Survival Clothing

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by westernsky20, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. westernsky20

    Portland, OR

    Likes Received:
    I have building a bug out bag and have been thinking what kind of clothing to keep in it. I was going to keep blue jeans in it but I've heard that they are very bad if they get wet. I don't want hunter or tacticool clothing just something I can use in the woods or in the city that won't atract attention.
  2. Wenis

    Tri-Cities, WA

    Likes Received:
    Go to REI and you can buy just about anything that won't look like camo or SHTF gear. Look for a waterproof/windproof jacket, rain pants, synthetic top and maybe synthetic long johns. You'll just look like another yuppie in Portland.

    I buy their gear too :cool:

    Brownsville, OR
    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Bug out bag huh? Okay, where you bugging out too? To down town Portland? Or are you bugging out somewhere else. First define what is your plan? Where are you wanting to go? How will you get there? What clothing will help you accomplish your mission profile? Then consider your bug out mission and then buy clothing that helps you blend in with the environment you'll be traveling thru and/or living in and supports your Mission Profile.

    Remember no one "plans to fail, we just fail to plan." So having a plan will help make your clothing and other survivial choices simplier and easier.

    What you want is called dressing like the "Gray Man" which is an old detective tactic. You want to wear clothing that helps you blend in with your surroundings. Wearing cammo while much more popular on the street than a few years ago probably isn't going to help you walk around Portland unnoticed walking, running, hiking, or riding to your designated "bug out location".

    You'll find if you can buy clothing that blends both with nature and the street then you'll probably satisfy your all your needs....I've found wearing navy blue is common in the winter on the streets and yet it blends very well in nature/woods. There are many variations of greens, greys, and blacks that work well in both worlds (street and wilderness). Don't be monotone (wearing all one color) as you'll stand out. Just look around your world - what colors and textures blend in the best? Yes, REI is a good choice as many urban Yuppies wear REI gear even tho many never step outside the Urban Growth Boundary.

    Stick with wool, nylon, or any other materials...anything but cotton. There is an old saying here in the Northwest - Cotton Kills! Yet we still see students showing up in the winter with blue jeans and cotton hoody type sweatshirts and even the fog and dampness will get them soaking wet. Wet cotton is a death trap...yet most urbanites don't know this. If you're bugging out you'll be get clothes that can be layered on and off - also clothes that have the ability to breath or open up so you can breath...otherwise you'll drown in your own sweat as you move - especially when adrenalized!

    Honestly wool is the best Northwest material because it is warm when wet, breaths very well, and doesn't go up in flames when hit by a spark from a warming camp fire. And a good breathable hard shell (rain coat/pants). Good Gore Tex boots that are well broken in and wool or synthetic socks are a mandate. Don't wear cotton undies either...get something like silk, poly or similar. Wet from sweat or rain is wet...and you'll need something that dries quickly and is warm even when wet.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  4. jimwsea

    Vancouver, Washington state
    Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Try Next Adventure on SE Grand St, and Andy & Bax a few blocks north. Next Adventure has some lesser-known brands, lower prices than REI, and a used/consignment area in the basement. Andy & Bax has gov't issue woolies and synthetic long johns. Both places have other items you may want in your bug-out bag.

    As an old-timer once said, "cotton kills".
  5. zeezee


    Likes Received:
    Cotton is worthless in cold wet weather, wool only marginally, you best bet is pile or one of the polypropylene materials. Yeah, I know I'm going to get heck for dissing wool, but get a wool sock wet and a pile or poly sock wet, wring them both out and tell me which one you'd prefer to have next to your skin a
    -10F. Wool is great as an intermediate layer, a sweater, etc. and yes many a generation has survived wearing wool but why should you, would you, want to use something that qualifies as second best? Once wool get wet it take a fire or a dryer to dry it, whereas pile can be wrung dry & worn immediately. my $.02
  6. e28rusty


    Likes Received:
    ^ Wool is great, but it is bulky and heavy. If you are planning on walking any distance at all, weight is a big consideration. Remember, it is better to have many thinner layers than one big thick coat. Also pick up some lightweight breathable rain gear--Keeping dry is very important in a survival situation. Also a waterproof pack-cover to keep your gear dry.
    I keep a wool blanket in every vehicle, but my bags are full of synthetic clothes.
  7. Decker

    My house
    Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Okay so I did a little shopping after reading this thread... what the heck are you supposed to do if cotton is bad when it comes to pants? I scoured Bi-mart and Fred's and every pair of pants were cotton or a flimsy thin warm up pant.

  8. Woodswalker

    THe great PNW

    Likes Received:
    ONE small problem with the synthetic piles vs wool....pile MELTS in a flash fire and some SUPPORT combustion. I've seen someone with Polar Fleece and Goretex MELTED into the skin...vs the other guy in the same car who had wool with a Goretex both cases the shell melted, the fleece pile melted and contacted SKIN...the other Goretex melted and contacted WOOL which charred slightly and self-extinguished. Also seen the "fuzz on a fleece pile ignite with a spark or ember ejected from the fire.

    When I travel by air I wear, usually, well made wool "dockers style" trousers, cotton T-shirt/skivies, a long-sleeved wool shirt and wool blend socks with leather shoes.

    Wool and leather CHAR...sythetics melt and burn. Just a thought.
  9. A2theK


    Likes Received:
    Jeans? Really? You are already dead if you can't protect yourself from nature.

    How about some Patagonia fleece bottoms and top with a Gore-tex shell. Outer cover with Nomex if you are worried about fire.

    ECWS, SPEAR, APECS, or PEPSI (Spelling) are known systems. The Coast Guard "Foul Weather" system is good and quiet I hear. It's also blue.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010

Share This Page