Everyone knows that the first rule of survival is to stay dry. Once you get wet it’s hard to dry again. For all hikers and campers, one of the first lines of defense is their clothes. It can protect it from wind, rain, sun, cold, heat and almost any other environmental condition.
Without the right clothes, you run the risk of blisters, sunburn, dehydration, heat stroke, hypothermia and many other problems. This article will analyze the clothing of the layers and how it will help you survive in nature.
There are so many variables that we could talk about when it comes to survival, but this article will focus on clothes, layers and layers of specific layers of clothing.
For your core, there are three layers that are important. Layer clothing is not just a matter of putting on more and more clothes, it’s a matter of wearing the right clothes in the right sequence. First, you need a base layer; second, a layer of insulation; and finally, a shell layer.
The areas of your body that will need immediate protection, especially in winter, are your extremities: the fingers and toes. There is always the danger of freezing in a winter situation. Then, protect your head from extreme heat or cold.
Keep your head covered to keep it cool and free of burns in desert conditions and warm in winter conditions. You can consider a mask in desert and winter situations.
A mask or cover will prevent sunburn and freezing. Again, those sensitive areas like your ears, nose and lips need protection.
The table below gives you a basic idea of what and how to protect your body with clothes in layers. We will look at these articles in depth throughout the article.
|SUMMER / DESERT SITUATIONS||WINTER SITUATIONS / ALPINAS|
|Head||Light hat with ventilation holes; Protect from sunburn and dehydration.||Head||Wool hat with ventilation holes; Protect from cold and wind.|
|Face||Light scarf or mask; Protect from sun and wind.||Face||Facial mask; It protects from the cold and burns the sun and the wind.|
|Extremities||Socks that absorb moisture from the skin; cover arms and legs to protect from sunburn and wind; Light colors that reflect the sun.||Extremities||Wool socks that absorb moisture from the skin; cover arms and legs to protect from sunburn and wind; Darker colors that absorb the heat of the sun.|
|The feet||Boots that will prevent the feet from burning; protect from blisters||The feet||Boots that keep feet warm and dry; protect from blisters|
|Nucleus||Lightweight and breathable clothing in light colors; Absorbs moisture, insulates and protects.||Nucleus||Lightweight and breathable clothing; Absorbs moisture, insulates and protects.|
What is it made of: Fabric directory
There is a variety of fabrics from which outdoor clothing is made. Technology has really advanced in this area.
I thought it would be valuable to know what some of the fabrics are and how they work.
- Merino wool: Merino wool is a common fabric made from merino wool. Its properties include very soft wool that has excellent absorption capabilities and moisture resistant properties. It will keep you warm even when it is wet. Finally, this wool has lanolin that has antibacterial properties and helps reduce body odor. Who knows?
- Wool: this fabric can be wool or synthetic. It is a soft and thick comfortable plush fabric. It works well for a vest or an inner jacket. It is water resistant and usually dries fast.
- Hard shell: this fabric has a light woven fabric laminated to a breathable waterproof membrane; example, Gore-Tex
- Softshell: a knitted fabric made of polyester and nylon that is designed to close the gap between the rigid waterproof shell and the breathable fleece.
- Technical fabrics: Some of the most recent and modern fabrics are Polartec® Powershield, Neoshell® and Windbloc®. They have fabulous qualities: water repellent, breathable and wind resistant. This fabric is used in jackets, vests and pants.
Outerwear to underwear: types of clothes and their purpose
Wear your hat or you will catch your cold death
It is common knowledge that you lose a lot of heat in your head. There are hats for different seasons and you may need a hat in both summer and winter.
- Summer hat: When you go hiking in summer, you would like to use a nice, lightweight hat made of breathable synthetic fabric that has openings and an edge. The hat will protect you from sunburn. The wing will keep the sun out of your eyes; The vents will keep your head cooler.
The wing can also act as protection against rain in case the summer shower approaches you. The lightweight fabric will keep you from getting too sweaty. Summer hats come in a variety of styles; Make sure your hat is flexible and can be rolled, folded, crushed, etc. to fit on your computer when you’re not using it.
- Winter hat: Winter is the most logical time when you will need a hat. You need to catch the heat to escape through the head and cool the whole body. Merino wool is a common fabric for winter hats. Every hiker needs a merino wool hat. Usually, they come in a beanie style.
Facial masks / leggings on the neck: not your grandmother’s nose warmer
To keep your face and neck warm, there are masks and leggings that can cover your face and neck and still allow you to breathe properly. These two pieces of clothing will help keep you warm. The collar gaiter will protect you near the opening of your jacket.
The mask will cover the entire face and protect it from freezing. There are a variety of styles: some have openings for eyes, nose and mouth; others have an opening for your eyes and nose. The more covered, the more protected. If you are going to be in extreme cold, try these items.
Merino wool is recommended for its softness against the skin and the absorption and lanolin that this wool brings.
Rigid jackets for the unconditional hiker
When it comes to jackets, there are many different styles and fabrics to choose from. With this layer, I’m talking about a hardshell. This is something that will protect you from the wind, it will be water repellent like Gore-Tex, it will be breathable and it will have several external pockets where you can store things you need to reach easily.
This is the top layer of your clothes. Ideally, this jacket would also have a hood for added protection. This type of hardness can mean the difference between staying dry and finally warm. In a desert environment, this jacket will be extremely light and will have a lighter color, such as tan or camel; in fact, a soft shell may be sufficient in desert conditions.
The style of this layer could be a larger parka style that covers your waist and overlaps your hips. Get it big enough to fit over the other layers of clothing and to allow freedom of movement.
Chances are he’s wearing some kind of backpack, so he’ll want to be comfortable with this jacket while wearing it. Also remember that you will be wearing other layers under this jacket.
