Survival Clothing....What To Get..........

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Backwoods, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Backwoods

    Backwoods Out In The Sticks

    Good quality clothes are of vital importance in a survival situation and there may be a situation where you may not be able to get new clothes for a long time. Being in non 'city' situation will also cause more than normal 'wear and tear', reducing the lifetime of your clothes and requiring more repairs.
    Usually it's easier to repair quality clothes. One thing I have learned is that quality and price do not always go hand in hand. Buy the best you can afford.

    You'll need for Winter..........

    Warm camo trousers - two at least - for hunting / combat situations
    Warm work trousers - two at least - buy tough farming or mil.surplus stuff.
    Warm indoor trousers - two pairs - something warm and comfy for rainy days indoors.
    Warm winter jacket - one at least - to wear for normal 'non sweaty' outdoor activity
    Warm winter jacket - two at least - for outdoor ( sweaty ) work, should have less insulation.
    Warm winter jacket - two at least - ( camo ) for hunting / combat situations.
    USArmy surplus 'rip stop' clothes are good.
    Wool pullovers - two at least - a must in cold weather areas.
    Wool socks ( long type ) - seven pairs min. - wool insulates even when wet.
    Wool scarves - two min. - you'll definitely loose one, it's a law of nature
    Wool / fur headwear, cover ears - three -
    you loose about 65 % of your body heat through the head.
    Warm heavy duty work gloves - two pairs min. - protect your hands and fingers.
    Warm normal wear gloves - two pairs min. -
    Wind- / waterproof glove covers - two pairs min. - cold wet hands are unpleasant
    to say the least, also to consider is the 'wind chill factor'
    Wool underwear, long, top and bottom - two pairs very min. -use the layer system
    to keep warm while not active.
    Wool mittens - one pair min. - for the really cold days.
    Warm shirts - five min. - for inside and short outdoors stuff.
    Pullovers - two min. - for indoor and short outdoor wear.
    Ear warmers - 1 pair min. - keep your ears warm, they freeze real easy
    Neoprene face mask - 1 - saves your face on cold windy days.
    Skimask, white - one min. - for winter camouflage and heating face.
    White winter camo suit - one min. - so the enemy / foe doesn't see you until it's too late.
    Other stuff optional

    For Summer-

    Heavy duty work trousers - three pairs min. - summer sees more wear than winter.
    Indoor trousers / jeans - two pairs min. - for feeling normal inside the shelter.
    Camo rip stop trousers - two pairs - for hunting / combat sits.
    Camo rip stop jacket - two - for hunting / combat sits.
    Jacket, normal, 'civilian' - one very min. - for feeling normal around the shelter.
    Shirts, summer , long-sleeved - 5 min. - for normal days
    T-shirts, short sleeve, 14 min. - two weeks worth
    Hat / cap with eye shade - 2 min. - loosing one is easy, keep your head cool on warm sunny days - heatstrokes aren't nice.
    Heavy duty work gloves - two pairs min. - for heavy duty outdoor work
    Normal gloves - one pair - for different normal activities.
    Cutoff jeans or shorts - 2 - for warm normal days.
    Other stuff optional

    All year stuff-

    Poncho, camo / olive drab - one min. - for hunting / combat situations
    Warning - some gear makes a lot of noise when you're moving.
    Sweatshirts / long sleeve t-shirts - 7 min. - you'll want clean **** next to your body.
    Shorts - 20 pairs very min- clean underwear is vital to hygiene
    Socks, standard sports type - 20 pairs min. - as above, you'll loose some as well.
    Rain coat heavy duty - one - if you have skill / gear for repairs - if not buy more.
    Rain 'pants' heavy duty - two - if skills etc.
    Other stuff optional.


    You will be counting on you feet getting you to wherever you want to go.
    Somehow I don't see a lot of public transportation working.

    Your feet are important - ask any infantryman and he'll tell you - "take care of your feet"

    Feet can take some hard beatings and bounce back after a few days of rest,
    but if you want to do a lot of walking you _have_ to take care of them.
    Your boots should be worn in _before_ you go on long treks.
    The quickest way ( in case of hurry ) is to find a 'semi' swamped area
    and run around in the mud and water for about an hour.
    Make sure you move your feet in every considerable fashion.
    Then _wear_ the wet boots for about two hours, give or take.(you can pour out any water ) So............When choosing boots buy QUALITY, it's so important, 'cause where are you going to find replacements post and who's going to fix your feet if the boots are wrong?

    What to get-

    Leather mountain / hiking boots - two pairs - any brand you're comfortable with
    Heavy duty boots - one pair min. - for that heavy duty stuff you
    don't want to bust your combat / hiking boots on.
    Rubber boots - one pair min. - for those really wet days at camp -
    no need to get your combat / hiking boots wet if you're just mucking about in the rain.
    Sneakers - two pairs min. - for doing light stuff around the shelter
    If you're in a wooded / rocky area, sneakers really wont do outside,
    they'll be busted in no time flat.
    Other 'normal' shoes - two pairs - for inside, so you don't have to clean the floor thrice a day ;)
    - besides, it's nice with a feel of normality.

