Does No Cotton mean no cotton...?
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Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Does No Cotton mean no cotton...? on 07/04/2013 19:50:10 MDT Print View

Well, we're leaving in just over a week and we have our gear list quite finalized. We're all in at about 15 to 17 lbs. w/o food and water. I'm struggling with the decision to bring a really nice NordicTrack fishing shirt that is 50/50 cotton poly. It is very well vented, roll-up long sleeves, and has a marketed wicking technology. So, in addition to the polypro t-shirt I'm bringing, is this a viable shirt? It's the only item on my list that contains any cotton so I'm wondering if I'm being too anal about the "no cotton" rule... Thanks!

Bily Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
love cotton! on 07/04/2013 20:13:05 MDT Print View

like all absolutes... to say not cotton is absolute foolishness...

depends on where an when...

if your trip is to the desert in the spring or summer... I recommend ALL cotton..

even in the High Sierra, I often take a cotton shirt to hike in and a cotton hat to dunk in the streams to keep my head cool... if it's a warm spell, cotton is King!!!

bill d

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Does No Cotton mean no cotton...? on 07/04/2013 20:27:53 MDT Print View

Cotton is good in hot weather. It takes longer to dry and loses it's insulation value when wet which ends up keeping you cooler.
I hike in cotton clothing all the time.
In hot weather it's generally best to go all cotton on top and all synthetic on the bottom. Synthetic pants, synthetic socks, synthetic underwear, cotton shirt, and cotton hat.

Some hikers prefer all synthetic because they find being sweaty uncomfortable. As someone who doesn't sweat that much I like how cotton holds onto my moisture longer. I find synthetic shirts to be stiffing and the wicking process will actually dehydrate me faster.

In alpine country during the summer cotton is good but bring along a synthetic base layer to change into if the weather gets cold/wet.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
cotton on 07/04/2013 21:12:31 MDT Print View

"Cotton Kills" is a slogan really particular to mountain environments in cold weather.

We won two world wars wearing nothing but cotton

50 yrs ago, thats all anyone going to Philmont had.

The humidity in New Mexico is generally low enough that you will not really sweat, it will evaporate and not soak into your clothing, except against your back possibly.

I wore my long sleeve lightweight underwear top most days for sun protection (UA base 1.0). Never sweated.

Even a cotton bandana when soaked, will dry in about 15 minutes. The rate of evaporation is high enough that the item gets refreshingly cool. It is a treat to soak your clothing and put them on to dry.

If most of your clothing is non-cotton, I wouldnt give a extra shirt a second though.

Edited by livingontheroad on 07/04/2013 21:13:19 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: cotton on 07/05/2013 00:56:28 MDT Print View

Yes, and don't be sleepin on a women's pad if you're swingin'. They'll come an gitcha

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Re: Re: cotton on 07/05/2013 06:40:37 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info everyone! I'm packing the shirt. Jeffs - Good suggestion... I won't pack my pink Z-Lite. :)

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: Re: cotton on 07/05/2013 07:50:00 MDT Print View

I always feel more comfortable wearing cotton pajamas for sleeping in. I've been exposed to the "cotton kills" mythology for years in scouts, and I just heard it from our SM in our first planning meeting for Philmont 2014.

"Full grain leather boots" was another phase which must not be taken literally.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
50/50 Cotton Shirt Worked Great! on 08/08/2013 09:30:53 MDT Print View

Just wanted to give an update: I took the fishing shirt to Philmont and wore it while my polypro t-shirt was drying on wash days. It felt great!! The fabric was a welcome change from the polypro and all the kids said I looked like a safari explorer, which was funny. Had no problems with it in wet weather since I had rain-gear on during any precipitation. Thanks for the advice!

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: 50/50 Cotton Shirt Worked Great! on 08/08/2013 10:46:33 MDT Print View

Yeah, polycotton is the bees knees/cats meow in warm weather. Dries fast enough and cooler than synthetic. Very underrated.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Polycotton on 08/08/2013 11:11:08 MDT Print View

I've been using a Poly-cotton (65/35 blend) dress shirt in one form or another for about 15 yrs now.


Sun protection, dries quick and helps with bugs too.

~$5 at the thrift store

Edited by PaulMags on 08/08/2013 11:11:42 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Polycotton on 08/08/2013 11:24:14 MDT Print View

I have a 65/35 blend shirt that I purchased in October 1971, and it is in perfect condition. They just don't make them like they used to.

--B.G.--

robert van putten
(Bawana) - F

Locale: Planet Bob
BDUs on 08/08/2013 12:23:05 MDT Print View

I've been wearing BDU pants since they were first issued back in the 80s.
I was issued OD cotton fatigues in the Air Force and wore them the whole time I was in the service - They were cheaper than the BDUs and sharper looking - But I sure as heck purchased the early nylon/cotton trousers and used them for all my outdoor adventures. I've worn 'em weeks on end without washing 'em, letting them dry out on me while I'm wearing 'em if they get wet - As have a great many G.I.s over the years.
Some of the new BDUs are 65% poly and 35% cotton, and are even better than the old 50% nylon 50% cotton type.
Best of all, I can still find good condition used BDUs at local surplus stores for about 12 bucks!
Combined with a poly/cotton dress shirt, this outfit has become my standard for most three season weather.
They are heavy though, at about 26 ounces. Still, backpacking, canoeing or cycle touring, that's what I wear.

Edit - Uh, I'm even wearing clean used BDU trousers and a dress shirt here at work today!

Edited by Bawana on 08/08/2013 12:24:46 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
BDUs on 08/08/2013 14:52:31 MDT Print View

I find they are too heavy for hiking (JMO), but love them for trail work. They wear well and are inexpensive. Good for all around beater clothing: Used them for autumn climbing, car camping and even working on my car.

Alas, my OD green ones I've had forever, while still structurally sound, were a bit verboten ,according to my wife, to wear in public. :)