The Wheelbarrow – Components, Structure and Materials


The ubiquitous Wheelbarrow consists essentially of three component parts using commonly available materials of steel or hardwood. These components are characterised by,
• The frame (with handles)
• The carrying receptacle
• The wheel (s)

Each of these parts plays their own essential role in the efficacy or fit for purpose, ease of operation and durability of the tool.

The Structure

The Frame
The materials used for the frame consist of either of two principle materials, one being a hardwood and flat steel bar (bolted together) or secondly, combinations of both steel tubing and flat steel bar, (bolted or welded together) the use of each of the two principle materials dependent on availability and ease of processing at the region of manufacture.

The Carrying Receptacle
The carrying receptacle will be of a metallic or polymeric (plastic) (rigid or flexible) material usually dependent on usage and manufacturing technique. Metallic receptacles may be galvanised, powder coated or painted. An open box shape (with or without sloping sides) will almost always be utilised to facilitate conveyance of particulate materials, however a flat platform may also be used for the conveyance of self supporting stack-able materials, for example, baked-bricks.

The Wheel (s)
The wheel (s), single or double, will consist of a variety of manufactured configurations, these could be, various diameters of a moulded, solid, round section, polymeric material permanently affixed onto (usually) suitably pressed steel rims with an axle system , or pneumatic tyres contained in the classical configuration which would allow for removal of the tyre, for repair, in the event of a puncture.

The design and engineering of each of the above components contributes, as stated above, substantially to the efficiency, effectiveness and durability of the wheelbarrow

The Materials

The Frame
The two differing construction materials of hardwood and steel and their individual assembly each contribute in their own unique way to the efficacy and durability of the tool.

The traditional wood construction consisting of a strong, straight, load bearing beam allows for greater loads and greater leverage with comparably less mass than an equivalent steel counterpart but requires a greater number of constituent parts than a steel tube construction. Whereas the use of tubular steel, which can be die pressed in one operation enables the lower cost manufacture of a one piece construction wheelbarrow frame albeit with lower carrying capacity because of the restriction on the length of the one piece tube.

The die pressed tubular steel frame has induced in itself an inherent weakness in that due to the structure of the die and the press the resultant frame shape can result in excessive stress at the resultant bends, whereby the outer circumference wall is unacceptably thinned and the inner circumference is compressed resulting in a ripple skin. This results in poor flex resistance and is often the cause of frame failure during robust use, this is particularly so when thin walled tubing is used. Internal rust also attacks these stressed areas, contributing to premature failure. The pressed steel frame size of itself restricts the size of the carrying receptacle to a 65l (3.2 cu ft) bin whereas the wood section allows options ranging up to 300l (11 cu ft)

The Carrying Receptacle
The carrying receptacle construction material (commercially) consists of either pressed steel or a moulded, ridged polymer or a woven flexible tear resistant fabric. (The latter is an aberration used for wheelbarrows whose frame can be folded down to facilitate convenient storage)

Pressed steel has been the traditional norm but commercial cost pressures have resulted in ever thinner metal gauges and hence reduced wear and tear resistance. The advent of polymeric substitutes to steel has resulted in cost competitive alternatives. An additional benefit has been a product that withstands environmental attack, such as rust and acid / alkali. With a density considerably lower than that of steel a lighter pan results.

The Wheel (s)
A significant contributor to the efficacy of a wheelbarrow is the type of wheel structure and the materials used.

If the tyre width is too narrow then any traverse over sandy soil will be extremely difficult due to the wheel sinking into the sand and rendering maneuvering equally difficult. The outside diameter of the wheel will likewise prove problematical. Too small and the rolling resistance will increase by orders of magnitude.

The wheel bearings used will determine the life of the wheel.
Synthetic bushes kept clean and not oiled will usually outlast the 'barrow, and provide a great service.


