Hot answers tagged

44

Hiking blisters are from friction. When things shift, your sock is more likely to stay with your boot than your foot as the two fabrics (or leather and fabric) will catch each other. This leaves the sock moving against your foot, which causes friction. When you wear two socks, specifically a smooth liner and a wool hiking sock, the outer sock moves ...


32

Here is an article that quantifies the heat loss effects of cotton, polyester and polypropylene: Rossi et al., Dry and Wet Heat Transfer Through Clothing Dependent on the Clothing Properties Under Cold Conditions, International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE) 2008, Vol. 14, No. 1, 69–76. Experimental Summary Here is a rough summary ...


31

Humidity Keeping clothing dry in normal weather can be challenging, but high humidity or precipitation regions can make this even more difficult. That's because humidity is really a "relative" measure and means the amount of water vapor that the air can hold at a given temperature before condensation. The condensation can occur in the sky as rain, near ...


26

Your legs aren't as sensitive to temperture extremes. Right now it's winter here and I'm walking around outside with a regular shirt, a wool sweater, and a wind breaker on my torso. Inside I take off the windbreaker an sweater. However, inside or outside, I'm wearing the same single-layer pants and it's not a problem. My legs don't feel hot inside or ...


25

Yes it is possible to sunburn through clothing. Clothing does block some of the Ultraviloet radiation but not 100%. A lot of outdoor recreation clothing is now marketed with treatments that gives additional UV protection.


24

To be honest I was dubious about getting something that I thought was gimmicky, but my son’s Scout troop was selling custom Buffs to raise group funds so I ended up buying one. A Buff is just a tube of lightweight, stretchy material. I’ve found them useful in three particular situations: They are thin, so can be worn like a hat under a bicycle helmet for ...


21

One thing you can look into are long-legged thermal underwear - this wouldn't effect how you look on the outside as they go under your clothes and create an insulating layer to help keep you warm. Women can get away with this in everyday life with a nice pair of tights. So for city life, as you stated, this should mean no difference in your every day ...


20

Yes, there have been studies on how much various fabrics insulate when wet and dry. I remember Dr Murray Hamlet mentioning these statistics in one of his lectures on outdoor survival in the cold. It's been a long time, but I think cotton looses something like 80% of its insulating properties when wet. I may be off on the exact number, but I definitely ...


19

Some general rules: layer system also for the hands is a good idea but those gardening gloves won't work pretty well better use inner liner gloves (wool or even a softshell glove) and a warm mitten as the outer layer to avoid cooling off use hats (again use a layer-system) including a warm winter hat which covers the ears (also see this about heat loss ...


19

They are basically measures for the quality of the down fill. The 90/10 part refers to the mixture of down and feathers. As down contains nearly no rigid structure, one adds some amount of feathers to give the whole filling some more stability. The example of 90/10 means 90% down, 10% feathers and seems to be quite a typical mixture. I'm not sure about the ...


18

Although black clothing absorbs radiation from the sun more than white clothing, this is somewhat offset by the fact that it also emits it more efficiently. Good absorbers are also good emitters. If you're standing in dark shade and the objects in your environment are cooler than the temperature of your clothing, then black clothing will theoretically cause ...


18

A lot depends on the climate, on your budget, and on how much you sweat on the move. Pros and cons of merino Merino is the king if you want to prevent odour and most people find that it's the most pleasant against the skin. It wicks quite well but holds around 25% more water than synthetics and takes around 50% longer to dry. Another issue is abrasion - if ...


17

There are a lot of unspecified variables involved here... type of socks, fit of the shoe/boot, type of shoe, conditions you are hiking in, etc. But in general, double-socking may offer the following which may help prevent blisters: reduced friction - assuming one sock is a thin slick liner sock which tends to stick to your foot while the outer sock ...


17

There's a reason desert cultures almost all wear coverings from head to toe. Three main things to consider: Protection from the sun's harmful rays. Air flow for convection cooling Moisture retention (you heard that right) for evaporative cooling. Despite the convention, "cotton kills," in the desert those same properties (slow drying, water retention) ...


17

Black robes are worn predominantely by Bedouin tribesmen. A scientific paper has been written on this Why do Bedouins wear black robes in hot deserts? article in journal Nature. This is summarised quite neatly here. To cut a long story short: "It seems likely," the scientists wrote, "that the present inhabitants of the Sinai, the Bedouins, would have ...


