Learning About Camping Clothes/Layers

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Syntria, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Hey everyone,

    I plan to go through and read most peoples threads. I'm sure there are also resources I can look up. My recent camping trip, I only wore a regular tshirt, sweater, running jacket and nearly froze to death. I went to Goodwill today and here are some finds. They don't do much for my figure but seem like good camping clothes.

    IMG_20171205_190316_305.jpg

    Are there any golden rules of camping clothes I should know about?
     
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  2. MHW

    MHW Tracker

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    Something that the wind won't blow through.
    Long underwear on the bottom--makes an unbelieveable difference.
     
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  3. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    All layering was not created equal ,,,
     
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  4. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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  5. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    it's all about layers. something close to skin to wick moisture away, insulating layers and a weather protection layer to keep elements of you like rain, wind, snow ect.
     
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  6. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    Wool, loose fitting and a windproof outer shell. Synthetics like fleece are also good but wool is more comfortable at a wider range of temperatures. Do not wear clothing tight, under layers can be snug but layers after that should be more free fitting. That helps trap air for insulation and also breathes better during activities.

    A good shell that is windproof is nice to have and one that is waterproof/breathable is even better. A good shell that won't break the bank is a Marmot PreCip, they make them in women's sizing and they are light,, wind/waterproof and breathable to a point. A good place to pick up deals on outdoor clothing is Sierra Trading Post, sign up for their emails and they always offer an additional discount of around 25% on top of the already low pricing. Good place for deals.

    Goodwill is always a great place to pick up clothing, prices are really cheap for often new items. Look for deals on wool sweaters and shell jackets, often amazing deals. The goodies you already picked up look great and should help stay warm. While we desert dwellers like cotton in warmer weather, it is a hazard in colder/wetter seasons. Jeans are not a good choice, if they get wet, they stay wet. Find some good pants at Sierra Trading or REI, there are lots of cut for women styles in fabrics that are more outdoors comfortable.

    Have fun, stay safe and learn as much as possible in a safe environment before heading off into the outback :)
     
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  7. jeremyctry

    jeremyctry Outdoorsman Supporter Bushclass I

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    layers, environment, activities
    What keeps you warm at home, will keep you warm at camp. You want a wind/rainproof outer shell and a good base layer. Fleece is a good lightweight option that still breathes making it good for hiking and being active. Avoid denim and other similar heavy materials, they take up a lot of space, they are heavy, and if they get wet will get heavier and take longer to dry. There are a lot of opinions and facts on this site, but at the end of the day it all boils down to personal preference. 6 months from now you may decide you want to go all traditional and invest in waxed canvas and leather, or you may decide you want to invest in ultralight gear. I mix and match, some of my kit is traditional, some is mil-spec, and some is Ultralight. I decide what items to carry based on the activities I have planned. Budget will be a deciding factor so do the best you can with what you have. But clothing wise, I would invest in a pair of quick dry zip off hiking pants, a couple of quick dry under armor type shirts, a set of summer weight bdu pants, and a bdu top. The quick dry stuff can get expensive so if you want to save money I suggest picking up a couple sets of used BDUs/ACUs or what have you, at your local Military surplus shop they are lighter weight, and will dry more quickly than denim. Wool hiking socks do not skimp on these get the good ones they maybe expensive but your feet will thank you.
     
