Survival Clothing

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When it comes to survival situations only a few people will think about their clothing choices in terms of their durability and reliability, they would most probably pick a few things out of their everyday wardrobe that will keep them warm and think more about gadgets and other stuff.

It is not a bad thing to keep in mind all of the necessary appliances when it comes to unexpected life situations, but you should not forget about your survival clothing, as it will help you in a way that you could not have imagined before!

We hope that after reading this article, you will change your opinion not only about survival clothing but about your everyday wardrobe as well. Think about Scandinavians: these people live most of their life in bad weather conditions, in which it is common for us to choose to sit at home rather than go outside and do something productive.

But surprisingly for us and our mentality, they do not take the same actions as we do; they just buy proper clothing and wear it in accordance with the weather conditions, so that they would not stop you from doing anything that you wanted to do. You could implement the same thinking style to your life so that your good quality clothing would serve you well and for a long time no matter what is going on behind your windows.

Our mass-market makes you think about fashion more than about your comfort, which is why it is common for us to choose something stylish rather than something comfortable but a bit less unusual in terms of design. However, such a choice only makes you sweat more, does not help you to maintain your body heat, and makes you feel uncomfortable because of the low quality of its stitching and style.

So what is the point of having low-quality apparel that you will throw out in a few months when you could have something that is actually worth your investment, no matter whether we are talking about survival clothing or our usual wardrobe?

Important Features of Your Survival Clothing

Here is a list of properties that you should take into consideration before deciding to buy particular apparel as part of your survival clothing:

  • How long it will serve you
  • How lightweight it is
  • From which natural elements it can protect you (heat, fire, cold, water, insects)
  • How easy it would be for you to wash it and repair out in the wild
  • Will it allow you to keep a low profile in a dangerous environment

Unfortunately, it will be quite hard for you to find a piece of clothing that would have all of the aforementioned characteristics, which is why you should make sure that at least a few of them are present.

All in all, when talking about survival clothing, you should remember three things: cost, durability, and weight. If you find apparel that fits at least two of them, then it would already be your lucky day!

When visiting some shops, we would recommend to you to look through the clothes and think about their materials, construction, and style, as fabrics together with construction will already include the quality, durability, and any other important features, such as UV protection of a piece of clothing, while style will indicate you how appropriate it is for the survival situations when you definitely do not need to stand out.

Let us now discuss all of these important characteristics one by one.

The Glue Holding it all Together: Clothing Materials

We all know that the materials out of which our clothing is made can be divided into natural and synthetic fabrics, and both of them have their own pros and cons when it comes to survival conditions.

For example, natural fabrics are great in terms of their possibility to repair out in the wild, low cost, and breathability that it gives to your skin. However, they do not work as well as they might have when it comes to high humidity conditions.

As for the synthetic materials, they are low priced, quite durable, and not as fast in their abrasion processes. But these ones are hard to repair in survival conditions and should not be used near the fire.

For some of you, the best decision would be to buy survival clothing that has a blend of both categories of materials, but it also depends on the type of blend itself, as some of them will be even worse than natural or synthetic fabrics separately.

A mix of cotton with nylon is quite nice, as you still receive a breathable fabric that is comfortable to the skin and, at the same time, is much more durable than the cotton itself. But using such materials around the fire is not an option, especially if the amount of nylon in your clothing is high.

Let us now see the pros and cons of the most popular materials that are used in different types of clothing.


Wool might be one of the best materials to wear in survival conditions, as it helps you to keep your body warm even when it is wet and does not cause additional fire to be spread around. It is also quite multifunctional, as it can play both as your base layers and as some more warm choices of outer layers.

Moreover, the material itself will keep the moisture away from your body and even help to shed some amount of it off from its surface, so that you could still be provided with extra warmth. However, for some people, it might be uncomfortable to wear wool as a base layer, as it might be quite itchy, especially if the quality of the material is not as good.

As for the additional downsides of wool as your survival clothing we should also mention its price: it is quite hard to find wool apparel that has decent quality and low price, which is why for some people it would be harder to buy wool clothing.

