Prepping Clothes

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OCTrojan

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I read on one of the blogs that you shouldn't pack blue jeans or cotton socks for prepping. What is the reason for this? What fabrics would be recommended? I am in Southern California so any advice specifically for this area would be appreciated.
 

Roninsensei

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Its mainly because cotton stays wet longer than all the other fabrics. At night this can get you killed even in California. If you cannot maintain body heat you will not last long. Most poly blends are safest for that. Always avoid wearing cotton, just remember the saying “Cotton is Rotten” as it loses all its insulating properties when wet and when it is against your skin it can quickly lower your body temperature. There is another saying in the outdoor world, “Friends don’t let friends wear cotton”. Always wear clothes that are warm and made of material that continues to insulate even when wet or is quick drying, such as wool (SmartWool), or lightweight moisture wicking synthetic material, such as Polartec or polypropylene.
 

tntboy13

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I second him, but would also like to add the saying "cotton kills". :) haha
 

old_anorak

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Its mainly because cotton stays wet longer than all the other fabrics. At night this can get you killed even in California. If you cannot maintain body heat you will not last long. Most poly blends are safest for that. Always avoid wearing cotton, just remember the saying “Cotton is Rotten” as it loses all its insulating properties when wet and when it is against your skin it can quickly lower your body temperature. There is another saying in the outdoor world, “Friends don’t let friends wear cotton”. Always wear clothes that are warm and made of material that continues to insulate even when wet or is quick drying, such as wool (SmartWool), or lightweight moisture wicking synthetic material, such as Polartec or polypropylene.
Ronin, the only time I think cotton is essential is in women's and girl's underpants. You want the crotches of them lined with cotton because it breathes and cuts down on crotch rot and yeast infections. Yes, I know that was too much TMI for you manly men, but if you have women that will be with you when everything goes to hell, make sure her panties have cotton crotches.
 

SSTxPrepper1

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One word "moisture wicking" works well with me and Under Armor loose fit did just well for me in theater and as well did Nike Combat hypercool shirts. But thats me. If your goin to be wearing it alot in a hot humid environment, then you want whatever your wearing to be breathable and moisturewicking. "cotton kills" :ar15:
 

Mountain*Heart

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WOW!! This is why belonging to this site is so good! Being a pretty advanced home sewer I knew of the cotton rules..lol...but never thought of them in that way for survival. I am so glad I read this! (repacking some things in BOB..lol)
 

Warriorhealer22

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Ok, cotton no good? Uh, you might want to rethink that. True, cotton does stay wet and if you believe waterworld is in our future, then that's good. Sure if you are on the move it may not be the best choice. So would a spare pair of pants. Some people may spent the rest of their lives in 1 pair of pants, I don't know. What about how synthetics melt? If they get too hot or on fire, they will melt to you, cotton won't. Cotton is reparable. Wool is another good choice as it will maintain some warmth when wet. A combination of natural and synthetics is best. Wicking is important. Cotton does breathe until it gets saturated. In survival situations, you want to avoid excessive sweating anyway.

More important is the quality of construction as these clothes will need to last awhile, long enough to have to make our own clothes. When the SHTF is not a time to buy cheap quality. Moisture wicking layers next to your skin, they don't wick very well if they are not touching the skin, natural fibers or blends for warmth, waterproof for the wet times. Water resistant yet breathable for other times. If you leave climates the basics never change.
 

Roninsensei

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I foresee wet situations way before being on fire... What the hell are you doing to be lit on fire? And if your lit on fire it won't matter if its cotton or not your burning!!! Rain + cotton = cold and possible dead and WAAAY more plausible.. Poly blend + fire =WTF are you doing to get lit aflame and less likely to happen at all!!!!! I won't argue wools benefits but as you can see in my post I mention it but, Cotton is simply not worth the risk. Not for true survival.... It makes no sense to risk it. If your a survival pro then fine but, as a rule of thumb....NO.
 