  8. CHREBA

    CHREBA Guide

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    Stay away from cotton !!! Here's my cold weather line up . Polypropylene thermals , a wool sweater and heavy fleece outer jacket or down sweater . More often than not heavy fleece gets the nod for me . Next comes the all important wind layer , For me I like a poncho . My personal choice is made of rip stop nylon . Why you ask ? Because it covers 95% of my body and the right one will also cover your pack . A wet pack is a heavier pack . I've never had one stay completely dry with just a pack cover . A poncho is easily vented also to prevent getting clammy underneath . Sweat equals danger " Avoid moister holding cotton " . The right fit as mentioned is very important . Your body will heat up the space between closer NOT TIGHT fitting layers easily when active . If you get too warm remove a layer or vent - open the sides of poncho until satisfied . I'm going to assume your of " Average " height for a woman ? So a standard poncho will cover you pretty well even with a pack . And all bit the poncho can be had very inexpensively at a thrift store . I have a wool sweater I purchased for a $3 . It's the ugliest heaviest sweater I've ever seen . 100% Alpaca hand stiched in Nepal . It's called a mountain sweater . Nice tight weave and as colorful as all the flags you see on those base camp pictures combined lol . But by far the warmest sweater I've ever owned . Great for brush beating , the wife hates it lol .
    15125738490832033122637.jpg
    Don't know why it posted upside down . But here's another thrift store sweater made in Equator . Cost me a couple bucks at most . Super thick and warm 100% wool as well .
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  9. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Guide

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    Several people have mentioned the importance of layers, but maybe we should review WHY layering is important.

    1. A pound of insulation has more insulating power if it is in two garments rather then in just one. This is because the air layer between the clothing layers also has insulating power, and it's free.

    2. You can adjust your degree of insulating by shedding or adding layers. This is important, because if you dress warmly for the early morning and keep all those layers on, you might work up a sweat from exertion when the day warms up, wetting the inner layer and thus reducing its insulating power. Then, as the day cools off again, that sweaty clothing will be cold and clammy on your skin.

    3. Functional difference: there's no sense in wearing that waterproof, windproof outer layer if it's not a watery, windy day.

    4. High fashion: you don't want to be seen in mossy-oak camo when the hippest hipsters are in lumberjack plaid. ;)
    (Oh, wait...if you're in camo, no one will see you anyhow)
     
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  10. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    I like shopping at the thrift stores too. 90% of my wardrobe came from there. Wool is what I really like to find, like finding treasure. That green shirt with buttons you have looks like a army surplus wool shirt only with short sleeves. Those are nice heavy wool shirts.
     
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  11. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    not familiar with TX heat for camping
    but in general, layers should be removeable, less layers when hiking, moving about, then add a layer when you stop,
    also in pics looks like those are good for warmth but not an outer shell to protect you from the elements(wind/rain)
     
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  12. pfluggy

    pfluggy Tracker

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    If you know how to so you can buy old wool blankets and make vest shirt coat etc. from them. Other than that it’s pretty well covered in the above
     
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  13. pfluggy

    pfluggy Tracker

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    Always a good idea to have a wool blanket can wrap up by fire and stay warm at night. If it has a slit cut in it it’s a poncho also
     
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  14. Gramp Camp

    Gramp Camp Supporter Supporter

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    Merino wool next to the skin, heavier wool layers on top. No cotton!!
     
  15. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    ^^^ This. If looking at synthetics(fleece), beware that not all fleece is created equal. Try to find those with a tighter weave. A good quick way to inspect them is to hold them up to a light source and see how much light passes through.
    You may also want to check out shell offerings by FroggToggs. Inexpensive, and the Tyvek material breathes well. A lot of bang for the buck.
     
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  16. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Right now you are dealing with colder weather, but do not forget that hot weather will come.

    Cotton works well in much of Texas due to the dry heat. A long sleeve cotton work shirt and jeans will give both evaporative cooling and sun protection.

    For the cold weather, wool is a good choice. I have wool pants and a wool sweater. With thermal underware and a wind proof jacket, they work well in our winters. I do not like the synthetic stuff nearly as much, it is much more vulnerable to wear and easily damaged by fire and sparks.

    Also, if you will look up " Palmer Furnace" you will find a useful way to quickly warm up using a candle and a poncho or heavy grade trash bag.

    Stocking cap for cold weather, a brimmed hat (Western, Aussie or other) for Texas summer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  17. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    All great advice above. If I may suggest too, keep a set of sleeping clothes and wool socks just for sleeping. I usually use merino wool long underwear, wool socks and a skull cap in my sleeping bag and will often have to vent cause I'm too hot but I'm a hot blooded person anyway. It may take a bit but searching thrift stores and goodwill pays off. Best of luck on your search.
     
