Color Choices

3:00 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Okay. I know it's not a fashion statement, but I just got a new jacket I'll be using for backpacking and hiking in the mountains. Unfortunately the colour choices were limited in the size and style I wanted (unless I wanted to wait until September) and I wound up with something called 'Diablo' which it turns out is a BRIGHT orange/red. The other choice was a 'leaf' green, which is an equally bright pale green.

Now I know that SAR personnel wear bright red (or neon green & orange) so they can be easily seen from the air, but I've always preferred the idea of blending in with the background. Most of my gear is black/green/brown/tan, but I've been thinking I might be better off with the brighter colours after all instead of the camo look.

I mean, I'm not trying to sneak up on anybody so I'm not trying to be invisible, but if I get lost or I fall off a cliff, it would be nice to know they won't have as much trouble recovering the body. (Okay. I'm being facetious, but you get the idea.)

Any thoughts?

3:16 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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i tend to focus less on color and more on function and cost.  all things being equal, i probably prefer jackets that blend in more rather than the brighter color.  But, all things are rarely equal, and i have occasionally gotten very good deals in super-bright colors that might be unpopular.  example - i picked up a Rab Latok eVent shell at a good discount because (1) it is size XXL, so not terribly popular, and (2) it is a combination of mustard yellow and teal.  i wouldn't say it's super-bright, but it does not blend in, and some might find the color combination rather hideous.  having hiked in the jacket in a more than a few bad storms, i don't care - it's a keeper.  another example - my down sweater was about 40% off because neon yellow/green (aka "gecko green") probably isn't a big seller for men. 

basically, if i can save close to 30% or more, i'm virtually colorblind. 

as a self-sufficient optimist who has never been rescued and does not anticipate either a rescue or my own demise, bright colors don't influence me for those reasons. 

12:55 p.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Same.  I'll take the cost value over the color every time.  Saving the cash is more important than the color.  I might not own ANY camping clothing that would be my first choice of color.  I'd have to think about that.  BUT, if I was choosy, I'd pick dark greens, browns, grays, etc.

1:23 p.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
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other than good visiblity for rescue. It is also good visibility should you ever be hiking in country where in the distance a shooter (hunter) may see you better in his sight picture.  Not that the shot should ever be taken, i.e. if it is not clear and safe beyond taret.  Also you would have less chance, being orange, being mistaken as game.

Diablo is good color.

4:33 p.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Good point. And if you DO get shot, Diablo will go a long way towards hiding the blood.

12:38 a.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Bright colors look better in photos.  :-)

7:22 a.m. on July 29, 2012 (EDT)
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I like colors - it make life a bit brighter. and in the outdoor? I see only the pros: if something go wrong, people see you. and you are right, I hope you are not sneaking out  on people, or from people...about animals - some of them see different colors anyway, and if not - they will small you etc...

Be happy with red, yellow and the likes

6:55 p.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Just think of Diablo as the color to blend in Fall when the leaves change.

11:11 p.m. on August 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Most of my stuff is generally earth-tones/muted, but I decided to get an orange rain cover for my pack (as opposed to the gray one) for the "in case of emergency" factor...can't hurt to have something bright-colored around just to be safe.

12:08 a.m. on August 4, 2012 (EDT)
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It is partly taste, but partly about where you spend your time.  In places like Nevada it is possible to see a long way. (Sometimes over 100 miles).  It is easier to keep track of companions and safer to wear bright colors.  It livens up photos.  People that sneak around in drab colors often hike in places with lots of other people and try to be inconspicuous.  It is a lot easier to find bright clothes hung on a branch to dry, and harder to lose them.

12:17 p.m. on August 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Well, my favorite color is green, henceforth most of my clothing and gear is green. My wife and I got into a debate over clothing colors because she wanted me to wear something brighter to A: not be confused for game by a trigger happy hunter, and B: If I were to need rescue assistance I might me more visible. We made a compromise and I got the bright red Mountain Hardwear Kanza 55. I guess there is no real point in color, unless you think of worst case scenarios. For the photographers, red is usually the color that will best stand out in a foliage backdrop.  

10:00 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm curious about how you arrived at that 100 mile figure, ppine.

Isn't the horizon about 20 miles away? It is at sea and on larger lakes. To see something 100 miles away, you would have to be on something high enough to compensate for the curve of the earth, five horizons away.

And I don't think you'd be able to see something as small as a jacket, no matter how brightly coloured, from that distance.

I did notice this weekend, though, that from the TH at Parker Ridge, I could easily see someone with a bright orange jacket about 250 meters above me and perhaps two kilometres away, as they came down the trail through the krummholz. The jacket jumped right out!

12:44 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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You probably live in a place with lots of forest and humidity.  I can assure that 100 miles is a common distance to see in the Great Basin.  Around 115 miles the curvature of the earth makes it difficult to see anything but the tops of mountain ranges.  The longest distance I have personally observed was from an elevated position in Wyo on the top of Pumpkin Buttes, we could see the Black Hills in SD 120 miles away.


I am a hunter and used to looking for things like deer a half mile or a mile a away.  The same with herding cows.  It is easy  to see a person in an orange vest at greater than those distances with binoculars and some practice.

From 250 meters or yards away you should be able to see an orange deck of cards or even a pen.


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