Lot’s of effort and thought goes into creating the perfect bug out bag or the perfect preps. Very rare is the topic of the best survival clothing brought up. However, becoming equipped to survive means having the proper clothes on your back. Let’s talk about what needs to be considered to make sure you’re wearing the best threads possible when TSHTF.
Assessing your environment
Look outside and think about the local weather is like during the 4 seasons. Lot’s of rain, snow, and sleet during the winter? Maybe you live in a climate that doesn’t get a whole lot of water. In that case, you probably won’t need full blown waterproof gear. If your climate is hot and arid, you should favor breathable materials that allow sweat and heat to escape your body.
The layered approach
The best approach to choosing survival clothing is a layered one. A layered approach offers versatility for all seasons and weather conditions. The idea is if you start getting warm you can shed layers or add them if you’re cold. A layered system includes 3 major types of clothing:
- Base layer
- Middle layer
- Shell layer
Base layer – the base layer is all about moving moisture away from your body. Even in the cold your body will produce sweat during physical labor. If this moisture is trapped on your skin you can easily develop hypothermia and become ill. A good compression base layer is cheap and effective.
Middle layer – the mid layer serves to trap heat close to your body for warmth. Natural fibers like wool or goose provide a great mid layer material and come in different thicknesses. Something like this North Face Fleece jacket would work.
Shell layer – this is the elemental layer. The shell layer protects you from elements like wind, rain, snow etc. This is the layer that keeps you dry. Here’s a popular shell layer.
Outdoor hiking pants fit the bill. Hiking pants are almost always made with a synthetic fabric that stretches and dries fast. The stretch allows your legs to move freely over obstacles. Regular jeans are just about the worst choice of clothing as they don’t stretch and they won’t dry fast if they get wet. Tactical pants also work well.
Survival socks and boots
Working our way down the body we have perhaps the most important piece of survival clothing – the socks and boots. Your feet are a critical component of your survival strategy because you will most likely be doing a lot of walking – and trench foot is the last thing you want in a fully blown SHTF situation! I’ve owned a pair of these for well over 2 years and they’ve held up quite nicely. Check out the full review of my Vasque GTX boots here.
Avoid cotton socks and opt for either wool or synthetic. Once again, cotton socks retain moisture and take forever to dry. Wet feet are a recipe for blisters and fungus, something you certainly want to avoid.
Don’t overlook survival clothing as you’re getting your preps together. The clothes on your back might be the one thing that keeps you alive in a fully blown SHTF situation!