Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing thats been drilled into me since I was a kid is that cotton is THE WORST choice for survival clothes because it soaks up water and retains little heat.
For quite some time now Ive been mulling this over in my head.
I know the latest and greatest thing for survival/tactical/ military/law enforcement hiking and so on... seems to be cotton cargo pants. It seems like there is a standard lately that any prepared professional person has cargo pants.
Every brand ive looked at is largely cotton. The ones sold for hikers and other outdoorsy people... same thing cotton.
It kind of feels like an episode of the twilight zone. I was hoping somebody could shed some light on this. At the moment the only two options I see for long term survival clothes that are available are cotton jeans or cotton cargo pants. The same for other items of clothing but to a much lesser degree.
Personally im thinking of switching to buckskins any way :mrgreen:. I just dont want to be naked when the end comes lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hehe yes survival that is a good point that didnt occur to me.

Not a lot of outdoors stores here but there is... one I might be able to try about three hours from here.
I do most of my shopping online and most of it ends up as a colossal failure lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
When I go camping, I try to pack absolutely as little cotton as possible. Polyester/rayon long underwear, Fleece or microfleece pants/top. I have some thinner synthetic cargopants that came from walmart or something, sometimes they have zip off legs. Look for fishing gear, usually is fast dry and has lots of pockets.

Cotton is also heavier and takes up much more room when packing than synthetics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
Don't discount cotton altogether.... buy the right material for the right climate. Lightweight cotton that breathes is great in a hot dry climate. Of course... you are Northern Canada so you ought to be wearing a polar bear or something... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
I like my cotton, but I am also in Alabama. Never gets so cold that I have to worry about the things you other folks do.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,108 Posts
Living in Canada wool would probably be the best because it will keep you warm even when wet.
Living in Florida, as I do, this would only be necessary in winter, which is the third Tuesday in January.
Cotton "survival" clothing is marketed because the fabric is relatively cheap, off shore labor is cheap, and the markup is huge when the words "tactical" or "survival" are added. This has nothing to do with the actual use of the clothing and everything to do with maximizing profits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh hi Denton long time no see !
I think I will see what I can track down. My favorite choices for clothing personally are wool and leather/buckskin.
I do my own tanning so I guess ill just stick to buckskin clothes and woolys if TSHTF.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I'll try not to get too long winded.

When dressing for survival you need to dress in layers. Generally three.

Inner layer-These would be long john underware types. Polypro, capalene, wool blend or silk. Not cotton! The important thing here is the ability to wick moisture away from the skin. Cotton doesn't do this.

Middle layer-Shirts, light sweaters, windbreakers, pants and such. Again you don't want cotton.

Outer layer-Overcoat, rain gear. The big choice you have here is whether or not to use 'down' jackets. If you aren't going to get wet they are a formidible choice. But if they get wet they lose all heat retaining ability (no loft).

The synthetics available today are very functional. Wool, however, is still the best there is. Wool will keep you warm even if it gets wet. Synthetics will do the same thing and are almost as good as wool. Synthetics are very expensive. Forget the hype, cool camo print and the multitude of pockets on cotton garments. Unless you are in a hot climate cotton is a no-go for survival.

If your looking to buy for survival you need to remember that you won't be dressing for a fashion show. The best place to get lightweight wool blend pants is at your local thrift stores. Serious! Many of your mens 'dress' slacks are made of wool blend. It makes them the perfect weight for middle layer clothing.

Synthetic underware, wool blend pants with nylon (wind breaker) or rain pants will protect you very well. I usually cut the legs off of the pants halfway down the knee so they tuck into my boots very comfortably without getting in the way of my gaitors (overboots).

I taught this stuff for many years as a Guide, Mountaineer and survivalist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Oh hi Denton long time no see !
I think I will see what I can track down. My favorite choices for clothing personally are wool and leather/buckskin.
I do my own tanning so I guess ill just stick to buckskin clothes and woolys if TSHTF.
Might ye have a business of making buck skin clothing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
i love my silk long johns, keeps ya cool when its hot and warm when its cold. also i can slip my motorcylce leathers right on over and helps me get my pants off which is usually a two person job! getting outa sport bike leathers is super tricky! not with silk long johns!
I dive. Many of us find panty hose the best way to get wet suits off without having a stroke!

My wife swears by silk long johns. Kept her nice and snuggly when ranching in Colorado.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Might ye have a business of making buck skin clothing?
I never thought of that. Its just a hobby I got into I collect hides from the local hunters and tan them for my own use but never thought of turning it into a business. It might actually do rather well. I have found its difficult to get the word out to the hunters to bring me the hides instead of tossing them into the bushes to rot. I was thinking I would put out the word that anyone who brings me two hides ill tan them both and keep one for myself and give the other back to the person the brings them too me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
i was talking about this with a lady at front sight, she was telling me about alpalca wool being softer, and less itchy!
Wool is one of the bad memories from my time in the army. Didn't like it. Iiiiiiiitchy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Wool is itchy. The number one complaint concerning people when wearing wool.

My advice/suggestions
If you are looking for a shirt or sweater I recommend Merino Wool. It is cosiderably softer than other wool and has solved the itchy complaint for many people. To be sure, the army doesn't use Merino Wool.

Wool blends are another great alternative. If fact you'll discover that the really cheap wool slacks I already recommended are almost all made with Wool blends. I have found them to be very soft and non-itchy.


Since the Wool garment will generally be a middle layer form of clothing you should have something else against your skin. This generally solves the itchy problem.


A side note: Since I am selling the idea of wool...One of the best ways to avoid blisters while in your boots is to wear wool socks. Cotton chaffs badly when it gets wet or damp. Cotton socks are the cause of the majority of blisters I have seen over the years. Wool when it gets wet becomes 'slicker' and doesn't chaff. In this application I strongly recommend Merino Wool socks. They aren't cheap but anyone that has ever had a blister knows it's worth the price if you can prevent that blister.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Excellent! Rather than telling people I want nothing for Christmas, I can now tell them socks!
That'll get them off my back while scoring me expensive socks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
My sister and her husband live in Montana and they just got 2 male aplacas, and castrated them. doing so makes the wool much softer.

i was talking about this with a lady at front sight, she was telling me about alpalca wool being softer, and less itchy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I gotta say, this is awesome Thread. I checked all my cold weather stuff and its all Poly, acrylic or spadex (spadex was like a total of 2% in all that I have,, just fyi) which is mostly the cheap version of the Under Armour stuff you get at Target or Walmart, I had just bought all that stuff last yr but we had a very mild winter so I never really got to try that stuff out. Didn't want to sink that kind of $ on Under Armour till I knew that stuff really worked well.

I only had one pair of cotton long johns and I don't recall every wearing them...

Now, thanks to glhadiator, I have to check my socks :)


Anybody remember/know what Military BDUs are made of? I remember wearing them in Youth as my dad was Military and I had more BDUs then jeans in those days. and those were the Vietnam era stuff before the digital stuff. Great pants. I ought to make a run to a surplus store back home and see if I can get a couple pairs. I have a couple wanna be BDUs I bought at Dicks sporting goods a few yrs ago that were labeled "Paint Ball" paints that I used for ATV riding, they don't have the same feel.

Anyways good Thread, lots of good info. Keep it going.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top