Jan 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm #1284731
I never really thought about it until one of the recent post about the warmth with synthetic vs merino when damp, but I was wondering if there is any kind of layering that helps with keeping your skin warm?
The problem I have is cold urticaria (Pretty much an allergy to cold, hives form when my skin gets cold. Didn't know I had it until my first hiking trip which was a disaster.) which only seems to occur on my backpacking trips. I'm assuming it is because of the constant cold. I usually hike in shorts, synthetic tee, and a windshirt from 30* and up (hot hiker), and I'm completely warm core wise, but my skin is still cold to the touch. On a backpacking trip two different times to the same location with about the same temperatures, tried the synthetic tee one time, l/s merino wool on the other, both times with a windshirt and didn't feel a difference. Anyone have any experience/recommendations with this?Feb 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm #1834183
Bump. Thinking of trying thicker layers maybe?Feb 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm #1834240Nigel HealyMember
@nigelhealyLocale: San Francisco bay area
interesting. So your problem is your skin reacts badly to cold but you're basically warm as a human being otherwise?
So the issue calls for thicker layer all-over. I'd consider 2 changes, one is a windshirt over the torso and have a thin longjohns and a windproof over-trousers. That will raise the temperature over your entire skin (gloves, head, face to tackle) with only a little insulation to stop your total body overheating. The high breathability of windproofs will then help with sweating because you CAN have cold skin AND sweating skin, I get it plenty of times biking up steep hills in winter.
I know UK makes more than USA makes so translate , but I'd use a Paramo Reversible shirt and Paramo Cambia Longjohns and add a Montane Litespeed top and Montane Litespeed trousers.
Then add more layers to cope with if you actually begin to feel cold which would be your likes of a synthetic gilet or down jacket.
Good luck!Feb 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm #1834246Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Maybe try a vapor barrier underneath your shirt. So…baselayer, then VBL, then a wool or synthetic or fleece shirt. The VBL will keep the shirt from getting wet and maybe keep your skin warmer. It might be kind of thermos-bottle uncomfortable, but I guess you can't have everything.Feb 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm #1834250Dustin ShortBPL Member
Interesting. This is a lot of speculation on my part but some things I would test if I was in your situation:
1st would be polypropylene or polyester L/S. They are both "warmer" to the touch than typical nylon. Wool may not help if the fibers irritate your skin, basically could solve the warmth issue but cause the itch/hive issue just from being scratchy. Even the best merino is itchy to me (but the warmth outweighs the minor discomfort).
2nd would be compression clothing. The direct skin contact that doesn't really move may at least mitigate some itchiness. Depending on material it may also move the temperature gradient caused by evaporation from the surface of your skin to the surface of the fabric. This may be enough to mitigate the hives.
3rd: Vapor Barrier Liner. Doing a bit of googling I see that sweat evaporation may be enough to cause the hives even in warm temperatures. If this is the case for you maybe a VBL will provide HUGE benefits in preventing that issue altogether. Of course above freezing this may feel gross, but gross you can get accustomed to and that's far better than hives. At really warm temperatures (70dF or more) you start run the risk of overheating.
4th is obviously low dose anti-histamine as a prophylactic but I'd consult a doc first and not listen to some random guy in the innertubes.
Options 1 and 2 are the easiest to try out. I think a VBL could very well be a silver bullet for you, however it does involve the most behavior modification, adaptation, and a lot of learning to get a system working for you. The 4th is drugs and even over the counter drugs are, well, drugs.Feb 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm #1834871
The synthetic t-shirt I was using was polyester and I didn't find my merino wool l/s itchy. I only found the hives itchy if I consciously scratched myself, then I'd want to keep on scratching. I forgot to mention it only happens on the flabby parts of my skin, ie: under biceps, stomach and thighs, which reminds me I need to start training. I'll have to give compression clothing a shot, and I sweat very little so I doubt it's sweat evaporation. As for VBL vs hives, since the hives are pretty minimal I'd rather deal with it. If none of the above works, I'll use one of my friends favorite saying after I told him, c'est la vie.
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