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#210561 - 10/29/10 06:54 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: JohnN]
Oware Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 41
Loc: 49th parallel
Originally Posted By: JohnN
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. :-)


I think you have nailed it with the needs of different materials for different conditions. What I wanted to impress on folks is how a
simple trash bag can be one of the most useful, inexpensive
and compact pieces of gear you can carry when out in the
elements.

I don't know what her environment was like, but some mountain
conditions preclude a fire as a possibility.

That said, just last
weekend I stopped for lunch in wet blowing snow and found
enough tree shelter to build a fire to rewarm feet while out
deer hunting in eastern WA. It was very nice and turned grim into fun.
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#210562 - 10/29/10 06:57 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
If it's pouring rain and I plan to go walking in it, then I will prefer a non-breathable poncho over a $500 Goretex jacket if I must choose.

There's a common notion of always using Goretex because "hey it's expensive so it must be the best for all wet conditions". Based on my experience, I don't find that notion to be true.
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#210565 - 10/29/10 07:13 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Not silly to discuss the relative merits and applications of them, but silly to say *either* one is "THE" solution.

Agreed, education is never a bad thing.

-john


Edited by JohnN (10/29/10 07:18 PM)

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#210566 - 10/29/10 07:17 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA

We should also note that besides screwing up (and we all screw up) by not being prepared to spend the night outdoors, that some things she got right (even if by accident).

- Someone was looking for her in the area she was in. This suggests someone knew where she was and when she was expected back.
- She signaled, even if she didn't know it... footprints and red poncho.
- She kept her head and didn't give up.

Given her temperature when she was found, if she didn't get all those things right she probably would have been dead.

-john

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#210572 - 10/29/10 07:48 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: ireckon]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Quote:
If it's pouring rain and I plan to go walking in it, then I will prefer a non-breathable poncho over a $500 Goretex jacket if I must choose.


And a breathable Goretex Poncho works better than a non breathable one. wink

BTW Goretex jackets don't have to cost $500. You can pick up a ex mil spec one in the UK for around $30-35 if you shop around.

http://www.strikeforcesupplies.co.uk/index.php?method=stock&id=6026&from=80

Even high spec Goretex jackets are available on sale for around $150.

http://www.outofthecity.co.uk/laksen-garcia-goretex-jacket-p-1140.html

There are of course other materials out there such as Event and Triple point Ceramic etc and a whole new range of high performance soft shells and fleeces. There is even the Buffalo System for cold weather use consisting a windproof pertex and water resistant thermopile fabric. Everyone will have their favourite system.

I will also sometimes also use the 'old school' British army wooley pully and Ventile jacket Combo (being very breathable warm, comfortable, wind resistant and quiet), but will also bring along a Goretex liner in the daysack just it case it really begins to pour with rain. The Ventile Jacket works very well for those cold windy crisp days in the mountains. The downside is the weight of the jacket though.

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#210576 - 10/29/10 08:20 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Quote:
If it's pouring rain and I plan to go walking in it, then I will prefer a non-breathable poncho over a $500 Goretex jacket if I must choose.


And a breathable Goretex Poncho works better than a non breathable one. wink


So, you have personally compared the two in pouring rain? Hey look, I'm not trying to win an argument. It's just that what you said is contrary to my experience. In my experience, a non-breathable poncho will keep me almost completely dry in the pouring rain, as long as I'm not running around and getting sweaty. In contrast, I do have some expensive Goretex jackets (not ponchos though) that will leak eventually. Again, I'm talking about pouring rain, not snow.

Here's an example of the non-breathable, waterproof material that I prefer in the pouring rain:
http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Waterproof-Rain-Jackets.html
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#210577 - 10/29/10 08:29 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re Goretex:

I know friends who had first-generation Goretex jackets and they really did leak. The seams weren't sealed, and the lack of a water-repellent coating impaired breathability. They were not happy.

But with the advent of second-generation Goretex, factory taped seams, and durable water-repellant (DWR) coatings, those problems largely went away. I am currently on my third Goretex jacket and I really do find them effective. The only drawback with the less expensive 2-ply ones is that they tend to be on the heavy side. Lightweight 3-ply is great stuff, but it's pricey.

However, for those who prefer standard waterproof jackets, wearing modern synthetic base layers and light fleece mitigates the moisture/condensation penalty quite a bit. Given half a chance, these light layers will self-dry from body heat. I sometimes carry an ultralight waterproof on go-fast day trips where the big Goretex is overkill.

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#210578 - 10/29/10 08:38 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: dougwalkabout]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout

But with the advent of second-generation Goretex, factory taped seams, and durable water-repellant (DWR) coatings, those problems largely went away. I am currently on my third Goretex jacket and I really do find them effective. The only drawback with the less expensive 2-ply ones is that they tend to be on the heavy side. Lightweight 3-ply is great stuff, but it's pricey.


It isn't just an issue of the seams. The best most modern breathable fabrics still will soak through given enough water.

-john

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#210580 - 10/29/10 08:49 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: ireckon]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
So, you have compared the two in pouring rain?


I've compared the old 58 Pattern Poncho (PVC Backed Nylon) to a Goretex one and the Goretex one is better all round.

Quote:
as long as I'm not running around and getting sweaty.


This is the main advantage of using the Goretex and in this respect even Goretex is not perfect when used during high activity such as climbing a hillside. If your not moving then a tarp or basha or golf umbrella works even better.

Materials such as coated sil nylon (i.e. same as used in tent fly sheet manufacture) aren't as waterproof as Goretex, which will have a hydrostatic head of 10000mm compared to say 3000 mm.

Quote:
In contrast, I do have some expensive Goretex jackets (not ponchos though) that will leak eventually.

As with any jacket it will leak eventually in the most demanding conditions, i.e. through seems, zippers and stitching just as non permeable material jackets will, although the guidelines set down by Gore have stringent testing on all garments before they can get the Goretex label. Jackets using non permeable materials will become wet inside, just to a much greater degree and a whole lot quicker, through sweating, poorer construction quality through leaky zips etc and reduced hydrostatic head of the material itself.




Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (10/29/10 09:15 PM)

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#210581 - 10/29/10 09:07 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
As with any jacket it will leak eventually in the most demanding conditions, i.e. through seems, zippers and stitching just as non permeable material jackets will, although the guidelines set down by Gore have stringent testing on all garments before they can get the Goretex label. Jackets using non permeable materials will become wet inside, just to a much greater degree and a whole lot quicker, through sweating, poorer construction quality through leaky zips etc and reduced hydrostatic head of the material itself.


Well, you made some general statements that don't apply to all products. As I provided above, here is a non-breathable, seamless, waterproof jacket:
http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Waterproof-Rain-Jackets.html

I have a similar poncho and a similar jacket. Again, I said seamless. So, there's no need to discuss leaks at the seams. My ponchos are not airtight. So, sweat build-up is not so much an issue. One of them will be coming with me in the pouring rain, not my more expensive Goretex jackets.

To be complete, I also wear an undergarment made of a polyester that wicks moister away from my skin. I also wear a fleece-type insulation layer that dries quickly and is warm even when it's wet. In contrast, if you wear cotton underneath a non-breathable shell, then you will be wet and cold eventually.
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