are these safe to put in the washer and dryer? If not, how should I clean them?
26
votes
5answers
4k views

Are dark or bright clothings preferable in the desert?

Natives from regions which are really hot and have a high sun intensity are wearing sometimes white/bright and sometimes black/dark colors. I mean there has to be a better strategy in terms of ...
24
votes
2answers
5k views

Numbers on down jackets

I'm looking for a down jacket. They all seem to come with numbers but I'm not sure what they mean. For example : 90/10 Down Fill Power 700 What do they mean?
21
votes
2answers
17k views

Is it possible to sunburn through clothing?

I sat for 45 minutes last summer in the hot sun (100°F/38°C). I was pinned in on the bleachers so I wasn't able to get up and move. I could feel the sun burning through my pants. Now I have everyday ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a buff?

What is a "buff", how is it used, and why should I have one? I've seen them advocated in numerous places, but I'm not sure why a tube of cloth is better around my neck than a scarf, etc.
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
18
votes
3answers
731 views

What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots?

My wife and I are going to buy some hiking boots as we've been using regular tennis shoes anytime we go on a hike. What are the things I need to keep in mind when looking for a good set of quality ...
18
votes
2answers
20k views

What's the UPF of a T-Shirt or jeans?

Many outdoor clothing items advertise themselves with a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 or even 50. How does that compare with a normal cotton T-Shirt or a pair of jeans? Do I have to use ...
17
votes
8answers
9k views

How to keep my legs warm in winter?

Winter is coming! Very quickly in Belgium actually, much faster than I'm used to. It's also the first year where I spend a lot of time outside. Soon, that could be a lot of time outside... freezing. ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it a bad idea to dry clothes by the fire?

Is there too great a chance of accidentally setting your only pair of undies on fire? What about putting the undies on a hot rock? Or would the rock explode ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Paramo vs Gore-Tex jackets?

I'm considering replacing my North Face Gore-tex jacket as it's starting to get a bit tatty, some of the zips are breaking, etc. I've seen quite a few Paramo jackets about. I'm presuming they're ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

How to prevent fingers from freezing?

I am a traffic officer and in winter I always have issues with fingers freezing. Are there any hints besides hand warmers to keep my fingertips from getting so cold they hurt? I direct traffic so ...
15
votes
2answers
754 views

Long or short sleeves on a hike in the Desert?

I have heard different things from different people, but here in the South West we do a decent amount of desert hiking. Protection from bugs is usually little concern because most of the time in the ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Material of shirt for desert hiking

I have pretty much always worn 100% cotton shirts when hiking but I have been reading more and more about the amazing "wicking" properties of other fabrics. Is there one that will keep me cooler ...
15
votes
2answers
740 views

Dealing with very cold climate (clothing)

In the near future I will have to prepare myself for a Siberia expedition. During the winter, average temperatures in Siberia range from -10°F (-23°C) to below -50°C (-45°F).1 What should I ...
13
votes
2answers
10k views

What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I use my leather jacket to go to ski? [closed]

Can I use my leather jacket to go to ski ? I think it is waterproof and it is reasonably warm. If I wear quite heavily under it, do you think I should be fine spending 1 day skiing at high altitude ? ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is department store merino wool less effective than branded (i.e. SmartWool) merino wool in staying warm and wicking moisture?

At my local Costco, I see a Kirkland brand 100% merino wool quarter-zip sweater being sold for $25. On EMS, I see a SmartWool 100% merino wool half-zip sweater costing $140. Would I be potentially ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I spray a 'good' raincoat with 'water proof' spray?

I come from a family where outdoors activities include picknick baskets and a time limit of four hours tops. However, my girlfriends family loves taking me on outdoor holidays, the kind where you ...
12
votes
2answers
386 views

Does wearing too many layers have any negative impacts other than sweating?

I usually go out running with many, many layers on. Even though I may sweat more, I feel more comfortable and wrapped up. Are there any dangers, other than hypothermia, of wearing too many layers?
12
votes
1answer
726 views

What should you look for when buying hiking socks?

A quick search online shows there are dozens of different types of hiking socks, with different materials, thicknesses, and properties. In general, what should you look for when shopping for hiking ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for the winter?

Which natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for hiking winter weather? I know cotton will generally trap moisture and invite hypothermia, while wool is warm but heavy. What other natural fabrics ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to wear a down jacket while building a fire

The outside of a down jacket is usually made of nylon or polyester, which is inflammable. While trying to build a fire, is it safe to wear this jacket? Or will the flying embers be enough to set the ...
11
votes
2answers
361 views

Are there any exceptions to the layer principle?

This question asks why we don't apply the layer principle on trousers. Personally, I disagree with the pretext of the question: I certainly do apply the layer principle on trousers when cycling in ...
11
votes
1answer
648 views

Is there a practical “Measurement of warmth”?

I'm after a new pair of gloves for the winter. I've found plenty of gloves online but I'm wary of buying them as I want some really warm winter gloves (for use in -10C or less). In a shop I can try ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I patch holes in a waterproof/breathable jacket?

I have a waterproof/breathable rain jacket which has a few holes in it (caused by a minor bicycle crash, in case that information is relevant). They are not too big, about 5mm across. How can I patch ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What purpose does a mesh liner serve in outdoors clothing?