    Skiboots/shoes - if you're planning on skiing.

    A word or two on shoe maintenance.

    Make sure you have some shoe / sole glue and heavy duty thread / needle if repairs are necessary.

    The most important aspect of shoe / boot maintenance however are two things,

    1 - waterproof them the minute you take them home from the store,
    don't use the synthetic spray stuff though, leather really hates that.
    Use something like Mink Oil ( Kiwi ) or order 'Bjørnefett' ( name translates to 'bearfat' )
    from Norway, Sweden or Finland - it really waterproofs. ( I can be of assistance with this. )

    Reapply waterproofing if you've been trekking / in combat for several 'wet' days.

    2 - polish them _everytime_ you use them, without exception.

    If you are present or former mil. remember what your instructor at boot camp shouted at you ; )

    "Take Care Of Your Feet And They Will Take Care Of You"............
  2. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    Excellent write-up!

  3. desert_tom

    desert_tom Guest

    Excellent post! I'm new to these forums and dont really post to much, but along the lines of boots, i suggest getting a good pair of White's Smokejumpers or Nick's Hotshots. these are the best boots you can buy, they are handmade in the pacific northwest, and are what firefighters and loggers use almost exclusively. they run about $450 dollars, but are the best investment you can make. i own a pair of the Whites Lace to Toe Smokejumpers, and i wouldnt have another pair of boots ( and probably wont ever again, because they are completely rebuildable from the factory ). anyway, great forum, hope to see more great posts!

  4. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    Has anyone ever tried the military's Gortex(sp) for waterproof gear?
  5. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Gore Tex Is Not Very Brush or Abrasion Resistant

    Experience on SAR missions is that Gore Tex, while breathable and waterproof, it is not durable or abrasion-resistant if you must frequently force your way through heavy brush, briars, climbing over rocks, etc.
    If you tear up your expensive trendy outer layer up on every mission it gets expensive to keep buying more. For hunting purposes Gore Tex is noisy.

    For hunting outer wear I usually wear a Filson wool Mackinaw cruiser or tin cloth vest over a close-woven, windproof military wool shirt. Filson - Tin Cloth Cruiser Vest

    I've been wearing the same Filson "tin" pants and cruiser for 30 years. In cold weather I layer up with silk underwear then merino wool long underwear, an Alaskan wool logger shirt and Filson wool vest and whipcord pants. I've survived falls through the ice and unexpected overnights in snow caves in below zero weather and lived to tell about it.

    Of the new synthetics the only stuff I really like is polypropylene fleece as a warm-when-wet warming layer, a fleece anorak doesn't weigh much, and compresses almost to nothing in a compression sack for your survival kit. A removable, polypro fleece sleeping bag liner keeps your sleeping bag clean and adds 5-10 degrees of additional comfort level.

    Gore Tex makes a suitable material for a bivouac sack or emergency bag shelter. You want a compact, breathable moisture barrier if you must overnight unexpectedly. However, I carry the Adventure Medical Thermolite.
    Having one has saved my bacon a couple times. A must-have piece of survival gear. Some links:

    Thermo-Lite: Extreme Survival Emergency Bivvy Sleeping Bag (Two Person)
    Mini test results for Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy - ETS Forums
    Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivouac Sac
  6. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    Nice... thanks for the heads-up.
  7. Shultze 3

    Shultze 3 Guest

    Awesome list, Backwoods! It is just now getting into the lower temps here down south so I have packed away all of my summer clothes and have began hauling out my winter clothes. It looks to me like I may be missing a few useful things that you thanks for the reminder!
  8. styx

    styx Member

    Great list and ideas.
    Filson makes great products for staying warm and dry. I wear one of their wide brimmed hats most of the winter. Any boot made for loggers and firefighters is intended for extreme abuse and will stand up to just about anything. I wear a pair of Danner boots 5 days a weeks, 52 weeks a year and after 3.5 yrs I'm just now sending them to the factory for new soles, and that's cross country hiking over Nevada's rocks, they'd probably last longer in softer country.

    Smart wool makes some very comfortable wool base layers. I haven't had mine long enough to comment on their durability though.
  9. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    Having done my time with the forest service, I can vouch for White's, but there's some good competitors out there, too. I have a pair of Buffalo's that I picked up for about $200 when I was in Missoula on the 2000 wildfires and they're still serving me well. I used to like Red Wings, but in 1999 I had a new crew foreman working for me who was rough on everything he owned (we'll just say he was a well-fed Iowa farm boy who was a little too entheusiastic at times;)). In any case, he went out and bought a pair of Red Wings and within two weeks the heal came off. He brought them back, two weeks later, the sole delaminated. The store gave him a refund and he put it toward a pair of White's. He never had another problem. 'Nuf said.

