Tag Archives: Clothing

Adventure Clothing – Without Getting Damp and Sticky

This is a guest post by Ben Brown: Freelance writer, author and walking enthusiast Ben Brown looks at the best in breathable technologies – and why it works.  

Breathable qualities are an essential characteristic for outdoor gear and modern materials and manufacturing processes ensure that this essential ingredient is built into most sportswear today. In fact breathable fabric could be argued to be more important than wind-proofing and waterproofing fabrics (or at least as equally important). However, there’s plenty of jargon to wade through (enough to get you into a real sweat) when it comes to choosing the right gear for your outdoor pursuits. In terms of breathable it helps to understand the basics.

Natural Cooling Systems – The Naked Truth

Breathable garments are designed to work in conjunction with the body’s natural cooling system; perspiration. “Garments” is a broad term and, in the case of outdoor gear, it includes everything from the tip of your headgear to the tips of your boots and shoes. As we overheat, our bodies produce sweat to cool us; the moisture evaporates, our skin cools and we return to our optimum temperature. This is fine if you’re not wearing any clothes at all, but not so great if you’re trekking up a mountain or running a marathon (in both cases clothes being more or less required) or conducting any other kind of sporting activity. For hikers, skiers, mountaineers and long distance trekkers. Balancing the need to stay warm and dry means that the body’s natural cooling mechanism can become a problem. Once clothing becomes damp from perspiration, it can remain so, keeping us cooling longer than we need to and eventually chilling us. While problematic at any time of year this can be a serious issue in winter when staying warm while outdoors can equal staying alive. Breathable fabrics operate to solve this problem by effectively drying quickly. Moisture is moved away from the skin and evaporates from the surface of the material, meaning our temperatures remain constant. While traditional materials, such as wool, have these qualities, modern polypropylene and polyester have been designed to create lighter weight garments with the same qualities. In terms of wool, often used in part in fleeces as an insulation layer, look for high quality merino wool products.

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Wicking Qualities and Why they Work

While wool has been favoured as a breathable, fast drying fabric but the modern equivalents are considered more efficient. Today they are designed to incorporate ‘wicking’ qualities. Wicking describes the process in which moisture is moved from the skin and evaporates quickly, transferring it away from the skin in the same way that heat evaporates wax from a candle. For base layers, designed for a range of outdoor activities, materials with wicking qualities are ideal. For insulating layers material that is also breathable allows moisture to be quickly removed from between the layers and a final breathable waterproof layer ensures that excess moisture is drawn away from the body, while keeping out rain and or wind.

Horizontal Rain and Minuscule Vapours

Waterproof and breathable outer garments are now widely available and may seem an unlikely combination of qualities. These garments let moisture out and yet also stop it from passing through from the outside. The simple science behind this seemingly magical quality is the fact that moisture vapour from sweat is actually made up of smaller droplets, which can leave the fine mesh of the fabric, while droplets that form on the outer layer of the material (droplets in this case often being pelting, horizontal rain) are too big to enter, these run off thanks to waterproofing coatings. In many cases over time both the waterproofing and breathable qualities of this type of garment becomes compromised but regular treatments with recommended products help to restore and/or maintain jackets and coats.

Buying Tips

Buying appropriate waterproof outdoor gear is essential. For winter activities robust, strong outer layers are advisable, especially for mountaineering, trekking and hiking. Summer brings it’s own challenges in terms of weather conditions and lighter weight coats are advisable, unless climbing to high altitudes. For cyclists and runners these lighter weight outer layers are often ideal, even in winter. However, in all case ensure the best quality (usually branded) items are chosen. At this time of year as the winter sales and Boxing Day sales beckon, it can be the perfect time to restock on all manner of outdoor gear, from tents to clothing and waterproofing products. Where possible always buy quality outdoor wear and kit, as apart from its effectiveness it can last for many years (and many adventures) to come.

July/August Giveaway (and June Winners Announced!)

Two weeks late! I apologize for the delay but it’s been a very busy month at Hungry & Fit HQ, which will be relocating to another part of town soon. We’re being very picky about the new spot and time is of the essence so we will keep you updated on the new spot. More details to come soon. In the midst of a vacation sandwiched by two thirteen hour drives and working overtime as usual, we seem to have been unable to post the winner for our June giveaway of Moosejaw sunglasses. We want to get those out before the Summer is over! We decided to name three winners thanks to the generosity of Moosejaw and ourselves. We also will be throwing in a cool Moosejaw sticker. The winners are…

Please email your mailing addresses to hungryandfit@gmail.com if you want to redeem these prizes. Any prizes that are not claimed will be donated to a local organization of our choice.

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Since July is already halfway over it seems somewhat pointless to host a giveaway for July. Instead, we’re going to a July/August giveaway that is going to be much better than what July might have been. In fact, we’re going to do a double giveaway with two great prizes because we’re so excited for the month of August. We have talked with some of our favorite local businesses in order to arrange such an event and Frozen Kiss and BaliAsli, two of our favorites are helping us out with this one. Here are the prizes and here are the rules.

1. Frozen Kiss Colorado Flag Custom Tank Top – Any of the colors available in the store, any size for men or women. They fit each gender differently but are still awesome for anyone! That’s over a $30 value. Check out the Colorado Flag Tank Tops available through this link.

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How to win: This product is the creation of a man who comes from one place but is influenced by his travels to another. Tell us about your most important journey and how it made you think of home differently. Maybe you saw the poverty in a developing country and it made you appreciate what you grew up with a lot more than you did before! We want genuine tales commented below and our favorite story wins! (Oh, bonus points go to anyone that likes Frozen Kiss’ Facebook page or Etsy shop!)