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  18. Chris L

    Chris L Tracker

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    It’s an interesting question and it’s one of those situations where doing the wrong thing can get you in trouble or you may be perfectly fine. As others said wool or synthetics or both but always layering and take off layers so you don’t sweat. I know many people wear BDU style 50/50 pants and seemingly if it is good enough for the military it’s good enough. Most hikers seem to favor synthetics for weight.
     
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  19. Duncsquatch

    Duncsquatch Heed the call. Supporter

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    1st layer wicking or scent resistant or both,
    2nd layer Fuzzyness for loft or insulation
    3rd thorn and brush and water protection.

    ways to ventilate are also awesome when you have periods of higher activity so you don't sweat too much. SO for that reason I avoid pullovers/sweaters and gravitate towards zippered garments.
     
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  20. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Could the 1st layer be made of active ware materials? Same stuff you might run in/work out in if it isn't cotton?
    How does cashmere work for the 2nd layer? I just got a really cozy Cashmere shirt (one of the long sleeve green ones shown above).
    3rd - This is what I'm defiantly lacking at this stage and might have to get.

    I only have some cargo pants, what I wore in the video. Just checked the material. 100% cotton.

    Thanks for the breakdown. I'll go through the clothes I already have and see what falls into all these categories.
     
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  21. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I'm so happy I bought two pairs of wool socks before this first trip. I ended up wearing a pair of them on my hands in the night.
     
  22. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have rips on my couch/clothes I still haven't tried to fix. I fail as a girl in this regard but it is a skill I need to pick up (sitching). Great idea.
     
  23. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I had a lot of trouble finding wool items but I also don't think I know what it feels like/what to look for. I did find a nice cashmere shirt. I'll look up some more stuff about fleece and wool so I will know what to look for on my next trip.

    2017-12-06 11.50.09.jpg
     
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  24. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    If you like cargo pants you might want to check out some of the nylon cargo pants; even zip-offs which make them a bit more versatile when the weather gets warmer. They can be expensive if you pay full price but look in catalogs like the Sierra Trading Post or continue looking through the bins at your local Goodwill. Nylon pants made by North Face, LL Bean and others will work well as an outer layer during the colder windier months; especially with a nice long underwear bottom beneath them.

    You mentioned your first layer; my guess is as long as it's not cotton, you should be OK. The problem with cotton is that it retains moisture, making your skin damp and clammy. When you're active you might not notice it but once you stop, especially on a cold day, you will feel very cold indeed. If you can find some Under Armor or off-brand polypro tops & bottoms you should be fine. Personally I'm not a fan of Under Armor because I feel shrink wrapped in it but lots of people like it so as they say, your mileage may vary.

    I think that's all for the moment. Congrats to you for taking this on and getting yourself ready for the great outdoors you won't regret it.

    Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper
     
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  25. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    Cashmere works well for an insulating layer, but that sweater looks too thin and loosely woven to provide much warmth. For your mid layer insulation, loft is what traps warm air and keeps your skin warm. This means that you want something that is either thick or fluffy. As long as it isn't cotton, it will keep you warm provided you cover it with a shell to keep the heat in.

    People use the term micro-climate and that's a good description of what you're trying to accomplish. If you can trap air next to your skin, your body will heat it up to 70+ degrees and you'll be comfortable. If there is no wind, a fluffy garment can keep you warm on its own, but even a light breeze will rob that pre-heated air from you without a windproof layer.
     
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  26. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    Wool, I repeat....lol
     
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  27. Duncsquatch

    Duncsquatch Heed the call. Supporter

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    Active wear counts as wicking, poly products dont absorb water much. I usually wear a poly shirt or merino wool for this layer. As you said anything but cotton (unless it is the summer)

    I live in the dry side of washington so the cotton pants are not as big of a problem for me. But in general they are to be avoided if it is cold enough out to hurt you of you spend extended time soaked.

