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Wet weather gear?
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Capt John Black
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Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Windham, Ct
Real Name: Ron Black

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Wet weather gear? Reply with quote

I have been trying to find some information on rain gear. Let me explain. Our time period is early 1700 New England (Rhode Island to be exact). My thinking is that you are out in the sleet and rain wearing your wool coat or what not, eventually it is going to soak through, so wouldn't you have some sort of oilskin thing to through on and keep from being soaked to the bone?

Does anyone have an answer for this? I have been searching high and low and I can come up with no historical account. Thanks

Capt Black
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owl
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Joined: 24 Mar 2008
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Location: sierra foothills
Real Name: michael wilkerson

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Wet weather gear Reply with quote

Wool--gets wet still keeps you warm! Try this, why would you carry extra stuff when in isn't important. In this day and age we don't want to get wet because retail folks are telling you you'll die if you get wet! In that era folks got wet all the time and survived.

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Capt John Black
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Joined: 18 Oct 2009
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Location: Windham, Ct
Real Name: Ron Black

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about oilskin hunting shirts that seem to show up about the mid 1700's? It just seems to me that someone would have thought of it befre then. Wool is what I have been using and it will soak right through in the New England winter. ~ And you are right I don't want to be carrying extra gear! ~

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Joe Hinson
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
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Real Name: Joe Hinson

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.tentsmiths.com/tent-camp-accessories-watchcoats.html
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Okwaho
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Joined: 16 May 2007
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Real Name: Tom Patton

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go along with my friend Joe here. I have one and it does work in the rain. However you might also consider a sleeveless pullover poncho out of the same material in addition to the sleeved wrap around watchcoat. that I have. Several years ago I did an event in Quebec and it rained so hard that the Saturday battle was cancelled although it was great on Sunday.Not having brought my watchcoat I had gotten from Peter{Tentsmith}I was at a loss as to what to do until I saw that Louis Phillippe {Flying Canoe}was offering one piece ponchos for about $ 20.00 or so and I bought one. It worked also except for my arms but hey you can't have everything. If one is concerned about warmth as well as rain protection I would think that the poncho could be worn either over or under another garment although I agree with Owl that wet wool will still keep you warm. It's just a thought and I haven't had to wear the poncho since but I think it might do well under a capot in the type of cold rain that you Yankees have up there as opposed to God's country down here in the South. I have two capots with my blue beaded one being slightly lighter wool than my brown wool one that I sometimes wear up north.
Tom Patton

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Pit
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Location: Corydon Indiana
Real Name: Michael J Goodwin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every option has its good and bad points.If you want to stay dry the shrts from Tentsmiths do good at keeping water out and condisation in just like most foul weather gear.Wool does help keep you warm when its wet but it also gets real heavy when its wet.I would like to get someone to make a surtout/cape out of the oilcloth like Tentsmiths and other venders use.Keeps ya dry and easy to ventilate.

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carlilex
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capt John Black wrote:
What about oilskin hunting shirts that seem to show up about the mid 1700's? It just seems to me that someone would have thought of it befre then. Wool is what I have been using and it will soak right through in the New England winter. ~ And you are right I don't want to be carrying extra gear! ~


The problem with oilskin is that it doesn't breathe. We thought it would be a great idea to use oilskin on the boat in the rain, until you row a few miles with an oilskin on and you are wetter from sweat than if you had just wool on in the rain. Same on foot, in my opinion and experience. I carry a piece of oilskin to throw over me when I am in camp in the rain, but that is it, it stays rolled in my pack, otherwise.
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Joe Hinson
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Real Name: Joe Hinson

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking an alternative to buying a poncho or watchcoat would be to buy about 8'X60" of the oilcloth and use it like a matchcoat. It would be light and small when folded and hard to argue about it being "undocumented".
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carlilex
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Hinson wrote:
I was thinking an alternative to buying a poncho or watchcoat would be to buy about 8'X60" of the oilcloth and use it like a matchcoat. It would be light and small when folded and hard to argue about it being "undocumented".


Exactly!

And for me, I can use it double duty to cover cargo/gear in the boat, which is documented.
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Kentuckian
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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Real Name: Ben vonDielingen

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I recently tried, Joe, and it worked just fine. I've got a pice about 36x65" and just drape it when/if needed. Now, I'm not in the northeast where it blows hard in the winter, but it works OK for bumming around the Ohio valley (and in the California mountains). Same idea I feel as a half-blanket.