Source by P Bruce Jones

Concrete, Metal, Or Resin Garden Statues – What is the Best Choice For Your Garden


Garden statues come in many different materials. The most popular though are concrete, resin, and metal. Here are the benefits and differences between them.

Concrete garden statues: These are very affordable and are sold in both finished and unfinished styles. You can get almost any type of concrete statuary that you want in nearly any size you want. The big benefit of buying unfinished concrete sculptures is that if you decide to paint it then you will not only get it cheaper, but also get the exact colors you want.

The only bad part about getting concrete statuary for your garden is that they can get very heavy if the statues are big and they are not as detailed as resin statues. However, if you live in a high wind area, heavy can be a big advantage.

Resin garden statues: Basically resin is a hard plastic material. The big advantage of resin is that it takes on any shape in amazing detail. Because it produces very detailed results you will often see statues of animals, children, and Disney characters made out of resin.

Resin is very durable. It is often more expensive than concrete, especially when you get into larger pieces. These types of pieces look great in informal gardens.

Metal garden statues: These are generally both very beautiful and fairly pricey. But, if you have a formal garden then a metal statue may be just what you want. Be aware that many metals used in garden statuary develop a patina over time. Only you can decide if this is something that you want. Copper statues for instance turn a beautiful shade of green – think the Statue of Liberty.


Source by Heather Christman

History of Plumbing Pipe and Plumbing Material


The Roman's used lead and clay piping for potable water that serviced private homes, amphitheaters, and bathhouses throughout the Roman Empire. In fact lead was still the predominant metal used for water services servicing homes and businesses in the US up until WW II. Lead was very flexible and extremely durable which made it an ideal piping material. In fact "lead wiping" was considered an art form. The use of lead for potable water declined sharply after WW II because of the dangers of lead poisoning. There is still some controversy with regards to the harmfulness of lead water services being used. Some testing was done several years ago and it was found that the service calcified so quickly very little if any lead leeched through the calcification be that as it may lead services are no longer used and are still being replaced to this day in some of our larger older cities across the US.

Just after WWII copper became the material of choice for water services around the country and galvanized screw piping became the material of choice for interior plumbing piping. In the 70's, copper replaced galvanized piping for water piping supremacy. Copper is fairly easy to work with, comes in soft (annealed) and hard copper. There are several different grades of copper water, waste and vent piping; DWV copper tubing is the thinnest walled copper tubing and is only recommended in drainage waste and vent applications. Type "M" is the thinnest walled copper to be used for plumbing water piping. It is approved for water piping in most municipalities but it's more popular use is for drain, waste and vent (DWV) piping.

The next copper piping grade is Type "L" it is in the middle with regards to wall thickness and is the most popular type of copper to be used for potable water. Type "K" copper has the thickest walls and is usually used for harsh conditions.

Although PEX has been in use since the 1960s it has taken quite some time to gain popularity in the US only in the last 25 years or so has PVC and PEX tubing has been gaining popularity for use for water piping in residential applications its ease of use . Its durability and cost make it a very attractive choice. PEX piping can be bought in flexible rolls, hard lengths or wrapped in aluminum to hold its shape.

Another material used for plumbing pipes, particularly water main, was hollowed wooden logs wrapped in steel banding. Logs used for water distribution were used in England close to 500 years ago. In the US cities began using hollowed logs in the late 1700s through the 1800s. Interestingly enough in the early 1800s fire fighters began to realize that they could bore into the logs to get water thereby helping them fight fires more effectively. When the firemen were finished fighting the fire they would insert a plug closing off the water, that actually where the word "fire plug" got its origin. Eventually municipalities began tapping the water mains at a certain spot on each block so firemen did not have to dig down to find the main every time there was a fire on the block.

Wooden water mains remained the material of choice for water distribution until the early 1900s when plumbing piping took a huge leap in durability and flow characteristics with the advent of sand cast, cast iron water main. Although sand cast is not used today cast soil pipe is still a material used in today's plumbing systems. Cast iron had been used for water distribution in other parts of the world quite a bit earlier than when it became widespread in the US. In fact the very first complete use of cast iron for water distribution was installed at Versailles, France in 1664. It remains functioning to this day.

