OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing

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OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by DaveK » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:22 pm


We all have our favorites, and with the huge variety of offerings, there are soooooooo many right choices to make. And, while synthetic fabrics are all the rage now, natural fibers still offer some of the very best choices around. So, it's time to explore what's on the market, and discuss the benefits. If it works for you, join the discussion, but better yet, post up here on the net preview.

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by DaveK » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:36 pm


These indeed are good times, and that is especially true when it comes to selecting outdoor clothing. In many ways, this topic will boil down to a Ford vs Chevy type of discussion. In the end however, it will be your experience with your selections that will matter, and often those choices will differ from "expert" opinions. Obviously, if it works, who cares!!!

So, for this net, we intend to open the discussion to what we believe are the most commonly used fabrics, with a little discussion of the strengths of each. We also intend to highlight some of the standout performers of outdoor clothing that we have either used or with which we are familiar.

Here are a few general suggestions or rules, if you will, that we have found to be helpful in buying and settling on the clothing that works best for you:
  • Clothing is a consumable product, meaning that it will all wear out at some point. The message here is that you will eventually have an opportunity to experiment with other types of clothing and in particular, other fabrics.
  • Don't be afraid to try out new fabrics. And conversely, don't be afraid to try classic fabrics. And, importantly, don't be afraid to make mistakes, because eventually, either sooner or later, you will make some.
  • Having more than one type of clothing will greatly assist you in deciding which is best for you. So, for example, having two different types of socks, (or more), should help you in making a decision which works best.
  • Often times, you will find that your regular clothing will work just fine for your outdoor activities.
  • Some fabrics are more resistant to wear than others, like wool. If longevity is important to you, keep this in mind.
  • Be careful from whom you take advice. This covers a lot of territory, so let me explain. Taking the clothing advice of Antarctic explorers may not be advisible if your activities all take place in climates where the temperatures never goes below 40 degrees. Similarly, reading about various clothing items from a manufacturer's or retailer's website may be a good start, but you may want to dig a little deeper and check with people you trust who have used the clothing item or fabric you want to buy. Also, go to sources that have a credible degree of experience.
So, time to get down to business. Two of the most important considerations for selecting the right outdoor clothing are warmth and wicking. Wicking is simply the ability of the fabric to transport perspiration moisture from your clothing to the outside environment. And, speaking of cold weather, it is your base layer which is most important. Subsequent layers should also have wicking ability or be breathable. So here are the most common fabrics:


Cotton has not historically been a recommended fabric for outdoor clothing, especially in cold weather, and where exertion was expected. The reason for this was the fact that cotton absorbs perspiration moisture, and instead of wicking it out, it remains in the clothing. The argument, which was valid, went something like this: when activity stops, your wet cotton clothing would chill you rather than keep you warm. Technology has come to the rescue of this fabric, and today many manufacturers are making great outdoor clothing with "moisture wicking cotton." On the other hand, non wicking cotton does have a place in warm climates, as it will retain moisture, thus helping the body to remain cool.


Silk has always been famous for its luxury and comfort (and price.) What is not well known is the fact that it makes for a good base layer that will help keep you warm, even when you perspire. Silk long underwear and turtlenecks are light, thin and breathable, as well as sweat-wicking. If you have the wallet for silk, it is an excellent choice.


If wool were to be discovered today, it would be heralded as one of the most significant advancements in cold weather clothing of or our time (a little exaggeration, maybe), and it would certainly be at the very top of the list of fibers that make for good outdoor clothing. That's not to say that wool is not already there, because it already is, but the point here is that today, wool is, In many, many ways, the gold standard for cold weather clothing, and for many good reasons. That, by the way, is a gold standard to which all other fibers, including synthetics, strive to match or surpass. For those interested in digging a little deeper into the benefits of wool, read this article, "Why Wool Stomps the Comp": https://weatherwool.com/pages/why-wool.

Aside from its ability to serve in both warm and cold climates, wool is extremely durable and long lasting, and YES, wool wicks moisture away from the body and breathes. It's protection from cold is almost legendary.


Most (and probably all) synthetic fibers used for outdoor clothing are derived from petroleum and are considered petrochemicals. Polypropylene, which is a petrochemical and one of the most commonly used fibers for outdoor clothing, has seen some of the greatest advances in technology. The development of synthetic fabrics has been enormous, with the net result being that some of the best outdoor clothing is now made with these materials. One of it's most significant advantages is the ability to wick moisture, as well as it's ability to dry quickly. Also, it's light weight and low bulk have added to it's appeal and function. But for those who need proper clothing in cold climates, synthetic clothing offers great protection.

One note of caution here is in order, however. Synthetic clothing does not do well when subjected to high heat, and by that I mean that the flying embers from a campfire. If this happens it will quickly burn a hole in your in your favorite jacket (or whatever), and if your clothing is next to your skin, the melting fabric could be dangerous.


