mountaineering

It’s ironic that you need to keep hydrated while on a trek, cycle ride, motorcycle ride, water sport activity, expedition etc., but at the same time keep your body and your belongings/equipment protected from any external water penetration; so that they are ready for use and you don’t fall prey to any high altitude and cold sicknesses. To avoid this it is important to be aware of the difference between the terms Waterproof and Water Resistant and select your gear accordingly. It is important to be aware of exactly to what degree your gear can protect you from rain, dew, shower or any water body during your adventure.

Water Proof vs. Water Resistant: What’s the Difference?

It’s ironic that you need to keep hydrated while on a trek, cycle ride, motorcycle ride, water sport activity, expedition etc., but at the same time keep your body and your belongings / equipment protected from any external water penetration; so that they are ready for use and you don’t fall prey to any high altitude and cold sicknesses. To avoid this it is important to be aware of the difference between the terms ‘Waterproof’ and ‘Water Resistant’ and select your gear accordingly. It is important to be aware of exactly to what degree your gear can protect you from rain, dew, shower or any water body during your adventure.

Waterproof and water resistant – the moment you start shopping for monsoons, you’ll stumble across these two terms, be it electronics, rainwear, jackets, gloves, luggage, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, watches or footwear.

Do they mean the same thing? Which one’s better? What’s the difference?

We at OTG are questioned about this difference quite often by our customers. We hope this blog clears the air for all readers and adventure enthusiasts, so that they can decide on the appropriate waterproof or water resistant gear for their use, according to their need in the outdoors.

Let’s look at the exact definitions.

Waterproof: Completely impervious to or impenetrable by water. That means the water cannot seep in through the stitches and zippers as well.

Water Resistant: Able to resist the penetration of water to a certain extent depending on the intensity of water droplets or shower.

In short, waterproof gear means no water can seep in, no matter what. On the other hand, water resistant gear will stop water to a certain extent, beyond which water will pass through.

But that’s really vague, isn’t it? You need to know the exact degree beyond which a particular piece of water resistant gear will fail, and you need to know this BEFORE making the purchase decision. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with gear that you bought to keep you or your stuff dry, falling short of the task.

Two different types of globally accepted rating scales are used for this purpose:

Ingress Protection Scale (IP Code): The IP code follows an international standard called IEC 60529 – Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures and it was developed by a technical committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

  • The IP Code classifies and rates the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact and water.
  • The scale takes into account three types of variables; the angle at which water hits the product being tested, the minimum duration for which the test must be conducted and the speed or force with which water hits the product.
  • The IP code is typically used for electronics, drybags, protective cases, etc.
  • The scale is measured from zero to eight, with IPX0 meaning no protection from water and IPX8 meaning protection against continual underwater immersion.

When buying gear that is certified under the IP code, you should look for the exact IP specification code on the packaging. Here’s what each of the codes in the IP system means in short.

The IP code follows an international standard called IEC 60529

 

Among the brands available on OutdoorTravelGear.com, Aquapac products are IP rated. The Packdivider DrySacks, Trailproof bags, Toccoa, Noatak and Stormproof bags from Aquapac have waterproofing rating of IPX6 , which indicates that these bags protect against powerful water jets / heavy seas / temporary flooding. These are great for heavy rains, but are not submersible. On the other hand, the Aquapac Whanganui cases have waterproofing rating of IPX8. This means that these are designed to not just keep out the rain but can also be submersed up to 30FT/10M under water for 30 minutes without any water ingress.

 

Hydrostatic Head:

  • Hydrostatic Head scale measures the degree to which a piece of gear can hold back water
  • Process: A patch of the material being tested is clamped at the bottom end of a clear transparent tube. The tube is then filled slowly with water. The idea is to see how high the column of water can get before the material lets water drip through.
  • The HH scale is typically used for fabric, tents, clothes, etc.
  • The scale is measured in thousands of mm. For eg., a Hydrostatic Head rating of 5000mm means that the column of water was 5 metres (5000mm) tall before the material leaked. The higher this number, the more protection a material provides against water.

(Source: bit.ly/GearWeAreHHRating)

1) Hydrostatic Head scale measures the degree to which a piece of gear can hold back water

 

In practicality, where you have water being pushed by wind and gravity against your gear, you will need a measurement of around 1000mm to resist light showers. Heavy rain and wind will create more pressure on your gear and it will require a higher rating of around 5000mm.

For really heavy-duty use, look for gear with a rating of about 10000mm. Gear with this level of rating should survive against water being pushed through by something physical, like a person or vegetation rubbing on it in the wind.

