Categorized | Tips & Tricks

Survival Clothing Layering System

Survival Clothing What You Need For Different Environments:

Deciding on the proper survival clothing, can make the difference of life or death, or at the very least making your survival situation as comfortable as possible.  Depending on the region of the country you live in will determine the type of clothing you will need. Now different parts of the country have all four seasons, so this will also play a role in determining the type of survival clothing you will choose.

First let’s talk about dealing with the cold or cold weather layering.  Layering clothing for cold weather can make a big difference, but what is layering and is there a layering system?

There Are Three Basic Components To Layering For Cold Weather:

  • You’re Base Layer or Next to SkinThis layer absorbs sweat and dampness.
  • Insulation Layer or Middle LayerThe middle layer traps body heat keeping you warm. Synthetics and wools are great materials for this layer.
  • Shell Layer or Outer Layer The outer layer protects you from wind, rain, snow, and abrasion.

How Does the Layering System Work?


Survival Clothing Layering System

1.       The Next to Skin Layer This is the layer that touches your skin. It should fit snuggly and resist absorbing any moisture. The best materials are wool, silk and synthetics such as polyester.

Long Johns “Long Underwear”, sports bras, leggings, and T-shirts can all be used for this layer. If you choose long johns “thermal underwear”, they come in different weights for different climates, so be sure to choose the one best suited for the climate that you will be in.
2.       The Middle layer or Insulation LayerThis layer is very important; especially in colder weather as it should hold in your body heat. Materials can be natural fibers such as wool and down or opt for a fleece like Polartec or Thinsulate brands.

Just remember that if you choose fleece, they come in three weights.

  • Lightweight fleece for athletics and semi cold weather. Perfect for the jogger or winter athletes.
  • Mid weight fleece for mild aerobic activity such as hiking. Great for colder climates.
  • Heavy weight fleece or “Expedition” is great for extreme cold weather with low activity.

3.       The Outer Shell or Weather Protection Layer This layer is what protects everything underneath from just about any type of weather. This layer should not allow moisture and/or wind to get in while allowing for ample ventilation to an overabundance of internal moisture.

There are several types of “shells” and these are:

  1. waterproof/breathable  This is your best choice and also the most expensive choice, for cool and wet climates. This type of shell allows you to stay dry from rain and snow while at the same time allowing moisture to wick out.
  2. water-resistant/breathableThis is a less expensive alternative to the waterproof/breathable option. This shell is ideal for light rain and allow for highly active activities. Great at blocking wind and rain.
  3.  softGreat for breathability featuring elastic /stretch fabrics. This shell usually incorporates an insulative material, making this a kind of 2-1 mild and cold weather system.
  4. waterproof/non-breathableTypically constructed from polyurethane coated nylon making it wind and water proof. This is an economical alternative to most other shells and also provides adequate protection. Works well for light activities such as walking, hiking, and fishing.
  5. InsulatedThis is a great choice for your cold or winter clothing selection because they keep you nice and warm, more so than other types of shells. Insulated shells are made from fleece, synthetics, down, and even wool. All of these materials make for good insulation against harsh weather conditions.

Summer Layering System: (two layer system)

Too many layers during the summer months may be counterproductive, although if the weather changes and gets windy or starts raining, you want to be prepared. That being said if you’re out for a short hike or a day at the ballgame the two layer system will work well for you. So let’s take a look at this system.

  1. Base Layer – Start with lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as silk, cotton, linen, or even rayon. Remember natural fabrics are typically cooler than synthetics. A t-shirt with a cardigan over the top is a simple and quick solution.
  2. Outer Shell – A lightweight windbreaker or denim jacket is perfect in case the weather changes.

Now you have a basic understanding of the Survival Clothing Layering System. Just remember that no one system is right for everybody a lot of times it is trial and error. It all depends on your climate and circumstances and what is comfortable to you.

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