(I am not sure if this question fits here, but it does concern outdoors clothing.) Some outdoors clothing have an inner mesh lining of polyester (or similar) fabric. What purpose does such a lining ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you dry wet socks when camping/backpacking if it's raining and the socks cannot be hung to dry outside

How do you dry wet socks when camping/backpacking if it's raining and the socks cannot be hung to dry outside? I've been compiling a list of recommendations on this subject for a little while. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Synthetic breathable fabrics vs natural fabrics for 'live-in' hiking clothing?

I'm putting together a kit list for hiking and the last time I went on a big hike I wore a breathable t-shirt, but I didn't find it that comfy and it also tended to start to smell quickly. Any tips on ...
9
votes
2answers
606 views

Which is the best clothing in extreme heat?

If you are in a survival situation in extreme heat (i. e. in the desert), which is the best clothing and footwear to use? It's better to cover yourself up entirely, like the tuaregs, or to go about ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

When are cotton socks actually better?

Cotton retains moisture, thus cotton socks will not do the job properly. When would actually one want to wear exactly cotton socks? A few ideas come to mind, but they are just shooting in the ...
8
votes
2answers
880 views

Which is more durable: Hard shell or soft shell?

From my experience, I've only ever used hard shells simply because I've always thought they were made for more treacherous weather. However, I recently saw a video by Patagonia that claimed soft ...
8
votes
2answers
849 views

using anti-perspirant in extreme cold climate

Could the use of anti-perspirant give benefit in extreme cold climate where sweating can be a significant problem. I've read many articles regarding keeping warm when alpine climbing in the extreme ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

What are the advantages of a vapour barrier?

I was recently reading an article on UKClimbing by Andy Kirkpatrick about clothing in winter. It talks about vapour barriers: I’ve played around with vapour barrier socks over many years, and ...
8
votes
1answer
61 views

How are textile properties, such as elasticity, wind and water resistance, drying time, measured?

Is there a standard measure for textile properties such as windproof, waterproof, breathability, elasticity, drying time, comfort? Is there a website that has a list of different textiles in the ...
7
votes
5answers
184 views

Suggestions for a winter lifestyle

This is my first winter in a really cold place. By cold I mean temperatures varying from -10 to -30 Celcius (yes, all temperatures I mention in this post are in metric). I come from a place which ...
7
votes
4answers
255 views

Blizzard Chaser: What to take on a 5-hour Blizzard Hike?

Thank you for taking the time to read through this ! I just noticed there is a chance of Blizzard (Winter Storm Jonas) in our region (NY/NJ) and I would like to take this unique opportunity and go ...
7
votes
4answers
731 views

What kind of underwear inside union suit in winter?

I have a Kokatat fleece union suit, which we kayakers also refer to as a "bunny suit", which I wear under my dry suit when kayaking in cold conditions. I also wear it when snowboarding or XC skiing ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What clothing would be suitable for hiking and camping in 0°C?

I intend to hike and camp where the forecast temperature is around freezing. It can get windy in exposed areas, but I would be starting low and camping amongst the snow gums. During the day air ...
7
votes
3answers
455 views

What clothing or gear should I wear to prevent ticks?

When I hunt grouse I usually wear waders to be able to cross small creeks and to not get my pants wet from dew. My problem is though that I get a lot of junk collected in my waders, and specifically ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Rain soaked leather jacket- how to repair?

I have a genuine full grain 1.3 mm cow hide motorcycle jacket that was caught in rain. It wasn't a downpour but I was in the rain long enough for the jacket to be pretty wet, not just the surface. I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the impact of clothing color in a tropical jungle environment?

I heard that light colors attract less insects than dark, that dark colors could be warmer, and I was advised against wearing white in the jungle. Where can I get a comprehensive list of the effects ...
7
votes
1answer
842 views

Is it true that, in cold conditions, you will freeze faster wearing wet clothes than not wearing any?

I have heard this being said before, but I cannot find any proof that this is true. Is it?
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What does “expedition-weight” mean with regard to clothing?

I'm going on a trip to Alaska in September, including a guided camping/trekking trip in Denali. In the packing list I received from the company, they recommend having an "expedition-weight" top and ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

What levels of 'waterproofness' and 'breathability' should I be looking for in a ski jacket?

When looking at items like jackets and ski trousers and other clothing, I see stats on the garments similar to the following: Waterproofness - 10000mm Breathability - 15000g/m Lining - 100% Polyester ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

How does drying stuff in your sleeping bag work?

A pretty common trick when winter camping is to dry anything that gets damp/wet (e.g., base layers and socks) in your sleeping bag (cf. How do you dry wet socks when camping/backpacking if it's ...
7
votes
1answer
709 views

How much waterproofing spray to apply to my softshell jacket

I have a Showers Pass Portland Rain Jacket. The manufacturer recommends using Nikwax TX Direct Spray On to maintain waterproofing properties. How much should I apply to the jacket? How do I know if ...
7
votes
1answer
374 views

technical clothing and fabric softener

I just found out that my technical apparel1 has been washed with 2 in 1 washing powder. I have been very careful about washing my clothes and told everyone about it. I did not know that a couple of ...
6
votes
6answers
216 views

Why not use a cotton base layer?

I am a little confused by this answer about whether or not cotton "kills". Cotton is clearly a poor choice for an insulating layer in wet environments since its insulating properties are heavily ...