Ductile iron replaced sand cast in the early 1960s. Ductile iron is a cast iron, but the way it's heated and enhanced by chemical compounds greatly improved its strength and improved on cast iron's tendency to be strong but very brittle.

With regards to waste and vent piping, cast iron and PVC are the materials used most especially for large diameter piping. Copper is also used for waste and vent but in smaller diameter applications. Because of copper's value it becomes cost prohibitive to use it with larger diameter pipe for reference, say 3 "and above.

There is one other area that we think needs to be touched upon and its acid waste piping. Acid waste, by definition, is any waste in which acids appear in higher concentrations than found in household waste. Although PVC has acid resistant properties, it is not recommended for use in situations where piping is continually exposed to higher than normal concentrations ie photo labs, science labs, chemical companies etc. In these situations acid resistant pipe and fitting are recommended.


Source by Sean Kavanaugh

Different Materials Used in Balustrade and Handrails


There are a number of different materials that are used in balustrades and handrails. If the balustrade is external like fencing a terrace, roof or any open space then the material used is concrete. Concrete can stand up to the weather and will not get destroyed. There are a number of different designs that are used in making balustrades. The balustrades are usually cast in a shape using a mould. This is done so that all the balustrades look alike. A rail is fixed on top of the balustrades.

If the balustrades are to be placed inside a building, like lining a staircase ten different materials can be used. Usually hard word is used on balustrades that line a staircase. The handrail is also made out of wood. Another material that is used in balustrades and handrails is cast iron or wrought iron. Balustrades made from cast iron or wrought iron have a fancy design. The design is selected by the home owner or by the architect. The design depends on the theme of the building.

Polyurethane is also used nowadays to make balustrades and handrails. Cast stone, polymer stone and plaster is also used to make balustrades and handrails. In some buildings marble has also been used to make balustrades. Marble is very expensive and is only used in palatial buildings.

The use of wood has also reduced in making of balustrades and handrails. People have become conscious about saving the environment and therefore the use of wood is frowned upon by some people. The use of polyurethane and polymers has increased. The material is cheap and can be made into very nice designs for balustrades. Most modern buildings have polyurethane balustrades as they match the design of the building.

No one is quite sure about the history of balustrades and who first used them. The most common shape in balustrades has been the oblong shape which resembles an egg. Brass and bronze has also been used in balustrades and handrails. They require cleaning and polishing regularly and are very expensive. Brass is used in handrails as it has a shining golden colour.

Some balustrades are painted with a motif to make them look interesting and to break the monotony. There are so many designs that are used in balustrades and some of them are quite simple. They may just be a series of straight pillars made of iron and topped with a wooden handrail. Or they may even have an iron handrail. Wooden balustrades may be carved with a design on them or they may just be a straight plank. People usually have wooden balustrades and handrails on the porch of their house.

The design of the balustrades and handrails depends on the design and architecture of the building or house. People usually do not give much thought to the design of balustrades and it's the architect who selects the design. The wood used in balustrades and handrails has to be well seasoned and should not warp or get misshapen or cracked. Wood has been the material that has been used the most for internal balustrades and hand rails in homes.


Source by Paul J Coleman

Materials Used in Making Windows and Their Advantages


Window is an essential structure in any room, since they provide light during the daytime and improves the ventilation of the room. Doors and windows are used as a barrier to close an opening and they are made using different materials. Some 30 to 40 years back, the windows that were installed were made up of aluminum, because they were considered to be economical and effective. But, today a material called vinyl is used for making windows.

Why people wish to install vinyl windows?

