Why Down Insulation Is One Of the Best Survival Materials Of All Time
Hello, this is Nathan Roarke from Prepper Advantage.
Today I’m going to show you why every serious prepper should consider a jackets, sleeping, bags, gloves etc. filled with down insulation in their go bag.
While it may not seem like it, a down jacket is actually one of the most important survival tools you could ever own.
I’d be willing to bet you’d never thought about that…a down jacket being a critical survival tool.
Most people don’t.
Mainly because they believe what they see on TV, and TV survival info is hardly ever geared towards real survival.
Because that’s true the vast majority of beginner preppers stock up on things like emergency food, water filters, guns, ammo, flashlights and similar kinds of gear.
Yes, that gear is important.
But it shouldn’t be your first priority.
The reason why is most of that gear (guns, food, ammo) will only come in handy when a disaster situation extends past 72 hours.
And yet, most people who end up dying in a crisis end up perishing within the first 3 days of a crisis.
The thing that kills them: Exposure to the elements.
Most people think of shelter as a structure, like a hut.
But, shelter’s are really to shield from the elements. And more importantly, keep your internal body temperature at the ideal 98.6 degrees.
This means shelter can be any form of clothing that keeps you safe from the elements.
If your internal body temperature drops just a few degrees below that 98.6, you’re entering hypothermia.
One of the biggest killers in all survival situations.
Discover the #1 Reason Down Insulation Is the Best Insulation for When SHTF
There isn’t a single synthetic insulation created that keeps us as warm as down.
Down are the “fluffy” internal feathers found on birds like geese and ducks.
It’s effective for trapping warmth due to its microscopic fingers that keep “dead air” inside, and prevent heat from leaving your body.
This also removes the need for dense materials (like synthetic insulation). Allowing for a lightweight, and comfortable piece of gear to transport.
Down Protects From These 3 Types Of Heat Loss
If you’re ever caught in a crisis, exposure to the elements will cause your body to lose heat in three different ways.
Let me show you how down keeps you warm and protects against these 3 types of heat loss.
1 – Heat Loss Via Conduction
- This is one of the most common forms of heat loss in a crisis.
- If you were to lie on the ground… you would eventually freeze to death. As the earth would suck the warmth from your body.
- Down forms a barrier between you and any surface to prevent your body heat from being sucked away.
2- Heat Loss Via Convection
- Losing heat via convection is one of the quickest ways to experience massive amounts of heat loss in a short amount of time.
- This is when an outside force strips heat away from the surface of your body.
- This is why a slight breeze on a somewhat warm day can leave you shivering.
- With down, your skin won’t be exposed to the elements that causes convective heat loss.
3 – Heat Loss Via Radiation
- This is happening 24 hours a day.
- Just like the sun radiates heat towards earth… humans do the same thing.
- This is why down is so amazing. It captures that heat you radiate, and traps it in the microscopic fingers. So it sticks around and keeps you nice and warm.
4 Important Considerations For Buying Down Insulation
1- Fill power
(Image courtesy of alliedfeather.wordpress.com)
- Fill power is a very important aspect of down’s power to keep you warm.
- One of the reasons down is so good at insulating is because of its ‘fluffiness’.
- Fill power is the way to tell how fluffy the down in your jacket is.
- Fill power usually ranges from about 300-900 fill power.
- The minimum quality for outdoor us is 550. Anything below that is considered inferior for insulation.
- You’ll obviously pay more for higher fill power. Consider the worst elements you may endure when making a purchase.
2- Why Fill Weight Matters
(image courtesy of SierraTradingpost.com)
- Fill weight takes things one step further and gives you the weight of the down in your device.
- An easy way to think about it is this way. Fill power rates quality, and fill weight signals quantity.
- If a jacket has been stuffed has a fill weight of 12 oz. then that means you’ve got 12 oz. of down inside.
- The more weight in down used, regardless of quality, the more weight period.
- Fill weight is important because if a product has too little down (i.e. a low fill weight) it doesn’t matter the quality of the down used, it won’t be effective at keeping you warm.
- This is why it’s important to select an item with higher fill power. That way you can get more insulation at a lower weight.
3 – Why Down to Feather Ratio Matters So Much
- The last thing to consider when it comes to down insulation is how much down is actually being used.
- Most down insulation is plucked from a bird with both the down and the feathers included.
- To express how much down you’re getting (as opposed to feathers) you’ll see a ratio like 90/10 (90 percent down, 10% feathers).
- Cheaper down has a higher number of feathers (which don’t insulate nearly as well as down).
- The best brands will because they want you to know why their item is better than the rest.
4 – The Disadvantages Of Down
- Down isn’t perfect.
- The biggest problem is that when down is wet, it doesn’t insulate well anymore.
- In some situations a wet down jacket can prove deadly.
- Should you ditch down if you’re in a wet environment? No. Many down jackets come with water resistant or waterproof shells. You can also purchase separate waterproof shells.Conclusion
At the end of the day, if you want to be prepared for a crisis, you absolutely must have a way to protect yourself from heat loss.
Exposure to the elements can rob you of essential heat, fast.
Down is easily the lightest, most effective insulator you could ever own.
For that reason it’s my preferred insulator, and the one I recommend to anyone who wants to be fully prepared.
If you want to get down on a budget my suggestion is to shop online. Sign up for email lists from top vendors and wait for the summer months to roll around and you can score major deals on high-quality down products.
Hope this helps.