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Hot weather caching attire for big and tall?

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What do folks doing hot weather caching wear to stay somewhat cool and still be protected from bugs and briars and thorns out in the woods? (obviously bug spray is a must in any case). I'm finding that sweats and a light jacket to protect arms and legs works pretty well from the protection standpoint, but I get drenched with sweat. Now I don't mind working up a good sweat while out caching, but not excessively like I do now in the above clothes.


Caveat: I'm a big and tall 6-3 and 300 lbs, so finding stuff at the local Wal-Mart or the like that actually fits would be tough. Suggestions from fellow big/tall folks, or those who cache with "us", who have solved this dilemma would be the best.



-Dave R. in Biloxi

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This may or may not work for you, our terrain is much different from yours.


I am a veteran of the first Gulf War. I have taken my old desert cammo uniforms and cut them up. For winter hiking, I use them stock. For summer caching I make shorts out of the pants, and remove the sleeves from the shirts to make vests. If it gets REAL HOT, like late may on, I don't even wear the vest.


This does not provide a whole lot of protection, so I avoid thickets and cactus. But it is cooler. And nothing wears as good as a well-broken-in set of DCUs/BDUs.


If you would like a few hints on the cutting/sewing of the shorts (it ain't as up-front as it seems), let me know.


Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.


Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.


They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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I appreciate those suggestions...good stuff.


As you surmised, though, I'm looking for help for caching in the woods, where shorts and no sleeves is your ticket to getting the cr*p bitten and scratched out of you. ;-) Need cool clothes that can also take a beating...no small feat.


Let's see what else we get on this thread...I know I'm not the only one in this dilemma (although my big/tall status adds the additional wrinkle to it).



-Dave R.

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As has been noted before . I don't blend. I'm just about the same size you are and my solution is to carry bandaids and bug spray.


When caching in the woods I use my poles to move as many of the thorn bushes out of my way. What ever gets through is another story for the wife when I get home.


As soon as the the weather changes I switch to shorts, a tank top, boots, a pack and a cap. I come home with a plethora of cuts and scratches. It's just part of the fun. icon_biggrin.gif



As always, the above statements are just MHO.


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I'm with Haarald - I wear shorts as early in the season as possible! I do, however, try to remember to wear a baseball cap as it does seem to help keep the ticks off my melon.


The scratches and gashes on the legs heal pretty quick.... icon_wink.gif


There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home. - Ken Olsen, President, Digital Equipment, 1977

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I wear shorts as well (though on a recent cache hunt, HartClimbs and I were very glad we didn't).


Coolmax shirts are very comfortable in hot weather. They come in big and tall sizes. A few companies like Ex-Officio and Columbia make very light weight, nylon hiking pants, which are nearly as cool as shorts, but provide protection form bushes, thorns, bugs, etc.... You'd have to contact the mfr. to see if they come in big and tall sizes.


"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" -Abraham Lincoln

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Or, if you don't have legs as tough as a highlander in February...


Ex Officio


I have the Amphi convertable pants, and they work excellently; rugged and cool, even with the legs zipped on. The Air Strip shirts are also quite nice. Both are available in long/tall versions. You can often find various Ex Officio items on sale at the larger outdoor outfitters, but a variety of sizes are not always available.



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Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

I've found faded denim to be ok. But cotton? I'm wondering what's wrong with a cotton T shirt?

I probably wear jeans and a t-shirt as much as anyone while I'm caching, but only because that's what I have. If I were specifically in the market for outdoor clothes, cotton would be out.


Cotton is fairly heavy when compared to synthetics. Pants and shirts made from cotton will generally by heavier than those of synthetic materials. Usually this isn't a problem, unless you're carrying the stuff on your back. Also, just by being thicker, it's probably warmer, too.


Also, cotton is very absorbant. Look at how long it takes for a pair of jeans to dry. This means they absorb and hold sweat for an extraordinary amount of time. Not good in the heat. It also gives cotton a tendency to retain an odor and actually rot. Plus if you ford a stream, your jeans will stay uncomfortably wet for hours. A pair of nylon pants might be dry to the touch in 15 minutes.


Cotton does not retain insulating qualities when wet. Again, not so important in the heat.. but if it's hot and your sweating, cotton isn't the best, as mentioned above.


Cotton isn't near as durable as most synthetics. Sure, a pair of jeans will last years, but it's put together with rivets! Rivets and thick denim is heavy and hot. A good pair of nylon pants will be cooler, weigh a good deal less, and probably last just as long as a pair of jeans.


The advantage to cotton is it's cheap and widely available. Something must be said about that.


I'm trying to move my wardrobe away from cotton, but it's a slow (and sometimes expensive) process.



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I beg to disagree on this. In the desert heat (and forget that dry heat garbage, it's still hotter than he**), I suffocate in synthetic clothing. I have to wear all cotton all of the time. But the lack of humidity helps here because as the sweat evaporates off the cotton, it seems to cool me down a couple of degrees. One thing I always carry is a hand fan (not battery operated). It's a lifesaver when there is no breeze. I've got a lot of wooden and cloth ones from Spain, but you can get some cheap plastic or bamboo ones easily enough.