The following reasons make people to select vinyl windows

– Vinyl windows are cheaper than any other windows.
– Here the windows are made up of Poly Vinyl Chloride (a synthetic plastic), which is very strong and it has a tendency to shape or bend according to our needs.
– Vinyl is very light and easy to handle.
– They have great energy efficiency and provide insulation both under hot and cold conditions.
– Windows made out of this material needs less maintenance.
– The vinyl products beautify the home.


There are different types of wood which could be used for making windows. Wood give an elegant and natural feel to your home, gives structural expression and it is easy to work with wood. In general, there are two types; they are hardwood and softwood.

Softwood – It is easier to use this wood and had been extensively used in the construction of windows. It is vulnerable to damage and has a less durability.

Hardwood – It is difficult to work with this wood to a certain extent. Life span of hardwood is more. Maintenance is easy; just wipe off the excess dirt from the window frames.


Aluminum is a metallic element, silvery in appearance and it is ductile. In those days, most of the houses used aluminum for their windows.

Advantages of using aluminum for windows – It is a lightweight metal with anti-rust property, it improves the life of the window, and it is cost effective.


Fiberglass is a material obtained from fine fibers of glass; here the glass is extruded into fine filaments. The important features of fiberglass are minimum thermal transfer and good noise reduction.

The fiberglass doors offer the following advantages

1. These doors reduce the pressure in its surroundings.

2. This material is very stable, which provides a good base for a full range of finishes and it is very tough so that it could withstand extremes of climate. Fiberglass also provides a superior strength when compared to polyvinyl chloride.

3. The doors made from this material are more resistant than wood doors and the fiberglass doors are famous for their versatility.

Before buying any product, it is good to know about its brand name and its quality. Various home improvement shops are present in Los Angeles and California which gives you lot of ideas in selecting the best window for your house. You can also buy these windows online.

Many people in California buy windows online because they do not have to carry those windows to home which is done if they buy from a departmental store.


Source by Peter J Michael

Benefits Of Material Requirements Planning


Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a type of software based production planning, which uses an inventory system to organize different manufacturing processes. Basically when a company is going to manufacture something to sell, this software is in charge of organizing all inventories, while making sure that all the products and materials are in place in order for this to be possible. This is important for any kind of company that is using an assembly line or making something that requires a lot of different pieces in order for it to be completed.

There are three basic components that make up material requirements planning. The first is to make sure that all products and materials are all in line. In order for successful production, all the products have to be there. The second component a company needs to keep tabs on is making sure they have very low inventory. Companies want to be able to produce their product whenever they needed, but they do not want to have too much in excess in case the product should fail to sell. This is the concept of supply and demand. The third component is planning the manufacturing scheme. Companies need to know what exactly is getting produced by their company and where exactly it is being shipped to.

Companies are trying to maximize the amount of money they bring in so there needs to be a good balance between the inventory of materials and being able to meet the demand of the customers. If companies do not have the right balance then they will cost the company big dollars. Other important factors of material requirements planning involve ordering all the material's at the right time. If production can not begin at the right time, a company may fail to meet the deadline.

The main problem with MRP systems is that they are not 100% perfect. If there is any kind of error in the system, then it is going to throw off all the other numbers thus making the outputted data incorrect. Another problem is that MRP systems do not necessarily factor in other warehouses in other cities or states. Therefore, the system will tell you that you do not need to order anymore parts when in fact those parts are in other factories. The last and biggest factor that the MRP system can not take into consideration is manpower. Manpower is not consistent like a machine and thus creates inaccurate numbers. You can visit You Http:// for more information on material requirements planning.

Material requirements planning can be done by humans but it will take a much greater deal of time versus having computer software that's sole purpose is for maximizing the profits do all the work. Since there are flaws in the system, an MRP system can only be 98% accurate due to the inability to factor in certain variables. As great as an MRP system is, there are still factors that can not be fixed. There is new system (MRP II) that has new improvements but will still never be perfect. In the end, there will have to be a mix between the MRP system and human projections in order to get the most accurate numbers to maximize profit.


