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Real Life Experiences wearing wet clothes in cool/cold weather

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Leatherneck, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Tracker

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    I've got loads of high quality wool and synthetic gear from the top names. But, to be honest, I've never really tested them yet in really bad conditions. I'll usually go out for a full day of hunting or hiking, but i'm never out there overnight or for several days.
    I've read the usual stuff about wool being warm while wet, or the new synthetic puffies being warm while wet, and I've read about Buffalo/Pile/PCU type synthetic stuff that can be walked dry.

    Just wondering if any of you can give HONEST feedback about being soaked for a good part of the day on a cold day while wearing wool and synthetics and if you can tell us what your experiences were like. Did the clothing and materials work as they are often advertised or touted to be? Do you think it might have actually saved you from being hypothermic? Do you think a lot of it is overhyped? Would you change anything about your layering system? Thanks for any feedback.
     
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  2. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I don't have a lot of experience with the newer synthetics but I do like wool. I've been pretty damp on cold days (freezing or below but not single digits.)
    Wool is warm-er when wet but anything wet is going to be colder than anything dry. I've had to spend a night in a damp synthetic sleeping bag and also a damp wool blanket. My experience on both occasions was that there was no place in the bag that got truly warm. The blanket was warmish where my body warmed it up but really cold when I shifted position where my body hadn't warmed it. It seemed to me to take a while to warm back up but the synthetic bag never did get warm. Both nights were uncomfortable to say the least and both nights I had a long fire infront of my tarp. By morning the wool blanket was dry on the side facing the fire and pretty dry on the other side. The bag seemed to dry more evenly but didn't really lose that damp clammy feeling.
    I don't know what insulation was used in the bag and it was a couple of decades ago so I'm sure there are superior materials available now.
    My advice is to do your absolute best to stay dry no matter what you wear or sleep in.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  3. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I don't use much synthetics.
    But I have been absolutely soaked for several days long stretches a few times in wool and cotton. In cold rain and rain snow mix. Got dry at night. Put the wet clothes on again in the morning.
    I'm still here.
    It ain't gonna be comfortable in any clothes.
     
  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Uncomfortable and miserable.
    Doesn't matter what you are wearing being soaked is simply awful, but I'm still alive so the clothing did the job.
    I don't yet have a Buffalo sports clone so I can't comment there
     
  5. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter

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    Bottom line is yes. Sythetics and wool clothing have kept me from hypothermia due to their properties vs if i was wearing cotton clothing. Example. Fairbanks ak mid feb ice fishing. It was -20 or so yet i still worked up a sweat cutting a hole through about 3 feet of ice. So i strip down to just silk weight top while still wearing the big wool pant as well as gloves and hat. I get the hole cut. My top torso is sweaty and steamy. I put the big wool coat on and within about 10 mins my temp is stabized and comfy. If i was wearing a cotton shirt it would have just held the sweat and i would not have been able to stay and fish for very long. The synthetic moves the moisture away from the skin and the wool allows it to be drawn to the outer layer. This is just one example of daily use of the clothing system. Understanding what each layer and material excels at allows you to maximize its use and gain the benefits of it.

    Another ice fishing story. I slipped through a crack in some rotten ice on the chena river and got wet to about my waist. I was only in the water for maybe 5 seconds. I quickly got to the shore and emptied the water out of my bunny boots. I was wearing the heavy wool pants and socks and synthetic base layer. I was able to finish checking my burbot lines and walk back to my truck and never got uncomfortable. I am confident i could have walked it all dry if i had to.
     
  6. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    When I got my wool pants wet in very cold weather, they would freeze solid at the bottom loose part but the water would steam off where it was against my leg. I wear synthetic long underwear. As others have said it's not comfortable. I keep moving then it's ok. Stand around then you need a fire or heated cab in a vehicle.
     
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  7. YABBER

    YABBER Tracker

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    Having worked on boats in all types of weather and time of year, I can say that a good wool sweater and wool socks will make a miserable situation a little easier to handle. Would the wool sweater alone save me from hypothermia, no, but if partnered with a light windbreaker it will take the edge off of the bone chilling cold and let you focus on what needs to be done to get through the day instead of how cold you are.
     
