Tag Archives: Clothes

How to Layer Backpacking Clothes – Beginning Backpacking Techniques

Layer One: Long Underwear:

Remember: dry skin = warm skin. However, this can be difficult to manage when you are also hiking up a steep trail with a heavy pack on your back. A healthy body perspires constantly to cool itself off. As the perspiration evaporates, it transfers excess heat away from your skin along with the moisture. Conversely, to stay warm, you need to stay dry. How do you do it?

The answer is found in the first layer of clothing, the one worn against your skin. It should be made of any one of a variety of fibers that are “hydrophilic,” or good at absorbing water, and be thin enough to fit comfortably under your other clothes. The fibers could be wool, or a synthetic material, such as polyolefin (once called polypropolene). There are many brands of long underwear on the market these days. Shop around to find the ones that fit your budget and feel comfortable against your skin.

backpacking clothes How to Layer Backpacking Clothes   Beginning Backpacking Techniques

Besides being absorbent, the “wicking” action in these fibers is also important. “Wicking” means the fibers pull the perspiration away from your body and allow it to evaporate without chilling your skinˇŞa potentially deadly situation under some circumstances in the wilderness.

(While it’s true that cotton is hydrophilic, it is not good at wicking the moisture away from your body. Do not use it as a first layer.)

I have an old set of lightweight wool/nylon blend underwear that I’ve used for years. However, many of my friends swear by the new fibers. And a few, such as Trevira Proearth , made by Hoechst-Celanese, are even good for the environment: they’re made out of recycled plastic bottles!

Another alternative is silk. Many shops sell silk long-johns that are extremely soft, lightweight, and surprisingly warm. However, be prepared to pay a premium price for a pair of silk long underwear.

Layer Two: “Trail Clothes”

These are the shirts, shorts, pants, etc. that function well on and off the trail. The recent rise in popularity of “rugged outdoor clothing” for general use ensures you’ll have a wide variety of styles, colors and fabrics to choose from.

In addition to long underwear, plan on taking one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, one long-sleeved cotton shirt and maybe a t-shirt, depending on the length of the trip. Some manufacturers make versatile “pant-shorts” combinations: long pants with zip-off legs. These are especially good for trips where the weather is extremely changeable throughout the day.

If there’s any chance of encountering enough water for swimming, grab a simple swim suit to take alongˇŞthey are light and do not take up much space. (Of course, depending on where you go and who you travel with, you may not need a swim suit at all.)

I recommend you get pants with enough pockets for carrying all those little things that get lost in backpacks: Swiss Army Knife, compass, lip moisturizer, etc. And avoid 100% cotton knit tee-shirtsˇŞ they tend to get wet from prespiration and stay wet, not to mention stretched out from your backpack straps. (Maybe carry one to sleep in.) Look for a good cotton twill shirt.

For the budget conscious, or those of you with fast-growing families, take a look at the clothing that’s offered in the specialty shops, figure out what features, styles, etc. you desire, then see if you can find what you want at a better price in other locations. I’ve found some great trail clothes in second hand stores, including “name brand” pants and shirts that sell for $25 and up in outdoor retail specialty stores. These were in great condition, and cost a fraction of what they would have cost if purchased new.

There are also outdoor discount or “factory seconds” discount outlets in many cities all across the country. Check the phone books or talk to your backpacking friends for leads to these bargain stores.

Layer Three: Outwear

This is the layer that protects you against rain, snow, and extreme cold. It includes raingear, insulated parkas, sweaters and jackets, and a variety of accessories, such as hats, gloves, and gaiters. This layer is wind- and waterproof, designed to keep you warm and dry from the outside in (as opposed to Layer One, which keeps you dry from the inside out), under a variety of weather conditions. Once again, to save money and keep yourself comfortable under variable conditions, it’s important to think in terms of layering.

How to Deal with Common Clothes Washer Problems

We’ve come a long way since the women-folk used to beat the clothing on the rocks down by the riverside. Not only have they done away with that, now the clothes are put in the machine, detergent is added, and then 30 minutes later, clothes are clean and spun almost dry. And neither rock nor river is in sight.

Even though it’s a fairly complicated appliance, there are many problems you can take care of. Here are the most common:

Nothing happens – By now you know to make sure there is power. Check plug, cord, outlet, fuse, and circuit breaker. Also, there is a safety switch in the door. If it’s faulty, it’s usually because a wire is loose.

