skirt vs. pants
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paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: tn humidity on 07/21/2005 14:01:58 MDT Print View

Understood. Had a roommate in the military from TN. He thought CT & TN weather were quite similar in many respects

b/f this weekend 9 straight days of 90%+ RH & T-storms each aft, eve, or night.

Edited by pj on 07/21/2005 14:33:34 MDT.


(Anonymous)
skirt vs pants on 07/27/2005 08:47:24 MDT Print View

I'm a geezerette who hikes in a skirt after one too many embarassing incidents answering a call of nature. I found that the skirt provided enough of a modesty screen that it saved me a lot of time looking for the perfect spot, which it turned out that others had found before me. I hiked from Springer to Ashby Gap wearing a tie-died cotton voile (very light weight) mid-calf skirt. Because the fabric was a loose weave, it dried quickly. At night, I could throw it over my head and shoulders and it functioned as a bug screen. Tears were easy to mend (used up all my dental floss). Of course this was back in the days before synthetics. When I needed to adapt it into what I called "capri's" for scrambling, I ran a long piece of floss from front to back beween my legs, tied to the hipbelt of my pack (the hipbelt was a was another "new" item, made from an auto seatbelt). Nowadays I continue to hike in a skirt, and it's still of lightweight cotton. I find that lightwieght synthetics tend to cling to sweaty legs and ride up. One thing I have changed is what it wear under it- EMS Techwick briefs- they dry so fast, it's easy to wash them out on longer trips.
And on a similar women's question about whether to wear a bra or not- this old hippie learned something on the trail. Ditch the bra when you can and when you need one, use the ACE bandage from your first aid kit. It's worth the extra weight because it serves a dual purpose!


(Anonymous)
skirt on 07/28/2005 21:36:47 MDT Print View

I hike in a skirt from http://www.macabiskirt.com/ I've used it for over a year, mostly on day and weekend hikes in southern Indiana, but hiked 5 days on the AT in southern PA this June with it. I love it and swear I won't go back to pants. With the sides snapped up it's cooler when hot. I've also hiked in the cold with leggings under it. My thighs are fat and rub but for some reason don't chafe in the skirt as long as I keep moving. The thighs rub more when standing still. The skirt is not binding like pants or shorts and my stride is freer and it's easier climbing and stepping over stuff and just taking big steps when I need to. It's easier to get a skirt on in a hammock than it would be to put pants on. It dries quickly. I washed it in the shower when I just couldn't stand my smelly self, put it back on, and it dried as I hiked. I haven't tried it as a swim suit yet, but think it would work. It can be used as an extra cover or just be worn at night. And last but most important to me, It makes bathroom breaks sooo much easier, without exposing myself or hiking way over some hill to hide. Patti

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: skirt on 07/28/2005 23:19:38 MDT Print View

just curious. how well does it work when flying insects are about (e.g. skeeters & black flies)? how do you keep them at bay? also, what about ticks? DEET?

this is not a criticism of a skirt's use on the trail. i'm just trying to educate myself as i have no experience here. would like to know in case my wife ever decides to use one.


(Anonymous)
bugs and skirts on 07/29/2005 20:59:47 MDT Print View

I just use bug dope, usually deet with some citronella stuff mixed in. I think the citronella works better with noseeums. I've never encountered black flies so I don't know how that would be. I don't see how a skirt is any worse than shorts, or even pants for that matter. I've have mosquitoes bite me thru clothes many times. It's certainly easier to apply bug dope to my legs with the skirt than with pants on. Patti

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: bugs and skirts on 07/30/2005 01:38:08 MDT Print View

many thanks for the reply & info.
pj

shannon stoney
(shannonstoney)
skirts on 07/30/2005 08:55:24 MDT Print View

I like these ideas very much--thanks to the geezerette! When I hike in my neighborhood in a skirt, it is indeed much easier to pee. If you don't have on underwear you can pee standing up, even. Once I did this in my garden, and my boyfriend said, "I haven't seen anybody do that since Granny West did it when I was a little boy." So apparently rural women in the South have known about this convenience for a long time.

I have never noticed that bugs are a big problem with skirts. I have noticed that if you get a little stinky, gnats will sort of congregate around your crotch, but this happens whether you are wearing a skirt or not.

