Cotton/Wool Long Johns

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Econ, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    I am looking for Long Johns made of natural material. No Synthetics, no nylons, no plastics, no crap- just organic cotton or wool.

    I think mine used to be made of cotton outer layer with a wool sandwich in the middle. Losing 85 pounds made me give those up for some reason and proper sized replacements not found. Walmart has some light duty ones from cotton. Just seeing what the options are.

    DW found one that proudly displayed it contained the plastic from 6 bottles in it. They lost that sale.

    Also anybody have winter clothing suggestions. As I age I am not as tuff as I used to be.<GG> Same scenero as above. No plastic etc that will touch the skin.

    The problem with Southern Winter is that it is a high humidity environment. The cold soaks to the bones.
    Thanks
     
  2. Groomporter

    Groomporter Well-Known Member

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  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I gave up on long John's when i was a kid. Didn't even know that they still made them. I went to flannel lined jeans ( no plastic) and flease linned jeans ( plastic). Not cheap for me, as i need tall. So eaither eddie boure or ll bean. But they are made to last.
     
  4. Groomporter

    Groomporter Well-Known Member

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    I've got a cotton blend union suit for when it's below zero, but unfortunatley it's old enough that I can't read the label anymore as to where we bought it. I like it since it can it can't become un-tucked at the waist like a thermal T-shirt.
    Back when I was driving for a job someone gave me some Carhartt coveralls in case I got stuck in the snow some place, but even when it's 20 below they're too warm unless I'm not moving much.
     
  5. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Too many buttons to undo at critical times. [:O] [LOL]
     
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  6. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Got a Smartwool shirt and it’s great.
     
  8. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I use Smartwool as well, also use Polar Tec for base layers or layering...
     
  9. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Just my two cents worth an probably not what you are looking for, but I just wanted to add to the conversation.

    Cotton is not good for moisture. As far as cotton is concerned for my biking, the rule is, "cotton is rotten". In other words, you don't want cotton next to your skin. But being a 60+ year veteran of cold weather, I find that wool works great even when damp, but can cause your skin to itch and can be "heavy".

    My preference for long john's for the past 15 years has been Under Armour. It has both good wicking properties and has good warming properties when damp. It also is very light. I use the 2.0 base layer for fishing in Canada (30- 50 degrees), but would use the 4.0 base layer when snow skiing (less than 30 degrees). Under Armour is also a bit cheaper than Smartwool.
     
  10. Jkoht

    Jkoht Active Member

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    As stated before cotton is useless as an insulating base layer. As soon as it gets wet or damp from perspiration it stays wet and will eventually bring your core temp down with it. It's basically made for people in the south to pretend they know how to dress for cold. The o ly kind I use for cold Minnesota winters are wool long underwear. Wool will wick away moisture and keep you insulated. I use merino wool from a company called Omniwool. They're lighter duty, and then I have a heavier grade that I believe were from a company called Thermalwool, but a quick search doesn't reveal that as a current brand. In any event go with wool.
     
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  11. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Cotton is not good. If it gets wet your going to get cold. I personally use smart wool. I bought my brother silk long johns that he loves because they are thin but still keeps him warm without the bulk. Although I probably wouldn't use them when it's really cold as they are quite thin.
     
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  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    @BikeNFish - the phrase we use here is "cotton kills" in cold and/or damp conditions. For hot/dry weather, such as hiking below the Rim in Grand Canyon, some swear by cotton shirts that they can dampen, although nylon can be wet too, it just dries more quickly.
    I have some long johns in the performance fabric of a few yeas ago, from REI, work pretty well, I only had the lighter weight version, enough for what we usually do.
     
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  13. Pommom70

    Pommom70 Member

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    I love silk long johns, it may be thin, but it keeps one toasty. I also like to wear leggings under my jeans to keep me warm. My jacket & coat are down, much better than poly fleece & it’s renewable.
     
  14. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I worked nights for over 25 years and was in and out of a vehicle constantly. I ditched the cotton 20+ years ago. I wore polypro of different weights most of the time and tighter fitting Lycra some of the time. I ditched cotton socks for Merino wool blends of different weights based on the weather. Off the job, I often forgo the long underwear and wear flannel or fleece lined pants. If it's really cold, I'll wear the lined pants and long underwear.

    Hunting, I often used the brown heavy weight military surplus polypro stuff when sitting in a stand. That stuff is warm. I hate the zip up neck on the tops, though.
     
  15. Arruba

    Arruba Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    As for what’s out there? A big bunch! Both in under and outer wear. Way more than lets me suggest this or that.

    In my experience, finding pure cotton Long Johns will take some looking. What I find commonly are cotton blends. If you’re thinking wool, I’d suggest looking for Merino or mostly Merino blends. I’ve had/got a couple pair of Ski Skins in silk that work well. For sources, I get stuff from the online outdoor stores; REI, Campmor, Sportsmen’s Warehouse, etc. In my part of the world, there’s a couple of “Real” workwear or feed & seed stores that have the good stuff.

    As for what to choose or what’s the best, like a lot of things on here, it depends on what you want to do, where you do it; and want to spend. I’m a fan of wool blends and true wet weather wear when it’s wet. Both my farmer/rancher grandfather’s by and large got by just fine working in ALL KINDS of weather for the majority of their 90 some years in hardware store special cotton or cotton blend long handles. Unless all I’m doing is going to watch the nephews play football or walk my dog, I’ve got several pairs of wool/polypropylene and the aforementioned silk underwear to choose from, activity dependent.

    The REI link above isn’t bad. NOLS, Outdoor Life and Field and Stream used to have an outdoor dress for success guides. Maybe a Google search will dial it fully in for you.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  16. Hilldweller

    Hilldweller Well-Known Member

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    I used to ride my motorcycle all year long (no cars/trucks for 10 years) and have a bit of experience staying warm.

    https://gizmodo.com/why-cotton-kills-a-technical-explanation-1688286083

    I use 32-degree base layers (Costco) now but used Merino Wool on the bike (I think they shave Dan Merino for it or something; he's Italian and very hairy).
    Why no synthetics? They really do work great. Light weight = easier hiking...

    Here's a pic of me and Dan Marino from a LONG time ago; he was just shorn that morning and the hair is growing back already. Note that my hair is not growing back...

    BillDanMarino.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
  17. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I hunt, ice fish and XC ski in Alaska... I've got just about every base and insulating layer you can imagine... except silks. Personally, I prefer a light tighter synthetic base layer like Under Armor, or other less costly brands. Then combinations of fleece and polypro. I may throw a wool sweater in there for very cold deals.

    But, I have a couple of the wool base layers. I like them, but they are not my favorites. The ones I have are made by Karbon, I think I maybe got them at Costco??? Can't find them on the Karbon website any more. But if you search for 100% Merino Wool Base Layers, you can find many. ColdPruf seems to make a union suit that's 100% Merino Wool at:

    https://www.amazon.com/ColdPruf-Lay...mal+underwear+one+piece&qid=1638229330&sr=8-7

    Anyway, wear what you like, but for me, cotton stays in the closet until summer.
     
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  18. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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