HH Rated Gear on OutdoorTravelGear.com

The Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent has 2000mm PU-coated Polyester which means that the material can withstand pressure exerted up to 2 metres (2000mm) column of water without allowing any leakage.

The Quechua Rain Cut Jacket available with www.outdoortravelgear.com has an HH rating of 2000 mm.

Some brands may not quote the waterproofing standards for their products, but may advise you on the water resistance / waterproofing levels of the gear. It makes good sense to defer to the brand’s advise and use the gear accordingly.

For e.g. a number of brands selling motorcycle luggage in India provide rain covers for their luggage that are water resistant. Dirtsack offers the Gypsy with ‘water retardant’ fabric that wards off light showers coupled with an external rain cover making the bag resistant to showers. Dirtsack also offers the Frogman series of bags made from heavy duty PVC material that are 100% waterproof dustproof and rainproof.

The Hurricane Rain Overtrousers from Mototech are technical rain pants with fully seam sealed tapes and Hipora fabric which is waterproof and breathable. Mototech also offers the Hurricane Rain Jacket as a water proofing solution sold along with Contour Air Riding Jacket as one unit.

So what’s the moral of the story? Now that you know the difference, the next time you want to buy gear that is waterproof or water resistant, find out what it exactly means for that product and see if the product is specifically rated under any of the two scales we saw above.

Don’t let the rains keep you home. Go ahead. GET OUT!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
# OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut

Adventurers that inspire us at Outdoor Travel Gear

The adventure sports and travel community in India is still fairly small, but is very tight knit and is growing at a phenomenal speed! As adventurers in India, we’re lucky that wherever we are in the country, we have plenty to do and explore, always have a community we can draw on for help and support and to pursue our passion.

There are some crazy adrenaline junkies out there who’re expanding the boundaries of their sport and doing things that dreams are made of!

Here’s a list of adventurers that inspire us. We’re sure they’ll have the same effect on you too. Remember that while we’ve compiled this list with many parameters in mind, there are plenty of people out there who could possibly be on this but aren’t – mainly due to the fact that we simply didn’t have enough space for them all!

 Ishani Sawant (Mountaineer): OutdoorTravelGear.com had recently featured Ishani on our blog. For your daily dose of mountaineering, check out the Facebook page and website of Ishani Sawant – a 23 year old mountaineer from Pune. Her pictures faithfully record her daily moments, her mountaineering activities and her training, making it a fascinating and real portrayal of her life.

Ishani Sawant: FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Helmet Stories (Motorcycle Tourers): The dynamic duo of Harsh Man Rai and Vir Nakai has been inspiring riders for almost a generation through Helmet Stories. Started as a motorcycling touring company, their photos and videos of the mighty Himalayas are drool-worthy.

Helmet Stories: FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

 

Abhijeet Singh (Adventurer): Now what can’t Abhijeet Singh do? Mountaineer, adventure photographer, acro-yogi calisthenics athlete, and filmmaker. Follow him for guaranteed daily dose of thrills!

Abhijeet Singh: Instagram 

 

 

 

Sumitra Senapaty (Traveler): Sumitra Senapaty started the truly inspirational WOW (Women on Wanderlust). A platform for women to get together and travel, WOW has been steadily increasing in popularity over the last year with women travellers. Follow the WOW page to get a gist of some exotic Indian and international destinations.

Women on Wanderlust : Facebook – Instagram Twitter
Sumitra Senapaty: Facebook Instagram

 

 

 

Shubham Dharmsktu (Cyclist): Shubham is an #OTGAthlete who set out on The Great Himalyan Cycle Trip. OTG sponsored gear for him that would help him on his journey – AQUAPAC Wet and Dry Waterproof Backpack – 25 Ltrs, AQUAPAC Small Bike-Mounted Waterproof Phone Case, Gerber Compact Multi-tool, QuipCo Dune Tube Future, QuipCo Tundra Fleece Balaclava. He is an avid traveler and cyclist is currently working on his sustainable tourism venture – all about travel, cycling, home-stays, local food etc. Check out OutdoorTravelGear.com’s feature blog on Shubham to know more about him.

Shubham Dharmsktu : Facebook

 

 

 

 

Andy Pariat (Travel Photographer): For a taste of Meghalaya that will come close to making you swoon, check out Andy Pariat’s photography covering that magical and under explored part of India.

Andy Pariat :  Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

C S Santosh (Rally Raid Athlete): India’s Motocross Racing Champion. Unarguably India’s finest off-road racer. Enough said.