  8. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    What I have found over the years is that you get what you pay for. There can be a huge difference in the synthetic fleece weaves. The less expensive(fashion) are loosely woven, compared to Patagonia, some of the Columbia products, etc.
    For base layers, same thing. The rating system that many companies use is pretty accurate.
    Warmth without bulk was always my top consideration for daily workwear, as well as being able to take me through high aerobic(sweating) work, and still have the ability to keep me feeling dry and warm.
    Bottom line, no cotton for me in cold conditions, Merino wool IS all it is said to be, and quality costs more.
     
  9. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I was riding my motorcycle from Astoria, OR along the Columbia River toward Pendleton, LeGrand, then south back toward my home in Nevada. The weather was warmish but not hot. I was wearing just a red nylon windbreaker that had a synthetic pile fleece lining from Duluth Trading Co. It was their 'Grab Jacket' and I'd had it for a couple of years.

    Anyway, riding through the Cascade Mountains it started to rain... then it became a real frog choker of a downpour. Night started to set in and the next town up the road was LeGrand, OR. It was one of those rains where the water hits the pavement then bounces up to knee level. I passed several semi trucks and got drenched. I was soaked to the skin except for my butt, which I kept plastered to my seat.

    When I got to LeGrand, I checked into a motel and stripped the wets off. It was then that I realized that my upper torso wasn't cold, just wet. The nylon and fleece kept in the warmth, even though soaked. I never would have expected that kind of performance from that little thin jacket, but it did it's job well. Everything else was freezing as the temps outside had dropped to the low 40s or high 30s. I stayed in the motel for three days until the storm had passed. I dried my clothes in their laundry room and made the rest of my trip home to Nevada in comfort.

    Steve
     
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  10. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Years ago, one of the cigarette companies offered Tyvek jackets with a 3 pack purchase . A friend worked for a distributor and was able to get just the jackets for free. These were very close to the lightest model FroggTogg rain gear. This type of jacket, worn under a fleece( to cut down on wear of the flimsy material) saved my butt more than once on cold wet days at work.
    I will still revert back to the combination today, as I have confidence in it, and again, warm without bulk. The FroggTogg jacket is a great EDC.
     
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  11. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    While I always detest the idea of crawling back into damp clothing, I've worn a damp poly pro shirt under a damp wool shirt more times than I care to remember. I sweat a lot so even if my stuff doesn't get wet from precipitation (or my falling into a stream), I'm still going to put on damp clothing some mornings; especially during the colder months. Anyway, after the initial shock/chill of putting them on, my body warmth and the value of these materials have kept me warm and able to function at times when I know having to wear damp cotton would not have done so. Just what works for me but YMMV.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
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  12. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've been on a few Army bivouac experiences where we were issued the M-1951 shirt and pants, wool long under ware, lined fishtail parka with matching lined field pants and bunny boots. After snowshoeing, skiing, all day for the training cycles then we finally set up our Arctic tent and settled into our GI cold weather cotton/down mummy bags. After interrupted sleep for my turn at fire watch I got back into my bag. Some time past that we ran out of heat. Waking up in the morning was cold, really cold. My sweat soaked wool long under ware was frozen stiff on my laundry line along with my other pair of socks. Putting them back on was a bit of a challenge but we had a good laugh at how the stiff as a board shape held until our body temperature thawed out our clothing. At that point cold was still cold and only a hot breakfast and a hot cup of coffee helped things.
    That was a really cold experience and sweat management became a priority for further overnight 0°F and below adventures. Your gear can help but only if you are wise in it's use.
    I do tend to ramp up my gear testing when it is 0°F and below.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  13. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    @PMSteve A mate recently bought his first Harley, I rolled up one of my spare tyvek disposablecoveralls and gave it to him for emergency use. I suggest these now for a lot of casual riders as they usually fit in the underseat locker.
    Your comments about being wet but warm are why I am thinking about changing my winter midlayers in on a Buffalo Sports type garment; so I can be wet but less miserable
     
  14. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    Wet wool is not warm. It does retain some of its insulation properties, far better than cotton or most synthetics, but you need to be burning calories to really make a difference if you're going to be static in wet wool. Better still are the higher-end synthetic puffy jackets. I've was able to dry a wet one out just with my body heat. All my time in the field, once a heavy wool garment gets wet, it's going to say wet (and heavy) until you dry it out over a fire or a full day with a good breeze and sun. I sill like wool, but for wet conditions, I don't like wool as an outer layer. I'm a big believer in soft shells. I can literally hike them dry. Without a wind shell, quality wool does do well as a wind-block, but it's important you cut wind down with any wet clothing. Even if we, having a light rain shell or wind-shirt helps to fight convection.