You may want to take it with you when you try on the jackets just to make sure that the feeling is good and that the backpack is placed correctly on your body.
Also, when you start your walk, you may not need to use the jacket, so you should fold it to a size that fits your backpack.
These jackets are going to be expensive. Look for sales or maybe buy the model from last year if you can find one.
Jackets and vests in the Softshell
Under your rigid jacket comes an inner jacket or a vest. This is the softshell layer and will help keep your core warm. It is not bulky, but adds insulation due to its advanced technical qualities.
The softshell jacket may or may not have a hood. A second hood can hinder. If you do not feel that you need the extra layer on your arms, you can also wear a vest. A vest can offer more freedom of movement for your arms, especially for getting in and out of your backpack.
Depending on your situation, a wool jacket or vest can work well here, especially if you have a good waterproof helmet.
The gloves are necessary, no doubt
In a winter setting gloves or mittens will be critical. Here again, small limbs are at risk of freezing and freezing.
There are gloves with fleece lining that would absorb moisture and keep your hands warm. There are gloves that have a mitten flap to give you a little more flexibility when using your hands.
There are lightweight lining for gloves that fit inside other gloves or mittens. This layer can offer more heat to your hands because the air between the layers actually acts as insulation.
The gloves will do much more than keep your hands warm. They will protect your hands. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to build a shelter or cut wood. You’ll be glad you packed a pair of gloves, including a sturdy pair to do hard work.
Take care of your tootsies: Boots / Socks / Gaiters
You must protect your feet. They are the things that take you home. You can not risk having blisters, injuries or frostbite on your feet. You need waterproof boots or at least water repellents. Your boots should fit well, not too tight, not too loose, but just right.
They should also be at ankle height to support their ankles and help prevent sprains or strains. There are some regions of the world where you want to protect your ankles from insect and snake bites.
When you try on the boots, I suggest you use the socks that you will probably wear when you go hiking so you can get a proper fit. Boots are expensive but it’s not an area where it’s cheap. Your boots support you, they take you and protect your feet.
As for the socks, stay with wool, merino wool. The absorption properties will do you good. There are also breathable lightweight linings that you can get if you do not like the feeling of wool against your skin. It is suggested to take two pairs of socks.
Leggings are covered with water repellent that cover your boots and pants. They are usually at the knees, but they also come in ankle and thigh configurations. They are excellent if you are hiking or skiing in deep snow, as they will add another layer of protection and keep moisture out.
Do not be stuck with your pants down
Obviously, you’re going to want to protect your legs. In desert situations, it is tempting to wear shorts. And, you can wear shorts as long as you pay attention to your skin. Do not burn with the sun; It could lead to disaster. Therefore, I recommend long pants that are tan or light colored.
Synthetics that dry fast will work better. There are convertible pants that have zippered legs where you can remove the bottom. These are versatile and can be both pants and shorts.
For the winter season, there are snow pants. These pants have a tough, water-repellent exterior and a layer of insulation in the middle, followed by a soft, quick-drying lining.
So with these pants, you get 3 layers in one. The three layers will create air pockets in the middle; This trapped will act as an insulator.
Shirts: the short and the long
It is tempting to wear your soft cotton shirt and soft, warm flannel, but as we mentioned earlier, cotton does not work well in extreme situations.
Your shirt can get wet through perspiration and keep you cool. Or it could get caught in a rush that could get wet and the cotton shirt would never dry.
In the desert climate, long-sleeved shirts are indispensable to protect from the sun and heat. Choose light gauze shirts that breathe but provide sun protection.
There are also some nice short sleeve shirts in synthetic wicking fabric. Whatever you choose, always consider sunburn.
For winter weather, a wool sweater or a shirt may be in order. There are some lightweight Merino wool shirts on the market, both short and long sleeves.
If you felt that your core needed additional protection, you could use a short-sleeved shirt over the long-sleeved shirt or wear a heavier sweater.
Base layers, better known as underwear
We all like soft cotton underwear. But that type of underwear does not take place in nature. The cotton will get wet and stay wet. For its base layer, it needs synthetic fabrics that remove moisture from the skin and dry quickly. This is your base layer.
In the summer, short underwear should be fine. But in the winter, you’ll want to have long thermal underwear that has these qualities of absorption and quick drying.
There are also wick base layer hoods that come in different styles, such as tanks, short sleeves and long sleeves. You want something that fits well under your shirt. It needs to be breathable and has that wick quality to keep you warm and dry.
Layered clothes: your first line of defense in extreme weather conditions
Your key points to take are
1) Use the layer system for the best protection. Choose a base layer that absorbs moisture. Choose an insulation layer that will trap body heat. Finally, select a cover layer that is waterproof, acts as a wind block and is breathable.
2) Do not forget your extremities: freezing will accumulate very quickly on the fingers, toes, nose, lips and ears.
3) Today’s fabrics are technically advanced to offer you the best protection with lighter fabrics that are easy to move and keep you warm and dry at the same time.
4) Choose a good pair of boots to support your feet and keep them warm and dry.
Before hitting the trails, remember
Never walk alone – always go with a partner. Watch for signs of hypothermia: tremors, dizziness, hunger, fatigue, difficulty speaking, lack of coordination and confusion. If this happens, you need to warm up the person slowly.
Get them in a shelter. Remove wet clothes. Cover with blankets or sleeping bag. Share the heat of the body if necessary. Give hot drinks. Get help as soon as possible.
Follow the Boy Scouts’ motto: always be prepared. Make sure you have the right equipment for the trip you are going to make. Stay hydrated.
Have fun! Walking in winter and camping can be an exciting challenge. I think everyone should try at least once. Come out and enjoy!