    As for cold weather gear, I like polypro for my base layer. It wicks well so it keeps you dry and it's light. Some brands, like REI, tend to retain odor more than others. I also like neck gators and balaclavas for those terribly bitter days. If you're going out into the field, always have a pair of dry gloves and a pair of dry socks in a ziplock in your pack. If your hands and feet get wet for any reason, you will get frostbite unless you can change into dry ones. Also, those disposable toe and glove warmers can be lifesavers if your hands or feet start to get bitterly cold. I picked up a 30 pair pack of toe warmers this year at Costco for $13-14. If you're going to be sitting or standing still, they're a must-have item. I have Sorels and standing still on the snow, you can't produce enough natural heat to keep your toes warm when its -10F, so supplimenting with a $.35 pair of toe warmers may save your toes.
  10. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    I do about the same thing I did in the military...

    Take my poncho along, and in cold climates, take a poncho/poncho liner along.

    If you are into 'Cammo', they make them in all popular designs, including 'Real Tree'.

    Poncho/Poncho liner will keep you dry and tosty warm down to below freezing with nothing more than a jacket and regular pants.

    Poncho will make a nice, snug shelter with nothing more than a little cordage or a couple of sticks.

    Liner is a quilted insulation mat, made of synthetic material that won't hold moisture that lines the poncho, or you can use it as a snug blanket.

    It's also a VERY NICE cammo poncho (or you can obtain safety/rescue orange now) to keep you AND GEAR warm/dry while hiking or hunting.

    Personally, when I'm out hunting and I know I'm going to be out over night, or there is bad weather moving in, I take the poncho/liner with me.
    It's light, compact, effective, versatile, cost effective and available to everyone at any Army Surplus store or mail order house.

    If any of you have hiked/hunted in high country, you know that weather can move in MUCH faster than you expect it to!
    Hunters will know that if you bust that 'Big Rack' on the way out in the evening, it will be well past dark before you are done field dressing and halving/quartering it,
    Smart money says spend the night and hike/pack out in the morning where there is daylight...

    Having the equivalent of a medium weight, water proof sleeping bag and shelter with you is worth it's weight in gold!
  11. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    A friend once gave me a military jacket. Very heavy and large for me. I wore that everywhere when in the woods. it kept the rain off, was very warm, and had lots of pocket room too. I wish I still had it. The army surplus store has some, but not even close to the heft of my old one.
  12. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Navy Deck Jacket

    Sounds like a Navy Cold Weather deck jacket. Mine was very heavy with a multi-layer wool button-in liner like a doubled thickness of GI wool blanket. Current ones are quilted polyester fill like a poncho liner and much lighter, but still warm and a good buy. The one shown here is a shorter than than the hip-length one I was issued in the early 1970s.

    Navy Deck Jacket (Sage Green)
  13. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    Excellent info people, thanks..............
  14. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a Army Field Jacket.
    The reason the surplus store jackets felt light was because they didn't have the insulation liner in them...
    The liner just buttons inside the jacket 'Shell' and makes the jacket more useful in moderate, and actually cold weather.
  15. eljimbo

    eljimbo Guest

    survival ain't cheap

    Sounds like the admission price to the post-apocalypse is kinda' high...
  16. Coals

    Coals Member

    I opted for a more traditional jacket, one that with a bit of care and attention should last a life time.

    The Barbour Beaufort:

    More detail in the link below. Info about the jacket is spread through the page, so keep scrolling when you come to the Cartridge Bag :)

  17. Coals

    Coals Member

    I opted for a more traditional jacket, one that with a bit of care and attention should last a life time.

    The Barbour Beaufort:

    More detail in the link below. Info about the jacket is spread through the page, so keep scrolling when you come to the Cartridge Bag :)

  18. alig33

    alig33 Member

  19. trishja

    trishja Member


    this is great info
    thanks alot to you guys
    i am new to being prepared
    on my list of to dos is to try camping which ive never done so im researching what i need
    the idea is to eventual buy land with ,y mum and husband- when i find one- lol
    so i am learning the needed skills till then
    don't wanna be one of those people spending hundreds to thousands on unneeded stuff not at all appropriate to where they are
    so were starting our 3 mth storage and learning outdoor skills as were severely defficient in these
    experienced people like you guys save us from alot of expensive mistakes we really cannot afford
    thanks again
  20. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    I like layering...went through some bad weather at Ft. Drum, New York and other places, like most folks and that taught me a few things about long-term exposure.

    The cold range in my are is down to mid teens to well above freezing for most of the winter, more toward warm, with lots of damp, some moderately light snow, and rain.

    With layering I can simply put on and take off what I need as needed. Really heavy coats don't do it here because I'd wind up too hot. Starting from the outside I like a Goretex shell. Learned about them in the 10th Mountain Division, a long time ago. Wonderful item, you can wear them in moderately mild damp weather or extreme cold and simply add something like the fleece liner in there. I also like hoodies for layers. When active, in bad cold, I found a sweat suit, under a Goretex top and bottom worked pretty well for me...we also had poly prop, and that's better, but the sweats weren't a bad option.