10 January 2009

I'm thrilled to announce that we've teamed up with a great cause: the
15 below project
, a Canadian-based initiative to provide weatherproof parkas for the homeless. They have distributed 3,000 free coats on the streets of the US and Canada, on behalf of the advertising firm Taxi.

The 15 below jacket, the brainchild of Taxi's creative director Steve Mykolyn and designer Lida Baday, is an all-season, lightweight coat to be given free to the homeless across Canada and the U.S. The coat is easily insulated with newsprint: newspaper is tightened into balls and stuffed into the coat's inner pockets.

The coat is made from Aquamax, a waterpoof, breathable fabric laminated with a nonporous membrane. Mykolyn tried out the garment during an eight-hour test in a meat freezer, and stayed warm through temperatures that dipped as low as -29 degrees Celsius (-20.2 F).

We will be sporting these innovatively-designed parkas to warm up before and after our Strait of Magellan swim (water temperature around 40 degrees) later this month.

Over months of cold-water jaunts, Cristian and I have learned the immense importance of restoring and maintaining warmth after winter exposure. We have read extensively about hypothermia, core temperature and so-called 'survival thresholds' for ocean waters. We watch each other carefully for the warning signs of hypothermic danger, and take care to leave the beach quickly to replenish our lost body heat indoors-- a luxury.

This cold-water challenge is within reach because we have learned, with careful training and utmost attention, to withstand cold, and to understand the process of reversing the cold. We also have the resources to regulate and maintain our body temperature against the elements.

Others not only lack respite from the cold; they live in it, night and day.

The 15 below project is close to our hearts, and to our cores. We have experienced extremes of cold that can kill. Before we swim, and when we exit the water, we wear warm outer clothes that will retain and replenish our body heat.

Rather than our usual parkas, for our Strait of Magellan attempt, we will use 15 below jackets.

The 15 below project is seeking corporate sponsorship to take over production and distribution of the coats.

For more information about the 15 below project:


1 comment:

  1. this is so cool! You are so cool! I'm way way too excited for y'all!