Strictly speaking, down is not a clothing item, but it is contained within a fabric, to make clothing items. Like wool, this natural product has phenomenal properties which can serve you well in very cold climates. Among its many strengths are its light weight. its ability to breathe or wick, it's ability to be super compressible for packing purposes (not for long periods however), and, of course, its fantastic insulation capabilities, which will keep you warm.

There are a couple of disadvantages with down, the first being cost. The second issue has to do with downs susceptibility to getting wet. Traditionally, when down got wet, it lost most of its insulating capabilities. In recent years however the technology has developed to treat down to make it water repellent, thus preserving much of its insulation qualities. Since all (or almost all) of the outer shell for down garments is made from synthetic fibers (and usually nylon), it is a very good idea to not wear your down clothing around campfires.

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:42 pm


The Boy Scout motto says it best: BE PREPARED!!!!

Winter time is upon us, and the need to be prepared, from a clothing perspective, should be one of your most important considerations. Nothing is more miserable than being cold, whether it is during the day or at night. And, if you have any intentions of passing the traditions of outdoor appreciation on to your family or friends, you better make sure that they are all well equipped to handle the cold. I've seen more than one instance where campers were miserably cold at night (not to mention the day) who vowed to never camp again. Don't let that be you.

So, here are some suggestions for outdoor clothing.

Bundled up for the cold II.gif
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1. Wool Clothing

Nature often times serves up lessons that the wise will heed. As some know, sheep exist and thrive in many different climates, and that includes some of the coldest and some that are quite warm. The reason is simple: their wool coat is exceptionally effective in protecting them from the elements.

Sheep wearing wool.jpg
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When it comes to the best fibers for cold weather clothing, you can not beat wool. Regular wool, for all of its terrific qualities though, can be rough and itchy when worn next to the skin. The solution is a soft and comfortable wool from Merino sheep. Merino wool, in addition to its soft quality also is able to be machine washed and (in some cases) dried in your clothes dryer.

Cabela's say this about Merino wool (https://www.cabelas.com/category/XPG-Fo ... 794480.uts):
Why Use Merino Wool?

Merino wool is common in high-end, performance athletic wear, and for good reasons. Several properties contribute to merino's popularity for exercise clothing, compared to wool in general and to other types of fabric:

● Merino is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin.

● It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking.

● The fabric is moisture repellent.

● Like cotton, wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight), but, unlike cotton, wool retains warmth when wet, thus helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts or weather events.

● Like most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties.

● Merino is one of the softest types of wool available, due to its fine fibers.

● Merino has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, in part because the smaller fibers have microscopic cortices of dead air that trap body heat.
Cool Hiking Gear.com says this about Merino wool (https://coolhikinggear.com/what-is-the- ... g-material):
Our top choice! Merino wool:
  • Breathes well and has excellent moisture wicking capability
  • Lightweight and can be versatile enough to be worn in summer i.e. a lighter construction
  • Best in terms of odor control, face it, its next to your skin, it’s going to get sweaty

There are many retailers and manufacturers of wool products, and I only offer these two as ones I have used and recommend - Minus 33 (http://www.minus33.com) and Icebreakers, (http://www.icebreaker.com) Both companies sell a full line of Merino wool clothing, including caps, neck coverings, layering tops and bottoms, socks and gloves.

From the Minus 33 and Icebreaker Websites

Minus 33 HDMerino wool top (Large).jpg
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Merino Wool Sock by Icebreaker (Large).jpg
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Icebreaker neck covering (Large).jpg
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Minus33 Merino Wool Sock (Large).jpg
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Minus 33 Balaclava (Large).jpg
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2. Synthetic Clothing

Synthetic fiber clothing is another great choice outdoor use, and especially in cold weather (but warmer weather too.) When it comes to synthetics, polyester is at the top of the heap (along with some others.) There are quite a few sources worth mentioning, but our list below is, by no means, complete (translation: do your homework.)

A. PolarMax (http://polarmax.com/). Polar Max makes their entire line of clothing in the USA and comes with a great warranty. Among the many qualities of the Polar Max line of clothing are:

Stretches for Comfort
Wicks Moisture Away from Skin
Quick Drying
Scent Prevent™ Anti-microbial
Comfortable Flat Seams
Won't shrink
Easy Care – Wash & Wear

One of the best qualities of their clothing (IMO), in addition to it's warmth, is it's ability to stretch. As I normally turn during the night, its nice to have thermals that do not restrict your movement !!!

From the Polar Max website ( Comp 4 Tech Fleece Crew and Heavy Weight Quattro Fleece)

Polar Max Comp 4 Tech Fleece Crew.jpg
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Polar Max Quattro Fleece Heavy Weignt.jpg
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B. Kryptek https://kryptek.com/

Their story:
Introducing Kryptek: A technical hunting clothing line built on Military tactical apparel attributes. After years of combat in ultra extreme conditions and environments, we saw a need in the hunting apparel industry. It was lacking a technical clothing line that was functional, durable, dependable, reliable, and didn't break the bank. That's why we formed Kryptek.