    I dont know anything about cashmere though.
     
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  28. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Cashmere makes an excellent mid layer and even makes a good baselayer if it gets really really cold
    Just be aware that there are a lot of counterfeit knock-offs out there that are not real Cashmere so be careful with the S/H stuff
     
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  29. pfluggy

    pfluggy Tracker

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    Learn how to make a supper shelter find your self in trouble it could come in handy
    I can freeze my hands till they fall off but cold feet and I’m done
     
  30. CharClothed

    CharClothed Guide

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    If it's wool, get it. Even if it's ugly. You don't need to look fashionable in the woods. You need to be warm.
     
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  31. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Read the information here
    http://ciehub.info/clothing/CW/PCU.html

    All the information about layering and how much clothing is needed is condensed there
    Interesting video too, and not an ounce of wool or down in the whole system, using down for cold weather clothing would be much lighter so don't take it as gospel for civilian use That said I use several of the items and find they mix and match well with most of my down gear but I still use my M-65 Fishtail too because it is robust as an intermediate shell.
    Keep the skin dry and keep the wind off; everything else is in-between.
    How cold do you need to dress for? How cold do you want to be able to survive in if just wearing your clothing? Will you be using your clothing to sleep in?
    This is a Bushcraft site and for some member wool is almost a religion and for some purposes it is still the best, even I still own and use woollen trousers and a few pull-overs, I don't wear wool against my skin For me polyester and polypropylene work better, everybody is different
    If you can still find an M-65 Fishtail tho I suggest you buy it with the button in liner
     
  32. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    all seasons I want base layers that are thin and readily move moisture- the newer lightweight synthetic grids are probably the best in this category, for colder weather or longer trips- a merino/syn blend ~ 65:35 is what I've found to work best- the benefits of wool (warmth, non-smelling) with better drying and better durability

    an outer layer that can handle wind/precip- I prefer a windshirt because it can breathe, but still bloc wind and shed light to moderate precip- unlike any waterproof layer, a waterproof layer only when it's raining hard

    an insulating layer when stopped- synthetic in wetter environments, down in drier environments

    in colder weather a mid-layer- fleece fills this role pretty well and can even be hand rung out if necessary
     
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  33. sons of scotland

    sons of scotland Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    on your next thrift store stop go to the mens sweater section and i can guarentee you will find all the wool sweaters you will need, may not look pretty but it will keep you warm. and some of my wool sweaters i cut the sleeves off to make vests out of, great to keep your core warm but good for mobility as well.
     
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  34. Boston/shutesbury

    Boston/shutesbury Scout

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    I have done lots of repairs on my cloths with iron on patches , the patch is ironed on the inside.

    Irish sweaters, I am wearing a cardigan right now, has some knitting flaws so I got it with the tags still on it and 8 extra buttons in the pocket.

    If you have a military surplus store near you check out army 1951 wool dress pants. My favorite pants.

    Fingerless gloves, I even wear them indoors, I keep them in my coat pockets of my winer coats, there are not just for the woods.
     
  35. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    for thrift store wool sweaters even if you dont like the color/pattern, you can dye it to your liking,
    https://www.ritdye.com/2016/04/11/how-to-dye-a-wool-sweater/
     
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  36. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Do not wear a cotton bra in the winter. I forgot yesterday. BRRR!!!! ;)
     
  37. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Hahaha you’re such a ham in those photos it’s awesome.

    Advice:
    Buy men’s wool sweaters, they tend to be thicker for less cost.

    2 cotton is fine it just depends on how long you plan to be out. It is 25 deg with windchill to single digits. I’m wearing a cotton waffle shirt, cotton flannel, cotton sweatshirt, fingerless wool gloves, baseball hat, and a pair of carrhartts... I forgot the thermal pants today lol. It’s windy and other than my legs being cold because I forgot that layer I’m fine... I work outside all day.

