Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Camping Clothing Question
Re: Camping Clothing Question
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:56:47 -0600
We run a winter camping program at Tomahwak Scout Reservation (rice lake,
WI)called Spearhead where scouts along with a staff guide venture out into
the cold (sometimes up to -30f) and sleep outdoors in a hollowed out pile of
We sent a lot of materials out and stress the importance of propre clothing.
Clothing is you 1st shelter and if it is poor you will suffer.
The biggest reason you get cold is because you get wet. Cotton is a fabric
that will suck up any and all water it comes in contact with. If cotton gets
wet, there is no way, even on a warmer day (20s) to dry it. Through
evaporation (the same process that cools you in the summer) it can drop your
body temp. Our saying is COTTON IS ROTTEN. At spearhead scouts CANNOT go
on the trail wearing any kind of cotton. No cotton underwear, no cotton
t-shits, no cotton shirts. None.
Wool is the old school fabric of choice because of its ability to shed water
and low absorbency. We check-out wool clothing to the scouts that come to
Wool however is heavy and is no longer the best fabric. When I take my
crews out. I wear a polyprolean long underwear, and socks. I then have a
layer of Polar Flease. A vest, and pants. Over that I have a North Face
GorTex parka and pants.
Your scout are good to be wearing layers. Layers do 2 things. 1.) trap warm
air to keep you warm, without this dead airspace you could not warm
yourself. and 2.) allow you to regulate you body temp. When winter camping
you DO NOT want to sweat. The number one reason people get cold is because
they are sweating and the sweat soaks into their clothes and cools them. We
tell our campers that they should be "comfortably cool" they should not be
hot and sweaty.
Peter K Kennon NREMT-I
email@example.com - ICQ:606143
TSR Reservation Health Officer
Spearhead Health Officer
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. - William