If you are a survivalist, hiker, hunter, or anyone who spends time out in the wild, you need to know how to protect your gear and yourself. There are dozens of topics that we could go into on this issue, but, today, let’s look at the important difference between something being waterproof and something being water resistant.
Why is this important?
It is not uncommon for people out in the wild to have certain items with them that would be ruined if those items became wet. For instance, you may have electronics that need to be protected from water. From GPS units to cell phones, there are a variety of electronics that simply cannot tolerate water.
Another item that may need to be protected from water is you! If your intention is to buy (and use) a waterproof sleeping bag, backpack, gloves, boots, etc, then you need to know that items not specifically labeled as waterproof will not provide the level of protection that you need or want.
So, what are the main differences?
When something is truly waterproof, no water, at all, can get into the item. Water cannot seep into the item through things such as stitches or zippers.
Water resistant, on the other hand, means that the item will resist water penetration, but will not keep all water out. The amount of “resistance” is often determined by the amount of water the item encounters and how long it has to withstand this amount of water. It should be noted that there is nothing wrong with having water resistant gear as long as you know its limitations.
To understand just how well an item will resist water, you can use the Ingress Protection Scale (IP Code). This code lets you know just how well an item protects against water and dust. It is often used for items such as protective cases, dry bags, electronics, and such. The IP Code goes from 0 to 8. A zero rating means there is no protection at all; an 8 means the item protects against water penetration even if the item is submerged for long periods of time.
You may also see a rating called HH, which means hydrostatic head. You often find this rating on clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and fabric. This scale rates how well the gear will hold back water. A general rule of thumb is that a HH rating of 1000mm will resist water in light showers. To protect against heavy rain, look for a rating of around 5000mm. The higher the number, the more protection you get.
So, before you buy your next piece of gear, look for the right water protection rating. You will be happy that you did.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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