/ Clothing colour on the mountain

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crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
So this is a topic I like to bring up. Do people have preferred colours on the mountain or you just buy a jacket/trousers etc and not worry about the colour?

I have long been an advocate of being as bright as possible on the mountain (EVERY item of clothing from base/mid layers to outers is bright yellow - hence why people call me the mountain banana) because it means you're far more likely to be spotted night and day if there is a problem and you need to be rescued. Or even just maintaining better visual contact in poor visibility.

But I see many people going up in almost all black gear. I find this strange. Admittedly for a while in the 2000's mountaineering gear didn't come in bright colours generally but manufacturers seem to be making some brighter colours now. Still almost impossible to find yellow mind you.

What are people's thoughts on this?
Choss on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I tend to be constrained by whats available in charity shops or local army surplus shop, so Colour whatever it is.

I dont think its a big Deal as i carry a big dayglo Orange survival bag in mountains anyway.

tents Though, always green fly for me.
AlanLittle - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I generally buy whatever fits me that's half price in end of season sales. Don't care what colour it is.
BnB - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

If you can find the right fit and features I prefer to match one bright colour to another more subtle/dark one. So an acid green jacket with black trousers, or red trousers with a navy blue jacket. All dark or all bright just doesn't seem right (to me anyways).

But I'd put performance and fit ahead of colour every time.
crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to Choss:

Yeah cost is always a factor. Much of my gear is second hand.

Difficult to get into a brightly coloured survival bag if you're badly injured or unconscious though...
PPP - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Same to me, price and features are more important than the colour. I try to use brighter colours, but used a camo tarp and green hooped bivi (not together with tarp) during the night. I even used to use modern camouflage trousers (they can't get dirty) which were upgraded now. However, I avoid looking too fancy.
mrdigitaljedi - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

What ever fits me, colour not considered..
Choss on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to PPP:

> Same to me, price and features are more important than the colour. I try to use brighter colours, but used a camo tarp and green hooped bivi (not together with tarp) during the night. I even used to use modern camouflage trousers (they can't get dirty) which were upgraded now. However, I avoid looking too fancy.

If i need help when bivvying im stuffed. Got a Nice brand new Latvian army goretex camo bivvy bag for a well low Price, and my over tarp has infrared reduction Built in.
girlymonkey - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

If you are too injured to get put survival bag, you are also unlikely to be able to summon help. You are likely to be dead already by the time someone notices you are missing and calls for help, so no help anyway!
The only colour consideration for me is that I won't buy pink or white! Other than that, price and funtionality is all that matters. Defo orange survival bag or group shelter though.
jonnie3430 - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> So this is a topic I like to bring up. Do people have preferred colours on the mountain or you just buy a jacket/trousers etc and not worry about the colour?

It depends on the grade you wish to climb, explanation here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=519676

I'm not sure of this years colours, though I hope there has been a change because I've gone from orange to dark blue and don't want to drop 3 grades.
Kirill - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

This topic has been discussed in depth before. I would like to refer you to this thread:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=519676
SteveoS - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

My shell is red. Admittedly it was on sale but I would have chose red over a dark colour for visibility reasons.

Bag is a dull grey however and my trousers are black.
crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to jonnie3430:

Damn... just finally got my final piece of yellow gear (hardshell jacket) to replace the orange one I had. Hope that doesn't limit me!
GrahamD - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

From a purely practical standpoint, black is a crap colour, especially for a baselayer. If I'm stripped to a base layer its because its hot and likely sunny and I want a light colour.
SethChili - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I tend to go for darker greens and greys , simply because I feel slightly les s visually intrusive . I just don't feel comfortable wearing seriously bright colours - perhaps it is my inner naturalist trying to avoid being spotted by wildlife .
Maybe if I was in a totally unspoilt environment doing real mountaineering ( alaska , Antarctica , Scandinavia ) I would would care less .I can also see that if you want to make serious mountain movies or take photos of people in the hills , being able to see them would come in handy .
Joe G - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to Choss:

> I tend to be constrained by whats available in charity shops or local army surplus shop, so Colour whatever it is.

> I dont think its a big Deal as i carry a big dayglo Orange survival bag in mountains anyway.

> tents Though, always green fly for me.

