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Old 10-12-2012
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Re: Foul Weather Gear

There are two key things to consider and several secondary things. High tech and low tech solutions are available.

To stay happy, you need to remain warm and dry. Use layered clothing to obtain warmth. The colder it is, the more layers you'll need. Just my preference - cotton or silk layer on the skin, followed with cotton or cotton/synthetic blend shirt/pants, followed by wool or synthethtic light fleece or sweater, followed by coat liner, with a water-resistant top layer (coat). If really cold, you can double up some or all layers. Same layered approach to feet torso and legs. To stay as dry as possible, you'll need to both repel water (rain/spray) and wick your perspiration away from your skin. Having that wool or hi-tech synthetic layer will help retain heat even when that layer gets wet. On the outer coat, take care that the openings for your hands and head don't allow too much water to get in and that the zippers, pocketss, etc. don't let the water sneak in. The top layer needs to be baggy enough to cover all these layers. Keep all the layers loose except perhaps the layer on your skin.

Warm and dry are essential. Other things to consider:

-- Does the outer coat's hood keep water out and allow you good visability? Some hoods are useless or block your field of view too much.
-- Can you access pockets, adjusting straps, zippers, etc. without compromising the whole set up? Outer gear with exterior as well as interior pockets work well.
-- Can you get out of the gear to use the head, change a t-shirt, etc, fairly quickly?
-- Is the gear dual use? I don't want hot weather gear and cold weather gear. Rather have rain gear that works in warm weather that I can layer underneath for cold weather service.

We've spent our money on good qualit, lighter outer layer components - top coat, bibs, good boots and we use Goodwill items to make up all the rest of the layers.


Warm and dry
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