2. ANY ITEM on BaliAsli’s Etsy Shop! – That’s right… we’re not messing around with this one. You can have any item available in the store. Whether it’s made of wax or yarn or something else, it’s your if you win the contest. Remember, this is totally free. Shipping is on us!

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How to win: This shop’s motto is “with love we create and share.” All of these goods are handmade and homemade. Even the yarn is taken from the sheep they raise in their backyard (just joking about that one). We want you to tell us about an instance in your life where you shared something incredible with someone. It doesn’t have to be something that you made or even a material good but we want to know what you shared and how you shared it. Hungry and Fit shares their advice on living a healthy life all the time. Comment your stories below for a chance to win this awesome prize. Oh… again, mega bonus points go to anyone that likes Bali Asli’s Facebook page, Etsy shop, and YouTube channel. We’re all about spreading the love and good feelings. Those clicks don’t cost you a penny.

If you are a winner for June’s giveaway, please email us your address so that we can send off your goodies! Email us at hungryandfit@gmail.com. Again the winners are:

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Email us ASAP if you are one of the above. And remember for everyone else, comment below for either or both prizes and we will select our favorite story! Spread the love to stay hungry and fit!

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Welcoming Spring

Hello springtime, or should I say, I can’t wait for you to come. I still haven’t gotten used to this Colorado weather, and I never really want to. Freezing cold one morning, and hot and sunny a few hours later. Then repeat something similar every day. It just makes it hard to dress efficiently but we have to deal with it. Friday, it was nearly 80 degrees, or felt that way with the sun. We went out at night and I wore shorts and a t-shirt. This morning it was 20 degrees. Not fun.

Alana was so excited to wear a dress on that Friday

Alana was so excited to wear a dress on that Friday

But with all that aside let’s think about what we can look forward to Spring 2013. In our last last post we talked about May’s awesome movie lineup. Also, my favorite… spring cleaning. Make sure you get rid of anything you don’t need. If you see something that you haven’t worn since last spring, you should probably donate it unless it’s very special to you. For every five things I donate, I’ll buy myself one thing. It is my way of downsizing efficiently.

Also we have Easter coming up, which means egg hunts and baskets. But in all honesty, try to take advantage of this season. Now is the time to start getting into shape for summer. Anyone who has been bulking should think about cutting soon. Otherwise, just do some physical activity. A little something can go a long way. This is the season to save your pennies for the summer and holiday season. I don’t have much to say about it, just hope for good weather and take advantage of your time!

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Stay hungry and fit!

How to Stay Loose and Fit During Travel

It’s the holiday season. Yes, it’s January, but plenty of people are still on vacation, currently making me jealous. However, with vacation, comes travel (usually). You gotta get from A to B to enjoy family or fun locations. That typically includes flying (as the most common), car, train, and/or bus. And usually, these take between 2-6 hours (domestically). Could even be more if you’re going out of country. That is a lot of sitting, laying, being crunched up in a seat that’s too small for you. I want to offer a few tricks to stay loose during travel, so you don’t exit the airplane or car swearing with uneven legs. So try these tips next time you fly, drive, or commit yourself to some type of travel:

1. Drink water. Now I’m guilty about this one. Usually, I take a window seat on the air plane–half for viewing pleasure, half for sleeping pleasure–and I try to avoid drinking water so I don’t have to ask everyone next to me to get up so I can go pee. Don’t follow my example. Get a cup of water (not Coke, not Vodka) every time the steward(ess) offers and even haggle them for more. This is going to keep your body flowing and running, rather than get cramped up and dry as would be normal in an airplane seat.

2. Get up and move. No matter how long the flight is, 1.5 hours or 7.5 hours, unbuckle your seatbelt and stand up. Find a quiet time when the stewardesses aren’t giving out drinks. You don’t even have to put your shoes on. Slowly walk down the aisle as far as you can and come back.

3. While you’re up… You got up. Congrats! Now once you’ve taken that lap or two down the very narrow aisle, stay up. Find a place where you won’t be bowled over–say, pretend you’re waiting for the bathroom. Now take a big stretch up, reach your arms high, and then swoop down to stretch to touch your toes–a hamstring stretch. Really reach down and enjoy this stretch. If you can, spread your legs out a little bit and reach to each side. This is really going to engage a large part of your legs, making you feel more refreshed and vitalized. Go ahead and throw a quadriceps stretch in there, and pull your ankle back to your hamstring.

4. Don’t forget your arms! Since you’re up and you stretched out your legs, you might as well give your arms some love too. This is all to wake up the blood flow and keep your body from stiffening up too much. Grab your elbow and pull it across your body, giving the shoulders and arm a good stretch. Don’t forget the other side. Now pull your elbow up and back, focusing primarily on the triceps, but will get your shoulders too.

5. Stretches while seated. So you stood up and got some good stretches in, or maybe you didn’t have the chance at all (because you’re in a car)–here’s where seated loosening comes in. Sit up straight and place your hand on the side of the head and pull it gently towards the shoulder, giving your neck a beautiful stretch. Go the other way. Now bow your head, then rotate it back and look at the top of the plane. Do this several times. Now, without bothering your seat buddies, roll the shoulders back and forward–do this for at least 20 seconds.

6. Keep your shoes off! You may feel embarrassed about this, but a great way to stay loose and comfortable is to take those pesky shoes off. It will allow your feet to breathe and be flexible. It will also allow you to do foot exercises: (1) scrunch your toes up as if you are picking up marbles and (2) bend your foot left and right.

Those are just a few tips and tricks to save you during travel times. I would say do this set of stretches and instructions once every three hours in order to preserve freshness! Happy travelling!