    Oh and before someone chimes in with what if you get wet... it was 35 and raining yesterday and I wore the same thing.... I could have tossed a rain jacket over the sweatshirt but I was able to dry out every hour so I wasn’t worried about it.

    I am fairly acclimated to the cold though so take that into account
     
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  38. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    90% of the time I'm running around in cargo shorts and t-shirts. It's hot around here, and if you have any humidity, you'll create more sweat than you can drink water. I do like to wear boots and socks if out in the heavy brush, sometimes pants, but have been known to wear sandals as well if there is a chance I will get near water. Some days my feet look horrible from ant bites and scratches, but a little cleanliness and drying goes a long way.

    For winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) I wear a set of synthetic blend long underwear pants and carry the matching shirt if needed, a t-shirt for comfort, a nice wool overshirt, and a jacket for when it really gets cold. Most of the cold comes in the morning or while you're in your bag anyway, so I always sleep with the wool overshirt in the winter. It's already warm when I get out and about! Days can warm up to 75, or stay at 30, so being prepared with layers is always great.

    My one weakness is rain. I'd love to get a BCUSA MEST poncho, coupled with my waterproof wide brim hat, and I'd be set. Usually I just tough it out and get home quick in the winter, or enjoy it in the summer.
     
  39. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    last year wife bought me pair of silk base layer
    Terramar Thermasilk,
    was awkward at first looks and feels like ladies stockings,
    but have been great, work really well in all temps,
    now its a must have for all cold weather outings
     
  40. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    all good advice , wool, cashmere , fleece,check out milsurp wool pants online, granted they are cut for men but you could get larger ones and have them altered if they arent comfortable
     
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  41. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    Some great advice. Much depends on what activities you're doing. If you're doing high-exertion activities, you'll want quick drying base layers and mid layers that transfer moisture. I think the best investment is a set of merino long underwear; very comfortable against the skin. If I'm more active, I have silk-weight (Army issued) Polartec long-underwear. The nice thing about merino wool is that it won't retain body odors like polyester.

    Fleece is actually a decent mid-layer that won't break the bank and there are numerous options. Wool still works as well, especially if you're sitting around the fire. I'm a big proponent of a wind-shell and there are several decently priced options on the market and secondary market; most any decent nylon wind breaker will do. Instead of trying to throw away money on really expensive "10-laminated layers" wind/waterproof/breathable shells, just get a waterproof rain jacket and use when needed. A lot of breathable shells trap moisture if you're active and you can get soaked from the inside out.

    For regular camping, Salvation Army, second-hand stores, and surplus stores are excellent places to start. Just understand your activity level, weather conditions, and the material properties. If I'm around an open fire a lot, it's cotton-duct/Ventile and wool outerwear. If I'm really active, I have (more expensive) technical layers to deal with the ebb and flow of various activities (backpacking, running, kayaking, mountain biking, kayaking, etc.).

    The key to layers is actually taking them off and putting them on to match the weather and activity levels. Layers don't make your warm...it's activity, burning calories, or sitting beside a fire. Temperatures aren't issue, it's wind/convection, precipitation, perspiration, conduction, radiation, and respiration that all impact how your body reacts to thermoregulation needs.

    ROCK6
     
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  42. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer Scout

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    I keep nice and warm in an alpaca/wool blend turtleneck sweater under a leather jacket. But then I love old school stuff.
     
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  43. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    Because you are TX, I won’t tell you to do this or that. But, because I am in WI, layering is the only way to stay warm.

    First, ditch the name brand stuff unless it is wool. The technical clothes I see are made for strenuous activity and my experience is doesn’t work.

    Second most nylon performance shirts at WalMart is the same as under Armor in most cases.

    The whole point to layering is to start hot and reduce clothing as needed.

    Wool is a the best outer layer, why? No one has explained that wool allows moisture to escape and build on the outside of the garment. This is the part of layering that keeps you warm.