    Sleeping wet in anything sucks, even if you survive, you often wish you didn'to_O Seriously though, one rough night where you flirt with hypothermia, and you make sure every other future outing you are fully prepared to avoid another sucky night.

    ROCK6
     
  15. HP500

    HP500 Scout

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    My son, bro-in-law and I went deer hunting a few years ago in a new location for us. The temp was 33 degrees F with a soaking rain all day. We thought we would be OK in our "H2O Tech" rain gear. Big mistake! We all were soaked to the skin within a couple of hours and borderline hypothermic . If we were any farther away from the truck it could have been a disaster for all three of us. It was this experience that got me into bushcrafting, since I had very little outdoor skills at the time and probably couldn't make a fire in those conditions if my life depended on it.
     
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  16. never.truly.lost

    never.truly.lost Supporter Supporter

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    Pretty much any rainy day at work is like this in the late fall/winter/spring.
    The paradox of working in the bush is you do not want to wreck nice clothes getting torn up or spray paint on them, so most of us kind of suffer a bit.
    Standard in the cold is a hoody with a Stansfield wool sweater over top, and myself I wear British army pants as they are very thin/lightweight and fast drying. It is all about the baselayer, and for me the ones that have lasted the longest and most comfortable for repeated wear is the Helly Hansen Lifa Cold (polypro/merino blend). Have one or two that have lasted over 7 years of wear rotating them. Never an issue with comfort or warmth, even when wet and windy; and the biggest plus is they don't smell!
     
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  17. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I’ve gone through ice twice, and fell overboard into water that would have been ice except it was the ocean; and I frequently scuba dive under ice. For some reason cold like that does not seem to bother me at all; getting out of wet clothes and into dry ones I find is the painful part.

    I did become dangerously hypothermic a few years ago, and it was rather insidious in its approach. We had a major snow fall and I lost all power for several days; it was three days before we saw a plow. My wife was trapped at work so I was home alone for the first three days. I have no secondary heating in my house so during the day I’d open all the blinds and let the sun in to get whatever solar warmth I could, and button the house up at dark and was sleeping in a clothes closet because being a really small area, with no outside walls, it seemed to warm pretty well with my body heat.

    I’d been on a crazy weight loss program and did not want to break from it so my caloric intake was in the insane low range, and that more than anything most likely predisposed me to trouble, as I did not eat anything after the first day and hardly drank for the three days. Around night fall on the third day my wife got home finally and found me sitting up asleep on the couch, with the window open. I remembered feeling hot as heck, and thinking I might be getting overcome with gas fumes or something so I was venting the house (or so I thought) in reality I was in the final stages of hypothermia and unknowingly killing myself. All I really felt was crazy hot and sleepy, I do not ever remember shivering or feeling excessively cold at any time. Cold combined with dehydration can do strange things.
     
  18. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    I've been wet in cotton, wool, and synthetic garments. In southwest Washington, nothing is "waterproof" some of it just takes longer to wet out.

    Cotton really will kill you. That's not a joke. It looses all insulating properties when wet, and will suck the heat right out of you as it dries. I've got a Orvis waxed canvas coat that works great, right up until the point where it doesn't.

    Wool doesn't "keep you warm when its wet." It just makes you less cold than you would be in an equivalent, soaked cotton garment. I frequently wear wool in light to moderate rain when bow hunting on or near my property, as it is quieter than anything else, and breathes better than synthetics so I can temperature regulate a little better when I go from trudging up a steep hill to sitting still. I can hang it up in my shower with the heater on in the bathroom, and it will still be damp in the morning though. I've had trouble getting wool dry in a timely fashion even next to a fire.