C S Santosh : Website– Facebook Instagram – Twitter 

 

 

 

H V Kumar (Explorer): With an encyclopedic knowledge of Indian roads, HV Kumar started up the HiVayKing Club, one of India’s most popular support groups on Facebook for travelers. His personal pages are also worth following simply for the number of people who are connected to him in some way or the other.

HiVayKing: Facebook
H V Kumar : Facebook Twitter


 

 

Abhinav Singhai (Travel Photographer): A travel photographer with a difference, Abhinav is intent on showing the world the beauty of the night sky.

Abhinav Singhai : Facebook Instagram –Twitter – Flickr

 

 

 

Shanu Babar (Travel Film-Maker): A film maker, editor and cinematographer -Shanu makes India come to life through a lens. His work is largely urban, and completely magical.

Shanu Babar : Facebook Instagram – Twitter

 

 

 

 

Swati Saxena (Explorer):If long distance walking is your thing, you can do no better than to follow Swati. An ex-accountant, she now ‘walks around the country’, and writes while she does it too. Her blog is full of helpful hints for those who want to explore on foot.

Swati Saxena : Blog – Instagram 

 

 

 

Jehan Driver (Kite surfer and Explorer)

Jehan is a kite-surfer – one of the few of his kind in India. He owns a travel and exploration brand – Quest Expeditions, which also undertakes training for water-sport activities like kite-surfing, kayaking, sailing and outdoors survival.

Jehan Driver : FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Rishad Bhumgara (Mad BawaMotorcyclist)

Rishad is a long distance rider who loves doing it the old school way. He successfully completed a solo ride from Mumbai to Myanmar and back; on his 30 years old Yezdi! Rishad has been a long standing customer with Outdoor Travel Gear and a dear friend. Recently, we had invited him to be a guest blogger for outdoortravelgearblog.wordpress.com. Check it out in our blog

Rishad Bhumgara : Website –Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

Kaustubh Khade (Kayaker)

Kaustubh is on a kayaking journey for life discovering bits about this own self along the way. He’s been literally making ‘waves’ at international kayaking circuit. Kaustubh maintains a blog showcasing his escapades. A must follow for any one who has an adventurous streak.

Sagar and Pritesh from Outdoor Travel Gear met with Kaustubh in summers of 2015 and amongst other things, they discussed kayaking, water-sports and adventure – #OTGathletes – Paddle Hard with Kaustubh Khade

Kaustubh Khade : Facebook –Instagram – Twitter

 

There’s also much inspiration outside our borders. Here’s another (very short) list of people you should follow if international travel and adventure is your thing.

 


 

Brad Ringstmeier (World Traveler): An aerospace mechanic turned travel photographer, Brad has been on the road for a year and half with his venture Perpetual-Moto-Discovery – collecting adventures, stories, memories, goodwill and friends as fast as he can ride.

Brad Ringstmeier – Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

Pete Mc Bride (Explorer): Pete Mc Bride is a film-maker and Nat Geo photographer, in addition to being a writer and speaker on all things inspirational. You can follow Pete’s work on his website. His focus is largely on the travel and environment.

Pete Mc Bride – Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

 

Tiffany Coates (World Motorcycle Tourer): Tiffany Coates is an inspiration to women the world over. Regardless of the terrain, Tiffany rides her heart out in conditions that would daunt the most adventurous riders.

Tiffany Coates :-Website – Blog – Facebook –  Twitter

Tiffany Coates (World Motorcycle Tourer)

 

 

 

Ewan McGregor (World Motorcycle Tourer): The famous actor and television producer is also a motorcycle tourer. His two movies – Long Way Round and Long Way Down are audacious on their attempt to document some of the longest rides ever.

Ewan McGregor : Instagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Eric Cedeno (Cyclist): Eric Cedeno instituted Bicycle Nomad with the intention of pursuing not just cycling, but also a cultural immersion. Through his cafe store, merchandise and dedicated documentation of his journeys, he inspires thousands to join him in to being nomads.

Eric Cedeno : Website – Facebook –Instagram 

 

 

 

Hubert Kriegel (World Traveller on a Sidecar)

Hubert Kriegel has been travelling the world ‘horizontally’ and ‘vertically’. This is the 12th year of the 10 years on road! His website is a must read for understanding how colossal sounding dreams can be achieved – simply by getting on to it.