C KUIU (https://www.kuiu.com/)

Their founder's mission:
I wanted to make the lightest and highest performing mountain hunting clothing possible. I wanted to create a brand that stood for uncompromised quality and performance. Innovation Never Rests.

D. First Lite https://www.firstlite.com/

Their mission:
First Lite strives to provide the best possible apparel for the hunter who demands nothing less. We design simple products that work for the tree stand on the back forty or a nine-day expedition in the Brooks Range. We also fully understand that the passion of our customers and employees depends on the conservation of the world’s wildlife resources and the protection of our collective access to the wild places they inhabit. Therefore, First Lite is about more than simply producing awesome gear. Supporting the people and groups who protect our sporting heritage is an equally important part of who we are as an organization and a group of folks who love to hunt.

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm


There are times, and many of them, when fancy and high tech really aren't necessary. And, this includes times when things get cold, which by the way, is different for every person. In my household, there are some who think that 65 degrees is "freezing." There are others whose comfortable temperature is 65 degrees. Fortunately, there are clothing options for all types.

This section is meant to acknowledge that there are some retailers out there who offer great outdoor clothing that I would call "everyday" wear stuff. You won't find their clothing in the top ten of arctic explorers, and REI probably doesn't stock their stuff, but it is more than sufficient for a great many, and dare I say most, outdoor clothing needs. I only offer two examples, but they, again, are companies whose products I use and recommend. Both offer high quality, heavy duty, and long lasting clothing that will serve you well for many years to come.

Pictured below are just some examples of the clothing items they offer, and it will be in your best interest to browse their websites to get a better idea of their offerings.

1. DeluthTrading Company (https://www.duluthtrading.com/)

In addition to offering high quality clothiong, Deluth has made its reputation on it's "No Bull" Warranty:
We stand by the craftsmanship and durability of our products. If you are not satisfied with any item you purchase from Duluth Trading, return it for a refund within one year. After one year, we will also consider returns for items that are defective or don’t perform as designed. No Bull means if something goes wrong, we will always treat you right.
Deluth Hanger Bender Shirt Jac.jpg
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DuluthFlex Fire Hose Action Jac.jpg
DuluthFlex Fire Hose Action Jac.jpg (53.38 KiB) Viewed 621 times

2. Carhart (https://www.carhartt.com/)

Carhart too, has forged it's reputation on quality products and customer care (warranty):
For over 125 years, we’ve built rugged products to serve and protect hardworking people. We stand behind the premium quality, craftsmanship, durability and performance of all our hardworking garments and accessories — and are committed to the satisfaction of our customers. Should one of our products fail to meet your expectations, please contact our dedicated Customer Service team and we’ll do everything we can to come to the solution.
Carhart Sandstone Artic Quilt lined Jacket.jpg
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Carhart Jacket-1.jpg
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Carhart Vest.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by KA9WDX » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:19 pm

Guess I'll check in LOL...Thanks...Bernie

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by Diesel4x » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:36 pm

Thanks for early check in, KF6KOC, Randy.

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by VK2DY » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:46 pm

Check in

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by k9atk » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:51 pm

Please check inn
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by Geoff » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:45 pm

Merino wool socks are a must.
Please check me in.

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 13, 2020 - Outdoor Clothing


Post by kevinhum55 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:56 pm

Early Check in
Yucaipa, CA.

My YouTube Channel is:

W6RIP Radio Adventures

Sota, Pota and outdoor Videos

They key to your outdoor clothing selection is your ability to regulate your body temperature with layers. Not too hot and not too cold.
Don't forget to take care of your fingers so don't forget as set or two of good gloves and liners.

These are just some of my suggestions. I personally use all these myself.
I am a big fan of:

Darn Tough Merino Wool Socks and Merino Wool Base layers. Lifetime warranty cant be beat. Thin enough to layer up if needed.

Merino 365 Wool Base layers. Thin, breathable, lightweight and packs small. Upper has thumbhole cut out so sleeve stays down when layering up and wearing gloves. Merino wool will keep you warm even while wet. If you sweat a little, you'll be ok.

Mountain Hardwear ghost whisperer down jacket. Packs small into its own pocket. Weighs only ounces. Good for layering.

REI Gore-tex outer layers. Cheaper than name brands and pretty good quality.

Merino Wool Buff will cover your neck, face and ears if needed. Great when used with a beanie or hat.

Merino Wool Beanie. Even with sweat, it will work. Great way to regulate heat is through your head.

Hoglof Pants are pretty sweet.
Last edited by kevinhum55 on Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:04 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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