Warriorhealer22

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I foresee wet situations way before being on fire... What the hell are you doing to be lit on fire? And if your lit on fire it won't matter if its cotton or not your burning!!! Rain + cotton = cold and possible dead and WAAAY more plausible.. Poly blend + fire =WTF are you doing to get lit aflame and less likely to happen at all!!!!! I won't argue wools benefits but as you can see in my post I mention it but, Cotton is simply not worth the risk. Not for true survival.... It makes no sense to risk it. If your a survival pro then fine but, as a rule of thumb....NO.
You seem extremely upset. I'm not disagreeing with you about cotton. OCTrojan asked about clothes for prepping, which to me means a lot of unseen circumstances. Don't we all carry ways to make fire in our prep kits? a lot of people get burned as well as wet, and wet you can remove clothes and dry, burned is burned. Anyway, I was thinking in more general terms, not just short term. Hypothermia is a killer and can happen in any climate, the point would be to avoid getting wet period. I know people who got hypothermic wearing synthetics as well (I worked Medevac in Alaska and Colorado, as well as in Afghanistan with the GI's wearing all synthetics). Prepping is preparing for anything.

I guess my point- your clothes need to protect you and be durable and comfortable. All have benefits and drawbacks.
 

Gazrok

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Along with my BOB in the truck, I keep a change of loaded up "prep clothes". Basically, it's an OD fishing shirt (breathable, lots of pockets) and some camo shorts (with lots of pockets), and hiking boots with a generic OD baseball cap. Basically, if I have to go on foot, I'll look like an average back-packer. I do NOT want to look like Rambo, or like an actual soldier (people may be gunning for either of those). The pockets are loaded with lots of little BOB type items. Of course, I'll also have my pistol and ammo too. I also don't want to have a ton of clothes on in the FL heat.
 

Roninsensei

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You seem extremely upset. I'm not disagreeing with you about cotton. OCTrojan asked about clothes for prepping, which to me means a lot of unseen circumstances. Don't we all carry ways to make fire in our prep kits? a lot of people get burned as well as wet, and wet you can remove clothes and dry, burned is burned. Anyway, I was thinking in more general terms, not just short term. Hypothermia is a killer and can happen in any climate, the point would be to avoid getting wet period. I know people who got hypothermic wearing synthetics as well (I worked Medevac in Alaska and Colorado, as well as in Afghanistan with the GI's wearing all synthetics). Prepping is preparing for anything.

I guess my point- your clothes need to protect you and be durable and comfortable. All have benefits and drawbacks.
Most of my post was an attempt at the comical, not serious, sorry that it seemed angry, the whole text doesn't convey tone thing... I don't think we are disagreeing. My only real point is in the end. Cotton is for the experienced only.
 

Warriorhealer22

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I couldn't sleep- dang that cotton question. Clothing for endurance and adventuring should not be cotton. Your get out of dodge/ bugging out clothes shouldn't be cotton, just don't freak out about it. Gaszrok made a good point by saying he keeps clothing with his BOB, I do the same thing because I don't always dress like I'm not coming back.
 

GatherYeAcorns

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I was in the U.S. Army, so I'd probably pack my old worn woodland camo BDUs and ACUs in my BOB...Which could be an ALICE backpack or a duffel bag. BDUs are 50% cotton and 50% Nylon. I'd probably bring my Gor-Tex (100% nylon) jacket and pants to keep me waterproof and they are warm as hell if not hot after a few minutes of wearing assuming you're not in a middle of a winter storm. A poncho helps too. Black issued military boots generally help in keeping your socks dry unless you're in "Waterworld."
 

Gazrok

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Problem is, you'd look just like a serving soldier, and that could be bad depending on the exact SHTF scenario. You may be mistakenly shot (by either other survivors, or soldiers).
 

GatherYeAcorns

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Problem is, you'd look just like a serving soldier, and that could be bad depending on the exact SHTF scenario. You may be mistakenly shot (by either other survivors, or soldiers).
I actually thought of that. I figure, I'd look more like a hunter wearing the old issued BDUs than these new multi cam or ACUs. Those look UN to me along with Kevlar helmets. I'd probably mix in civilian clothing (like a local sport team baseball cap) with my BDUs.
 

Gazrok

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Good points. I can't bring myself to hop onboard with the new cam style. For me, it's much easier to see. Maybe my color-blindness is to blame, but that new cam often sticks out like a sore thumb to me, during paintball games, vs. the older style.
 

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