I'd agree with all that but I did buy a pair of whiteish trousers a few years back (the dark grey ones didn't fit) and was impressed with how easy it was to spot ticks crawling on them.
nniff - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Ninja black mostly. Don't know why, it just seems to have happened that way. My helmet's not black, and I have a red buff. My boots were yellow originally. Other than that, everything's black - gaiters, trousers, harness, jacket, gloves, ruckack. I've got a goretex jacket thats not black,but I avoid wearing that because I hate it.

tango_kid - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I like the idea of bright outdoor kit....though not sure if haglofs monochrome is a bit far: http://www.haglofs.com/
crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Seems black is definitely the colour of choice then, whether it was picked intentionally or simply the colour the best deal came in.

I also understand what people are saying with regards to 'if I have an accident on the mountain where I can't move etc I am probably dead anyway,' but consider the scenario and numerous variations on it...

You are climbing with a friend (or maybe alone?) and you have a slip and either break or tear something badly so that moving is out the question. Your friend either can't get to you for whatever reason or they are injured themselves too in the fall, but you manage to call mountain rescue on a mobile in your pocket. By the time they reach your area the light is poor/gone and to stand the best chance you need to be spotted easily and quickly as every second counts. Then having at least one bright piece of clothing per layer will certainly help with that. It's no extra weight or faff so why not do it? Anything that helps your odds even slightly in the mountains has got to be a good thing.

With everything yellow I'd like to think that even if only half a leg was visible from the air (the rest being obscured rather than buried!) I'd still be visible for miles :)

It's also interesting that nearly all extreme skiers I have seen in photos or on the mountain have a bright jacket (not being as constrained to the latest 'fashion' as snowboarders. lol). Presumably this is in part due to visibility.
crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to tango_kid:

> I like the idea of bright outdoor kit....though not sure if haglofs monochrome is a bit far: http://www.haglofs.com/

Epic! That's a site to remember when I need to replaces clothes :)
Kai - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I prefer bright colors simply because it makes photographs come out better.
badwabbit on 06 Jan 2014

I'm having a bit of an Orange thing at the moment... soft shell, hard shell, base layers, fleece, helmet, shoes, chalk bag, then the rest is black or green, maybe some red in the main... So when I choose gear, I'm generally avoiding stuff that doesn't fit in unless I *really* love it...
Post edited at 19:32
jonnie3430 - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:
> Anything that helps your odds even slightly in the mountains has got to be a good thing.

I think you are taking all this a bit too seriously. Can I suggest you read the doctor stories by GJF Dutton for the proper attitude.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Complete-Doctor-Stories-Ridiculous/dp/1898573212
Post edited at 20:07
crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to jonnie3430:

I wondered when that comment would be made :) While I am under no illusions that colour coordination and preferences etc are purely for ones own amusement or 'just because', the topic of visibility is no less important than that of taking an emergency bivi bag or signaling device I think. These things are often lugged around and never used but there 'just in case'.

After all, we all hope we never have a serious accident on the mountain (and in most cases people haven't had one) but on that off chance something happens, doesn't hurt to be prepared.

I always like to help the odds of survival and the little things stack up... especially if I am soloing (which I know stupid statement given that being on your own significantly worsens your odds).
jonnie3430 - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

You didn't read the stories!

> the topic of visibility is no less important than that of taking an emergency bivi bag or signaling device I think.

Good luck with that.
Skol on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I get the point with coloured clothing, but unless there's snow I don't wear bright stuff. I carry an orange bothy. Since my route can vary on a walk and I walk solo, then the chances of finding me are slim, I know , if I injured myself so as not to use my arms. The thought of a spinal type injury fills me with dread, and I think I would sooner perish.
Tents are always green for me. There's nothing worse than a coloured blob when you want to be alone. I've woken several times on wild camps that were peaceful to find a green tent a few hundred yards away.
puppythedog on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I buy and wear red tops on the hills, this is because I want to be found if I fall and maybe my partner has to go for help. I vaguely remember from my scuba days that red is one of the last colours to become indistinguishable as light fades. I could have made that bit up though. Oh and my belay Jacket is orange because I couldn't get red. My trousers are usually black because that is how they come and I agree with an earlier poster that all colourful would look a bit odd and I'm vain enough to not want to look odd.
crayefish - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to puppythedog:
Red is the first to disappear with depth (blues being the last) but not sure how that relates to poor light. Orange is often used by emergency services (especially on the water) as it is visible night and day. Yellow isn't far behind (better at night but not as good in the day).

