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Liang Tuang Nah




Location: South East Asia
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 2:44 am    Post subject: Armor for hot and humid climes         Reply with quote

If you're participating in a SCA style event for about 8 hours, it's 36 degrees celcius under the blazing sun and the humidity is at 90-95%, what armor combination would you wear to protect yourself from injury against rattan weapons and semi-sharp metal weapons?

Would a cotton shelled gambeson and 100% leather lamellar torso armor work? How much heat does chainmail soak up from the sun? Would a brigandine be out of the question?

Please assume that shade is sparse.

The cartridge box, soap box and ballot box.....the first supports your right to use the second which in turn safeguards the right to be assured the third every few years.
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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 4:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depends what age I suppose but I did an event in Virginia once as a viking, Mid-July it was too hot for me but I wore standard trousers, a thin cotton shirt under my old chain mail shirt (short sleeve). just a spanghelm then battle gear (shield etc)

Personally I wasent that hot during the 'fights' but i'd say if your just hanging around don't wear too much. Dehydration is your worst enemy..water and salted nuts or meat so you don't get cramps (salt). If the sun really does blaze down on your head rig your shield up as a shade it works for a bit and don't wear your helm/gloves/ belts etc if you don't have too. Keep light a breezy whenever possible.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like you're attending Lilies War in Kansas City. Wink
Wear as little armour as you are comfortable wearing, it really depends upon your pain threshold. Eek!

I'll second Stuart's comment, bring tons of water and salty snacks. Your comment regarding sparse shade is really concerning. Please bring your own shade, retreat to your shade immediately after a bout, and stay in the shade until the last possible moment before the next bout.

<edit> Remember to keep your gear in the shade as well, your helm in particular. Have enough cool water on hand to pour down your chest and back.

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere


Last edited by Scott Hrouda on Thu 04 Mar, 2010 6:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Liang Tuang Nah




Location: South East Asia
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To Scott:

The event is not held in the US. It is a ARMA style open house to raise awareness about medieval european fighting arts to be held in the Republic of Singapore. We're just above the equator, experiencing a broiling heat wave and the open house will be held in 1 month's time.

To Everyone:

Almost everyone I know is planning to wear gambesons to prevent bruising and possible fractures and will only don them before the demonstrations but as i mentioned earlier, the next layer of armor is an issue. All of us have ruled out plate armor as its an invitation for heat stroke but the question still stands.......

Will chainmain get uncomfortably hot in the sun?
Will a brigandine trap heat like plate armor?
Do you guys have any experience wearing leather lamellar in the middle of summer in the southern US?

The cartridge box, soap box and ballot box.....the first supports your right to use the second which in turn safeguards the right to be assured the third every few years.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Liang,

Your open house sounds fascinating! I wish you great success. Happy

I can only speak for my years fighting SCA style combat, but it may help as I've strived to have a period correct kit at the expense of the greater mobility and lighter weight that "sport armours" afford.

My favorite event is Lilies War where it often reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit with offensive humidity levels. I've found my gambeson is the greatest heat trapper. My mail voiders and skirt have become warm to the touch under the Kansas sun, but I've found it's really not a big factor. My coat of plates also traps a great amount of heat, as a brigandine would. I have no experience with leather lamellar armours.

My past experiences have taught me that the type of body armour I'm wearing (breastplate, hauberk, coat of plates, or faux Japanese) is really irrelevant. I must immediately retreat to the shade fly, pop off my helm, remove my body armour, open my gambeson, drink a ton of cool (not cold) water, and spray some water down my head, chest and back. I've learned this lesson the hard way. Fortunately I've only had heat exhaustion, not heat stroke.

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd pay attention to Scott he knows! hehe retreating to the shade is important. I second everything hes written.

As for chain mail, like I said it's fine but wear something light and breezy underneath..if your unsure, get a small towl/cloth..soak it in ice water for hours then squeeze it out just when you kit up..slip it around your neck and suit up..

A trick I found was to make some cloth braces/vambraces and tie into them ice cubes..the ice melts slowly and keeps your blood cool. /cools you down.

Big Grin If possible take your gear off as soon as you finish and exactly what Scott said, water yourself inside and outside as often as possible. If you can fry egg's on your breast-plate or whatever, your doing it wrong hehe.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fought in heat, but never in heat and that level of humidity. When I was SCA-active here, we used to have a long summer break, for good reason.

1) Water. Lots of it. Water to drink, water to pour over yourself.

2) Light armour is good, and well-ventilated armour is good. There is nothing wrong with plate except insofar as it violates these two points. You will gain no real benefit from using leather unless the armour is light and ventilated. Mail is ventilated, but often not light. Armour that allows ventilation between itself and the gambeson can be good. Some pieces of plate will give you this. Boxy armours will give you this, if you don't have a boxy body to fill up the entire space within.

3) If you will be taking gambeson off, then armour that is easy to take on and off is good. Armour that can be partly opened can be good. E.g., brigandine you can open up the sides without having to remove gorget, shoulders, etc.

4) Light-coloured painted armour will stay cooler in the sun that dark armour or polished armour. Polished steel can become very hot in the sun, even if it is shiny and reflects most incoming radiant heat and light.

I would fight in lightweight sort-of brigandine/covered lamellar, with integral padding rather than gambeson. This gave me better ventilation than a gambeson.

Skirts will ventilate better than form-fitting legs. Chinese brigandines look like a good hot-weather design.
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Liang Tuang Nah




Location: South East Asia
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen,

I was considering procuring and using the following armors as hot weather protection.

http://www.steel-mastery.com/index.php?&m...uct_id=259

or

http://armstreet.com/store/armor/1/202.html

What are your opinions? Apparently, the second one allows some air permeability between the leather and scales.