What is more, wool has low abrasion resistance: even in your everyday wardrobe, you could notice that it takes a much shorter period of time for wool to start to develop lints than for other clothing. But this is not as much of a problem in terms of survival conditions.


So as we have already mentioned, cotton is a material that is comfortable for you to wear and that will definitely let your skin breathe. It is also quite a cheap fabric to buy.

However, cotton absorbs the water and any other liquids in your body very fast, which is why it would not be a great idea to wear cotton materials as a base layer, as it will simply lower your body temperature. Cotton as your survival material is much safer close to the fire than nylon, but still, it does not mean that it is fireproof.

It is better not to use cotton as your base layers, but if you still need to, make sure that it would have a nice blend with some other synthetic material like nylon in the M-1965 field jacket or that your survival cotton clothing has some finishes that would protect it from absorbing too much of water.

If you do not have a piece of cotton clothing that has some coating, then it would be better to also have a poncho or a raincoat that would make your survival clothing waterproof.


In terms of its ratio between pros and cons, nylon might be the best material to use both for your base and outer layer clothes, but, of course, it has its own downsides as well and we should not forget them.

All in all, nylon is a quite strong material that does not weigh too much and is not exposed to abrasion as wool. It is not the cheapest material out of all synthetic fabrics, but it still does not have a huge price.

Water resistance of nylon could have been better, which is why it is important for your nylon clothing to have a coating that will increase its waterproof qualities.

More serious cons of nylon regard its repair possibilities and fire resistance. It would be hard if not impossible for you to try to repair nylon clothes in the outside world, as it is not as good with stitching and your only decent option would be to use a tape for the places. As for the second downside of nylon, it is extremely dangerous to use it around the elements such as fire, as it simply melts near it and sticks to your skin, which definitely will cause you some harm.

We would recommend you take some nylon apparel with you as your backup for wool outer layer clothing.


Polyester is a material quite similar to nylon, as it is also lightweight, strong, and will not cost you much. In addition, it does not stretch as much as nylon does, which might be a good thing in some conditions, for example, if you have a lot of insects surrounding you.

Polyester is a great choice for people that need better water resistance, as it does not absorb as well as nylon or cotton does. What is more, polyester also works better in conditions where there is a lot of sunlight, as it resists UV rays quite decently.

However, polyester is equally dangerous around the fire as is nylon, so you need to remember that and be careful in such conditions. In terms of its downsides, polyester is very similar to nylon, the only new disadvantage here is that it has lower resistance toward abrasion.

All in all, polyester might be as good as nylon, but we still need to be careful with our clothing choices when it comes to different weather conditions as they all depend on these criteria.

Types of Clothing for Different Conditions

When searching for survival clothing you will notice that no such category exists, and there is actually no need for that, as the things which you are looking for can be easily found in a usual shop specializing in outdoor activities.

All that you would need to do is to consider the outdoor conditions in which you are most probably going to wander around, for instance, whether the weather is cold or hot, and find appropriate clothes for your situation.

It is better not to search for such clothes in online shops, especially if you are a newbie in the survival field, but to go to a specialized shop where qualified professionals with appropriate knowledge acquired could help you to pick out the best options that you will be wearing in particular outdoor conditions, such as a pair of pants, boots, t-shirts and any other range of clothing.

Now, let us discuss the main categories of such outdoor clothing that you could purchase for any cold, warm, humid or dry conditions.

Outdoor clothes

When talking about the outdoors and the stuff that you could wear in such conditions, we will be considering the following categories:

There is not so much difference between these ones, so your choice would most probably be narrowed down to your styling preferences. When talking about some survival conditions, it is better to find clothes that would overlap with the colors and the setting of your environment.

The only difference that you could find between camping and hunting choices will lie in their weight and durability. Hiking clothes would be more lightweight, but at the same time, more fragile to both your natural and urban environments, while fishing clothes would have more weight, but at the same time, be more durable in the outdoors.


