Hiking/Backpacking/Camping/Shell pants

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Question
Hi Michael ,

I was thinking of buying a Shell pant like Velum pants for use during trekking in Himalayas. Now I understand that shell pants are ideally trekking pants which are water resistant however I am not sure if its just an outer pant like a rain wear?

Currently I use a normal cotton track pants while trekking so if I use a shell pant do I need to wear the it over something like a track pant or can I just wear the shell pant directly over under garment without any discomfort.

Presume you got my point

thanks in advance

Answer
Cotton, while comfortable, retains moisture and can facilitate hypothermia. The ideal shell is a breathable barrier agains rain and wind. They are usually an outer garment used in conjunction with a wicking layer close to the skin, such as silk or polypropylene, and an insulation layer sandwiched between the wicking layer and the shell for warmth. The insulation layer is optional if you may over heat as the goal is to remain comfortably cool and dry.

Hiking/Backpacking/Camping

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Michael James

Expertise

I can answer wilderness survival and primitive skills questions. I am familliar with modern gear for wilderness survival as well as primitive approaches. Topics I can share thoroughly are developing a survival attitude, making stone tools, long and short term shelter building, fire making off the landscape, gathering and purifying water (as well as the biological and chemical concerns), wild edible, medicinal, and utilitarian plants, tracking, animal behavior, awareness, foraging and primitive hunting, aidless navigation and orienteering, flint knapping, bow making, atl-atl, stalking and movement, nature educaton, community building, and personal development through nature immersion. I cannot answer questions about survival at sea, polar region survival, politics, or mechanical, medical, or social survival issues.

Experience

I have been a student of survival since 1980. This passion has evolved in to a full time profession. In 1989 I founded and continue to run New Englands most successful wilderness survival and primitive skills school. We have a staff of over twenty instructors, volunteers, and interns. As a professional survival and primitive skills educator, we go on staff full survival trips lasting between 5-10 days at least twice a year (our new staff members are permitted a knife). Our community has adopted the native culture approach to learning, teaching, and interacting with ones environment. In short, being a caretaker of the landscape with an understanding that if you find yourself suffering in nature, it is your awareness or skill level that is the issue.

Organizations
Maine Primitive Skills School New England Environmental Educators Association Maine Environmental Educators Association

Publications
Ancestral Plants- A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Useful Plants of the Northeast MAMLE Journal (Maine Association of Middle Level Educators)

Education/Credentials
Graduate, B.S. Environmental Education United States Marine Corps JWS (Jungle Warfare Survival School) Winter Warfare and Survival (Fort Pickle Meadows) SERE Maine Primitive Skills School (22years)

Past/Present Clients
U.S. Military Unity College Bowdoin College Colby College Boy Scouts of America 4H Maine Conservation Camp State of Maine

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