    For multi-day trips, or day trips where I'm a substantial distance from the house, I wear synthetics. Period. I've been able to dry synthetics over night in my sleeping bag and easily with a fire. I'm even still a believer in synthetics after having a rock in a fire pit explode and turn me into a "screaming alpha" for a few seconds.

    I also, even in the summer, have a compression dry bag with synthetic long underwear, smart wool socks, gloves and a beanie in my pack.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  19. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    Also, I'd really suggest experimenting with some of this stuff in a controlled sensible fashion.

    Next time its raining to beat the band, go outside in jeans and a flannel shirt, with no coat. You'll be a believer in now time.

    As long as you've got spare warm dry clothes and a source of heat, go out and get uncomfortable. There's nothing like experience in a situation where you have a safe "out" to learn what your particular body and clothing choices will do.
     
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  20. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Short story time.
    I was skiing back to my base camp after doing tele truns on the lifts most of the afternoon.
    I was dressed in medium weight Yo-yo skiing type stuff, Old Entrant jacket with a LT insulating scrimed lining, medium weight merino jumper, polyester polo neck and some old lightly insulated Snowboard pants. About a third of the way home the wind picked up and it started to sling sago in my face, with-in 20 minute or so it was drizzling and here I am only halway home.
    I pulled the surplus raincoat out of my pack and pulled it on over my ski jacket but by now I am a little damp, within another few minutes it was bucketing down and the snow was washing of the track.
    Take note here that I was headed into the wind and it is blowing strongly enough to know me around and off my feet a couple of times, if I look to see where i am going there is no way I can stop wind blown train from getting into my hood and dribbling over my clothing.
    I'm getting cool now and my onl recourse is to push harder and get over the next big ridge and it is then a short half hour ski down hill to the camp.
    I am pretty miserable but I am only cool and I know the only thing I can do is push as hard as I can although by now that isn't quite hard enough for me to warm up but I'm not hypothermic. Getting over the ridge and onto the homeward track and out of the wind I take a short break to open up my raincoat and check things out, my merino jumper is damp and soggy but not wet enough to strip off and wring it dry so I keep skiing after zipping back up.
    I'm so tired it takes me more than 40 minutes to get to the hut next to my tent, light the pot belly and strip off the raincoat.
    It must have cooled off a lot on that last 40 minute run downhill tho, the seams on the US surplus raincoat were taped on the inside but the stitching on the outside had let water into the and between the double layer on the sleeves and they were full of ice [ which by the way took 3 days to slowly drip out through the cuff stitching; got one of these? Run silicon over the stitching now] and this is when I notice a few cuts and small rips in my pants and one of the reasons I got wet legs I suppose.
    Now I did have a down jacket in my pack and obviously that would not have helped in this situation. Also I was wearing decent gloves and a warm hat and my Tele boots were at all times warm due to the insulating moulded linings
    The point of the tale tho is that while I got damp and soggy and a fleece would have been better in this situation the wind didn't strip all the heat from me and the minimal synthetic insulation of the downhill gear was just enough once I got out of the wind.
    This is one situation where woollens would have been dangerous if that was all I was wearing even with waterproof pants
     
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  21. remington79

    remington79 Scout

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    I haven't read the whole thread yet but I thought I'd mention a couple of experiences while I'm still thinking of this. I'm sure I have been wet or cold like you mentioned but nothing sticks out in my mind. I do remember around 13 or 14 I would go out in the snow all day. By the time I would come in my knees and legs would be damp but I never knew it. The now older ECWCS long johns do a good job of keeping you warm. https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/~hIAAOSwiCRUd9Hp/$_58.JPG

    I wear merino wool socks a lot including the summer. My feet have always been comfortable in those year round. Here is an interesting thing that has happened to me. I will go hiking in the summer and climb to a peak that was around 5600 feet. Because of the breeze I would get chills and goose bumps from the breeze drying my UnderArmor shirt too quickly. I had to put on a First Lite merino wool long john shirt to keep the chill off. The synthetic dried too quickly.

    I find in cold weather merino wool base layers work best. I can wear synthetics and be warm but still feel cold inside. The merino wool makes me warm and comfortable. It warms the insides. An example is central heat is warm but the heat from a wood stove warms you to the core. I want to try out merino wool t shirts and underwear next.
     
