54 votes

Why don't climbers use electrically heated suits?

Edit: It turns out battery-powered heating in clothing actually is used on Mt. Everest: Hotronic makes battery-powered heated insoles that are used by Everest climbers, for example. Battery powered ...
  • 599
41 votes

Does cotton really kill?

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 ...
  • 3,623
40 votes

Why don't climbers use electrically heated suits?

Firstly there's the weight issue - as Paparazzi commented, batteries are heavy! Then there's temperature - battery performance drops considerably in the cold And finally reliability - if your ...
  • 24.6k
26 votes
Accepted

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

Gloves or Mittens? All things being equal (fabrics, thickness, and insulation), mittens are warmer than gloves. Mitts trap body heat by keeping your fingers together and reducing evaporative heat ...
  • 53.2k
24 votes

Does cotton really kill?

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'...
  • 21.3k
22 votes

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

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 a good quality top can feel acceptably ...
  • 11.7k
21 votes
Accepted

Numbers on down jackets

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 ...
21 votes
Accepted

How to keep my legs warm in winter?

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. ...
  • 15.4k
20 votes

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

This is simply a question of the increased surface area of gloves which will therefore increase temperature (heat flux) exchange. Same reason why foxes have smaller ears as further away they are ...
  • 12.1k
20 votes

How to prevent fingers from freezing?

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 ...
  • 12.1k
19 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
  • 4,555
17 votes
Accepted

What makes flannel so popular?

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 ...
  • 53.2k
16 votes

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

As other people have mentioned mittens are warmer in almost all circumstances, a large part of this is that your entire hand is keeping the inside warm rather than each finger trying to warm itself ...
  • 625
16 votes
Accepted

In cold conditions, will you freeze faster wearing wet clothes than not wearing any?

This depends on the actual type of clothing and mostly on the wind speed. The wind evaporates moisture from the body. Since evaporation is a cooling process and absorbs latent heat away from the ...
  • 12.1k
16 votes

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

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 ...
16 votes
Accepted

What to wear to walk to showers: clothes or towel?

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 ...
16 votes

Do I need a hard shell to ski in sunny weather conditions?

As a beginning skier you will probably be falling down a lot. This means that you are likely to end up covered in snow even if the weather is nice. If you are wearing a soft shell, the snow melting ...
16 votes
Accepted

What are Filson hats?

Filson (C.C. Filson Co.) is a company that sells many types of outdoor hats. The particular style of hat you pictured in your question goes by several different names. Here in Canada it is ...
  • 9,564
16 votes

Under what conditions are light coloured long sleeve shirt and long pants cooler than bare skin?

British people (perhaps among others) are known for removing as many clothes as practical or possible when it is hot. But in many hot countries, they don't do that: they wear more clothes, perhaps ...
  • 3,350
15 votes

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

In the context of camping, it's perfectly safe to wear a down jacket. Keep in mind that fleece is typically also made from synthetics, and so can be expected to have similar properties to your down ...
  • 8,378
15 votes
Accepted

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

Caveat: Heading out into a blizzard seems an easy way to get killed. Personally I'd only do it in dire situations. Regarding your layers: Cotton stores about 27x it's weight in water. This makes ...
  • 8,378
15 votes

Is a full waterproof coat more important than waterproof trousers for hiking?

I can totally see your point of view as your coming from forestry or generally working outdoors, but this is fairly straight forward from a hiking point of view: Hiking is walking, meaning work for ...
  • 21.6k
14 votes

How do I disinfect my wool hiking socks?

Simply throwing them in the wash should suffice, but if you want to be extra sure the fungus dies, you could soak your socks in a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water mixture for ten minutes. Keep in mind ...
  • 53.2k
14 votes
Accepted

What are the differences between alpaca wool and merino wool?

Alpaca wool is both lighter and warmer than sheep wool due to it being hollow. It also may be softer, depending on the specific herd of animals. This is a nice rundown of different types of wool. ...
  • 731
13 votes

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

Its not necessarily bad as long as you are careful, also somewhat dependent on material. Generally, you want to arrange your clothes so that they are about a temperature where you could comfortably ...
  • 7,079
13 votes
Accepted

Rain soaked leather jacket- how to repair?

It is normal to a certain degree that wet leather, after drying, is a bit stiffer than before. The effects will generally be worse the longer your leather was in contact with water if the water was ...
  • 12.3k

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