Clothing and Shoes Checklist

After food and water, clothing is the critical for survival. In the case of a nuclear winter, dying of exposure would be an ironic way to go after surviving everything else. Regardless of whether you take the expensive high-end route or the cheap make it work route, the considerations are the same.


The main considerations are as follows:


Not only staying dry but the ability to dry quickly is a huge benefit. Nylon or polyester dries quickly and wicks away moisture faster than most other fabrics.


Cotton is much warmer than sythetics such as nylon or polyester.


This has as much to do with the manufacturing or the weave of the fabric as it does the fabric itself. If you have the option, look for rip-stop or twill weaves.


It simply has to be comfortable. You can argue that this isn’t the most important factor but when you have to live in it, you’ll reconsider that opinion.

So the take away is that cotton is warmer and synthetics dry quicker. The clothing industry has made the best of this by blending the two to make a large variety of clothing in poly/cotton, cotton/poly and nylon/cotton blends. All of these better performance characteristics than either cotton, nylon or polyester by itself. There are very expensive fabrics that have fancy trademarked names and some of them even have benefits that make them worthwhile but if you stick with the basics you’ll be fine.


The same factors that you look for in clothing also apply to your foot-ware. With shoes, you probably want to try them on with the type of socks you intend to wear. Make sure they are comfortable and last and specifically make sure they fit well. Your feet will be your first point of failure if you end up doing any significant amount of walking.

So whether you look for clothing at REI or at Goodwill (you can’t beat the Will for pricing), you will know what to look for.

And don’t worry about looks. If you are worried about looks, the disaster is likely over!