17

Make a big fire. This may sound silly and couterintuitive, but the reason is pretty simple. If you make a small fire you need to put your stuff pretty close to it to have any chance of drying it in a decent amount of time. And if you put clothes or boots near the fire, then you concretely risk to burn them. While if you make a bigger fire, your equipment ...


16

I'm not sure why pants don't receive the same attention but the layers are available. You can easily find base, insulating, and shell layers. Olin's answer gives some good reasons layering pants may not seem as common. In reply: (2) There are full-side-zip pants for mountaineers (crampons) and wide-opening pants for skiers/boarders and regular boots. ...


15

The short answer is, it varies. The three factors that most influence the UV transmission factor of clothing are kind of obvious: Material: Some materials are better at absorbing UV than others; for example, the paper cited below suggests that polyester absorbs more UV light (particularly UVB) than cotton. Weave: The thicker and more tightly woven a piece ...


15

I have a high-end gore-tex jacket and my wife has Paramo. I also have Paramo trousers. They are quite different: Gore-Tex is designed to be a physical barrier that prevents water getting through, while Nikwax Analogy (the fabric in Paramo jackets) is designed to be highly water-repellent and wick water quickly from inside to out rather than being actually ...


15

Besides being the manliest thing you could ever wear outdoors: Durability Have you ever had a flannel shirt, or pair of pants? If you have, then odds are you still have them. They are extremely abrasion resistant, and won't melt or burst into flames if a hot coal from the fire lands on them. There's a reason why lumberjacks favoured flannel shirts, and it'...


15

I wear my swimming trunks to the shower. My wife wears a pull over sun dress (light weight, thigh length). We wear our shower shoes, we carry our towels and shower supplies. We usually just take soap and shampoo. The soap is in a small plastic container. We wear the same clothing both ways. Dressing and other hygiene activities are done when we get back ...


14

All Gore-Tex products come with care instruction, these should be followed, obviously. It's important to understand how these membranes work, I feel. Many Gore-tex and similar products consist of 3 layers, the first layer (inside the jacket) is designed to protect the Gore tex fabric. The second layer is the actual Gore tex itself The outer layer ...


14

Don't use cotton socks for hiking. When your feet sweat, the socks become wet, and take forever to dry out. Good socks remove the bacteria and moisture that thrive in the environment created by sweating feet and help to prevent blisters. Cotton retains moisture, thus cotton socks will not do the job properly. Rather, buy non-itching ("merino") wool, ...


14

Despite the convention, "cotton kills," in the desert those same properties (slow drying, water retention) are useful for keeping you cool by slowing down the near instant evaporation experienced at such high heat and low humidity. Your goal is to make that moisture work as long for you as possible. Since "water is 24.5 times more conductive than air," (...


14

Nylon, among other synthetics, is an ideal material for clothing for most outdoor pursuits for several reasons. I will use the example of cotton as the traditional fabric for comparison: Durability: Nylon itself can come in several varieties, some of which are more durable than others due to different weights and weaves. The fabric can handle abrasion, ...


13

When washing in the backcountry there are some techniques and considerations that will benefit yourself and the pristine wilderness you are traveling within. Don't ever wash near a water source, you are contaminating it for yourself, everyone else, and the animals that drink from it. 1. Always carry water at least 500 feet away from: The source of the ...


13

If you have a synthetic sleeping bag, you can put your hiking clothes down the bag, near your feet, when you go to sleep. Your body warmth will help them get drier. Note, however, that they will not be completely dry by morning, but will still remain somewhat damp. Still, better than completely wet. And do not use this method with a down bag.


13

Drinking alcohol in a blizzard with potential for whiteout conditions is reckless, irresponsible, and possibly dangerous. Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, which leads to an increased rate of heat loss. A much better source of quick energy would be a food with simple carbohydrates.


12

When washing rain coats and fleeces I use Nikwax tech wash and reproofer (millets link), on the bottle these say reconmended for Goretex so I assume it's the same. In general with waterproof clothing do not use normal washing powders as these remove the waterproof coating.


12

Correct size. That might sound obvious, but consider also width and height (of the instep). Each make is a bit different, so there's a need to try on many before you find one that fits really good. For all-day trips get boots one size larger than your usual office shoes are. Vibram sole If properly maintained, leather upper is much more waterproof and ...



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