Friday, September 3, 2010

Quick Pick: Underwear

     Clothing is considered gear and is one of the most important things to have on you, (Even though I doubt you ever leave the house without it!) second only to knowledge.  During the summer months it gives you protection from the sun and insects.   In winter, it helps keep you protected from snow, and the biting cold.  Clothing is also essential to personal comfort.  The human body of modern “clothed” man is conditioned to handle tropical temperatures of around seventy to one hundred degrees.  Any variation can lead to hypothermia or heat exhaustion.  Knowing how to dress properly for the right climate can make a bad situation a bit easier to deal with.   Using the proper fabric in layers is the key to controlling a micro-climate around your body. 

     Today's Quick Pick is underwear designed for warm weather, or activities.  (I will get into long-underwear base layers when we are closer to the cold seasons.)  The idea of this base layer is to wick (Here is a great article on base layers, and explains wicking very well) the sweat away from your skin.  This allows your skin to breath and stay dry by dispersing your sweat into the air.  Wicking materials also dry extremely quick, making them much more comfortable to be in.  Wicking fabrics like polyester and nylon are found in many performance clothing these days, and have definitely put materials like cotton to shame.  Socks and underwear are perfect candidates for wicking fabrics during the warmer months of the year here in the city.
     These are ideal for those of you that are used to wearing boxer briefs, or when you need a bit more coverage.  ExOfficio makes well made, reasonably priced clothing.  I own a few pairs of their underwear, and though they show a little bit of wear from use, they still hold up, and are durable.

     The next pair that I suggest are briefs with a sport cut.  They are low rise, making them much more fashionable for all the low cut jeans and pants that are in style right now.  They also have excellent support.

     Next is from my favorite clothing company right now Patagonia.  They make great clothing, and are a very ecologically responsible company.  I don't own a pair of these yet, but plan on trying them out in the near future.

     Here we have a pair I suggest for active women.

     I hand-wash my underwear for the most part, finding that I can own fewer pairs.  This way I can go longer between laundry loads, saving money and causing less of an environmental impact.  Here is the soap I use to wash my wicking base layers, and the hand washer with bucket I prefer to use. 


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