Rain Jackets, How and when to use them

Rain jackets’ primary task is not to keep the rain out but to keep the good mood up while we’re out in nature!

Rain jackets are some of the most important items to bring into the outdoors. The main purpose of them is to keep you warm and dry in wet or unpredictable weather. It can be quite uncomfortable and even dangerous to be stuck in the wild without proper protection against the weather. In worse cases it can lead to all sorts of problems, like hypothermia and chafing. While staying warm and dry in the same bad weather might be the best part of the entire trip!

So, one can see just how important it is to keep the elements at bay when out in the wild!

Dangers of being wet in the outdoors

Being wet and cold in the outdoors is not just uncomfortable. It could also lead to a very dangerous and in extreme cases life-threatening situation.

Mood saving rain jackets

The most immediate effect the rain jacket have on a person is normally not that of a life saver, but more of a mood saver. When it rains, most people tend to prefer to stay inside and wait for the rain to pass. To be fair, I don’t particularly like being outside when it rains and I’m not prepared for it, either. It soaks the hair, jacket, pants and follows the leg downwards into the shoe, making a nice swimming pool for the toes and squishy sounds every step you take. Being able to then put on a rain jacket and pants changes everything. It really takes me from being completely miserable to enjoying being outside in the rain. Sometimes even in a better mood than if the weather was better!

Hiking with cold kids

Being in a good mood is such an underestimated thing when being outside. It is seen especially clear in the young children. Like my 4y/o who came with me the past week on a day trip.

When hiking he was so happy and couldn’t stop talking, picking up sticks and jumping from rocks. Once we sat down to eat he started to get a bit cold. His mood fell instantly and he stopped talking, didn’t want to stand up, didn’t want his new cool stick and he didn’t want to continue walking. He basically didn’t want to move a muscle.

After a few minutes of sitting in my lap warming up, he was back to his normal happy self and fought off imaginary invaders with sword sticks once more.

This doesn’t affect children only, it affects us in the same way. It just takes longer and show less since we have more body mass. We might be able to use some self-control to get up and do some lunges and push-ups.

Being able to be comfortable in the outdoors is essential for how we will enjoy the time spent outside.


In Sweden when I did military service we called it “Infanterield” which basically translates to infantry fire, but actually mean chafing between your thighs. A pretty common occurrence in the infantry, or any type of activity where walking for long distances is common. It’s incredibly painful and only gets worse for each step one takes without caring for it. The most common source of infanterield is wet conditions where the rain gets in between the thighs and starts friction. After a while the first layer of skin is becoming irritated and perhaps even starts to come off.

To prevent this one needs to make sure to be as dry as possible and perhaps also wear some sort of undergarment that transfers the friction from the skin to the garment. If you find yourself without, you can use things like tape, plasters, bandages, other first aid-stuff, a tightly woven scarf, socks, etc. to combat the fire between your legs.


If bad comes to worse one might even succumb to hypothermia, where the body temperature drops below 35˚C/95˚F. It’s a very serious and dangerous condition, especially when out in the wild without proper rain cover. It can, however, normally be prevented rather easily by being prepared for bad weather. Everyone knows that water transports heat away from the body a lot faster than air (25 times as fast!), which of course is why you insulate yourself with layers that lock air to your body. It is also the reason why wearing a simple rain jacket can save ones life in the outdoors.

Rain jackets won’t help you if you try to go for a swim! Image by DALL·E 3

Avoiding bad times

In addition to packing a rain jacket, I can also recommend packing a lighter that is easy to operate even while very cold and wet and with stiff fingers and hands. And since you’re packing a lighter, why not pack some kindling, like tampons, cotton balls, vaseline, candles, birch bark, etc. in a water-proof plastic bag. Basically make sure you have some stuff to get a fire going easily and practice with it.

Breathable vs. Non-Breathable in rain jackets

One of the main factors to consider when choosing a rain jacket is its breathability, or how well it allows moisture vapor to escape from inside the jacket. Breathability can affect the comfort and performance of the jacket, as well as the temperature and humidity of your body.

There are different types of rain jackets that offer different levels of breathability, such as laminated membranes, coated fabrics, and water-repellent treatments. Laminated membranes are thin layers of material that are bonded to the outer fabric of the jacket. They have tiny pores that are large enough to let vapor out, but small enough to keep water droplets in. Coated fabrics are fabrics that are covered with a thin layer of plastic or rubber. They have no pores, but they have small gaps or vents that allow some vapor to escape.

Laminated membranes are generally more breathable and durable than coated fabrics, but they are also more expensive. Coated fabrics are generally cheaper and lighter than laminated membranes, but they are also less breathable and more prone to wear and tear.