  22. Jean

    Jean Guide

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    Exactly. I had synthetics on during testing in Korea in winter. We took off the stepo suits during the decon wash down and had a few minutes of exposure. After wearing the moon suit the synthetic long johns were soaked, and it was cold. Then the wind kicked up - all three of us were in trouble fast.
     
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  23. JR Greenhorn

    JR Greenhorn Scout

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    I have one of the Maine Guide shirts from LL Bean, the "uninsulated" version (for breatheability) in 80/20 wool. It's not particularly tightly woven as wool goes, and it's surprisingly rough on the skin, but it does a great job of helping me regulate temperature, even when wet.


    A few years back a buddy and I were cutting out log jams in the spring on the North Fork Crow River. I did something stupid and ended up in the water. I don't think I've ever had such a big gasp in my life as when I hit that water. I'm a good swimmer and I managed to keep my glasses on throughout, but my buddy was screaming at me from shore to swim downstream. I was staying in place, swimming upstream, fighting the current, unable to muster the sense to turn around (almost seems like a metaphor for life some days, doesn't it?). Must have been the cold. Eventually my buddy got my attention and ran downstream to wave me over to some branches I could climb up to get over the bank. It was a very nice sunny spring day, but I was shivering uncontrollably as soon as I was out of the water. My buddy found me a shaft of sunlight among the trees, and I took my wool shirt and cotton T-shirt off, rung out the wool, dumped my boots out, and put the wool back on over my bare skin. Then I helped my buddy pull on some logs with a rope. I've spent enough of my life snowmobiling in well below zero temperatures to know that the very best way to warm up when you're cold is physical activity. I've been wet and cold plenty, and I swear that wool had me feeling warmer, faster than anything else I've been soaked in.


    That same wool shirt got me through 2 days of steady rain, which ended in snow, in the Boundary Waters. My Dad's old hand-me-down Gore-Tex rain jacket I'd been using wetted out almost instantly when it started pouring. The portaging was enough to keep me warm, but with the clammy jacket on, I couldn't keep my glasses clear enough to avoid tripping and slipping. Same deal, strip off all of my top layers and put the wet wool shirt on over my bare skin, then keep active (we did our longest daily distance ever that day in the rain). My temperature was regulated enough that I didn't shiver, didn't sweat, didn't fog my glasses, and could wear my brimmed hat to keep the rain off my glasses. I dare say I was the most comfortable of the three of us those couple of days. Except maybe for my nipples. The wool can be a little rough on those, but by the second day, they're either rubbed raw or you're used to it.
     
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  24. caoutdoorsman

    caoutdoorsman Scout

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    When I was 16 I went camping with my buddies. We had tents and vehicles, but they ended up making a debris shelter and I ended up sleeping next to the fire. It started pouring, and their shelter was in a low spot so their sleeping area was turned into a puddle.

    I had a wool blanket and was wearing a cotton jacket, T-shirt and jeans. The fire kept the worst of it at bay and stopped the bugs, but it got a lot worse at midnight and I ended up getting soaked.
    I was shivering, but didn't want to retreat to a vehicle so I decided to test out my emergency blanket.

    I pulled out the blanket and found a small spot underneath a large Fir tree that was dry. I sat crosslegged with my back against the tree, and wrapped myself up in the mylar outside of the wool blanket. I dried out in about an hour and got so hot that I started sweating. I vented the blanket more and eventually fell asleep. I woke up dry too! Having something to make waterproof shelter is really a must, a contractor bag or mylar blanket are great pieces of emergency kit.

    Cotton is definitely the worst thing to wear in wet/cold weather. It wasn't in the forecast to rain, and I didn't have that much outdoor work experience to realize how poor cotton is for the cold. I've since switched to polyester, and always have a tarp or something waterproof in my pack.
     
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  25. TimBootz

    TimBootz Scout

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    I'm 2005 i spent 73 days cycling in Canada. Most of it in the Yukon, down to Idaho. I had 52 days of rain. Wool does work best out of the fabrics I had for keeping you warm. But the truth be told it doesn't matter what you wear, it sucks when you have to wake up and put wet clothes on. Pk is your body has to warm the clothes up which takes energy. Now my cycling clothes were always wet, either from rain or sweat. I guess you get use to it, but the smell was the hardest thing. My cycling clothes were synthetic, my camping clothes wool. Synthetics holds the odor 100 times worse, in fact I had to just throw them out when I got home. I still have the wool, which always seemed more pleasant smelling. But I digress. There are pros and cons to wool, but the one thimg is for sure, chemists have yet to come up with a better material then mother nature regarding its insulation properties , esp when wet. Obviously for socks a blend works best as 100% wool socks will annoy you just slipping down all the time....

