Winter Survival Tech You Have Probably Not Heard of with ULTIMATE LIFE SAVING PROPERTIES! Part 1 of 2
By Jeanette Vale
“Where’s my super suit?!”
Frozone screamed as he frantically tried to find his super suit so he could fight crime. The Incredibles (2004) was a computer-animated film by Pixar, maybe you remember the scene.
Guess what Emergency Zone friends, there is a super suit! It exists. I own one. I want to tell you all about it. I also conducted a study with our Emergency Zone Bivvy as I slept out in the snow– and to understand those findings (2 of 2 next article) I must first tell you about my super suit.
For winter survival you will want to own one of these. AND it is something you make at home! Wait, don’t leave! Hear me out. Here are the benefits of the suit.
- It feels like luxury to wear, it is super soft and it stretches with you as you bend or lift.
- When you step outside, whatever part of you is covered by the suit, will not be able to detect the cold.
- It does not feel warm, Okay, sometimes it does. It does not feel cold, it feels like the regular temperature of your skin.
- It is like seal blubber but very light. It breathes.
- It is made of open cell foam. You are always radiating heat. body heat that leaves gets trapped in the millions of bubbles in the foam, staying right against your skin. At least that is my version of why it works.
- While walking / bugging out, you sweat and soon you feel cold because you are wet inside of your regular winter clothes. Not with this foam. The water from your body passes through the open cell foam and evaporates. But the heat is trapped in the layer.
- Nothing on the store shelves can touch this technology. I know, I’ve worn the best stuff and it claims great things, but I shiver moments after I step outside.
- You can do chores out in the cold for long periods of time.
- The price is decent. About $75 per foam sheet. This makes most of the suit if you’re medium build 5’ 5”. Do we sell the foam here at Emergency Zone? We could, if there is a demand.
- If you get soaked by rainfall, or fall through ice, remove the foam clothing, squeeze them out easily and put them back on your body. Your body heat will dry the suit in a shorter time than you’d think. At the end of this article I will tell you of the tests done on this technology.
- If you have the finest animal skins and furs for shoes or clothing they still get heavy and wet. These can take days to dry out. Not with foam. Wring and wear immediately. Store bought winter clothes are waterproof, this also means your moisture stays inside with you and you get very cold as your sweat turns against you. This is not good.
- Do you hate cutting wood? You still have to, but not as much. Wear this suit indoors as much as outdoors. Save the trees.
- Do you hate the cost to heat your home? Wear the suit daily and keep the thermostat at a lower temp.
- My suit is one of my most prized possessions. That is how much I love it because I hate winter and being cold.
So if it’s so great why haven’t I heard of this?
Allow me to pontificate: It looks like this: THIS is why you’ve never heard of these. But, the upside is this stuff is worn UNDER your street clothes.
It is neither sleek nor sexy. You look a bit puffy. You have to make the outfit yourself, or hire a seamstress.
Tent or super suit?
Food or super suit?
Chocolate or super suit?
Gun or super suit?
I’d choose a super suit all the time. It means I am warm without me having to build or do.
This suit is made up of a long sleeve shirt, long pants, gloves, booties, and hat. (The hat in the photo is ugly. I wouldn’t wear that in public).
If you find a hat pattern you like you can make it into a foam hat! The sky's the limit. Have fun.
SEW YOUR OWN, KID
Any part of the process that was easy stitching, I handed it to a child and I showed them how to continue.
- Buy a pajama pattern from the store that fits you. This is your pattern.
- Buy 2 sheets of open cell foam (approx $75 per sheet) Your choices are:
1 inch foam - This is what I invested in for my shirt. Highest luxury. Very puffy. Because I want to keep my organs/heart protected.
½ inch foam - pictured here. I used this to make my pants. Of course, not as effective as 1” but still excellent.
¼ inch foam- This is still good. Not puffy. You can easily hide this under street clothes.
- Buy basketball jersey fabric or any 100% polyester fabric that stretches. You will need enough of this fabric to cover both sides of all your foam pieces.
- Lay your paper pattern pieces on the foam, use a marker to draw the shape onto the foam, and cut out all the pieces.
- Now lay that same paper pattern piece on the jersey material and cut two of each, but cut these fabrics bigger because you have to ….
- Sew each foam piece encased in the stretchy jersey material.
- Now sew the pieces together to form pants, shirt, gloves, booties, hat (cover the hat in something beautiful, faux fur, leopard, minky, etc.) just make sure its a polyester product because sweat dries fast in polyester.
- For the 1” foam and the ½” foam it is difficult to sew on a regular sew machine. Maybe make an appointment at a quilting shop where they have large sewing machines (I give this advice having never tried this, I actually don’t know if their machines could do this–or if they’d even let you). I personally sewed mine by hand over the years little by little. AND I hand items to the children around me and I say “Sew this, like this”. Done. They can do it. They can help.
- Children grow fast. I sewed my children's suits when my children were in Elementary school. These would’ve been small suits. My children are taller than me now. I sewed adult sized suits for them. At least try to sew suits that are adjustable to growth. Figure out how to do that. Use your creativity. Don’t think that there is a manual on this. Maybe there is. But I’ve not seen one. Or at least make a sleeping bag for them to sleep in at night. That is simple sewing, roll a kid in a burrito, kiss good night.
Is my super suit nice looking?
If you saw my super suit you’d wonder if an eleven year old sewed it. I had no idea what I was doing. I did not let that stop me.
I am starting to build a cob bathroom on my land. Can I find anyone to help me? No. There is a shortage of construction workers.
Am I a carpenter? No. I am going to move forward anyway. Don’t stop preparing. I have found that when I begin something, people show up.
