Just cotton Clothing

Why does Cotton Kill?

Maybe you have wondered why men and women state Cotton Kills? Do you realy understand precisely why? Here’s a detailed description including a list of other materials that you should prevent when you shop for hiking clothes.

Cotton Kills


Clothing keeps you warm by trapping warm air near your own skin. When cotton gets wet, it ceases to insulate you because all the air pockets in the material fill up with liquid. Whenever you hike, you perspire, and any cotton garments coming in contact with your own skin will soak up your perspiration like a sponge.

If air is colder than the body temperature, you’ll feel cool since your cotton fiber clothing is over loaded with no longer supplying any insulation. This will probably cause disorientation, hypothermia, and potentially death if you become also chilled. Bear in mind, hypothermia can occur in conditions really above freezing and turn really serious in the event that you have wet and chilled.

Wicking and Layering

In addition, damp cotton fiber will not wick water away from your skin. Wicking materials move water from wet places to dry people using a process called capilary activity. For instance, a wicking baselayer shirt crafted from Patagonia Capilene will move moisture through the surface of the skin to the outer layers of one's top making the the main material pressing your own skin dried out. For this reason layering is such a very good garments strategy for walking, because wicking fabrics move liquid from your epidermis or more during your levels one after another, enabling the material near your skin to trap insulating atmosphere and keep your body’s warmth.


Wool does not wick in addition to synthetic garments and will take in to 36per cent of the fat in water. Unlike cotton fiber, it does insulate whenever damp and it is considered an acceptable fabric for hiking garments.

Other designs of Cotton

Eliminate using clothes which are labelled as corduroy, denim, flannel, or duck. They're all made out of cotton fiber. Additionally, steer clear of cotton-polyester blends, for instance 50/50. They’ll nevertheless destroy you, even though it might take some longer.

Various other Fabrics in order to avoid

Modal, rayon, viscose, tencel and lyocell are manufactured materials created from cellulose fiber. They absorb liquid even more quickly than cotton and drop all their insulation value when damp. It's also wise to be careful with clothes produced from Bamboo, which will be usually marketed to be a green product having qualities comparable to wool. Numerous bamboo fabrics are now actually just a kind of rayon and share every one of its problems.

Silk can be extremely absorbent and loses its insulation worth whenever damp.

Additional Resources

REI’s How to Choose a Baselayer is a good supply of more information regarding relative strengths and weakness of different fabric kinds, and provides a a number of synthetic clothes and wool clothes makers.

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