Happy Friday the 13th! As some wags noticed, might this be…A Nightmare Before Christmas?
- A 1975 interview with Benton KacKaye is an excellent piece of trail history to watch.
- A member of the Dine’ (Navajo) nation is a chief administrator for the Bears Ears National Monument and what the Dine’ considers part of their ancestral lands.
- I’ve long favored polycotton blend shirts for my backpacking: they breathe well, they dry quick enough, and they are comfortable. Here’s some actual lab tests to validate my ham-fisted rule of thumb findings.
But I have to say I’m with Paul on this one: for a measly $20 you can get a good-looking hiking shirt that’s lighter, more breathable, and dries faster (or just as fast) as the Kuhl or Montbell at a quarter of the price. Oh, and it won’t kill you.
- The idea of preserving the night sky, as part of an environment to protect, is gaining traction in recent years. And that’s a good thing esp as new technology in the wings, and our growth in formerly dark areas can impact this part of the wild experience.
- Will wolves be coming back to Colorado? If a 2020 ballot initiative succeeds, maybe.
- And here’s some satire about Black Friday. 🙂
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Maybe “thin poly-cotton shirts don’t kill” is OK. But “cotton kills” is still the best advice for too many people who venture into the wilderness wearing common t-shirts, flannel, blue jeans, or cutoffs. As a whitewater raft guide, I took hundreds of people dressed like that down rivers in the summer. They usually wound up wet, cold, and shivering by the end of the day, despite air temperatures above 70° F. The best remedies were to remove the cotton clothing or cover it with something that blocked the wind. People sitting next to them wearing synthetic clothing (like me) rarely… Read more »
No doubt. But we (Americans) love our debates with no nuance, context, or space for qualifications.
So, yes… “Cotton kills” is good for myopic discussion. But if you want more to learn things, put an asterisk.
Ps. Sitting in a raft is much different than hiking all day in say, Utah or even Colorado. Perhaps it is my trades family background, but I am a firm believer in various tools that are best suited for different jobs.
And more info:
What Mags said. I once met Dick Cook, a backcountry hermit in Alaska. He told me he favored cotton coveralls for winter wear. He also wore mostly cotton clothing the rest of the year.
I still commonly carry a 100% cotton t-shirt in the backcountry. Often it’s more comfortable. I can use it as a towel, and to clean my glasses. For most other purposes I avoid cotton for the usual reasons.
I often wear poly-cotton shirts and T-shirts and I still wear blue jeans, most of the time. I think that people often lose sight of the fact that what you wear is not as important as how you wear it. One important cold weather rule is “Don’t sweat”. If you start to sweat, you either need to slow down or take something off until you slow down. I was out for a walk this morning and I was fine until I started to shovel snow. I only had a little snow to shovel, so I didn’t bother with my clothing… Read more »
Very true esp about avoiding sweating.
So the cotton thing has been very interesting to me. A cursory search will reveal hundreds of articles where the fact that “cotton absorbs 25 times its weight in water” is repeated over and over. So I’m to believe that if I take a 100g cotton shirt and get it soaking wet it’ll come away weighing 2600g? It’s a statement so obviously ridiculous that it made me start to question a lot of the truisms we take for granted in the outdoors. I’m still trying to understand wet cotton and insulation. I’ve seen 25x cited as the multiplier for heat… Read more »
Thanks so much for that article. It’s sparked some conversation here and elsewhere! As Abbie Hoffman once said – “Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.” One of them just spent several hundred more dollars to get there. Is that a good thing? Is it necessary? Indeed. I think it is all in context. For the gentleman above who guides rafting trips, I can see why a cotton t-shirt somewhere down a canyon with no sun could be challenging. OTOH, on a warm, sunny day here in Moab, would a person be in trouble hiking Devil’s Garden in a cotton t-shirt?… Read more »