    I have a down puffy by Rab, it is hydrophobic down and it is wonderful when the temp dips as an in camp parka, but it also lives under my Arteryx shell, it rains a bit here in western Wa, but it has held up well with some proactive thought, my pack is lined with a trash compactor bag, and it lives in a waterproof sack. It can be layered or a lighter synthetic puffy I have as well for greater versitility...
    All my base layers are wool. Ibex makes wonderful merino wool underwear and amazing wool long johns.
     
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  26. gm42

    gm42 Scout

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    I have a lot of wool and synthetics. I like wearing wool because of the way it feels and the smell factor with synthetics once you sweat in them. One thing you can do with synthetics that you cannot with wool is wring them out or snap them out. They will still be damp, but not soaked through. Wool has to be dried by a heat source.


    On the other end of the spectrum, what most people do not know is that wool is cooler to hike in on a hot day when the sun is beating on you when backpacking. I wear a light merino wool tee shirt and an over sized Filson long sleeve shirt and it’s cooler than a synthetic when the sun is hitting directly on you.


    So for me it’s synthetics when it rains a lot. On other days it’s wool base layer, synthetic mid-layer and Gortex jacket outer layer. I think synthetics work best as a mid-layer.


    Geoff
     
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  27. canadan

    canadan Scout

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    I will never be without polypro GI long underwear (the older brown ones, nice and cheap too). The have made the difference between being very cold or being comfortable on many trips. Outer layers change but the base layer is always the same for me and has never let me down. They are the base layer I wear from 10C down to -30C etc ad I wear the bottoms every day in winter under my jeans (5 pairs of bottoms and 5 tops from Sportsmans guide, go check it out). Been a few years with these and no noticeable wear on them.
     
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  28. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

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    Four years ago I was on a cycling trip, 3 inches of rain in 3 days with 8 inches of snow going over one mountain pass. There were hours of being miserable, one day 9 hours. Just had to keep pedaling to keep warm. At one point I was on the outlook for a slash pile to start a bonfire but I could not will myself to get of the bike, would have been hard to get back on.

    To me the most important clothing layer is a dry layer to put on at the end of the day and a stocking cap to wear has I crawl into my sleeping bag.
     
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  29. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub

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    Went hiking last weekend in the 40 degree rain and I was wearing all wool. I got thoroughly soaked, but was warm in the wool while still moving. When we stopped for lunch I had to switch shirts because I was getting cold.

    I'm sure I was more comfortable than if I had been wearing cotton, but if I had to seek shelter and sleep I still would have been miserable.
     
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  30. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

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    For specifics on clothing, I am a fan of button up adventure shirts, the thin nylon type, for most of all my warm to cool weather activities. The shirts dry fast and if I need a little core warmth i can wear a vest, for vests I am a fan of Sir Pendelotons with the snaps and i cut the arms cut off.

    If the weather is cold and wet, or I am going to be sweaty I wear a mid weight Patagonia top and I have a dry midweight Smartwool top to put on after I am done exerting myslef.

    If it is not raining or I will not be sweating heavily I can be found in a wool top. For pants i am wearing life weight Prana climbing pants or some soft shell pant.
     
  31. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

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    I was thinking a little more about wet and cool clothing, I have a hideously awesome pair of 80's lycra Nordic skiing tights that my dad wanted to throw away. Under rain pants lycra is perfect as it does not hold moisture and provides warmth and not the clamy feel of rain gear.
     
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  32. Ith

    Ith Tracker

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    I have spent days (and nights) under the rain during military service. Temperature was between 50/32°F.

    I was wet everywhere except under the helmet (of course)....but quite warmth. I think it was because I had a mixed terry wool underwear (quite like woolpower) under my polycotton "BDU jacket " (mdle F1) AND when we are not moving I had something like Buffalo Pile&Pertex. I was wet but quite warm...the only problem was my feet.

