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#210458 - 10/28/10 02:36 AM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Oware
Goretex wasn't even considered suitable rain gear in Yosemite
for the big walls by the Park Rangers and SAR. They said they
would
fine people who had to be rescued if their rain gear was
a waterproof breathable kind since it failed so often to keep
people dry in the long term.


And in fact, water resistant breathable materials are designed such that they WILL leak water after being exposed to water for a certain amount of time. As far as I'm aware, nobody has ever designed a material that is both breathable and waterproof indefinitely. Experienced skiers and snowboarders know that if you sit in a puddle of water, then the water will eventually seep through, unless your material is not breathable. I don't even think you can buy snowboard/ski gear that doesn't breathe.
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#210462 - 10/28/10 03:16 AM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
She lived to tell the tale. That's more than can be said about many.

Pretty good for a blonde! ;-)

Sue

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#210474 - 10/28/10 10:19 AM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 830
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
IMO, the lesson of the story is not that she could/should have been better prepared, but that even a trivial amount of equipment (a garbage bag) and the proper mind set can make the difference in surviving. She did not come out of it unscathed, but she came out of it alive. There is a big difference.

This is why something like the PSP can be so important. It can make the difference. Comfort? probably not. Survival? probably so.
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#210485 - 10/28/10 03:35 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
Goretex wasn't even considered suitable rain gear in Yosemite
for the big walls by the Park Rangers and SAR. They said they
would
fine people who had to be rescued if their rain gear was
a waterproof breathable kind since it failed so often to keep
people dry in the long term.


If true, then the Park Rangers and SAR don't know what they are talking about. Goretex as a material has a hydrostatic head of 10,000mm, which compares extremely well with all non permeable or non breathable materials. i.e. even heavy duty tent materials will struggle to have half the waterproofness of Goretex.

As for a comparison between something like the ubiquitous poly orange survival bag (heavier but superior product to a garbage bag) and a Goretex bivi then real world testing in a direct comparison has shown that one climber died in the orange bag whilst another survived in the Goretex bivi. This was because the moisture which was both apparent in the insulator layers next to the skin of the poly bag user could not be removed by the thermal gradient. The climber in the orange poly bag remained wet and the climber in the Goretex bivi slowly dried out over night. The same issue applies to clothing materials.

Quote:
You haven't tried it I take it?

Why would I? Relying on a desperate measure such as using an orange polybag or garbage bag basically fails to account for a little forward planning and thinking. If you are going to play in the mountains, to then rely on a garbage bag for cold wet and wintry conditions is utter stupidity. This unfortunate woman was basically at deaths door because she failed to understand the potential weather conditions the mountains can produce, not to mention once again the inability to use a map and compass (even if she had one) before she set out on her hike. The lightweight versus capability argument doesn't wash we me either with regard to plastic survival bags.

BTW I have once owned a orange poly survival bag many years ago, I ended up using it to mix some concrete in the garden. It isn't missed at all.

Goretex clothing (jackets and over trousers) can also be picked up at surprisingly inexpensive cost as well especially when you consider how long lasting these garments are. i.e. I still have my first Goretex jacket - A Berghaus Extreme 7000 Jacket, which is getting on for 15 years old.







Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (10/28/10 03:52 PM)

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#210543 - 10/29/10 04:07 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7151
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Oware
[quote=Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
[quote]
Goretex wasn't even considered suitable rain gear in Yosemite
for the big walls by the Park Rangers and SAR. They said they
would
fine people who had to be rescued if their rain gear was
a waterproof breathable kind since it failed so often to keep
people dry in the long term.


I have been mulling this statement over for awhile. It would seem that the NPS might be a bit hypocritical if this is true (perish the thought!), because the uniform field parka for many years has been a goretex garment. Back in the 1980s, they were made by The North Face. All the ones I have seen are tough, durable, and reliable. I wore one out, but it took about fifteen years of hard use. I know they have been used on Denali on high altitude mountain patrol.

Was this an individual ranger's statement or a policy statement in some public document? Do you know of any cases where they actually went after someone for wearing goretex on a big wall?