No water comes in – There are two hoses (hot and cold) that bring water in. Each has a screen to keep out mineral deposits. Turn off the faucets behind the washer and loosen the hoses where they enter the back of the unit. The screens can be cleaned with a small wire and by soaking in hot vinegar. The hoses are connected to the two inlet solenoid valves. The valves can be taken out and tested for continuity. If they are not functioning, it’s probably because of mineral deposits. Soak the parts in hot vinegar and use an old toothbrush to clean with. Turn the timer just a tad and see if the water starts coming in.

clothes washer How to Deal with Common Clothes Washer Problems

Motor hums, but machine doesn’t run – The washer is probably just overloaded.

Agitator isn’t agitating – This cycle is belt driven and has an agitator cam bar that is supposed to shift into the agitate gear. If the belt is stretched, or if the gear didn’t shift, you can replace the belt and lubricate the gears and cam bars. However, you must have the owner’s manual for your particular washer. One type has a belt that simply loops around the pump, the motor, and a pulley. With the hoses disconnected, and unit unplugged, you can remove the back plate, turn the unit on its side, and belt replacement is a snap. In fact, if the belt is in good shape but just loose, you can loosen the motor mounting bolt and push the motor to tighten the belt. Other models have a very complicated belt arrangement that involves repositioning some of the bracing to get the belt off.

Water doesn’t drain – The drain hose can be kinked, or the pump may be faulty. Check all the hoses and replace the pump if that’s the problem.

Water leaks under the appliance – First, remember that water and electricity don’t mix. In order to find out where the leak is, you have to move the unit away from the wall, remove the back cover, and stand in back on a wet floor. So, disconnect before you start the search.

Water backs up out of Standpipe – This is a plumbing problem. Lift the drain hose from the standpipe and put it in a bucket to catch the water in the hose. Then check to see if there is a blockage by running a snake down the standpipe. The reason the clog may show up here-even though it may be farther down the drain line-is because suds slow down the flow and the pump pushes more water out than a faucet would. There may also be a problem with a partially clogged vent stack.

No spin cycle – Although different gears are involved, the non-spinning problem is much like that of the agitator.

Washer vibrates badly – The washer is overloaded or not level. There are leveling feet that can easily be adjusted

Belt squeals – It may be loose and, if so, can be tightened as we’ve discussed above. You can also try an application of belt dressing, available at an auto supply store.

Clothes get damaged – This can be from overloading the unit. Damage can also be caused by too much bleach. Another suggestion is . . . zip up your fly! An open zipper can chew up clothes. There may also be a snag spot on the agitator or other surfaces inside. Put your hand inside an old nylon stocking and rub over all the surfaces. If you hit a snag, light sanding should take car of it.

How To Clean Ink from Clothes

Ink stain can surely ruin costly clothes. Besides this awful experience, it is very hard to remove this kind of stain. To successfully remove such unsightly impurity, it usually takes special knowledge and skill. Those interested in learning to clean ink from clothes can really save their favorite from getting trashed. Furthermore, a good amount of money can be saved instead of spending on new clothes.

Things Needed

Certain materials are needed for this particular kind of job before learning to get ink out of clothes. One is them is the laundry stain remover of a trusted brand that is effective against stubborn stains and dirt. Similarly, a sponge as well as some paper towels is needed, they each have a role to play in removing such ugly and stubborn stains from the clothes. A hairspray will also be needed because its good content of alcohol can significantly lessen the amount of ink stains present on the clothes. If hairspray is not available, then denatured alcohol is also good and proven effective to remove ink stains from almost any type of clothes.

Clean Ink How To Clean Ink from Clothes


First, dip the sponge in the water. Use it on the stained area. Give it some time to absorb any possible ink that will come off from the clothing.  Give it time to dry when the ink stops to come off. Use a hairspray and put some right on top of the stain. Use some paper towels, some have to be placed under the stain. Additionally, some paper towels can also be used on to of the affected area.

After some time, use another paper towel and apply some pressure on top of the stain. Give it some time for the stain to entirely soak out. When doing this important step, the paper towel should not be rubbed on the stain as the color will just spread out to the cleaner parts. Instead of this, slowly dab the material right on the stain while applying a lot of pressure.

Now use a laundry stain remover, a small amount has to be applied on the affected area especially where the stain is marked. That particular affected area can be washed and let it dry. After some time, it can now be observed how the cloth looks now which was once stained.

Additional Tips and Information

Besides the hairspray, other materials are also available that can be used for removing ink from clothes. Denatured alcohol is one of them. Cotton swabs can be simply used for dabbing the material right on the stain. It will not be good to wipe because it will only spread out the ink to other cleaner parts. This is the reason, the application of denatured alcohol has to be limited into small dabs.

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