Article on Women's gear

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longri
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:15 am

Thanks for the thought, Daisy, but I'm pretty cautious about the streets. And the oysters were the real reason I was walking. They were delicious, by the way.








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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:55 am

I wonder how tall Ms. Worteck is. Her size was the stated reason the instructor thought she'd miscalculated her typical speed.

There is a relationship between walking speed and leg length. The formula looks like this:

               Fr = v2 / (gl), where v=speed, g=gravitational acceleration, l=leg length, and Fr=Froude number.

The speed where people feel compelled to transition from walking to running corresponds to Fr = 0.5. The metabolically optimal speed corresponds to Fr = 0.25.

There are various ways one can measure leg length. I tried two of them and they were both about 90cm. Using that value I got:

               4.7 mph = speed of walking to running transition
               3.3 mph = optimal walking speed

This seems pretty close to how it "feels" to me on a treadmill, where the speed is easy to determine.

I'm 6 feet tall, which is about 2 inches taller than the average non-hispanic white male in the U.S. Now suppose Ms. Worteck is 5' 7" (2 inches taller than the average female of the same group). Ignoring the gender difference in average leg length to height ratio, someone 5'7" would, theoretically, have these values:

               4.5 mph = speed of walking to running transition
               3.2 mph = optimal walking speed

It isn't terribly different. But for either height a 4 mph pace, even on ideal terrain, would be energetically wasteful. To have an optimal pace of 4 mph one would want to be about 8 1/2 feet tall.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by balzaccom » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:15 pm

Wow. As a serious trail runner, 4mph might well be an underestimation of her average speed...

So now I'll roll my eyes at those crazy people who run trails...grin
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:20 pm

Nice theory, but human's height does not necessarily predict leg length. Women are generally shorter waisted than men, and ratio-wise have longer legs. And then among women, there also is quite a variation of leg length and height. That is why you buy jeans by waist-hip size AND length-rise (another point in outdoor clothing that these normal size variations are often not available). There is a joke in the rock climbing community that all great climbers are proportioned like apes- long arms and short legs. And even people with exactly the same leg length have varying stride lengths. Humans just are too varied to fit neatly into that formula. And once you go globally, there is even more variation.

Maybe you should find out how to contact the lady and invite her to do a "test walk" with you and get some real data. :wink:

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:27 pm

balzaccom wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:15 pm
Wow. As a serious trail runner, 4mph might well be an underestimation of her average speed...

So now I'll roll my eyes at those crazy people who run trails...grin

The subject is typical hiking speed, not running.

It's kind of a nebulous question in a way. What does "typical" mean?

I walk 4.5 mph, typically, when I'm in a hurry to buy oysters.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:20 pm
Nice theory, but human's height does not necessarily predict leg length. Women are generally shorter waisted than men, and ratio-wise have longer legs. And then among women, there also is quite a variation of leg length and height.

There is clearly variation and we can only talk about averages when lacking individual specifics.

But you're incorrect about women having proportionally longer legs than men. It's a common myth, but in fact it's the other way around. Men have proportionally longer legs than women. I doubt that it's an important difference for this discussion.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:04 pm

longri wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:27 pm
I walk 4.5 mph, typically, when I'm in a hurry to buy oysters.
And it's because of the oysters that you can walk so quickly to go get them.

Thanks. Now I've got BBQ'd oysters going on in my head when I thought Chinese was what I wanted.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:20 pm

FUNCTION, FIT and FASHION!

The functional clothing NOLS used in the late 1960's: army surplus wool pants, extra butt patch sewn on, good felt hat. Who says you cannot self arrest in a cowboy hat. Oh, oh, do not stab that pigtail!
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FUNCTION, FASHION and FIT!!

