How Many Ounces Of Formula For 12 Month Old Know the Fabrics to Make Smart Outdoor Clothing Choices

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Know the Fabrics to Make Smart Outdoor Clothing Choices

Dressing for the outdoors starts with knowing what clothes to wear. Different fabrics have very different properties. Choosing the wrong type, or mixing clothes of different materials, can be dangerous!

You may not be able to tell what the garment is made of by looking. A nice, fluffy, thick 100 percent cotton flannel shirt will keep you warm and cool even when wet. Then that wet shirt can absorb heat from your torso and cause hypothermia!

On the other side of the equation is wool. My favorite winter staple, wool, is usually a bad choice for hiking in the desert in August. Wool traps heat, and while it provides UV protection, the material prevents your body from cooling.

Therefore, the buyer should be careful.

Before buying any product, read the labels and find out what it is. Ignore fashion or what’s trendy (I know it’s hard – I have a 14-year-old daughter!), and make your purchases based on the functionality and safety of the clothing you’ll need.

Here are some common fabric choices:

* Cotton: Depending on where you live, cotton clothes can kill you. Cotton is hydrophilic, which means it is not good at removing moisture from the skin, and can become damp just by being exposed to moisture.

Both of these 100% cotton garments will keep you warm until they get wet. After all, these clothes can be dangerous to wear!

Once wet, cotton becomes cold and can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating properties. Wet cotton can dissipate heat from your body 25 times faster than dry cotton.

Having spent a lot of time in the Deep South, my favorite warm weather shirt is a medium, white, 100 percent cotton Navy surplus shirt. The shirt has a collar that can be pulled up to shade my neck, and pockets with flaps and buttons. Cotton has a good amount of UV protection.

On really hot days on the boat, a cotton shirt can be soaked in water, and worn to cool off. When in the desert, help prevent heat by using a few ounces of water to wet the shirt. (Water can come from anywhere, including a stock tank with an algae bloom. Steam is a coolant!)

The same properties that make cotton ideal for hot weather make it a killer in rain, snow and cold.

Typical urban clothing is probably all cotton: sweat socks, Hanes or Fruit of the Loom underwear, jeans, shirt, flannel shirt and sweatshirt. This outfit can keep you warm in the city, but don’t wear it in the backcountry! Once the cotton is wet, it can end up in trouble.

Don’t be fooled by the appearance and camouflage patterns of 100 percent cotton hunting clothes. These my clothes are what you need for hot dove hunting, in September in Mississippi, but they are cold and clammy when damp or wet, like anything else made of cotton.

* Polypropylene: This material does not absorb water, so it is hydrophobic. This makes it a great base layer, as it wicks moisture away from your body. The bad news is that polypropylene is flammable, so a spark from a campfire can melt holes in your clothes.

* Fur: Where I live in Central Oregon, fur is standard six months of the year. Wool pants and wool socks are the first items of clothing we recommend for new Boy Scouts in our group. For our winter scout trips, any kind of cotton clothing is highly encouraged. Jeans are closed.

Wool absorbs moisture, but stays warmer than many other fabrics. Wool is also naturally flame retardant.

Polyester: This is a fabric made of plastic, and it’s good stuff. The material has good insulation and breathability value, and can be made in many different layers.

* Nylon: The fabric is strong and can be used for your outer layer. It doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture, and what it does evaporates quickly. It is effectively used as a kind of windbreaker, to keep your clothes from being disturbed by the wind.

* Bottom: This material is not fabric, but fluffy feathers that are stuffed into clothing or a sleeping bag. When dry, the bottom is one of my favorite things covered.

But I don’t use a down sleeping bag, and I’m hesitant to wear a vest out into the backcountry because of humidity issues. When wet, it becomes hydrophilic, and loses almost all of its insulating value. It can be worse than cotton as far as absorbing heat away from your body.

Additionally, a sleeping bag or blanket is unlikely to dry out in the backcountry, even with a campfire.

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