You’ll always want to be prepared with proper clothing to suit the environment you’re in. When it comes to cold weather, knowing what to wear can become a science. For most of us, we’ve learned to survive through trial, error and observation. We’ve observed others that were successful and emulated their practices to learn from them. In regards to staying warm we see what others are wearing and observe their choice of styles, fabrics and brands. We emulate others and modify their choices to suit our taste and experience. But in order to maximize the benefits of your survival clothing you’ll want to know the actual physics and mechanics of heat transfer and learn to apply these concepts to how you dress.
Pound for pound a warm wool toque or balaclava will keep you warmer than any other piece of clothing. Always have one handy and always brings one along. Roughly 30% of your body heat is lost through your neck and head. It sounds unbelievable until you consider this: 15% of your blood volume is in your head! A lot of hot blood is pumped in and out of your head and without proper insulation, that heat is quickly lost. So always take a toque! Wool is recommended since it will insulate your head even when wet. Fabrics such as cotton become cold when wet from rain or perspiration. There are some advanced synthetic fabrics that will provide good insulation but they have their drawbacks.
A high quality warm toque is an essential piece of clothing for survival. You’ll be able to comfortable withstand temperatures twenty degrees colder then normal which can mean the difference between life and death. Should the power go out during the winter and you’re left without heating, a warm toque covering your head will do wonders towards keeping you comfortably warm and keeping you alive. Aside from keeping your body warm, a warm toque will keep you thinking clearly. It’s absolutely critical that your brain gets the warm blood it needs in order to function properly. The brain requires a lot blood, more so then any other organ and the blood has to be at the right temperature.
If for any reason the blood is too cold, you stand the risk of hypothermia. The greatest danger with hypothermia is that you’ll most likely be unaware of it because your mind won’t be functioning properly. Hypothermia is a serious danger and can even occur in environments with a normal temperature. The main symptoms of hypothermia are confusion and weakness. Without your wits… you’re as good as dead.
Your survival toque should at the very least be long enough to cover your ears and lower forehead. As for material, fleece, wool and polypropylene are excellent fabrics. Polypropylene is great because it will stay warm and dry even when exposed to moisture. Wool is arguably the best when it comes to warm fabrics. Wool will maintain its warmth when wet and the natural oils in wool add a considerable amount of water resistance.
A warm toque is essential and will greatly increase your ability to survive. The bottom line is to always have a toque with you. There is a reason why our head grows so much hair… it’s to keep us warm! Pound for pound, ounce for ounce, a survival toque is the most efficient piece of survival clothing keeping you alive.