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Friday, October 21, 2011

Layers

 Times are changing, seasons are coming, and leaves are falling.  This is the camping season in full bloom!  Cool nights and warm days gets everyone outdoors from fall festivals to football games.  What other time is it?  Well that would be get out your winter clothes but, don't pack up those summer shorts just yet because they are needed in this weather as well.  I love October through December.  That is the time to get outdoors as often as possible. 
 What we all need to know though, is that the fall also brings huge changes in weather and tempatures.  We have all heard that saying of layer your clothes for the best warmth.  That is so true and it also reduces the amount of gear you bring in the outdoors.  Then there is the comfort factor, when you layer your clothes you don't go from freezing cold to sweating hot.  It is easier to adjust your temperature with layers than one of those eskimo parkas and an AC-DC concert t-shirt. 
 In these wonderfull photos, I am showing my typical atire for weekend camping in the fall and of course in north Texas.  If you are farther up the longitude lines then this season is almost over and you are packing away those daisy dukes and bikini on top outfits.  My first picture is of a typical cotton t-shirt I wear on scouting campouts.  Scouts uses the "activity" shirt when doing dirty work.  I like the t-shirt because if any boy or adult is found face down and unconcience with no ID on them.  You at least know that they are a member of our group and what city and state we are from.  Just knowing that basic information rescue people can locate maybe the campsite you are staying in or search the web for a contact number to get information.  The best thing though is to always have propper ID on you.  When I am family camping I wear polo style golf shirts.  I have this funny obsession about having a colar on me as often as possible.
 The next part I bring is my Starter brand long sleeve, mock turtle neck athletic shirt made of polyester or some form of wicking material.  This shirt can easily be worn under the t-shirt or alone on mild to cool days.  Then I have a light flannal shirt that I put on if the other two aren't enough or if I just want that flannel fealing on my skin.  The thing is that everyone of these shirts so far can be worn alone or combined with any of the other two.  If things are more severe than those three layers I have a rain jacket that gives me a fourth layer of protection.
 Then there are the bottoms, we all know that you are not supposed to wear blue jeans while camping.  I do break this law in the winter but we are talking about the fall so above I wear the great boating style shorts.  These shorts are again some sort of polyester and they have a gusseted crotch built into them.  I like having the gusseted crotch because I don't have to bring underwear since they are built into my shorts.  Plus I don't own any whitie tighties that are not cotton and you don't want to sweat alot with cotton on the bottom.  The result is a funny walk and lots of gold bond.  Wait till the winter to wear the whitie tighties.
If the temperature is too cool for shorts then I bring along a pair of running or jogging pants.  These again are made of polyester or some sort of whicking material and they slide right over my boots and fit comfortably over my shorts. 

My first scout master, the great Larry Foree told me as a young boy about materials and had this saying.  He said to remember what material does what just say "cotton is comfortable" that is why underwear and t-shirts are made of it.  We want that material next to our skin.  Then "polyester pushes moisture away" that is why sports and athletic clothes are made of it.  The last "wool is warm when it is wet" and of course we wear wool socks because our feet stink, no because we sweat in our boots and walk in the streams.  I still live by these funny little sayings and they help me pack for each camping trip.  I never liked being that guy who did not dress appropriate for the outdoors.  Even if it is just a day hike or watching an outdoor sporting event I bring along my layers of clothes.  Now does my son do the same thing?  Of course not he is a teenager and has to learn the hard way but, he is learning and is getting a better idea of how to layer his clothes and to bring the other layers in a bag to be prepared for the worst.

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