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  1. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Protection against heavy rain?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by spklvr, Jun 11, 2011.

    Made even more difficult by the fact that my fantasy world is heavily based on 19th century East Asia (China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea etc). It is a fantasy story with the addition of magic, dragons and a large variety of other creatures like the ones in their traditional legends and folk tales. Despite the fantasy elements, I want the same feel as that of 19th century East Asia, just to make it extra difficult for myself... obviously.

    I am working on the second draft, and this is one of the details I have skipped. They are a group traveling through a country of rain, and the rain is heavy and constant, so they can't just find some shelter. It would be both cold and wet I can imagine, and what they could be wearing to protect themselves has me a little stumped.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Umm. how can I put this gently?

    Think it through. Wow would YOU deal with it, if you lived in such a place (Seattle? ;)).

    I mean, Jeez, you are supposed to be a writer! Set up a scenario and let slip the leash from your imagination.

    It needs to be waterproof, or water resistant at least. If it soaks up water, it will also become heavy and burdensome. It needs to hold in heat. It needs to keep water out of the eyes and nose.

    Now think of what materials might be available that could work in such attire.
     
  3. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    ^While I do agree that a writer needs to think of his own material, zhe wouldn't be asking for help if zhe didn't need it. ;D
    Unless zhe's hopeless, which I doubt is the case.

    In any case, realistically speaking, animal skins are usually the best way to avoid being completely drenched because of the natural oils I in the skins I believe. Feel free to prove me wrong because I don't read much medieval fantasy anyway, but having your characters travel in torrential rain while wearing animal skins gives that really gritty, travel-hardened feeling I like reading about.
    Otherwise, magic. Seriously, you mentioned it yourself. A light spell or two for dryness wouldn't hurt unless the mechanics of magic work in a way that it's hard for this to be feasible in the story. Maybe even magic infused with the animal skin cloaks. I think I've seen that somewhere before.

    On an unrelated note: Because of jamais vu, for a moment there I wasn't sure what heavy rain meant. I assumed it had something to do with heavy water which is a fail on my part. >_>
     
  4. tragblack
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    tragblack New Member

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    I like the sound of magic animal skin.

    It's always memorable when a good story has managed to invent some really useful items for its time and place. You have a good opportunity to create a strong image in the readers' minds.
     
  5. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Umbrellas? Hooded cloaks/capes? Animal skins and leathers can be treated to make them water resistant. Long or great coats with the collars turned up would help keep the water from the wearer's body, especially combined with a wide brimmed hat.

    I agree with Cogito. Is it really that difficult to think up a simple answer?
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't believe I didn't think of animal skin. So obvious and simple, yet effective. I blame being kind of tired last night, and a bit of an animal rights activist. I seriously sat for an hour thinking...
     
  7. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was thinking more rainy monsoon than Seattle. I wouldn't really know what to wear in a monsoon.
     
  8. animefans12
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    animefans12 Member

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    Waterproof clothing... Umbrellas...etc.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The point is, YOU know what conditions you are writing for, and what materials and technologies will be available.

    It's time to "man up" and sieze the controls. You cannot, and more importantly, should not, lean on others. Even if you can get everything you ask for, you aren't growing as a writer by getting all your ideas from others.
     
  10. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can think of several solutions:

    1. Magic. Not just magical animal skin, but make the magician cast a "bubble" that keeps them warm.

    2. Remove some clothes. Sounds stupid, I know, but think about it. Your skin is as waterproof as it gets, and the endless walking can help keep them warm. Then after a while when they start to get weary and cold, they could find a cave, start a little fire and put the warm clothes on. I'm not saying they should walk around naked, but remove as mucn clothes as they can and still keep their decency.

    3. Find a plant with large leaves and use it as an umbrella. Or use animal skin.

    4. Use a combination of all three.
     
  11. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wouldn't those pointy, wide straw hats Chinese farmers used also help against rain?
     
  12. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    They are called coolies. If they were woven tight enough or coated with something to make them waterproof, they could be used for that.

    And just a bit of extra info, coolies was also used as a racial slur for chinese.
     
  13. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Keep in mind those coolies are loose for a reason. They are great protection from the sun, but not much else. If you made them tighther, the could quickly become quite heavy.
     
  14. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I was also kind of hoping someone more knowledgeable than me would know what people in that time and place actually wore during those conditions. I didn't mention it because I didn't want people to get locked on that either.

    Also, I think your attitude is a little rude. I am asking for help on a little thing that has no relevance to the plot line. Not asking people to write the story for me. I couldn't think of anything that seemed realistic at the time, so I asked for some suggestions. Though the suggestion I ended up going for is so obvious, I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it.
     
  15. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Oilskin cloaks such as the trusty Australian "Drizabone". Canvas or dense cotton coated in linseed (or similar) oil. I've owned one for years and combined with a good wide brimmed hat you stay completely dry.

    Wide sheets of it can be used as temporary shelters such as open end tents or "bivouac" camps.
     
  16. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    Here's my experience concerning heavy rain.

    - If it's warm enough, I remove anything covering my torso and roll it up into a tight ball, with the most water-resistant thing going round the outside. Then I just go out and brave the elements. I have found that usually, most of the clothes rolled up stay dry, and I can actually use them to dry my skin and re-dress and still feel pretty dry once the rain stops.

    - If it's extremely cold and windy: Gore-Tex. Has that been invented in your world? If not, get them on it!

    I have a hat like that. They're pretty waterproof, but obviously not a great help in strong winds.

    Dense cloth coated with tar is, I believe, pretty waterproof.
     

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