Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
To achieve the BEST result from our layers, we need a system that allows inside moisture to escape while keeping outside moisture out!! The best layering system will consist of a moisture-wicking base-layer, a mid-layer to trap warm body heat, and an outer-layer that is both waterproof AND breathable!!
But for today...let's talk all about BASE-LAYERS!!! First, and most importantly, the base-layer you choose should be constructed from a NON-COTTON material!! I cannot stress this enough!! The reason cotton is not a good material for base-layers is because cotton absorbs water very quickly and takes a very long time to dry. Using cotton fabrics as base-layers can be very dangerous because it can actually speed up heat loss. In weather below approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit, wearing damp cotton causes the body to lose heat faster than it can produce it. So...STAY AWAY from cotton!!!
Now...the base-layer is the layer that should be worn right next to the body, and its very important job is to keep you comfy by wicking moisture away from the skin. When choosing a base-layer, it is important to understand that a correctly sized base-layer should fit snugly against the body and feel as though you have to "peel" it off when you remove it.
In the old days, when a person wanted an extra layer of protection, they only had one option...waffle knit thermal "long johns". Now...I know that lots of people, myself included, still resort to these tried and true favorites now and then, but these days, there are better choices and more options for the modern adventurer. Most base-layers offer different weights for the level of activity/energy you will be exerting during your adventure. Here are some guidelines for what to choose in whatever situation you find yourself in:
Heavy weight options are best for stationary activity in moderately cold weather. Medium weight options are best for more strenuous activity in cold weather, and the lightest weight is ideal for when you are planning to stay on the go in moderately cold temperatures.
In addition to the different weight choices, there are also several fabrics to choose from. Here is a breakdown of the most effective base-layer materials:
Silk both wicks moisture away from and insulates the body well. It is one of the most comfortable fabrics and is very lightweight. However, it is not as durable as other fabrics, and some silks can require very special care and handling when laundering. Another fabric choice is Polypropylene (aka polypro). This material is one of the first man made moisture wicking fabrics. It is quite effective at wicking moisture away from the body, but has had complaints of retaining odor and becoming scratchy after use. Newer versions, however, seem to have overcome these problems. Finally, polartec is another fabric choice that is polyester based and both reliable and durable. It wicks moisture effectively and is comfortable like cotton. One big plus of this material is that it is available in many different weights, and that means lots of options!!!
When base-layer shopping, you will quickly find that there are many, MANY, many options for this layer of clothing. There are lots of manufacturers that produce many versions of base-layers each purporting to work better than all the others. Just remember that the most important things to look for are fabric and weight. Use the information given here to guide you in the process and help you make the right decision for your needs.
So...you have done your research, purchased your perfect base-layer, and have worn it out for your next trip in the field or on the lake. It was awesome and kept you warm but after a week of wear...it kinda smells...now what?? Care and handling of your base-layer after use is just as important as the care and handling of your rods, reels, guns, or ammo. Neglecting to launder them properly is one of the main reasons they cease to be an effective tool for combating extreme temperatures. It is a common misconception that performance wear (aka clothing with a job to do) can be tossed into the washer on any cycle with any regular old clothing detergent. But I have to ask...would you, after a day of hunting, clean your guns with 409...or oil your favorite fishing reel with cooking oil? The answer is no...and this is because you KNOW that if you do so, the gear will wear out faster or not work properly the next time you shoot a bullet or cast a line. There are special cleaners and oils to ensure proper performance, and you take the time to use them!! Why then, would you not take the time to properly care for you performance wear? They are gear like anything else, and if you want them to remain effective and last, you must care for them as you would any other gear. This means laundering them in soap that is specially formulated just for them.
There are a couple of options out there made just for base-layers. One of the more popular brands is Granger's Base-layer Wash. This product is engineered specifically for base-layers and is environmentally safe and biodegradable. Also, it is equally effective on natural or synthetic fibers and contains no additives, perfumes, softening agents, or bleaches which can break down performance wear and cause loss of effectiveness. It runs about $9.99 for 10 oz. but lasts quite a while. I suggest finding a performance wear wash that you trust and using it consistently. The bottom line is that regular detergents can be harsh and ruin the effectiveness of the product.
So...now we know all the basics about the first layer of in our performance system. Hopefully, I have made clear the importance of this first layer and the information needed to choose the most effective one for your adventures. Remember...do not dismiss the importance of this first layer...without it working properly, it does not matter how expensive or fancy your other layers are...they just will not work as well!!!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the Part 2 of the series which will discuss mid-layers!!!
Happy Friday ~
LIZZY aka The Fisherbabe
Friday, January 7, 2011
I mean how cute are these...and totally WATERPROOF...doesn't get better than that my fishin' friends!!! I swoon...
Happy Boot Gettin' ~
Lizzy aka The Fisherbabe
**you can find these lovely, oh so precious boots at http://www.lovemyshoes.com/products2.cfm/id/31900/item/RAIN%20STORM-by-LOLLIPOP