Source by Kelly Hunter

Authentic VS. Graded Material in Second Languages


As you all know, the main difference between authentic vs. graded materials is that in the latter, the materials almost always revolve around a particular structure that is presented to the student. For example, if the tense being presented is, say, "The Past Tense," every single speaker in the dialogs or even the texts given to the students are in that tense.
It seems as if there were no other tense in the whole world. In reality, when talking about the past, for example, native speakers may use a wider variety of tenses, sometimes even the present tense:

"Last night something very funny happened to me. I was walking down the street and suddenly a man comes and looks at me in the face and says: boy, you ARE ugly."

This is not uncommon in real life, but when it comes to graded materials, you will never find these types of situations that resemble real-life conversations. In spite of this, graded materials are very useful if you want to raise the students' awareness on a certain structures or patterns that may be important for them to learn. Every single context they see will contain many instances of the same structure which will enable them to make inferences on how they are used.

Authentic materials, on the other hand, are real in the sense that they are not created for students as the target audience but for native speakers. The obvious advantage, of course, is that by using authentic materials you present students with actual everyday language, just as it appears in real life. The main disadvantage of these materials of course, is that sometimes they are not teacher-friendly, and you may need to spend several hours reading or watching videos until you finally find what you need in order to use in your class. In addition, on many occasions in a whole context or situation you may find just one instance of what you need to present your students with. This could be overcome if you provide students with several situations in which the patterns appears, but again, you need to have the time to research and gather the appropriate materials.

If time is no object to you, you may well spend some time doing this research and you will soon find out that there's myriads of information out there that is terrific for your classroom! However, if you have time constraints, as most teachers unfortunately do, a balanced approach maybe the solution for you. You can use your graded materials to present the topic and later on you may find samples of that structure in authentic materials. Mind you, this will not be difficult due to the fact that whenever native speakers talk about something or write about something, they make use of nearly all tenses and structures of the language. You can even tell your class to go over some authentic texts, videos etc. and find similar constructions. Sometimes a combination of both approaches yields the best of both worlds. It is up to you to decide what could be the best for your classroom.


Source by Julio Foppoli

Treadmill Belts – What's The Difference


Walking belts are known by many different names, but there is not a difference in the basic accepted design even though different people may not use the same term to name a walking belt. Other names are: treadmill belt, striding belt, running belt, jogging belt, bands (with the same descriptive variations), runner, and mat.

For simplicity, we call it a walking belt but our terminology does not limit the type of exercise that you can do. There are different grades of walking belts and they can vary widely in terms of quality and price depending upon the type of construction. Most walking belts are made with two different types of materials that are formed together to form the finished product you see. Most people assume the belt's top coat is rubber but most today have a PVC top coat. PVC tends to hold up better under a wide range of shoes and applications and due to its strength, many people are fooled into thinking that their belt is OK when the backing is completely worn out.

The backing of the belt is the most important area. The most popular backing materials are monofilament, polyester, cotton, and urethane. Of these backings, the softer the material the less noise the belt will make. So a cotton backed belt will be much quieter than a urethane belt. The trade off is that the softer the material and the less noisy the belt the quicker the belt tends to wear out. Many companies over the last 20 years that once used cotton have now switched over to a polyester blend. The main advantage is that the belt is still rather quiet but it is more heat resistant and is tougher over the long run in its ability to withstand wear.

A backing that is growing in popularity is monofilament. This uses a single type of fiber. Since it uses synthetic materials, it tends to be more heat resistant and can be formed more easily to a rougher backing that will have less surface contact with the deck. The reason this is important is that less contact area will result in less friction which puts far less strain on the motor and controller. The drawback to a monofilament belt is that it noisier than either cotton or polyester backing. Another drawback is that since it is a single fiber, it tends to have less tensile strength than woven or urethane fibers.

