Water – Don’t get Wet.

Posted on March 6, 2012 by The Campologist

To be safe, warm and comfortable in the great outdoors you need to respect and understand the 3W’s. The first we will discuss is WATER.

Getting wet and sweaty in your local gym while playing a heated game of basketball – no problem. Getting soaked walking your dog in a down pour – not an issue, and getting steamy under the sheets – not a bother.
High quality clothing like Westcomb have chosen to use “event” fabric
Why?…because you can dry off in the comfort of a warm building and change into fresh clean clothing. However in the seclusion, isolation and tranquility of the backwoods there are no such luxuries. You have no available warm building to dry out, and you don’t have a dresser full of clean crisp cotton clothing…just one spare polyester T and your own body heat. So staying dry is essential to comfort, safety and sometimes even survival.

There are two sources of water that dampen your clothing and gear:

Environment – rain, snow, river, lakes, wet grass, etc.,
You – perspiration and respiration.

Having the proper clothing and knowing how to wear it is key.

Base layer:

Starting from the inside. You want to wear a synthetic, moisture wicking, hydrophobic layer directly against your skin. Whether it be your delicates, T-shirts or full length long-johns, they need to keep dry even when you sweat. High quality primary layer clothing will draw moisture away from your skin and transfer it to the outer layers.

Never, never, never bring cotton clothing into the backwoods. Cotton is great in the big city or at the cottage…but in the backwoods “COTTON IS ROTTEN“. When it gets wet, it stays wet. When it stays wet it will draw valuable body heat from your core at a rate upto 5 times faster than dry clothing.

Mid Layer:

Next… you wear on an insulation layer of a quality hydrophobic polyester fleece such as Polartec ® for insulation. Down is warm and highly compressible, however like cotton, it is looses most of it’s insulation advantages when wet or compressed.

Outside layer

The outer layer is complicated. It needs to stop the wind, rain and snow, however allow perspiration to escape. This was the holy grail of outdoor sports. Then in 1978 Gortex was introduced – a membrane which was bonded to a nylon fabric, the result was fabric that was both waterproof and breathable! Fast forward to today and there is eVent, Hyvent, Gortex and a host of competing fabrics/membranes that claim varying degrees of waterproof/breathable. Currently I’m leaning towards “eVent”.

For the past 6 months I have been using Westcomb’s Specter LT “eVent” shell…it is completely wind and waterproof, and yet so breathable I can use it for high aerobic sports.

Really just the tip of the iceberg on this topic…until next week…Rough it in comfort!

To see full article, visit: Campologist Talk: Water – Don’t get Wet.

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