Skirts do seem to stay cleaner than pants. YOu can wear one for days before it becomes intolerable and has to be washed. The sarong style can be used as a sheet on nights when it's too hot to crawl in your sleeping bag, or used as a towel, or a tablecloth. In West Africa women use their sarongs for everything: skirts, cloths to spread out their wares on at market, picnic clothes for eating, baby carriers, etc.

shannon stoney
(shannonstoney)
macabi skirt clips on 07/30/2005 09:08:24 MDT Print View

Hi patti--I looked at the macabi skirt site and that skirt looks great. But I don't understand the clip that clips it up in front. Is that a separate piece of hardware or is it attached to the skirt? What does it look like?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
skirts on 07/30/2005 19:49:13 MDT Print View

shannon you rock!

shannon stoney
(shannonstoney)
how the macabi skirt works on 07/31/2005 05:33:14 MDT Print View

thank you, and I also found out how the macabi skirt works so that I don't have to buy one. If you go to their site and go to the men's section of the website, there is a long review for backpackinggear.org that explains exactly how the clips work, by a guy named Shane.

Later I realized that a sarong works pretty much the same way, only with less hardware. You can hike it up as high as you want, and even pull the bottom up through your legs as with the macabi skirt and tuck it into the fold at the waist.

I saw some paintings by Winslow Homer that showed women working on a beach in the 19th century, and they had hiked up their skirts somehow. These were European women so they weren't wearing sarongs. Maybe they had strings of some kind that went through loops at the bottom of their skirts and then through a loop at the waist.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Spartan Utilikilt on 07/31/2005 16:55:38 MDT Print View

Utilikilt is a company making.. ahem.. untraditional kilts... their latest offering is a bit odd, but Ive had my eye on it for hiking.

Im a kilt wearer as it is, so theres no drama for me in wearing one on the trail, but this particular item is odd. Solid color, made of a light nylon or maybe satin, with a wait on it like kickboxer shorts, and "racing stripes" up the side....

But if your not looking for tradition at all... and like the benefits of a kilt, but dont want the 8-16oz matrial weight... the "Spartan" might be for you.

I just bought a new kilt for my wedding, but maybe next year I can drop the coin a hiking kilt.

http://www.utilikilts.com/spartancoming.htm

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Spartan Utilikilt on 07/31/2005 17:18:25 MDT Print View

double post

Edited by RavenUL on 07/31/2005 17:19:21 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
skirt/kilt on 07/31/2005 19:15:37 MDT Print View

I don't care much for the "Utilikilt" and would call it a sports skirt and not a Kilt. The Black Watch material for my "Great Kilt" weighs 19oz. I consider this to heavy for hiking. I have enough of this same material to make a skirt only type Kilt from it. The material weight is still a little heavy.

I have worked with light silk 0.64oz to 1.02oz per sq yard. Using silk paint and dyes on it. The silk comes white and would need to be dyed or painted some plaid like pattern and then sewn into a skirt type kilt. If I was going to try something like this I would pick 3 typical plaid colors and sort of paint a plaid look on the silk. No real detail as that would be more trouble than I would try. A silk kilt would be cool for warm weather and would dry fast if it got wet.

I have a web site with a pattern for the skirt type kilt and it says I would need 4 yards of 42" wide fabric. If I used silk the fabric weight would be between 3 and 4oz. A silk kilt of this weight would be good for a hiking kilt.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Utilikilt? on 07/31/2005 19:53:44 MDT Print View

You dont care much for the Spartan Utilikilt, or the Utilikilt in general?

Theres no question that the Utilikilt is not traditional, but its hard to call something like the "Workman" a "Sports Skirt".... the Spartan? You might have a point. Once upon a time, they offered a utilikilt in Epic Cotton. I guess it had some durability issues... but kind of cool anyway.

I have a kilt made by Bear Kilts. Mine is a more traditional Short kilt, and weighs far too much for ultralighting... but the maker says his poly-viscose Canadian province tartans are printed on a lighter material that would make a kilt roughly 12oz in weight according to him.

Another option if your looking for a lighter weight item with true(r) styling... check out SportKilts. Poly Viscose material. Velcro/Elastic waist. Many tartans to choose from.... popular with Highland gamers, and they have made more than a few trips down the AT... might not be bad to look into.

