Materials Best Suited To Trekking Kokoda
Tropical environments contain high amounts of humidity and warmth all year round. The human body has a natural defence to getting hot by sweating and the evaporation of our sweat has a cooling effect. In humid environments the increased amounts of humidity slows this evaporation down thus making it harder for natural cooling.
The secret to encourage evaporation and cooling is to wear lightweight loosely weaved fibres that are roomy and comfortable.
Weave of material
The tightness of the fabric weave (thread count per square inch) has a big impact on the amount of allow air to circulate freely across the skin helping to keep you cool.
Looser the weave the more air that can circulate over your skin and the faster the material will dry. If the weave is to loose it can fall out of shape quickly and makes it harder to hand wash and dry while on tour.
Tighter the weave the more comfort it can offer although the tight weave allows less air that can circulate over your skin resulting in a warmer garment. This weave is more robust to hand wash although will take a longer period to dry.
Good quality garment manufactures tend to have the weave (thread count per square inch) right for durability and fast drying cool garment.
Is a natural fibre that breaths really well however these items tend to come in tightly weaved materials that decrease breathing. Loosely weave cotton shirts similar to the old polo shirts that many of us wore to school are a good cheap option. The biggest down side to this material is it dries rather slowly and doesn’t wick moister away very well either. Cotton also requires more care when washing and drying. Cotton can have a tendency to cause chafe in humid environments.
Nylon and polyester
Nylon polyester blended materials are suitable for loosely weaved garments that wick moister away and dry quickly. These are many manufactures choice of technical material for there outdoor and sports clothing lines including some name brands such as CoolMax® polyester or Cordura®. These are perfect items to trek in warm humid environments.
This is a common material blend for clothing lines in the retail market. This material feels soft and comfortable on the skin offering reasonable performance in breathability however it will not wick moister away as good as fast as 100% nylon or polyester material. This is a suitable material to wear in a loosely weaved material.
Wool or Silk
Wool and silk tend to retain heat in most weaves and situations making them not a suitable item for tropical situations.