Both types of clothing will differ in terms of price and quality as any other thing that we have mentioned in this article and, of course, it is always better to look for the more durable high-quality options, but they are not always available for everyone in terms of money. Cheaper solutions are mostly made for a season or two, which is why they are not always the best choice for survival conditions.

In addition, their fabric is not as good, which could result in getting an outwear clothing that is not as sustainable for both cold and warm weather conditions and thus, will not regulate your body temperature and make you sweat a lot. And what about rain? You will definitely not take an umbrella with you, but soaking your feet will only make you sick and weaken your chances of survival.

So when it comes to extremely cold winter or summer conditions, it might be lifesaving to have decent apparel that would regulate moisture, let you quickly move around, and thus, determine your chances to survive!

And as this clothing market becomes more and more in sync with fashion, you could also find a lightly used pair of cargo pants or any other apparel being sold on Grailed or eBay for a bit lower prices.

Here is a list of brands that we would recommend you review when choosing what apparel to buy for yourself, especially if you would be able to catch some winter/summer sales going on in there:

Cyclist apparel

Like all other categories that we have already discussed, cyclist apparel is also highly durable, looks appropriate for urban conditions, and has high-quality stitching and materials that would make your experience with it quite comfortable.

However, motorcyclist apparel emphasizes more on durability characteristics, which is why you might find it quite heavy in comparison with other types of garments, so be aware of that when choosing your category of survival outwear.


It is also harder to find appropriate cycling apparel for women in this category, for some unknown reason, so be careful about this fact.

As for the brands that we would recommend you to review and look through their apparel in stock, here they are:

Tactical Apparel

As you could have understood, tactical apparel is initially created for military forces, but you could also buy this type of outerwear because it also has decent quality and pricing that is feasible for you.

However, the style that the tactical apparel has is not as good for survival conditions in which you have a lot of other people around you, as some of them will assume that your outwear indicates that you have a lot of goods that can be stolen.

The materials used in tactical apparel would allow you to be secured from any rips as decent as it is only possible and, at the same time, provide you with an opportunity to repair it out in the wild. Such apparel is convenient for almost any weather, both in the rain and out in the sun.

There might be a problem finding tactical apparel for women, but it seems that this issue is being solved by many big brands.

Here is the list of tactical apparel brands with which customers seem to be quite satisfied and you could consider when choosing your own outwear, especially if you catch some sales going on:

  • For more affordable things, look at the collections that 5.11 and Triple Aught are providing their customers with. One of the most popular items that Triple Aught Design provides you with are the Praetorian hoodie and Talisman Jacket, so you could take a look at them;
  • For something quite expensive and stylish, you could look at the apparel provided by Crye Precision.


One of the most popular categories of survival outerwear that you could find is workwear, and there is a reason for that: such brands manage to provide you with high-quality apparel that can serve you for a really long time and a pricing policy that is not as expensive as many other categories are.

Duck cloth is one of the most popular fabrics used by such brands, as it is highly tough and durable at the same time. Fire-resistant options are also provided here, and fortunately for some, you will be able to find a lot of women’s apparel in stock of these brands.

The main downside of this category and its garments is the weight and comfortability. The fabrics used will be quite heavy and will not fit everyone as decently as other survival outerwear would, as cotton is not the most stretchable textile.

Here is the list of the brands that you might want to consider under this category, read the reviews about them and look through the stock that they currently have:

Heritage outwear

When thinking about heritage garments, you will most probably come up with something like flannel shirts and denim jeans, and you will be right. In this category, the fabrics are mostly used and natural ones, such as wool, cotton, and leather.

And this is not a bad thing: as we already know, purely natural fabrics are also good for survival, you just need to make sure that their cons would not bother you.


Here you can find the downsides of such garments:

  • Natural fabrics are not as thin as synthetics or blends are, which is why they will be heavy and not as comfortable for a long-wear;
  • Heritage apparel is quite expensive, and it is not always the case that the pricing is fair, which is why you might end up with garments that will not serve you long;
  • There is, again, a low variability for women in stock of such brands.

