Button down verses t-shirts

9:36 a.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
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My question is: Is it better to hike in a t-shirt or one of the button down long sleeve shirts with the roll up sleeves such as Colombia omni dry type? Taking all things into consideration such as different locations in the world with differing climates?

10:41 a.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
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About the only thing I wear these days when backpacking is the button down dry shirts. The vents don't really help much when you have a pack on but they are still just as cool to me and I can roll the sleeves down when I feel I'm getting too much sun on my arms or the mosquitos get bad. When I'm not wearing the pack I think they are cooler than a T and I really like having all the pockets when fishing.

11:02 a.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
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I live in the desert and like cotton tee shirts when it's hot. I WANT to retain sweat, as it helps keep me cool. Most any other time, I wear synthetics.

On day hikes, depending on weather, I wear tee shirts.

11:36 a.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
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I also prefer cotton that retains sweat for hiking in hot weather. Usually long sleeve cammo. I hydrate a lot and any breeze really cools me off.

Those shirts made to pull sweat away from the body start to smell after a few hours. It's hard to sneak up on elk, deer, and turkey when you smell like a gym locker room.

randy

12:15 p.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
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As Jim and Randy posted, it really depends on the circumstances. I grew up in my pre-teen years in the Sonora Desert (southern Arizona), and cotton worked best, because it retains the moisture. But having spent too many days getting the "healthy tans" we used to believe in (vitamin D and all that), I now wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, and hats, as wicking as possible, plus lots of sunblock (and still make regular visits to my dermatologist to get sprayed with liquid nitrogen and have skin samples sliced and analyzed - so far only basal and squamous, no melanomas - the payoff for too much sun at high altitudes). Obviously, T-shirts and wicking Ex Officio desert shirts with back vents don't work for the Alaska Range and Antarctica.

There are fabrics made from the wicking materials (polyester mostly) that are treated to reduce or eliminate the smell. Capilene (Patagonia) is one that has been around for a while, that does work well (though it costs a lot). At the OR Show Open Air day, a company named Agion provided T-shirts that were half and half treated and untreated. You were to wear the T for the day (it was rather hot and humid!), then sniff the right and left halves to see which half was more "stinky". Most people noticed a significant difference after just an hour. The real test, of course, would be 3 days into a backpack in the summer in the southeastern half of the US in 90/90 weather.

11:21 p.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
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I like em both tho now in my mid 50s like to wear button down hawaiian shirts hiking, I know it makes me looks like a tourist but I like the old image. I wear a Zion 1909-2009 anniversary long sleeve tshirt or a polypropelene midweight long blue shirt for the cold. And a canvas Ralph Lauren shirt I got at a Goodwill.

4:21 p.m. on August 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Ambersdad, I don't believe turkeys have a sense of smell, unless you're hunting turkey vultures. Don't imagine they taste as good though.

4:36 p.m. on August 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Ambersdad, I don't believe turkeys have a sense of smell, unless you're hunting turkey vultures. Don't imagine they taste as good though.

I believe you are correct on that, but they have very good eyesight. That's one of the reasons why I prefer to wear a cammo top.

I have a few nice photos of turkey vultures. I'll pass on the taste test though. :-)

11:55 a.m. on August 11, 2010 (EDT)
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Re: Button down choice

I use the REI Sahara, long-sleeve.

The sleeves roll up with a button to retain the roll-up.

However, I also sewed a button at the shoulder seam, this allows me to roll up the sleeve higher and button it secure. Nice to have two roll-up options.

6:57 p.m. on August 11, 2010 (EDT)
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I like the long sleeve button up quick-dry type shirts with the big "vents" built into them. I like having the sleeves normally rolled up (and they still don't feel hot) and can roll them down if I am going through some thick brush or bushes.

10:49 a.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks guys, I`m sold. I`m gonna convert from a t-shirt to a button down. I`ve already ordered one. Sage green, ultralight, 30 s.p.f. Its a thing of beauty.

12:19 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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One thing I did not mention is that I would recommend the lighter colors, well, for the obvious reason. They are cooler in direct sun. I have several light colors and one dark dark tan/khaki, but not quite brown, and it is noticeably warmer when in direct sunlight.

I do also have a couple short sleeved button ups of the same previously described criteria, but I only use them in areas that I know I won't have to do any "bush-whacking".

1:16 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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Yea I do plan some desert hiking in the near future so I ordered the light sage, its a very pale green.

6:19 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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I like em both tho now in my mid 50s like to wear button down hawaiian shirts hiking...

Hawaiian is the way to go if not using cotton! Cheap, light, effective, the stink washes off easy and dries fast, so you can have a fresh shirt every day. But you do need sunscreen for both cotton and many synthetics.

3:33 p.m. on August 18, 2010 (EDT)
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What is the material that trhe hawaiian shirts are made of?

7:46 p.m. on August 19, 2010 (EDT)
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What is the material that trhe hawaiian shirts are made of?

If you have to ask, Brad, then you are getting the wrong shirts! Mine don’t even have a content label. Probably not legal (no material content tag), but as I said, I buy the really cheap $9 models. I get them at the local chain drug store. The cooling effect is very close to cotton, but the evaporative efficiency is typical of a performance wicking synthetic fabric, making it good for next to skin layer in hot or cold. Thus a suitable garment for both high Sierra and Joshua Tree outings. The stink index is average for the synthetic category, but since the fabric dries so quick, you can wash the shirt after a hard day on the trail, and have it fresh and ready the next morning. Besides, nothing beats that snappy over-the-top tourist look, sporting orchids amid the snow caps or cacti.
Ed

7:40 a.m. on August 20, 2010 (EDT)
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What is the material that the Hawaiian shirts are made of?

