Dressed for Survival

One of the problems faced in a survival situation is exposure. Hot or Cold or somewhere in between. Shelter is commonly used to fight this, but before you step out the door into the wild you should be able to dress the part. Know where you are, where you will be, and weather patterns and situations for that region are key factors in your choice of clothing.

Dressed For Survival

Let's start with cold weather. Sub-zero temps and snow aren't the only times you can suffer hypothermia. Even in the high 40s, I have heard of hunters getting lost and suffering from it. Not to mention the addition of wind and rain. This is where layering comes into play. Modern materials have come a long way to help the good fight against the cold. Top off a good layer of clothing with a good waterproof shell and you're in business, my friend. As you work when you feel the first signs of sweat just unzip clothing, or remove clothing to keep a constant comfort level and lessen the danger of losing more body heat from heavy sweat. Then when you start to feel cold just add layers again. Seems easy, but many just keep sweating and refreeze. While we are at it don't forget those feet. Keep them warm, but dry and problems should be low. Plenty of toe room helps fight cold. On the other end of the body, we all know a good hat and/or face mask can be a life saver.

On the opposite is warm to hot weather exposure. This is where most get it way wrong. Look at any summer vacation spot and you find small amounts of clothing with high amounts of sunburn and fatigue. Even in hot weather, it's important to cover the body. Not only from the sun, but I have found that water loss from uncovered sweaty limbs makes you even hotter. Light-colored long sleeves and pants of breathable material will work wonders on warm to hot days. You will also be glad you have them when the sun goes down and things start to cool off. Keep a hat on to shade the eyes and neck, and a pair of sunglasses and some light comfortable shoes (not sandals, they can cause burned feet) and you are on your way. I even carry a light rain jacket around my waist just in case.

Experiment when you go out day to day with different clothes, materials, and accessories. Pants and shirts with many pockets help distribute the weight of gear. Why do you think the military does this? (SMART AINT THEY?) Dress for survival before you go out, but always seek shelter.

-Jimmie Foster


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