That is how my shed got finished (another build). I sat down and drew up plans. I gathered what lumber I could for free and suddenly a sister with money said, “I want to help”. And then two brothers came and built it for me. They had carpentry skills. I did not. I just started. They had absolutely no time on their hands, they were very stressed with their own lives and had poor health. Move forward with what you need to keep your family safe. The helpers will come.
RULES of WEAR
- The foam super suit must be worn against your skin. It is okay if you wear underwear as normal, but make sure these are 100% polyester because this fabric dries fast. This is all about managing your perspiration. Your sweat will harm you in freezing temps.
- Cotton, wool, some mix blends, absorb water from you and then hold that moisture. This is not good if you are trying to stay warm/ alive. Only the foam clothing touches your skin. Never wear a t-shirt (or pants) first, then foam over it. That t-shirt will get sweaty and you will get cold. Cold brings hypothermia.
- I had a friend who hired a seamstress to sew her foam suit. She paid $300 to this seamstress and it was sewn baggy. Too big. This is good, this is bad. How is it good? As your weight fluctuates over the years the suit will always have room. It is bad: To stay warm it is best for the foam to be right next to your skin.
The fix: So wear tighter jeans over your too-baggy foam pants and that will squish the foam against your skin. Awesome. There are ways to get around a too big super suit. It’s still super!
- Why would I sew booties? When you are trying to fall asleep in foam clothing and everything is warm except your feet, you will wish you had booties to sleep in. Read my follow-up article to this about freezing feet. Also the founder of this tech makes his own boots. I have not tried that yet.
- Why can’t I just use my regular gloves? You can, like I did in Park City one night and then my fingers all snapped off after turning to ice. It's easy to sew foam gloves and when your regular gloves fail, you have sewn foam mittens, kittens. Again, sleeping at night with your hands in foam is the ultimate luxury!
- Avoid plumber bum-crack. When you sew your foam pants sew a high waist in the back so when you bend over to pick up wood, your back stays covered and warm.
- Sew foam pants with big slits open on left and right hip. This over laps when you are thin and expands out when you gain weight at Christmas.
- My foam shirt flaps way over in the front (meaning the right flap can stretch over the left flap–its more of a coat style–because i did not want to sew in a zipper). This is due to bad sew skills, but this has been nice because as I’ve gained weight the shirt has expanded with me.
- Have sew parties. More hands, less work. Notice in photo a seamstress has planned out gloves for several children. Are those gloves sewn, years later? No, but we do what we can, when we can and eventually we will put those raw materials into the hands of a child and show them how to finish it.
Kids will surprise you. They actually enjoy this type of stuff and YOU don’t have to do it. Just get them started. I handed this hat to a teenager to finish. After sewing for an hour she turned it right side out, it looked like a souffle. She had to rip it out and start over. She had a good scream and then sewed it correctly.
- Don’t be afraid to box up the foam, with the fabric, patterns, needles, thread and sew them during the next quarantine. It can wait. But have the raw materials on hand, stored together. If you bug out, make sure this box goes with you.
- Where do I buy this foam? If enough of you request it, Emergency Zone can carry it if the demand is there. Just comment at the end of this article. If we don’t end up carrying it you can google the words. Feel free to ask me any questions in the form below. I am happy to help you.
- This is NOT foam you just buy from anywhere. It is open cell foam. If you buy closed cell foam it will do nothing for you.
- Because so many people in my family have a foam super suit, as we outgrow, we trade or give away to each other. They are never wasted. I love that my nieces had a sleepover in the snow two nights ago as they tested theirs. I'm amazed our kids initiate these activities.
Car seats, airplane seats, patio furniture, couches, sofa’s are all made of open cell foam. In a critical life or death situation, cut the seats up. Put this foam inside of your clothes against your skin. Preserve your torso first as this is where your organs are.
ISLAMABAD — At least 22 people, including 10 children, died in a popular mountain resort town in Pakistan after being stuck in their vehicles overnight during a heavy snowstorm as temperatures plummeted, officials said Saturday. Most of the victims died of hypothermia, officials said. Jan 8, 2022 –NPR.com
They were stranded in a blizzard sitting on open cell foam! This story hurts my heart. Ten of them being children who lost their lives.
The history and testing of FOAM
Mr. Phillips and his son Jim Phillips are the creators of this amazing tech. He has tried to share this for years. It has not caught on well enough, I'd say. It is the best kept secret that remains a secret! But here is how he tested the super suit.
A man and a woman walk into a freezer (you thought I was gonna say ‘bar’). She was to test the super suit. But first, her suit was put into a bucket and two quarts of water poured in.
The fellow had on the best stuff the US Military offered their soldiers at the time. These clothes were weighed before the experiment began. His clothing was dry, not drenched in water like hers.
They each got on a stationary bike and commenced pedaling for FOUR HOURS In a freezer (8 degrees below 0). HER suit being sopping wet.
After they came out their winter clothing were taken off and weighed . Despite him starting out in DRY clothes, he had 1 pound 2.6 ounces of perspiration in his clothes. More water than hers!
Surviving the winter is about managing your sweat! It doesn’t matter how good your gear is if it does not allow you to move that moisture all the way out and away from you.
Jim tested this in Antarctica at 42 degrees below zero. He slept out in the elements with his foam suit and a sheet of plastic around him as his tent.
The craziest test was when Jim Phillips cut a hole in the ice, lowered himself into the freezing water and came out. He stayed in his wet clothes and slept in them that night. This guy is crazy! But his tech is the best thing I have ever had on my skin. People need to know this stuff exists.
Does the Emergency Zone bivvy work well with this foam suit? Read the next article. I tested it for three nights out in the snow. Know how your gear works so it works well! Stay alive.
Step on, Prep on and enjoy the warmth.
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