In reply to Skol:

> I get the point with coloured clothing, but unless there's snow I don't wear bright stuff. I carry an orange bothy. Since my route can vary on a walk and I walk solo, then the chances of finding me are slim, I know , if I injured myself so as not to use my arms. The thought of a spinal type injury fills me with dread, and I think I would sooner perish.

> Tents are always green for me. There's nothing worse than a coloured blob when you want to be alone. I've woken several times on wild camps that were peaceful to find a green tent a few hundred yards away.

Oh yeah I totally get what you're saying when wild camping etc. I also like to blend in as much as possible (my tent being green but mountain bivi being orange). I certainly wouldn't wear yellow if hiking etc. I was more referring to mountaineering in snowy areas.


In reply to jonnie3430:

> You didn't read the stories!

> Good luck with that.

I'd have to buy it for that :) Is it actually an amusing read?
Post edited at 22:25
forcan - on 07 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

No preferred colours - had everything from black to DPM to fluoro orange (ahh, hillwalking in my youth with an insulated oilrig waterproof!)

If it works, wear it!
nathan79 - on 07 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Black's all too common a colour so some of my gear is that. I'm a fan of brighter colours on the hill. Bright greens and reds in my colour palette, orange rucsack, a little blue and yellow. Yellow's not the best choice of colour for the outdoors imho, too many insects love it.
crayefish - on 07 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Anyone fancy a dayglow mountaineering trip this season? Only ridiculous bright colours to irritate everyone else on the mountain are allowed :) I am sure it would make for some epic photos too. lol
sbc_10 - on 07 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Although not intended I do have the occaisonal colour cordination moments, usually a theme of Mango or Burn't orange. Gok Wank or whatever-his-name-is would have a field day.
Full fluorescent bifta with the shell, matching panels on the rucksack then full-on Orange boots (c'mon Scarpa leave it out with the Jaffa shades!)

It can reselmble a Tango advert or 'Easy-jet' go Alpine.
marsbar - on 07 Jan 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

> I generally buy whatever fits me that's half price in end of season sales. Don't care what colour it is.

Totally agree.

puppythedog on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

depends what you mean by mountaineering trip? I can't go abroad but I'm very up for something uk based.
crayefish - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to puppythedog:

Couple of days in Scotland doing something that is within most people's ability (say grade II?) wearing outfits so colorful that it would put the early 90's spandex climbers to shame? lol.
Gazlynn - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to jonnie3430:

> It depends on the grade you wish to climb, explanation here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=519676

> I'm not sure of this years colours, though I hope there has been a change because I've gone from orange to dark blue and don't want to drop 3 grades.


Don't worry Jonnie

Here are my findings for this winter ;-)

Jackets

Grade I Black

No change for black unfortunately.

Grade II Red

A 2 grade swing this year. A popular safe punters choice.

Grad III Yellow

Moving up from last year and has nothing to do with it being the colour of my new jacket.

Grade IV Blue

A big swing this year for blue. Popular with the Scottish mid grade warriors maybe coinciding with Rangers demise?

Grade V Orange

A slight drop for Orange this year as people looked at last years chart and tried to push the grade a little too much.

Grade VI- Green or baby blue

Only a select few can wear these colours this winter with pride.

Trousers / Pants

Grades I,II,III and IV Black or Grey

Sorry guys us punters have to have something to aspire to.

Grade V and above Any bright colour but it must NOT match the jacket

Also please note that if you have bright coloured gloves you can add one tech grade.

please feel free to agree or disagree

cheers

Gaz
Carolyn - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:
> By the time they reach your area the light is poor/gone and to stand the best chance you need to be spotted easily and quickly as every second counts.

If you're still alive by the time MR get to you, it's pretty unlikely every second counts....

My clothing is a right mix - trousers tend to be dark (as that's all that's commonly available), tops often brighter - but I'm not about to start choosing it based on such an unlikely scenario.
JonLongshanks on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I've always thought bright colours make you look a lot more technical. But for hiking and camping definitely more subdued colours.
galpinos - on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to Gazlynn:

Gaz,

I have purchased a new jacket that is "neptune". Unfotunately, due to the arrival of mini-galpinos I'm not going to get out much and won't have time to train so will struggle to get up anything harder than V. I believe a "neptune" jacket (combined wih my Pattagucci chinos) is only appropriate for VI and above.

Could you grant me dispensation to wear this or should I leave it on the hanger until next winter?

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