The most expensive backing is urethane. It also tends to be the noisiest but if you maintain a urethane backing properly, we've seen them last over 10 years in a light commercial setting. It is a very durable material that has the best ability to withstand the rigors of heavy use and the heat buildup that is normally associated with club use.

There is much confusion about layers of a walking belt. Most companies advertise a 2 ply belt but some claim as many as 4 plies. The confusion arises because more layers is not necessarily a better thing. As HealthRider found out several years ago, a very thick belt can be a disaster. HealthRider took a standard 2 ply belt and then glued a layer of carpeted neoprene to the top of a standard belt. The result was a 3 ply (or 4 ply depending upon how you interpret the final addition to the belt) which now had a nice insulation layer of neoprene that did an incredible job of holding in heat and emphasized the potential problem of using a multi- layered belt. Even in a residential setting, the HealthRider belts simply fell apart from the wide variance in heat they experienced. Fortunately for the consuming public HealthRider stopped using these belts a few years ago.

Other companies will advertise an orthopedic belt that has either additional layers or a thicker top layer that helps cushion the foot fall. Once again, our big problem with these belts is heat problems and the fact that many of these belts can weigh as much as 3 to 4 times as much as a regular 2 ply belt. The heavier the belt, the harder the drive system has to work to keep moving the belt around. Combine that with the heat problems inherent in a thicker belt – remember, its' better insulated – and you can quickly see why we are not big fans of the orthopedic belts.

If you are choosing a new treadmill pay attention to the walking belt. It is the heart of a treadmill despite popular opinion naming another part. If you already have a treadmill, maintain your belt and keep it clean and your treadmill will thank you for it in the long run.


Source by Brady Freeman

Designer Handbags – Which Material is Best?


With the huge number of different types of designer handbags available to choose from, how do you know which material you want it to be made from?

To a certain degree, it depends on what you want the handbag to do.

Do you want it to compliment an outfit? Do you want it to liven things up a little bit (or a lot) or do you just want it to be durable and long lasting?

The most common material for designer handbags these days is leather.

Strong, highly durable and incredibly tough, leather is a perfect choice for a material.

Bearing in mind that leather also comes in a variety of different types such as cowhide, goatskin, natural, man made etc, there will always be one out there that "feels" right in your hands.

Strong and thick leather will weather well, able to shrug off raindrops and small marks and spills (dependent on the protective coatings and coloring) and will not rip or shred after repeated putting down and picking up off rough floors.

Suede also runs a close second to the leather lines, having many of the same strength and durability properties of leather. Less designer handbags are made from suede as it is a harder material to design a color or style for – although Coach specifically do a great range of colors and styles in suede handbags!

But what if you want to glam up an outfit or go for something beyond the traditional materials of leather, suede, canvas and nylon mix?

Well – you're still spoilt for choice.

How about a seat belt bag, made from recycled seat belts in a criss cross pattern? Strong, colorful and very different.

Or the new Licence Plate handbags – made from cleaned and recycled licence plates, handbags that are literally bent into shape with hinged flaps.

Then there are evening bags, made from velvet.

Ugg handbags, made from treated sheepskin – some of which also double up as a handbag and muff!

Beijo handbags are made purely from polyvinyl – tough and incredibly easy to wipe clean.

Some of the Louis Vuitton high end bags are made from a mix of cowhide leather or canvas with ostrich leather for trim and decoration!

You can even still pick up some handbags made from crocodile skin – albeit from the pre owned market!

The choice of materials is quite mind boggling. Just about anything you can think of as a suitable material to use for building a handbag has already been done.

The only real question is – What do you want your handbag to say about you?

If your solid, traditional and dependable – go for leather.

If your funky and chic – try the seat belt bag.

If your different and a bit of a trend setter, not a trend follower, either go with the Licence Plate handbags or design and make your own.

What's lying about round your house that you could use as a material?