Team Outdoor Travel Gear had a unique opportunity to track down Hubert when he was in India and spend quality time talking to him about his globe-trotting experiences –A day with Hubert Kreigel – The Timeless Ride

Hubert Kriegel – Website

 

 

 

Anders and Petra Stridfeldt (Biker Couple)

When their three sons moved out to do their own thing, Anders and Petra knew it was time to do theirs. So they sold their house and everything they owned, hopped on to their BMWs and started an epic tour round the world. They are an inspiration to many bikers around the world.

Anders Stridfeldt : Facebook –Instagram
Petra Stridfeldt: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter
Two Bikers One World : Website – Facebook


As you can see, the list of travellers and adventurers is immense… and growing! So whose name would you like to see on our next list?

Mountaineer Ishani Sawant - Outdoor Travel Gear - 4

Outdoor Travel Gear meets Mountaineer Ishani Sawant

If you are a trekker, and are looking to take up the hobby more seriously, you’ve probably read up about Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, or the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. In the course of your reading, you’ve also probably wondered at the level of fitness and skill it takes to take up this extreme sport as a hobby, not to mention as a profession!

Well, Ishani Sawant, aged 23, has chosen this particular path as her career. Not an easy path by any means, Ishani says that she chose it because once she’d seen the might, the grandeur and the vastness of the Himalayas, she knew that there was no other thing she’d rather do. Even to get started wasn’t easy, but Ishani persisted.

“My mother has always been a tremendous support. She used to pay for all gear and trips. Coming from a middle class family, this was huge amount which others may not be able to afford. So I am thankful to her for life”

Ishani Blog-01

Mind you, she made this decision at the age of 13! Over the last 10 years, she gradually pushed herself into taking on the most extreme challenges, and eventually turned what was a hobby, into her career.

Ishani’s career as a mountaineer has always been superlative. For example, she graduated with A grades in both the basic and advanced mountaineering courses in not one, but two of India’s top mountaineering schools – HMI and NIM. In 2014, she scaled the Stok Kangri Peak in Ladakh in a record 2 days (alpine style). However, she says that these accolades are not as important as being happy… and climbing makes her happy! They do, however, help bolster her career as an adventurer, though taking it up as a profession comes with its own set of challenges.

“Mountaineering”, she says, “is very different as a hobby and a profession. The risks you take on, the decisions you can take – whether to add a challenge, or extend your climb – is all on you, when you do it for recreation. But when you do it as a profession, you’ve to become an administrator. You’ve to maintain the quality of food, equipment etc. It’s very different”

Ishani Blog-05

Apart from the physical and technical aspects of the sport, she also faced 2 additional challenges in that she was one of the few females in a male dominated arena, and that she (and others like her) needs a fair amount of funding in order to equip herself for some of the world’s record breaking climbs. However, she says that mountaineering teaches you important life lessons, enough to make it completely worth the while even for someone who is only looking to do it once.

“Mountaineering teaches you values such as team work, sharing, caring, communications etc. It is an invaluable experience”

If all this wasn’t enough, Ishani actually graduated as a lawyer. She’s also done a further diploma in Forensic law, another niche field. When she decided to change paths and make mountaineering her life, she faced stiff opposition from everyone around her. She kept hearing that there was no money in adventure, that it would be hard for a girl to be taken seriously in this arena etc. 3 years later, she admits that while she would appreciate a more constant infusion of funds, the actual profession is picking up since the sport is developing in India, and there is a call for experts. In this light, she even teaches Naval cadets, teaching courses at the NDA!

Ishani Blog-03

We asked Ishani what the sport needed in India, and predictably, a lack of funds for serious mountaineers is the answer. There are plenty of people out there who have the skill, and will, to take on the mountains, but they don’t have the money or equipment to do so regularly. Ishani claims that her background, and support system actually makes her comfortable in the industry, whereas there are others who aren’t as lucky. She believes that the industry should work towards the model of many developed countries – like the United States – where corporate sponsorships are available to athletes, or where trusts have been established by mountaineer’s families to further boost the sport. She herself wishes to give back by establishing something similar.

Ishani muses “I am actually planning to start a Trust or a Foundation in future for Mountain Athletes where they will be assured of remuneration. Their work will be to explore, to climb new mountains, to train themselves in outdoor climbing skills, to just climb! The only thing stopping them right now is money. Talent, we have. So that’s the plan.”

It is rare to meet someone who is close to the top of their profession and yet expresses such humility. Ishani’s endeavor to ‘give back’ to the profession that has given her so much is creditable, and a lesson to many of us.

Ishani Blog-02

It’s this quality and promise that Ishani carries with her that we at Outdoor Travel Gear like and admire. We hope Ishani powers ahead to make her dreams come true, and we hope she continues to climb with everything she’s got!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com