The One Type of Clothing You Should Never Wear Hiking

Instead of Velcro, buttons, and snap fasteners, magnetic closures are now the trendy alternative for fastening phone cases, gloves, jackets, hoods, and other outerwear. But this seemingly innocuous design feature can actually put your life at risk.

A recent incident involving a group of lost hikers and an intense mountain rescue mission could have been avoided had it not been for a misplaced compass and a phone case with a magnetic closure.

“[The compass] had been stored in a pocket next to a mobile phone in a case which had a magnetic closure on it,” a safety advisor said, “and the magnet had reversed the polarity of the compass needle, so that the north arrow pointed south.”

Mountaineering Scotland says that this reversed polarity occurs when a magnet comes into contact with a compass, and that needles can be deflected briefly, partially, or completely. If the compass has been partially reversed, the needle will move slowly, stick, or be out of balance. It is totally reversed if the north arrow points south, as was the case with the hikers in Scotland.

Consider bypassing the magnetic trend and instead opt for clothing and phone cases with traditional fasteners to prevent a potentially risky situation on your next hiking expedition. Keep your compasses separate from your phones, phone cases, and other electronic devices, and perhaps carry a spare compass in case it breaks.



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