My original shirts - from Hawaii- are either cotton, or rayon. Silk is very popular and recently, bamboo has made an appearance as well.

Check out Hilo Hattie for a great selection.

9:31 a.m. on August 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the info guys but I like the insect and sun protection ability of a long sleeve and also the dual pockets.

5:25 p.m. on August 22, 2010 (EDT)
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If I can momentarily take over your thread, do any of you guys ever where short sleeves outside? For bushwacking or just sun? Are long sleeves basically superior in all conditions?

3:55 a.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I wear long sleeves only for cold, and deer or black flies; otherwise it's short sleeves and sunscreen for me.
Ed

1:04 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I used to wear short sleeves and shorts in a wide range of temperatures, and even where there were hordes of insects, and I always swam and lounged on the beach in Speedo racing swim suits. We believed that you could go into the hills, get a burn for the first couple of days which would turn into a "highly protective tan", and be ok for the rest of the trip, even on glaciers. However, when my decades of "healthy tans" began catching up with me in earnest about 20 years ago, and the dermatologists began using gallons of liquid nitrogen, flurouracil, and scalpels to remove chunks of my hide on a regular basis (plus my father-in-law dying a horrible death of metastasized melanoma that had migrated from skin to multiple brain and lung tumors), I started wearing long sleeves, long pants, broad-brimmed hats (Tilley for the most part these days, though I still wear my Stetsons sometimes), or on glaciers balaclavas and ski masks, with nose pieces on my glacier glasses. Right now, I have a dressing and stitches in my nose for a basal cell that was removed (plus the squamous cell that was removed 2 months ago). I also use gallons of sunblock with as high SPF as I can get (or just plain old "Clown White" which is straight zinc oxide).

So, let the OGBO be a lesson to you all - eventually, you will pay for all that UV you are absorbing. And lest you think you are safe because you are not a blue-eyed blond (as I was before the amount of hair decreased substantially and lost all color), a colleague and good friend of mine when I was a university professor in Mississippi used to burn when we would go fishing out on the Barnett Reservoir - he didn't use sunblock because of his mostly African heritage and very dark skin. However, he too has gotten a few small basal cells. Yeah, it provides some protection, but it ain't 100% (I note that one of the Williams sisters is now doing ads for one of the sunblock companies).

Insects? Naaahh! I just eat lots of garlic.

1:08 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I've worn Hally Hansen long sleeve on hiking trips and I felt short sleeve under armour was better though not good for bushwhacking. Not durable enough.

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/pid1209053?003=3074531&010=1209053&cid=SE|Google&campaign=gbase&CAWELAID=462354129


I really like them. I own 4; black, blue, white, gray. Cotton t-shirts give horrible abrasion rashes I found. I like these shirts because they are a bit tougher, polyester, they don't give the rashes as much, and these ones are fitted rather than super skin tight. A little breezier and not so stretched so less prone to breaking. I bust holes in the really tight versions pretty easily.


I am a smaller fellow but I wear an XXL silk button up shirt from Good Will to fend off bugs. It's baggy, fairly breathable, fairly durable and the bugs can't bite through it. It was salvation for me.

9:38 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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In warmer weather my preference is for button up shirts like the Columbia fishing shirts, I like the multiple pockets, they are super quick drying, and I can unbutton them some to enjoy a breeze while still having UV protection.

5:24 p.m. on August 24, 2010 (EDT)
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I have a couple of the Exoficcio long and short sleeve hiking/fishing style shirts that have all the vents and pockets and all. The thing I found most intriguing about them is that they have a "built in insect repellent" of sort. I thought at first that it was just some sort of gimmick, but let me tell you what.....I have not used a single spray of repellent (on my arms/body, but yes for legs) while wearing their product. It seems to work pretty well and that is even after a good season of wearing and washing!

1:56 a.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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I have one of the Exoficcio shirts also and it works good for me also. Picked it up off the Exoficcio site for half price because it was a discontinued color or something like that.

1:41 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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I have a couple of the Exoficcio long and short sleeve hiking/fishing style shirts that have all the vents and pockets and all. The thing I found most intriguing about them is that they have a "built in insect repellent" of sort. .... It seems to work pretty well and that is even after a good season of wearing and washing!

The Ex Officio line that has the insect repellent (permethrin) embedded is called BuzzOff. It does include pants. Barb and I used it in Tanzania and found it worked quite well when other people were having to use sprays and lotions, despite eating lots of fresh fruits (bananas, especially, seem to attract mosquitos, as well as other soft and fragrant fruits). According to the Ex Officio people, the treatment will last through several dozen washes (you will probably wear the shirt out first).

The photo is with our BuzzOff shirts near a hippo pool in the Serengeti. They also make 8 or 10 hats and caps with the treatment, but the hats we have on in the photo are Tilley hats. Tilley has introduced insect repellent hats as well, also using permethrin, I believe (Alicia may have done a test of these recently)

8:18 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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I have always liked that photo of you and Barb, and man, what a camera! I imagine the hippos are way more dangerous than anything I'm in the water with.

8:31 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Actually, it wasn't so much the hippos as the crocodiles. We were told by one of the local guides just after the picture was taken that they will cruise up under water, then pop up and grab their "meal" that is standing as close to the edge of the water as we were. There were a couple of them sunning themselves just across on the other side and who knows how many cruising around in the water with eyes barely visible. The BuzzOff shirts aren't much protection from the crocs.

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