The cartridge box, soap box and ballot box.....the first supports your right to use the second which in turn safeguards the right to be assured the third every few years.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can't get an armour to do what you want. The above examples are not exceptions (no there is no "air permeability between the leather and scales"). Take your helmet off regularly and drink lots of water. I've worn full armour in the middle of an Australian summer several times for the best part of a day. If your head is kept cool you can wear most types of armour without much trouble.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
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Posts: 524

PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Odd that no one so far has had much to say about the materials from which an arming garment should be made. Real linen is very effective in hot weather situations, and bamboo batting (definitely not European) has excellent wicking properties with minimal insulation. It should be 100% bamboo, though. Cotton can be used too, but it should be raw cotton; most anything we can buy in stores in the States is contaminated with stuff that makes the batting fibers hold together better, but which completely screws it up for padding an arming doublet, as it turns it into a far more efficient insulator.
jamesarlen.com
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Eric Hejdström




Location: Visby, Sweden
Joined: 13 Mar 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One very simple way too cool down is to pur really cold water on the insides of your wrists. This cools off the blood returning to your heart and just a few seconds on each hand can really make a difference in body temperature. Mybe not the best in the long run but combined with drinking lot's of water it works quite well. But as James just mentioned, linen is very good for arming clothes. Good luck!
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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In answer to your specific question about leather lamellar armor in the Southeastern U.S., I have done it for SCA combat. It is not noticeably different from other armors I have worn, and actually seemed less comfortable than the brass lamellar I wear now. I expect the overall weight and fit of the two had the largest impact on my perception. That said, pay heed to the advice given to bring your own shade, rest often, and drink frequently. Georgia does not get quite as bad as Singapore, but it can get close. When it does, we normally sip drinks genteelly through the heat of the day and do our fighting in the evening.
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Hejdström wrote:
One very simple way too cool down is to pur really cold water on the insides of your wrists. This cools off the blood returning to your heart and just a few seconds on each hand can really make a difference in body temperature.


Yes, I saw this on the Discovery channel yesterday. The fastest way to get your core temperature down is cooling the inside of your hands with cold water. You'll feel cool and refreshed on the inside even when your skin is hot. They are currently developing some sort of glove that does this.
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Gerald Fa.





Joined: 29 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Liang Tuang Nah wrote:
To Scott:

The event is not held in the US. It is a ARMA style open house to raise awareness about medieval european fighting arts to be held in the Republic of Singapore. We're just above the equator, experiencing a broiling heat wave and the open house will be held in 1 month's time.

To Everyone:

Almost everyone I know is planning to wear gambesons to prevent bruising and possible fractures and will only don them before the demonstrations but as i mentioned earlier, the next layer of armor is an issue. All of us have ruled out plate armor as its an invitation for heat stroke but the question still stands.......

Will chainmain get uncomfortably hot in the sun?
Will a brigandine trap heat like plate armor?
Do you guys have any experience wearing leather lamellar in the middle of summer in the southern US?


Cool! I am also in A.R.M.A.!

I think leather still traps heat like crazy if I am not wrong...

Well my advise is keep lots of cold water near you guys...

I played football for 6 years and I been in those environments were we had to run, jump, and all that with full gear almost every day for 2 or 3 hours a day here in Texas. And it dose get that hot over here, some time hotter! Over time we got used to it, but it was always uncomfortable... I would still have my plate on, but not full plate if I was there Surprised but I would take my own risk doing so... But any armor you were is going to be hot no mater what, plate or not it would not matter that much...

As long as you have cold water near you, you should be fine even if fighting in full plate armor (do not recommend it) . But it will be VERY uncomfortable and more so if you are not use to it... I also suggest that you guys have some good brakes in between fights and such...

But sense you do not do this every day out in the heat, I would not want anything happening to you guys out there so yes, do not were plate if you do not want. But have cold water near you at all times! AND TAKE WATER BRAKES! It will not be comfortable at all, you would have to toughen it out like they did in the past... (I do not know how the Spanish & the Crusaders pulled it off)
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, all that water and full plate: Not very easy to get at one's " equipment " to get relief. Wink Razz Big Grin

On the plus side when borderline dehydrated one doesn't feel the need to pee as much. Big Grin

Went to an event in armour last week and I noticed this little problem at the end of the evening. Wink

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll say again, take chainmail over leather. Leather may appear lighter but chainmail can atleast let you 'breath' and is not that heavy once on the body anyway.

Drink and wash, two gulps to everyonce poured on your head/face. Like said earlier, ice in some rags tied to your wrists will melt slower and keep you cool.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean brought up a very serious point in a humorous manner. Happy
If you're armoured and on the field for hours at a time, you should be urinating ALOT if you're well hydrated. I'll reiterate my opinion that the particular type of body armour you choose to wear is really irrelevant when it comes to heat retention and dehydration. You must drink cool water frequently and eat salty snacks occasionally (pickles, nuts, crackers, etc.). You should be running for the head every 60 minutes at a maximum during an all day event.

Liang, please share some photos/video of your event with the forum. Again, best of luck Exclamation

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Gerald Fa.





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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Liang Tuang Nah

My Marine recruiters tell me to drink LOTS of water 24 to at least 13 hours before heavy work outs and stuff...
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All this talk about drinking lots of water... Heed the advice about eating salty foods at the same time.... in Jungle training you actualy eat salt tablets...

If you feal a cramp, stop immediately, don't try to tough it out... get into the shade and take the armour off as your body is running out of salts.

You can actually drink too much water and wash the salt out which can kill you faster than dehydration. You can always drink some more water but it takes much longer for your body to absorb the salt.

Semper FI.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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Location: upstate NY
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Immersing your hands into a bucket of cold water is a good way to cool down during breaks.
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