Breathability in rain jackets

The problem with breathability is that it is a measurement of how much water vapour will pass through the fabric and that very seldom correlates with the amount of sweat the body produce. This is especially true when moving around a lot. Of course, some breathability is better than none, but the more you move around, the warmer and sweatier you become and the jacket just can’t transport all of that sweat away. As long as we’re aware of that fact, we can act appropriately with our breathable jacket and take it easier.


A non-breathable jacket will not let any moisture either in or out and thus often relies on ventilation instead. It’s not uncommon that these jackets have buttons only, instead of zippers in front, and grommets under the armpits. Those are there to allow for as much ventilation as possible. I myself prefer this type of rain jacket since I know what I have and can dress and act accordingly. The downside is that you can’t really do any physical activity in these types of jackets, except for hiking in a slow pace. Otherwise you’ll get soaked in your own sweat.

Whichever model you decide on, be aware that what you wear underneath probably will have a more significant effect on your wellbeing than whether your jacket is breathable or not. A good base layer and the knowledge about how to act to get the most out of your rain jacket will be what decides the fate of your trip!

How to dress under the rain jackets

The key to staying comfortable even in the worst winter rains is to use layers. Yes, I know, always with the layers. The thing is, if you have a proper base layer that won’t cool you down too much even when wet, you won’t cool down too much, even when wet!

Intense activities

The most important thing to consider is still the rain jacket here and the amount of moisture it will “breathe” out. If you’re like me, warm-blooded and sweat easily, you’re going to have a bad time if you dress up too much and runs uphill in your rain jacket. There’s simply too much moisture for any breathable jacket to be able to handle with any effectiveness and we’ll be soaked either way. I normally try to take off as much as possible and be slightly too cold while hiking than get my warm sweater wet from sweat. During longer brake time, get into your dry clothes and enjoy a cozy lunch next to a fire underneath a tarp while drying the inside of the rain jacket as best as possible.

Less intense activities

There are times when it’s simply too cold to just stay in a base layer while hiking and I just have to get a warming layer in between. Then, it’s very important to not move too quickly as to start sweating. One way you can accomplish this is to bring a <4 y/o along. There’s just no way you’re going to reach any speeds that might get you sweating!

I always try to be very careful with my warm layer since I always only bring the one and even if it‘s fleece, wool, or another material that warms while wet, it‘s not the same as if it’s dry.

If you’re in a rush, wear a base layer and rain jacket and hike in a pace that keeps you from freezing, but if you’re not, you might want to take it easy and conserve your dry clothes.

Oh, and always remember to bring a small towel! (It’s very handy when changing into dry clothes.)


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Florida man’s house hit by NASA’s space junk

In March of 2024, an ususpecting Florida man’s house was hit by a solid metal projectile jettisoned from the ISS in 2021.

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In March of 2024, an ususpecting Florida man’s house was hit by a solid metal projectile jettisoned from the ISS in 2021.

The Debris

It was after an installation of fresh lithium-ion batteries that NASA decided to eject a pallet of the old nickel-hydride batteries from the Internation Space Station in 2021. The debris was expected to burn up during the re-entry into the atmosphere as to not cause damage. However, a small piece of the scrap metal survived and decended upon the unsuspecting Florida man’s house in tremendous speed, causing small holes in the roof and two floors, nearly hitting the Florida man’s son, playing in the next room.

The projectile meassured 4-inch by 1.6-inch and weighed 1.6 pound.

The aftermath

Florida man filed an unprecendented lawsuit against NASA for the damage but has of writing (June 22th, 2024) not received any compensation from the trash-tossers.

The lawsuit is ongoing and could set a very interesting precedent for future damage caused by any of the millions of objects flying around over our heads. Currently there are over 29,000 objects measuring more than 10 cm, 670,000 objects 1-10 cm large, and more than 170 million objects larger than 1 millimetre.

Luckily, for Florida man, his home insurance covered some of the costs – about $15,000 – and he’s now hoping for another $80,000 from the lawsuit, should he win.

“Scientists at University of British Columbia, New Scientist reports, calculate that the odds are one in ten of “casualties being caused by falling debris over the next decade.””

Environmental Law Institute

This might be a good time to complement the volcano insurance with space junk insurance!

Do you think this is a big problem going forward, and who should pay for the damage caused by space junk falling on people’s houses and properties?

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2024-06-22 10:09 | 0 comments

VR advances and the future of WFH

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Is WFH (working from home) just a very temporary freedom or is it here to stay? I believe it’s a bit of both.

When the viral hysteria of ’20 hit and people hid in their homes with double FP2’s over their facial air holes, allegedly working from home, most people viewed this as an incredible opportunity for more freedom. There was an incredible amount of people who, all of a sudden had double, triple, or quadruple lunch breaks to go grocery shopping, tend to the garden, or even hit the beach. The data, however, is in and it’s not looking too good for the semi-vacationeers “working from home”.