Goretex isn't perfect, but then no raingear is. If it rains hard enough, you will get wet - one way or another. Arguing about GT vis-a-vis some other raingear fabric is somewhat like the endless discussion of the best survival knife.
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#210553 - 10/29/10 05:23 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: hikermor]
Oware Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 41
Loc: 49th parallel
The information was posted by the Yosemite park service and writtenup in various climbing mags. They also threatened
to fine those who had to be rescued who carried down garments
for insulation instead of synthetic. This was after a couple
of fatalities where the gear of goretex and down were considered
contributing to the deaths.

I don't suggest you carry a garbage bag instead of a goretex rain
suit, but if you are teaching kids (or others who don't have the
money for nice rain gear or the space to carry it when snowboarding or skiing etc) to survive a couple of nights out,
a garbage bag and a whistle tucked in their pocket or helmet
straps could make all the difference.

When skiing lifts in the northwest, you sometimes see people
skiing with garbage bags OVER their Goretex suits. Those
chairlifts can be pretty wet. A good rubber Uniroyal or
Helly Hansen rainsuit will keep you much dryer than Goretex in those conditions.
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#210554 - 10/29/10 05:31 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: hikermor]
Oware Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 41
Loc: 49th parallel
Originally Posted By: hikermor
[quote=Oware][quote=Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
[quote]
All the ones I have seen are tough, durable, and reliable. I wore one out, but it took about fifteen years of hard use. I know they have been used on Denali on high altitude mountain patrol.



I suppose the North Face gave a better discount to get their
name out there than Uniroyal did. :^)

Goretex works well in places with high winds and dry snow
conditions. Since it is a partial vapor barrier, it slows
evaporative cooling and hence slows the ups and downs of
body temperature when alternating between activity and inactivity.
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#210555 - 10/29/10 05:36 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Oware
When skiing lifts in the northwest, you sometimes see people skiing with garbage bags OVER their Goretex suits. Those chairlifts can be pretty wet. A good rubber Uniroyal or
Helly Hansen rainsuit will keep you much dryer than Goretex in those conditions.


Based on experience, I tend to agree there. An inexpensive poncho is more water resistant than Goretex. You just have to try not to get sweaty because material that doesn't breathe will eventually backfire when you're sweaty (which is not preventable if you're skiing). The condensation and sweat will be uncomfortable, cold and maybe even frozen. You may not feel the discomfort while you're moving around, but if you were to stop and sit for awhile (like in survival mode), then you would feel the uncomfortable condensation and sweat.

USUALLY, while skiing or snowboarding, it's better to use a breathable material (like Goretex). A behavior of breathable material is leaking eventually after a certain amount of exposure to rain. As a general rule, I start to pack it in if it's raining too hard.
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#210558 - 10/29/10 06:20 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
The breathable vs. non-breathable argument is kinda silly. Both have their place, and being prepared means having the right tools when you need them.

Here in the NW, and SE Alaska where I'm originally from, the limits of breathable technology are very apparent. You spend all day in the rain, or worse, crashing wet brush, you are going to get soaked to the bone in breathable gear. Doesn't matter how good.

In the snow, non-breathable gear bites.

Neither is the answer alone.

I think one important thing here is that you need to have good base layers that work while wet, and optimally that dry quickly because some times, despite your best efforts, you get wet and there isn't anything you can do about it.

What really would have helped her is fire. Don't leave home without it.

In the end, I think this illustrates that mental determination plays a big role, but it has its limits.

Glad she is OK.

-john


(oh, and I have *three* garbage bags *and* a heavy duty "space blanket" in my EDC bag. :-)


Edited by JohnN (10/29/10 06:22 PM)

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#210559 - 10/29/10 06:32 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Not silly, the discussion of breathable vs. non-breathable is NOT common knowledge. Here is the appropriate thread to discuss the differences, just in case anybody is planning in advance.

I wish I had the understanding before I learned the hard way. It took me a couple of uncomfortable ski seasons to hone in on WHAT materials to use and WHEN to use it. Plus, ski companies (e.g., North Face, 686, etc.) are always changing their products. It's good to have an understanding of what materials work, as opposed to buying a brand without the understanding.
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