As for the pricing of such brands, you need to remember that the target audience of heritage apparel is fashionistas, not hard workers that need outerwear that would serve them for a long time. Marketing of such brands is very good, which is why they can afford to produce substandard apparel that many people would buy for the look of it.

When looking for decent outwear, do not rely only on the fact of trustworthiness of the company: many of them have outsourced their production, which is why you should always check the fabrics of apparel, its stitching, and place of manufacturing.

Another way to find great apparel in this category is to avoid well-known brands and look for the newer ones, that are not as big and most probably will provide you with the things that they have started to do.

Here are the brands that you would want to consider:

Durability and Comfort, or Design and Construction

Having a decent material used for your survival gear such as pants or shirts is simply not enough, because it should also be used wisely in a way that the quality of stitching, and thus, durability and comfort that you will experience from such clothing, will serve you well.

All in all, if you want to buy a pair of pants or any other survival gear that is priced below 50 dollars, do not expect the stitching or some zippers to be of good quality, as it is simply not profitable for a company to use them for such apparel.

If we are talking about survival gear, make sure that some additional protection was implemented in a piece of clothing that you would like to buy, such as an extra layer of strong fabric placed into the seams or in the places that suffer from abrasion the most: your elbows, knees, or a crotch.

In addition, also make sure that the stitching is decent: there should not be any sloppy places where it does not look as trustworthy as you might have hoped it would be. If you can spot such shortcomings, it definitely means that there would be more of them in the places where your eyes cannot catch them immediately.


You can look at the picture of GN Canvas Pants and take it as an example of all of the qualities that we have described to you before, as it has good stitching, double-placed material in the most abrasive places, and a material that will serve you for a long time. If your clothing is similar to these pants, then you could rest assured that while wearing them, you will be able to use them in survival conditions for a durable period of time and their performance in the outer world will be great!

In addition, you could also notice from the picture that there are additional mini-pockets on the sides of this pair of pants that allow you to store some quite important things, such as multitools. This feature of little pockets is also something that might be worth taking into consideration, as it is important to have as many pockets as possible when wandering out in the woods because they will give you an opportunity to fit in more of the things that might be crucial to have in such conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

How should I dress for survival?

You should choose the apparel that is the most durable and appropriate for the weather around you. For example, during winter you should be wearing warm clothes that have wool in them.

But, of course, do not forget to pack some light garments as well, especially if you do not know how long you will be wandering around out in the wild. And do not forget about the socks, lots of socks!

Is survival Miami a legit site?

Yes, it is. The website provides its clients with money-back services and has SSL protection. If not sure, you could always read the reviews of other customers and check whether or not you could trust a particular website.

What Are The Best Pants?

This depends on your preferences: what fabrics do you like, how thick or thin you want your pants to be, what weather you have in your country, and so on.

You could check the brands that we have listed in the article above and read the reviews of others who have already worn some pants.

What Materials are the Best ones for Survival Conditions?

There is no uniform answer to that question, as it all depends on the weather that is surrounding you and the amount of time that will be spent in the outside world. 

For example, living in the southern hemisphere, you most probably would not need to have wool pants and cardigans, which means that a mix of cotton and nylon would provide you with enough flexibility and moisture control.

What Brands Should I Choose?

And again, you need to consider your preferences and current conditions to be able to find the best supplier of survival apparel, as there are quite a lot of different categories of such garments and all of them have different, but decent manufacturers.

You can find some such companies in the article above.

Where Should I Buy Survival Apparel?

I would not recommend shopping online for the newbies to this sphere, as it is better for you to try on a lot of the company’s garments to be able to understand that their sizing is appropriate to you and the materials chosen are comfortable.

When in survival conditions, the only thing that could bring you enough warmth and comfort would be your apparel, which is why you should be careful with choosing it.

What Style of my Apparel is the Most Appropriate?

Consider your natural environment when thinking about this issue. For example, living in a warm climate that has a lot of trees in it would mean that your garment should be close to green color, but in a desert or in Siberia this choice would not be the same.

In addition, it is better to buy apparel for several seasons, as you would need different fabrics and colors for them.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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