That moss-covered bucket I hailed as a treasure,

For often at noon, when I returned from the field,

I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure.


Samuel Woodworth The Old Oaken Bucket

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Being 6' 8" and 270 pounds, I may have the market cornered on big and tall. In the summer months I wear denim jeans and a t-shirt. I don't know of any light synthetic fabric that will stand up to the raspberry thickets I regularly find myself snared in. I guess I find that as long as I have enough water along with me, I can stand the heat.


Aladin Sane

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I am 6'3" and 280 pounds and here in Wisconsin we frequently have 85 degrees and 99 percent himidity. You get pretty cut up wearing shorts and then there are the mosquitoes !!!

I have found army BDU's to be tough and light as well as quick to dry - ideal for bushwacking on a hot day. The problem with them is you are already creeping around with a GPS and carrying an ammo can - do you really want to bedressed in camo clothing ?


Campmor is a good source of synthetic clothing www.campmor.com

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Desert Warrior had it right: BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform?)are a great thing. If you go to your nearby army surplus place you may be able to find some long enough.


I could not (6' 9") and sewed extensions on the bottoms of the legs. BDUs are made to be worn with tall boots and have legs which tie around the boot. Good for keeping bugs out.


They come in a variety of fabrics. Cotton is the coolest and doesn't snag too badly. Also come in a variety of colors from camo to khaki to black.


Backup is plain old blue jeans. great in the stickers

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Hi Dave,


I found a great pair of pants last year at Old Navy. Nylon cargo pants with zip off pant legs, and elastic waist with draw string. Definitely my favorite all purpose pants. I wear them geocaching, jogging, canoeing, hiking, volleyball, whatever.


I usually wear a cotton t-shirt and take home my weekend warrior battle scars. I have a couple cool-max tee's too. They really do shed the moisture well. I find this most valuable not during the activity, but afterwards when a cotton tee would still be drenched.


Good luck,



P.S. There's a cache coming your way this weekend. Access by land should be possible, but a canoe will be better suited. (that is, if I actually get to hide it!)

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I sugest you check out, http://cabelas.com/ they have lots of clothes in big an tall sizes. We hunters have been fighting the thorns and bugs alot longer than geocachers. If you have wide feet like me (13-H) I swear by my redwing boots they are the only boot I've found available in the, EEE, H Widths


[This message was edited by MACpa on May 10, 2003 at 05:57 AM.]

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i'm 5'16" and 250. i find eddie bauer makes a lot of good stuff for me - but i also find that i'm relatively impervious to insects and brambles, so i wear shorts alot.


apart from that, stick to cotton blends in a tight weave. that gives you the cost effective protection, and it's durable and it breathes, so you won't roast in long pants. i'm thinking specifically of khakis or chinos. i've found anything heavier in a cotton tends to absorb sweat - and gets very heavy.


aslo - keep the colours neutral. lighter colours do not absorb sunlight, and duller colours do not attract bugs. tan/offwhite is good. you're probably a 34" inseam - you ought be able to get pants off the rack. i'm a 36" - i have to use the catalog.



hey... what's that smell?

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Shopko has tall sizes to 4x around here. I always wear jeans, the protection from the noisy snakes as well as the environment more than make up for being a little warmer. Also, always a pocket t shirt. As for boots, I need a 5e width, and order from Hitchcock shoes at www.wideshoes.com hope this helps


It's not a sport unless there is something dead in the back of the truck when you get home.

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Hey there to all who helped on this or who have been lurking...here's an update:


Based on responses here and my research I decided to try some of those Ex Officio convertible hiking pants. Had trouble finding a vendor who stocked the XXL size, so for the first couple pairs I decided to bite the bullet and order directly from Ex Officio...I'm sure I've overpaid but just to try and see if this is a solution I figure I'll give it a go. If I need more after that I'll see further about a cheaper vendor. Hope to receive by next week.


As for shoes, I've ordered a pair of size 13 EEE Propet hi top hikers from Zappos.com...shoe and price look good on that. Once again, hope to have by next week.


Still working on the shirt solution...having a tough time finding some of those good cool fast-drying shirts in size 3XL. But I'll conquer that as well; in the meantime, t-shirts (including carrying extras for when I'm drenched) will suffice. The key to this whole equation/thread was solving the pants/shoes dilemma.


Thanks again to all who have contributed.

-Dave R. in Biloxi


[This message was edited by drat19 on May 15, 2003 at 07:14 AM.]

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Originally posted by Brian - Team A.I.:

on desert cache adventures, I'm going to start going out in 6-color desert camo. Great colors for the environment I'm in, and don't attract/hold in the heat like other colors.



Team A.I.


If you are just looking to lose the heat, get the Three-color desert. They are lighter colored. For an example of three-color, look THIS PHOTO.


Or, for a better look go to THIS PHOTO. I was wearing Three-color the day this was taken. Of course, I should have been wearing traffic-yellow if I was trying to hide there. icon_biggrin.gif


Hope it helps.

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