Edit - Also.. Why the need for a plaide pattern? Irish kilts are traditionally solid... and same with a not insignificant number of Scottish kilts. Saffron and Green are the most common, but Blue and Gray are common too. Also, tweed has been used for kilts since the beginning of tweed. Anyway........ solid aint so bad.

Edited by RavenUL on 07/31/2005 19:58:03 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Kilts "R" us on 07/31/2005 21:17:42 MDT Print View

I don't like the Utilikilt products. I am to much a traditionalist to like what they sell. I looked at the Bear Kilt site and do like them. The plaid ones that is.

I have a slight family connection to Scotland and with a stretch can trace it to the Fife District and a plaid pattern.

I have read about several guys that have worn a kilt on there AT Hike.

Edited by bfornshell on 07/31/2005 21:18:19 MDT.

shannon stoney
(shannonstoney)
tartans on 08/01/2005 10:32:11 MDT Print View

I have read, in more than one place, that the idea that each clan had a particular pattern or tartan is, well, *BEEP*. That idea was invented by the Victorians apparently during their sentimentalization of highland culture in the 19th century, after destroying it mercilessly in the 18th century. Not unlike the way we Euro-Americans have invented the culture of the native people here, after virtually exterminating them. (Example: when I was a child my family used to drive through Cherokee, NC, every summer. There would be an "indian" standing on the sidewalk, supposedly a Cherokee, in full Plains Indian regalia, nothing like what real Cherokees wore.)

I became skeptical of the clan plaid idea when I became a weaver and discovered that plaids are a great way to use up odds and ends of different colors of yarn. You can design your plaid to fit what you have on hand. Surely the highland Scots before the clearances were also frugal in this way. Also it is very boring to weave the same pattern over and over.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: tartans on 08/01/2005 10:55:49 MDT Print View

in point of fact, tartans actually go back quite a ways and were not a latter day invention.

however, the ancient tartans in many cases differ significantly from the modern ones. in many cases they were far plainer/duller in nature.

[my first post, in part above, was brief & due to that fact was not entirely accurate. not realizing then that it would arouse more interest than this subject is worth on a backpacking website, i have edited with quotations from various sources. on this subject matter some "cart before the horse" conclusions have been drawn and are widely printed elsewhere - on both sides of the issue. in some cases, what poses as relatively modern scholarship ignores much ancient tradition going back 100's of years. in other cases, what poses as recognized tradition ignores some hard facts. the truth, perhaps, lies somewhere in between the extremes. in the following additions, i have attempted to be even handed, including info which both supports & discredits the extremism of both sides of this debate. it is certainly NOT exhaustive in nature, nor is it intended to be. rather, it should present some of the salient points of this issue. i do not regard myself as any type of expert in this area, but i do know how to read & read i have - writings on both sides of the issue.]

There are references to "tartans" in extant writings: "In 1538 there is a reference to 'Heland Tartan'. A Frenchman at the siege of Haddington in 1537 describes Highlanders who were present as wearing what appears to be Tartan. From 1581 there is a description of 'variegated garments, especially stripes, and their favourite colours are purple and blue'. Poet John Taylor clearly describes the woollen Tartan garments of Highlanders at Braemar in 1618. Martin, a doctor on Skye around 1700, gives the first descriptions of Tartan which imply their significance as regional and the importance to weavers of ensuring that their cloth always has precise local patterns. Martin states that it is possible to tell from a man's plaid where he came from. There is no implication from any of this that specific families or Clans wore their 'own' Tartans - the patterns appeared to be regional." [emphasis mine] Note that clans, generally speaking, had historical, ancestral regions, and so the clans of the region, to some extent became associated with the tartans of the region - albeit, not the modern version of the tartans.

"The author of Certayne Matters concerning Scotland, who wrote prior to 1597, said of the Highlanders that "they delight in marbled colours especially that have long stripes of sundry colours; they love chiefly purple and blue". The word (tartan) is held to be derived from the French teretaine, a kind of linsey-woolsey cloth. The particular setts, or patterns of tartans which distinguish each clan, must have been fixed before 1645, probably before 1600. Martin says that every tribe and every island differed from the rest in the fancy of making plaids, as to the stripes in breadth and colours. The word (tartan) is held to be derived from the French teretaine, a kind of linsey-woolsey cloth. Lord Lorne in 1889 discovered at Inveraray old records of the clan Campbell which make frequent mention of tartans; and tartans worn at the battle of Kilsyth (1645) have been seen by living witnesses."