Employee Monitoring Tools

Unsurprisingly, people higher up started to notice the trend and became disgruntled of the loss of control of their employee’s daily work habits. The first to Take meassures to counter this trend was the guys at big finance, who constructed elaborate “employee monitoring tools”.

Some of the great new features on your brand new WFH laptop include:

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The companies that used these tools noticed that they’re improving efficiency of their employees, regardless of their location.

Instead of forcing you into the office to make sure you’re working, they’re forcing the office upon your every location and system you’re using.

“Let them try…”

While the only companies using this type of extreme surveillance of their employees are the ones already known for pushing the limit of their subordinates, others will follow suit seeing the effectiveness of the systems.

A lot of people will, of course, not go along with this, but with the increased reach and reduced need of actually forcing people into the offices, most companies will probably succeed anyway. Almost all employees nowadays are easily exchangeable, whether we want to admit it or not. Especially when the hiring pool consist of the entirety of the world.

Of course, there’ll be hold-outs and companies that doesn’t jump on the big brother-train, but a lot of them will, making the few remaining jobs without extreme surveillance few and far apart.

Enter VR-headsets

A lot of people laughed at the seeming fiasco of Apple’s new VR headset. It’s true that it is over-the-top for most people’s daily use and the price tag demanded true Apple fanboy-ism from the buyer.

What this signalled, however, is the VR headset’s entry into the serious market and our lives. When Apple comes out with a new product category, odds are it’ll be commonplace in a few years.

So far, headsets are mostly used as gaming devices, gamification of house chores for stay-at-home-dads, and media consumption, but my bet is that companies soon will find great applications for the headsets in the workplace as well. Why, you ask?

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Furthermore, there must be discussions on how to handle all the data these new systems collect. Are employees actually aware of the amount of data their employer have on them? And what are the employer legally allowed to do with the data?

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2024-06-18 03:18 | 0 comments

Gene therapy trial restores hearing

Loosing one of our senses has been a one way street for much of our history, but recent medical breakthroughs are showing very promising results in bringing them back!

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Loosing one of our senses has been a one way street for much of our history, but recent medical breakthroughs are showing very promising results in bringing them back!

Gene therapy restoring hearing

18-month old British girl Opal Sandy has had her hearing restored through a new gene therapy trial. The deafness, in this case, was due to auditory neuropathy, a condition where nerve impulses from the inner ear to the brain are disrupted. To cure her condition a therapy, known as DB-OTO, was used, copying the OTOF gene directly to the ear. Through a minimally invasive procedure, where the gene solution was infused into the inner ear using a catheter, the hearing is potentially restored without any need of repeated treatments.

Future of hearing restoration

While this method was being used in the UK, other parts of the world are doing similar research targeting genetic forms of deafness. Both China and the US are currently working on their own respective delivery method and procedure of targeting the very gene causing deafness.

Not only did the little girl’s life change, but it also makes way for many more people being able to appreciate music, bird’s song, and the voices of our loved ones. Things the hearing of us takes for granted.

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When wolves became man’s best friend

I think we can all agree on that man’s best friend – the dog – can trace its ancestry back to the wolves. How this came to be is a completely different story that researchers haven’t entirely come to agree on. Was it humans or wolves that took the first s

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Leading theories

The Self-Domestication Theory suggests that at some point wolves began to scavange near human settlements, attracted to the delicious remains of hunting trophys. Over time, the wolves who wandered further into the presence of man in his camps were rewarded with more spoils, warmth from the campfire, and a true bond of friendship.

Another theory, Directed Domestication Theory, suggest that the friendship wasn’t mutual but that early humans captured wolf pups and raised them as their own. They were then selectively breeded for desirable traits.

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Using AI to talk to whales

Recently OpenAI released a much improved version of their LLM, called ChatGPT-4o. The main focus seem to have been on language and conversation, where it answers significantly faster, in any language, and with more “human” emotions in speech, text…

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Project CETI and Earth Species Project

Scientists working on Project CETI (Cetacean Translation Initiative) and the Earth Species Project have been working on deepening our understanding of sperm whale language and communication. To this end, they’ve used AI tools in which they’ve created a LLM (Large Language Model) with vast amounts of data on whale talk. The goal is to be able to understand the language of the whales and even to reply to them.

Whale communication

Sperm whales apparently have a very complex communication system with sequences of clicks (called codas), of which the researchers have identified several distinct sequences, believed to function like an alphabet. Their language and “way of speaking” also isn’t random, but very dependant on the context of their interaction.


If we can learn how to communicate with sperm whales, there’s no reason to believe we cannot learn to communicate with other animals. Or plants and fungi, for that matter.

The interesting question here is, whether this will open up to new kinds of deeper knowledge about our environment.

Will we be able to continue to eat animals that we can communicate “meaningfully” with? What does your cat really think of you? Do you really want to know what the crows and seagulls are screaming about?

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2024-05-14 11:43 | 0 comments