    When I am out in the bush and it’s cold, I usually have ice formed on the outside of my sweater but the inside is dry.

    My recommendation is to buy a long sleeve under armor type shirt, followed by a thermal shirt and then a wool sweater. This combo takes me to 10-15 degrees. Sometimes I use two wool sweaters if sitting and need to be active in camp.

    I am an expert thrifter that can find you a nice thick wool sweater if you like. Almost all my winter wear has been from a thrift store except for my wooltimate pull over from Cabela’s as a real cold weather option over my wool sweater.

    Don’t forget down as an option either
     
  44. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    the synthetic "technical stuff" is mostly geared at strenuous stuff- which I put hiking/backpacking/hunting/skiing/snowshoeing in the mountains all squarely on the strenuous side of the scale

    for strenuous activities I advocate the opposite of starting hot and stripping layers- start cool, get warmed up and only add layers if needed (ie wind, stopped for a break, lunch, glassing, etc)- starting hot will encourage perspiration, perspiration will wet clothing out, wet clothing in cool to cold conditions is dangerous

    the military has long ago (and very much so still today) advocates the same

    if instead you're heading a short distance to an ice hole, deer stand or duck blind, I agree- bundle up
     
  45. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    Agreed, but her post is for camping. Not much other details.
     
  46. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    true that :)
     
  47. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    Totally off topic, but your kitchen looks nice. I'd like to see more pictures of the kitchen. :)
     
  48. Herman30

    Herman30 Tracker

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    That´s what I thought might be the case and therefore bought my girlfriend a merinowool sports bra for her birthday.
     
  49. renter6

    renter6 Guide

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    Just a couple things to add, because its a pretty thorough discussion so far! Thanks for livening up the forums!

    Mittens are great in cold weather. Tightly knit wool mittens are awesome and let your fingers cuddle. Learn to do things with your gloves/mittens on, rather than pulling them off to do absolutely anything with your hands.

    I agree with WisconsinWalter and others that the right wool sweater can be an awesome, inexpensive outer layer. Once you find a really great one at a thrift store it will haunt you every time you drive past that shop.

    For feet, I think your blood circulation is important for keeping your feet warm, just as much as the boot/sock combo, the insulation. So space inside the boot/shoe is important and too much material (one more pair of socks that stretches to fit and ends up squeezing your foot, really any more than one thin pair and one thick pair of socks) can have you worse off. Boots or shoes that are comfortable with one pair of street socks, and are some work pulling on with the sock combo you've chosen are probably going to leave you with really uncomfortable frozen toes before too long. Less can be more when it comes to your feet and cold weather.
     
  50. thereandbackagain

    thereandbackagain Scout

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    I went on a university field trip to Anza Borrega desert and nearly froze to death in one of those old square car sleeping bags. I took my next G.I.Bill check to the local ski/backpacking shop. They carried the old TRAILWISE down bags in the fashionable red and cobalt blue. I emphasized I wanted to BE WARM and his eyes lit up. He produced a arctic rated bag in this sort of babyfood ,peagreen color he couldn't sell. I got it FOR LESS than the 3 season bags. the next trip there it snowed and I slept through it under a tarp. There is no greater lesson than going out and discovering what you really need.
    A good book is THE WINTER WILDERNESS COMPANION by the Conovers. They explain active vs inactive clothing, the myth of 'killer cotton' in DRY conditions and it's appropriate use outdoors. A versatile item is a military wool TUBE scarf. You can wear it as a toque ( Canadian for watch cap) wrap the rest out of the way or into a full neck and face cover like a balaclava and even use it as an emergency hand and leg warmer.
    Body warmth comes from A. insulation ( clothing) B. mechanical energy AKA exercise and most important to all C. fueling your inner furnace AKA pigging out on good food AND keeping hydrated. You coulod also carry some herbal handwarmer packets or one of those small alcohol handwarmer stoves.
     

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