Furthermore, "There is no evidence that Wilson's Tartans had anything whatsoever to do with any ancient regional or pre-1746 patterns." Looking at it logically, if the wearing of "clan"/regional tartans was banned about this time, they must already have acheived some measure of significance prior to the advent of the "modern" tartans designed by Wilson. If they had no significance, then why ban them? Instead, simply ignore them.

they should be referred to as tartans, not plaids. plaid is the basic fabric woven in a precise fashion. tartan is the specific pattern. (pg. 3, the setts and weaving of Tartans by Mary E. Black). She also states that "There is nothing that will arouse the ire of a Scotsman more quickly than to refer to an authentic tartan as a plaid." [Note: the term plaid should NOT be confused with the Scottish term "plaidie" which is NOT a reference to plaid fabric/material.]

"The first tartans were desiged by individual weavers and then over time were gradually adopted to identify individual districts, then finally clans and families. The first real effort to enforce uniformity throughout an entire clan was in 1618, when Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun, wrote to Murry of Pulrossie requesting that he bring the plaids worn by his men into "harmony with that of his other septs."

the fact that so many clans have popularly adopted the more modern tartans as clan tartans does not obviate the fact that more ancient forms of tartan existed. to assume that just because an enterprising businessman recognized a good way to make a "pound", that clan tartans began with him is an "ignoratio elenchi". also, to assume apart from other evidence (a small amt of which was presented above) that clan tartans always existed because they exist now is a non-sequitar. one must be careful (including this writer) not to be either anachronistic, nor diachronistic in some of assertions on this subject.

the often accepted ancient tartan for the Johnstone clan (from the regions Borders and Aberdeenshire) dates back as far as 1063 - it is somewhat plain looking by modern standards. the 19th cent. version is more colourful. now what precisely it looked like that long ago is certainly subject to dispute - there are no drawings or written descriptions. even the so-called "ancient" tartans available today may not accurately represent much older tartans in some/many cases.

[note:; Johnstone is pronounced 'jawnson' by the Scotch and some who emmigrated to the US were given more "anglicized" spellings, viz. Johnson - though not all Johnson's are of Scottish descent.]

bottom line, perhaps, IMHO, is the modern, so-called scholarly, view of tartans ignores much ancient evidence & avoids certain logical dilemmas their conclusions produce, and the traditional view also blindly chooses to ignore certain facts regarding their clan tartans. the truth lies somewhere in between.

this is all i'll write on this matter.

Edited by pj on 08/02/2005 10:26:28 MDT.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
plaid history on 08/01/2005 22:14:05 MDT Print View

.

Edited by RavenUL on 08/07/2005 02:23:14 MDT.

shannon stoney
(shannonstoney)
the plaidie on 08/02/2005 06:31:53 MDT Print View

So if the belted great kilt or plaidie came into existence after 1600, that would mean that the movie Brave Heart was full of *BEEP* to show William Wallace and his friends wearing them.

I still think that I as a weaver and spinner would not like to make the same tartan pattern over and over. It's fun to design them new each time, based on what you have on hand. I use natural dyes too and there's no limit to the colors you can get with them, by carding together fleece that is dyed in different basic colors. Surely highland women didn't rigidly weave the same tartan over and over again their whole lives.

Eve Baker
(ejbaker) - F
Re: hiking in skirts on 08/07/2005 21:01:46 MDT Print View

This is a late reply but hopefully still helpful. I always hike with a rayon sarong as my "luxury" weight. It does at least triple service, if not more: 1--it's great ventilation when I'm tired of wearing shorts in hot weather, easier to pee standing up in (though the right shorts work as well, the stretchy type); easy to sit in streams in for cooling off purposes (when in a populated area)--easy to strip off quickly and then use as towel in unpopulated area; has a certain "romantic running through woods in frock" appeal--esp. considering the variety of patterns and colors available--my favorite was a blue/white gecko number that made it all the way through the AT 2. works as a second blanket, a pillow, a towel, a tablecloth and, of course, the ever important town dress (as a sarong, no bra or underwear is needed, and it accessorizes well with shoes or bare feet). I've tried cotton, but rayon or a rayon blend seems to wear the best and dry the quickest. I pick up a new sarong every long hike, but the old ones are still hanging in strong.