The other option you may have, Cap'n is a nautically inspired garment; given your location. I don't know of documentation, but I've heard people say how some great-coats were made of waxed canvas, to be used aboard ships. Maybe that would work? Again, I don't know if it's true or not from a historical perspective.

- Ben
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J Branson
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Joined: 08 Jun 2009
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Location: Victoria Texas
Real Name: Jim Branson

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Panther Primitives makes an oil cloth cloak(using their Irish cloak pattern)It has a 4" or 5" collar that turns up all the way to your hat brim,5 or 6 buttons in front And you can load a long gun under it. I bought one for horse back trips and it works great!It's very lightweight and folds u up into about a 8"x8"x2" bundle. Oh and they also make a detachable hood for it.

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CT03
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Location: Arlington, VA
Real Name: Christopher Treichel

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this on a site a while ago http://www.scarletscarab.com/scarlet4.htm

Here 'tis from "An Historical Account of the Expedition Against the Ohio Indians, in the year 1764".

"...I propose a sort of surtout, to preserve men in a great measure from both wet and cold. Take a large checked shirt, of about half a crown sterling per yard, for it should be pretty fine; cut off the wrist-bands, and continue the opening of the breast down to the bottom; sew up the sides from the gussets downwards; rip out the gathers in the fore parts of the collar as far as the shoulder straps, and resew it plain to the collar.

The shirt will then become a sort of watch coat like a bed gown, with very wide sleeves. Take a quantity of linseed oil, and boil it gently till one half is diminished, to which put a small quantity of litharge of gold, and when it is well incorporated with the oil, lay it on with a brush upon the watch-coat, so that it shall be every where equally wet.

I suppose the watch coat, hung in a garret, or other covered place, and so suspended by crooked pins and packthreads in the extremities of the sleeves and edges of the collar, that one part shall not touch another. In a short time, if the weather is good, it will be dry; when a second mixture of the same kind should be laid on with a brush as before. When the second coat of painting is dry, the grease will
not come off and the surtout is an effectual preservative from rain; it is very light to carry, and being pretty full on the back, will not only keep the man dry, but also his pack and ammunition.

The sleeves are left long and wide, to receive the but <sic> end of a firelock (secured) and to cover it below the lock. The coat is double breasted to be lapped over, according to which side the rain drives. A man will be kept dry by one of these surtouts as far as the knees. If from the vicinity of the enemy, it is improper to make fires at night, he may place his pack on a stone, and sitting upon it, change his shoes and leggins, and, if he pleases, wrap his blanket around his legs and feet, then drawing the watchcoat close to his body, it will keep him warm, as no air can pass through it, and, leaning against the trunk of a tree, he may pass a tolerable night, both warm and dry.

It would be of service to have a small piece of the same oiled linnen <sic> to put under the hat or cap to carry the rain down to the watchcoat or surtout, otherwise whatever wet soaks through the hat or cap, will run down the neck, and thereby in some measure defeat the design of the watchcoat. Perhaps it might be useful to mix some dark or greenish colour with the oil of the second coating, to make the watchcoat less remarkable in the woods."

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badWind
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Attempting to think w/ 18th Century brain)
instead of hauling more 'stuff' would it not make sense to 'hole up' during bad weather ??? How many times were things held up or delayed due to weather in the 18th C. ???
Does it not make sense to stop traveling when your gun, clothes, livestock,etc are all adversley affected by too much WET ???
Just a thought.....................
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carlilex
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

badWind wrote:
(Attempting to think w/ 18th Century brain)
instead of hauling more 'stuff' would it not make sense to 'hole up' during bad weather ??? How many times were things held up or delayed due to weather in the 18th C. ???
Does it not make sense to stop traveling when your gun, clothes, livestock,etc are all adversley affected by too much WET ???
Just a thought.....................


It does, and from an 18th century perspective I agree, however when we do a week long trip in the batteau and have 3 days of rain and my boat trailer is a 3 day row from where we are, well we have no choice but to row in the rain... sometimes the 21st century has to intervene... my boss wouldn't understand why I had to "hole up" for an extra week and that's why I wasn't at work on Monday am. ;-)
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CT03
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Real Name: Christopher Treichel

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a piece of oil cloth 9x6 with loops sewn on the corners and half way inbetween as a shelter/ rain poncho/ ground cloth. If it starts to get nasty you just wrap yourself up with it folded in half and keep going or tie it up to one or two trees and sit a while... I also roll up my blanket roll in it so it does not add extra mass and keeps it dry etc...

just got to be carefull arround fires

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