Copyright: Rufus Steele


Source by Rufus Steele

Know the Fabrics to Make Smart Outdoor Clothing Choices


Dressing to survive in the outdoors starts with knowing what fabrics to wear. Different fabrics have radically different properties. Choosing the wrong type, or mixing clothing of different materials, can be disastrous!

You may not be able to tell what a garment is made of by looking. A nice, fuzzy, thick 100-percent cotton flannel shirt will be warm and cozy until it gets wet. Then that wet shirt may suck the heat out of your torso and cause hypothermia!

On the other side of the equation is wool. My hands-down favorite in the winter, wool, is generally a bad choice for a desert hike in August. Wool traps heat, and while it provides some UV protection, the material will prevent your body from cooling.
So, the buyer needs to beware.

Before buying any clothing item, read the labels and find out what the material is. Ignore fashion or what's trendy (I know that's hard – I have a 14-year-old daughter!), And make your purchase based on the activity and the clothing protection that will be needed.

Here are some common fabric choices:

* Cotton: Depending on where you live, cotton clothing can kill you. Cotton is hydrophilic, meaning it is no good at wicking wetness away from the skin, and can become damp just by being exposed to humidity.

Both of these 100% cotton garments would keep you warm until they got wet. Then, this clothing could become dangerous to wear!

Once wet, cotton feels cold and can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating properties. Wet cotton can wick heat from your body 25 times faster than when it's dry.

Since I've spent a lot of time in the Deep South, my favorite hot weather shirt is a medium-weight, white, 100 percent cotton Navy surplus shirt. The shirt has a collar that can be pulled up to shade my neck, and pockets with flaps and buttons. Cotton also has a reasonable amount of UV protection.

On really hot days in a canoe, a cotton shirt can be soaked with water, and worn to cool you down. On a desert hike, help prevent heat stroke by using a few ounces of water to wet the shirt down. (The water can come from anywhere, including that algae-edged stock tank. The evaporation is what cools you!)

The same properties that make cotton a good choice for hot weather make it a killer in rain, snow and cold.

Typical urban casual garb is probably all cotton: sweat-socks, Hanes or Fruit of the Loom underwear, jeans, tee shirt, flannel shirt and sweatshirt. This outfit may keep you warm in town, but do not wear it into the back country! Once the cotton gets wet, you could end up in trouble.

Do not be mislead by the looks and camouflage patterns of 100 percent cotton hunting clothes. These garments my be just what you need for a hot, September dove hunt in Mississippi, but they become cold and clammy when damp or wet, just like anything else made of cotton.

* Polypropylene: This material does not absorb water, so it is a hydrophobic. This makes it a great base layer, since it wicks moisture away from your body. The bad news is that polypropylene melts, so a spark from the campfire may melt holes in your clothing.

* Wool: Where I live in Central Oregon, wool is the standard for six months of the year. A good pair of wool pants and wool socks are the first clothing items we recommend to new Boy Scouts in our troop. For our winter scout excursions, any sort of cotton clothing is strongly discouraged. Jeans are banned.

Wool absorbs moisture, but stays warmer than many other fabrics. Wool is also inherently flame retardant.

* Polyester: This is essentially fabric made from plastic, and it's good stuff. The material has good insulation and wind-stopping value, and can be made into many different thicknesses.

* Nylon: The fabric is pretty tough and can be used on your outer layer. It does not absorb much moisture, and what does evaporates quickly. It is best used as some sort of windbreaker, to keep your clothing from being compromised by the wind.

* Down: This material is not a fabric, but rather, fluffy feathers stuffed inside a garment or sleeping bag. When dry, down is one of my favorite insulated materials.

But I do not use a down sleeping bag, and would hesitate wearing a down vest into the back country because of potential moisture problems. When wet, down becomes hydrophilic, and loses virtually all its insulated value. It can be worse than cotton as far as sucking heat away from your body.

In addition, a down sleeping bag or garment is virtually impossible to dry out in the back country, even with a roaring campfire.


Source by Leon Pantenburg