    I think that more important than synthetic or wool is your kind of cloth very near your skin. Something like terry fleece is good since it is quite dry directly near your skin.

    During WWII, british commando had some cotton net underwear. Swedish people had this kind of underwear in their army (brynje brand). Same in Finland and Russia. Problem was the chaffing under heavy rucksack.

    [​IMG]

    Until 80's a lot of soldiers had a "norvegian shirt" (terry fleece cotton inside). It was a "not so bad" option when it was cold if you don't use goretex and had a wooly jumper.

    [​IMG]

    Nowadays you could find "underwear net suit" in polypropylene (Brynje) or in wool blend (80/20) (ex : Aclima, Devold). It is better than cotton (quite always dry). But the most important is the net (and lightweight wool, not heavy one).

    Aclima woolnet quite common in Norway :
    [​IMG]


    Synthetic is better than wool the first day. But when your salt form perspiration is around the synthetic fiber, very often synthetic underwear keep water near you skin (and smell!). After few days wool is better.

    If you have to spend a lot of time in your underwear (think trenches) thin cotton is nice : you could wash it in very hot water and kill smell, fleas and lice. So no miracle solution.

    Best advice : You must have in winter your main insulation in a waterproof bag.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  33. RebelYell

    RebelYell Tracker

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    Back in the day, I used to do some technical ice climbing, high altitude mountaineering and rock climbing.

    When I went to Chamonix back in 1981, I wore Chouinard's Patagonia first gen poly-pro under a second generation gortex suit. Lightweight & I was amping out a lot of heat. Did not need many layers. Had a NorthFace Taslan nylon/gortex mountain parka and a pair of Banana gortex rain pants...the ones with the double seat and knees. Kept me alive in the French Alps during a sudden storm that dumped a foot of snow / hour. Was intense. Took a slider down the Nantillion Glacier and rode my pick in hard. Stopped just shy of a crevasse. Gortex is fast! But kept me dry. Can't say too much about my drawers, though.

    My standard winter ice climbing wear was a Woolrich lightweight wool shirt & knickers, lambswool v-neck sweater-vest and wool knee socks with Kastinger Denali rigid sole double boots and Yeti gaiters. If windy, add a Marmot windbreaker. The wool had the benefit of freezing into the snow and kept you from sliding. Something slick synthetics won't do. Now, can't find knickers anymore that aren't priced so high they're out of God's knowledge. They are not for climbing, but for fancy shotgunning Euro style.

    Back around 1978, I got a green oiled wool New Zealand Sheephearder's hooded cagoule that was virtually waterproof. Won a bet with my climbing buddy that it would keep him dry during a blinding Pisgah National Forest Frog Drowner. He put it on and stood out under a deluge for forty minutes. The thing felt like it gained ten pounds but kept him bone dry. He stank like a wet sheep, though. I got my money plus a case of beer. I've still got it...has a couple o' moth holes but not all the way through. Apparently was too tough! I still wear it down to the mailbox and back in cold weather if rain is coming. And yes, it will still keep you dry. And you will smell like an old ram, if wet.

    My backpacking/hiking/rock climbing rain gear was a lightweight coated nylon mid shin length cagoule and knee-length gaiters. Was very easy to walk in. Bivouaced up on a rock ledge during a thunderstorm once. Just pulled my knees up under it, I was snug as a bug in a rug. Warm and moist rather than cold and wet. I eventually wore it slap out. You cannot find a proper length cagoule for love of any money anymore. Not sure why...it was a truly functional piece of kit.

    I did a lot of autum backpacking in western North Carolina and wore medium weight Woolrich wool pants, light weight Pendleton wool shirt, wooly-pulley, wool balaclava and fingerless wool gloves during the cooler months. Worked well in wet conditions. My stuff is old school now, but durable. Newer stuff just looks too flimsy to me. More for playing in rather than for working in.

    Now I buy Filson, Woolrich, LL Bean or Duluth Trading. Won't buy Patagonia anymore...and thirty plus years ago I bought a lot...now it's a political thing. To bad, Yvon.
     
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  34. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Those wool bush shirts are still sold in the hundreds, now pushing $400- AUD each
     
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