Chapter 7 Clothing for SAR
Objectives(1 of 3) • List at least three characteristics in the various natural and synthetic materials used in the construction of clothing as used in SAR. • List three of the factors concerning heat transfer due to clothing construction and/or design.
Objectives (2 of 3) • Describe the function of each of the following layers of clothing: • Underneath layer • Wicking layer • Clothing layer • Insulation layer • Shell layer
Objectives (3 of 3) • Describe the proper SAR clothing to be used in various environmental conditions. • Describe some advantages and disadvantages of various types of outdoor footwear.
Clothing for the SAR Responder • First line of defense in harsh conditions • Protects from cold-related injuries • Ensures comfort in adverse conditions
Natural Fiber Materials • Derived from plants or animals • Natural fibers: • Cotton • Wool • Silk • Down
Adequate for moderate climates Breathable Absorbs water Burns easily but does not melt Good insulator when dry, but poor when wet Cotton
Wool • Maintains insulation when wet • Burns slowly, very resilient, breathable, and durable • Gives off an unpleasant odor when wet • Inexpensive through military surplus supplier
Silk • Very comfortable and light • Good insulating and wicking properties • Generally expensive • Not durable and damaged by perspiration and sunlight
Down • Light and very comfortable • Absorbs moisture readily • Excellent insulating properties when dry • Absorbs and retains odors and will mildew when damp
Synthetic Fiber Materials • Synthetic fibers are produced by chemical synthesis. • Nylon • Polypropylene • Polyester
Nylon • Abrasion resistant and quick drying • Low moisture absorption and wicking properties • Blends well with other fibers • Can be damaged by sunlight and melts when on fire • Examples: Ripstop and Cordura®
Polypropylene • Maintains insulative properties when wet • Repels and wicks moisture/water • High abrasion resistance • Easy care and non-allergenic • Melts at relatively low temperatures (160ºC or 320ºF) • Examples: Capilene™, Thermax™
Polyester • Strong, durable, and inexpensive • Softer and lighter than any other synthetic material • Will not absorb moisture • Poor wicking qualities • Examples: Polartec®, Polarguard™, Primaloft®, Thinsulate™
Polartec® • Warm, comfortable, and versatile • Not abrasion resistant • Quick drying • Resistant to stretching and shrinking
Polarguard™ • Used primarily as an insulator • Continuous fibers form air-trapping pockets. • Eliminates clumping and cold spots • Examples: Polarguard HV™, Polarguard 3D™
Heat Loss and Garment Features(1 of 2) • Rate of heat transfer through clothing depends on: • Quantity and thickness of dead air space • Amount of air that passes through a material • Water and moisture
Heat Loss and Garment Features (2 of 2) • Closures need to be designed and applied properly. • Seams • Vents • Pockets • Reinforcements
The Layer System • Layers of garments that can easily be added or removed: • Underneath • Wicking • Clothing • Insulation • Shell
The Underneath Layer • For hygiene, discretion, and comfort • Socks • One or two pair • Should not bunch • Should not cause constriction or abrasion
The Wicking Layer • Moisture control and comfort • Ensure proper fit • Materials • Thin silk or wool • Synthetics such as Capilene™, Coolmax®, and Polartec®
The Clothing Layer • Should offer some insulation and absorb moisture from layers beneath • Loose fit and comfortable • Durability and snag/tear resistant • Consider visible colors.
The Insulation Layer • Traps air between wicking and shell layers • Accomplished best with multiple layers rather than one thick one • Don’t forget about your extremities.
The Shell Layer • Protects against the elements • Must be strong and durable • Consider ventilation. • Hoods are highly recommended. • Should be bright color. • Research wisely: A good shell is an investment.
Waterproof Shell Water-Repellent Shell Water-Resistant Shell Waterproof/Breathable Shell Shell Options
Other Clothing Considerations (1 of 5) • The head • An unprotected head can be responsible for half of the body’s heat loss. • Whole-head protection in cold environments (balaclavas) • In hot environments, protect head from external heat.
Other Clothing Considerations (2 of 5) • Hands • Mittens keep generally keep hands warmer but affect dexterity. • Leather gloves protect hands and improve traction and grip. • Remember to protect the wrists.
Other Clothing Considerations (3 of 5) • Feet • Examine and clean daily • Treat blisters and hot spots immediately. • Always wear clean, dry socks. • Have footwear fitted by a professional.
Other Clothing Considerations (4 of 5) • Footwear • Proper fit and comfort • Adequate stability and support • Durability and good traction for environment • Protection from the elements • Break in footwear before using the field.
Other Clothing Considerations (5 of 5) • Gaiters • Protection against dirt, debris, snow, and insects • Prevent layers from getting wet • Usually made of Cordura or ripstop and coated with waterproofing agent • Available in two sizes
Clothing Purchase Suggestions • Research and investigate before purchasing. • Plan ahead and buy off-season sale items. • SAR clothing is an important tool. • Take advantage of online discount retailers.