Oh,no here is that seat patch again!
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And those flight satin wind shirts and pants really worked well, but Paul Petzoldt the founder of NOLS was a really big fellow who never could find clothes to fit, so when he made clothes for NOLS he only made BIG sizes. Don't I look like a little kid dressing up in parents old clothes. Another functional item is a regular wool hat with a rip stop nylon liner sewn on top.
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Let's advance to the 1980's. The lady wears pink! We did not even know about light and fast then, but this wind suit was right out of Goodwill
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Oh yes, another good pink find from Goodwill. Who need those expensive tech shirts? And nothing works better than boxer shorts. And there is that felt cowboy hat again! There seems to be a lot of pink clothing at Goodwill. Women are given pink stuff as a gift, they hate it, send it to Goodwill.
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Early 2000's. Here is a group of very fashionable climbers (CMC climb). Note the RJ is still into the old style of wearing shorts over wool long johns. I need to work on matching my colors.
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Who says men cannot wear outrageous colors? And be bad-ass climbers too.
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Who says you need specialized climbing clothing. Jeans will do just fine. Along with a Christmas sweater from Goodwill. Oh no, there are those long johns under shorts again!
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Ugly shirt with big pockets. Just what I love.
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:59 pm

That was neat! I used to love the shorts over long johns! That style needs to be resurrected.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:32 am

Shorts over long johns was "the standard" in the PNW when I started climbing. I thought it was some local thing and then when I moved to California found out it also was popular here in the old days. They did not have stretchy pants in those days, so if you wanted stretchy, then long johns worked. The complete layering system was long johns, shorts, and rain pants.

Those old enough also remember that for climbers knickers and knee high wool socks were the "in" thing- all the hot European climbers wore them. I used nothing but wool pants until about 2000. The best were Air Force dress wool pants, made into knickers, with a reinforced butt patch sewn on. We used to also get two merino wool sweaters at Goodwill and cut the second one off under the arms, and sew the bottom on as an extension. That was our base layer. The second layer was a thick Woolrich shirt, specifically made with a "neru collar" lined in soft wool. And 60/40 dress shirts (also plenty at Goodwill) worked about as well as the new expensive nylon shirts sold nowadays. Often we would sew on bigger bellow-pockets. Cagouls(sp?) were also the standard rain layer- sort of between a poncho and rain jacket, big to allow ventilation, down to your knees so we did not use rain pants and knee high gaiters used to keep lower legs dry. The cowboy hat was actually very functional - kept rain and sun out of your face better than hoods. I would be out 100 days at a time in that stuff and it worked very well.

I joined REI when it first started and their stuff used to be 100% functional. It was marketed to the mountaineering community. Then they grew, started marketing to the general public. REI now markets more women's work-out clothes than backpack clothing, an little real mountaineering clothing. REI Kids, boys items are still basically functional. I am lucky that I still fit into these.

There were few women's specific outdoor clothing items in the old days. We just wore size small in men's. All that old gear was pretty functional, but fit (for women) and fashion (for everyone) were missing. I think the invention of stretchy material changed things a lot. Stretchy pants first appeared as ski pants. The ski industry started making women-specific clothing well before the backpacking industry. Stretchy material allowed for a more "fashionable" fit.

As for color, the bright red or hunter-orange used in most mountaineering clothing was a functional choice- you could spot someone in a white-out snow storm. Also, nobody would have a tent that blended in; you need to be able to find your tent at the end of a day's climbing! They did not have GPS back then. Then in the 70's and 80's psychedelic colors were "in". Then came the "environmentally sensitive" era. Now we seem to have the "fashion" era. I also have seen a bit of whimsy - a few years ago several PCT women hikers would wear pink tutus. I know a woman who bicycled across the country in a big bright pink tutu; she swore it made drivers really see her. (For you guys who do not know, a tutu is the stiff fluffy ballet skirt). It weighs nearly nothing and is really fun to wear and brings a laugh to those you pass. (I also have seen men wearing kilts- they swear by them.)

I do not think there is any conspiracy to put down women. The outdoor clothing industry has simply gone the way of profits and marketing over function. I do see a gradual trend to add more functionality to women's clothing, inasmuch as they can keep fashion up front, because that is where the biggest market lies. And lets face it; the outdoor demographic trends young, and they care a lot about fashion. After all you have to look good on those YouTube videos.

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