Outdoor Clothing shares a lot of common purposes with normal everyday clothing. In general, clothing is supposed to keep your warm, dry, and protected from possibly harmful outside influences. Furthermore, most of us simply do not want to run around naked. A lot of the everyday purposes of clothing become much more important in Hiking and other Outdoor Activities as the extreme conditions force you to rethink about why exactly you are wearing your chosen pieces of clothing. In this section, we will shortly review the basic purposes of Outdoor Clothing for Canyoning and other extreme sports and outdoor activities.
Maintaining your Thermal Equilibrium
People often refer to ‘warm clothing’ when they are talking about Outdoor Apparel such as sweaters and jackets. However, the purpose of your clothes is not to increase your body temperature. Your clothes are supposed to help you maintain a Thermal Equilibrium where you lose as much heat as you are generating without your body having to either produce extra heat or lose it through sweating. The more your clothes are able to help you maintain your thermal equilibrium, the less energy your body has to use to do so.
Keeping you Dry
Keeping your skin dry helps preserve body heat and increases your general comfort. Keeping you dry has two parts:
Protection from Outside Moisture: Clothes should protect you from rain, snow, and other possible sources of water.
Protection from Body Moisture: Clothes should move body moisture (sweat) away from your body.
The process of protecting against outside moisture while keeping body moisture away from your skin is a difficult combination that requires your clothes to work in a waterproof but breathable way. In the next section, we will see how the Three Layer System is the most effective way of achieving these goals.
Protection and Padding
The human skin is an absolute marvel but is not very strong. The outdoors possesses a lot more danger to our precious skin than our everyday city surroundings. Thus, a lot of padding and reinforced materials are used to protect you from the possible damage your skin might undergo because of rough terrain or chaffing of equipment.
These are the basic Purposes of Outdoor Clothing. Make sense in wearing certain pieces of Outdoor Clothing by knowing what each of them is designed for.