For any wilderness adventure, preparedness is the key to your survival. One of the most important ways to be prepared is by investing in clothing that will keep you comfortable when outdoors. The best survival clothing will be garments that hold up well against various weather conditions in the wilderness. This article will be your guide on survival clothing and will outline the factors to consider when investing in clothing for wilderness survival. This article will also provide you with product reviews of the best survival clothing you’ll find available on the market.
What’s Considered Survival Clothing?
Survival clothing is specifically designed to protect you from the outdoor elements and help regulate body temperature. Clothing for wilderness survival should keep you comfortable in various weather conditions such as wind and precipitation. Body temperature regulation is also important to consider when looking for survival clothing because extreme cold and extreme heat can be fatal if you’re not properly dressed for it.
Factors to Consider:
1. Weather and Environment
First and foremost, you must assess and research the place(s) you will go. Find out the terrain, temperature variations, and weather conditions during your time in a wilderness place. This will help you determine what to bring along. In colder climates, survival clothing should be insulated and keep you warm, even if you get wet. In warmer climates, survival clothing should be breathable for temperature control. To deal with heat, wear fabric that’s lightweight and can absorb or wick sweat. Lighter-colored clothing is also a good idea to reflect heat.
Layering is the most effective way to deal with places that have fluctuating weather conditions and places with significant changes in temperature throughout the day. By layering, you’re creating insulating air spaces between your clothing. For survival clothing, you’ll find base, mid and outer layers. Base layers are worn directly on your skin and are intended for insulation and dealing with sweat. Outer layers are meant to protect you from outdoor elements such as wind, precipitation and extreme cold. Mid layers offer insulation and varying degrees of protection against the elements if you need to take off your outer layer.
Natural animal fibers such as wool and silk are great options for base layers. Wool is a great insulating clothing material in cooler climates, and still insulates when wet. Silk is also a good base layer because it’s comfortable and resilient. Poly-fibers, such as Gore-Tex, are best used for outer layers as a water and windproof shell. However, be aware that they don’t breathe well unless they’re vented properly, so check for breathability. Goose down housed in water-repellent fabric is a great combination of insulation and weather resistance in extreme cold conditions. Polyester fleece is a water-resistant insulator that’s rugged and lightweight. Fleeces are commonly used as mid-layers. Cotton clothing is not recommended for survival wear, especially for colder climates, because they hold moisture longer and lose their ability to insulate when wet.
Arcteryx Beta SL Jacket
The Arcteryx Beta SL is made out of a 40 Denier nylon shell paired with a Gore-Tex membrane. The Gore-Tex fabric is made with Paclite technology that makes it lightweight and packable. The jacket is not only guaranteed to be waterproof, but it was also designed for breathability. The seams are fully taped and the two hand pockets even have laminated WaterTight zippers. It also features a hood and hem draw cords. The Arcteryx Beta SL jacket is available in men and women’s sizes. This jacket is recommended for a wide variety of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, climbing and trail running.
Smartwool NTS Mid 250 ZIP T
The Mid 250 Zip T is Smartwool’s warmest, cold-weather base layer made out of 100% merino wool. In cool weather, it can even be used as a single layer. It features flatlock chafe-free seam construction and shoulder panels for extra comfort while carrying a backpack. This fitted base layer has a 10-inch center front zipper which allows you to regulate your body temperature if you start to feel hot. The Mid 250 is a high-quality base layer that’s not only breathable but keeps you warm in colder weather conditions. It’s available in men and women’s sizes.
Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Bottom
Smartwool’s Mid 250 bottom base layer is a perfect pair with the Mid 250 Zip T. It’s made out of 100% merino wool that has an interlock knit for efficient moisture-management. Their Mid 250 bottom is made with the warmest weight fabric and will keep you well insulated in cold weather. It features a covered elastic waistband and a flatlock seam construction to help eliminate chafing and increase comfort. The Mid 250 bottom is available in men and women’s sizes. This base layer is recommended for alpine environments and other wilderness areas with fluctuating temperatures.
Columbia Women’s Benton Springs Full-Zip Fleece Jacket
Columbia’s Benton Springs fleece jacket is made out of 100% medium weight polyester. It has a slim fit design with a standing collar and on-seam zippered pockets. Even with the slimmer fit, you can easily put layers underneath. The fleece is soft, cozy and offers great insulation as a mid-layer or as an outer layer for milder weather conditions. The Benton Springs also features sleeves with elastic inside allowing you to pull up your sleeves up without them falling. A similar model for men is Columbia’s Steen’s Mountain Full-Zip Fleece 2.0.
White Sierra Trail Convertible Pant
White Sierra’s convertible pant for men is made out of 100% nylon that’s water repellent and offers UPF 30 sun protection to reduce your exposure to harmful UVA/UVB radiation. The zip-off pant legs allow you to convert the pants to shorts when temperatures change and vice versa. The vertical side zippers make it even easier to slip them on and off over footwear. It also features an elastic waist band to keep you comfortable. A similar model for women is White Sierra’s Sierra Point Convertible Pant.
To find the best survival clothing for your needs, be sure to assess the outdoor elements that you’ll be up against. Researching the places you intend to go will help you decide what clothing you should bring to ensure your survival. Invest in high-quality layers that are made with fabrics that will fare well against various weather conditions such as wind, precipitation, heat or cold. Always remember that your clothing choices are considered one of the key components to wilderness survival.