Hundreds of travelers are killed (or come close to it) each year from exposure to the elements. More than likely each one of these people mistakenly thought they were well prepared for their trip. Most people do not plan to fall in a stream and get all of their clothes soaking wet, or get lost for days and being forced to sleep out under the stars.
Outdoor clothing can improve the dire situation of being stranded in the cold. If you carry a light jacket with you, you could use your t-shirt for a hat to hold in some of the heat that is lost through your head. Then, you could fill your jacket with the fluffy stuff from some cattail seedheads as a form of insulation. In fact, cattail down was actually used as filling in the orange, old-style life preservers.
Insulation is the key. You can stuff dry leaves, bracken ferns, milkweed down and just about anything else that will form dead air space. It is best to sandwich yourself between two layers. In any case, keep in mind that it is better to be a little itchy than to freeze to death.
The flat leaves from the cattail plant can also be used in a jam to weave yourself a type of vest that will work to block the wind and rain to some degree. A couple of bread bags can be filled with milkweed down or silky fibers from some other type of plant, and used for mittens when tied to your wrists. You can fashion a hat in the same manner using a plastic bag. It is great to know how to create makeshift survival clothing in case of an emergency, but wearing the proper outdoor clothing in the beginning has its advantages as well.
When you are looking for outdoor clothing to wear on your trip, it is important to select loose clothing in layers beginning with a base layer. A base layer is the layer responsible for moisture management. Once you have put on your base layer, add layers of insulation that will provide warmth and comfort. Finally, cover it all up with a nice protective, weatherproof outer layer.
The comfort of your outdoor clothing will depend on the balance of functions, such as durability, wind and waterproofing, insulation, wicking capabilities, rapid drying and most importantly, breathability. Outdoor clothing needs to be lightweight and have enough room to allow adequate freedom of movement, all while wearing the least number of garments possible.
You can use layers to create your own climate that will keep you both protected as well as comfortable in all outdoor weather conditions. The outer layer is responsible for protecting you from weather conditions such as rain, wind and other extreme elements. The outer layer of your outdoor clothing will vary depending on your destination and planned activities.
It is important to pack efficiently and always be prepared any time you are traveling from the safety of your home. This is also true for the type of clothing your wear, for the right clothing could save your life.
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Article Added on Monday, December 22, 2008
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