Canoe camping "guru" Cliff Jacobson advocates bright colors for the same reasons...bright colors are supposedly more "cheerful" when you are forced to spend more time under shelter. Bright colors are also advocated for safety reasons. A lost hiker or paddler with brightly colored equipment may have a better chance of being spotted by rescue personnel, if rescue is needed.
I agree, it's a personal choice.
IMO, if someone needs bright colors to keep themselves cheerful on a rainy day, they may have bigger personal issues (maybe a form of mild depression) to deal with. (not judging anyone here...just making an observation) As far as the safety issue, IMO every person travelling in the "backcountry" should have proper safety training and equipment for unexpected emergencies. A smoky fire can be just as effective an emergency distress signal as a bright colored tarp. A dedicated safety orange "signal panel" can be sewn to the inside of a pack's rain cover to perform the same purpose. The sighting mirror on a compass can be used for signalling. (so on and so forth)
If folks want to use brightly colored gear...hey, knock yourself out! I prefer to blend in with the natural environment. If an emergency comes up, I've got the proper training/skills and seperate equipment to deal with that if it comes up. I don't personally get depressed on rainy days...I have always found rainy days to be relaxing...I use them as opportunities to putter around camp working on projects, uninterrupted times to read books, and most importantly a chance to fill my water bottles with fresh clean water, and to get a nice, free bath!:lol:
I can see the point of having some bright colored things with you for rescue concerns. That is why I carry a few "orange dayglow" bandanas and an "orange" heatsheet survival blanket. But they aren't coming out unless it is an emergency situation (along with my signal mirror & whistle).
As far as being depressed in muted colors (I don't buy it)... if I'm stuck in a shelter for some time that's what a book, a nap & an iPod are for...
While I can see the link of camo to military or paramilitary mindsets... so what... so do hiking thru the woods, eating freeze dried food, & not bathing for days...:lol::lol:
Kankujoe - I belive in some bright stuff. I have a orange safety whistle attached to my yellow compass lanyard/string/necklace thing. Not so others can see me; but, so I am less apt to loose it in forest duff, or elsewhere on the ground.
I use a few different colored strings on some important stuff - Knifes, compasses, etc.. it can be much easier to reach in a bag and pull on a string instead of fishing for that swiss army classic it is attached to.
As far as the tent/tarp color discussion goes. If, I'm going to be hunkered down in a storm.. white is my color of choice. Seems to keep the interior nice and bright. Besides the psychological effect of color on tents.. there is a practical reason too. Often 4 season mountaineering tents/gear is yellow, red, or orange so you can find your camp in a blizzard/near whiteout.
I camp in canvas tents during deer season. I have two...one white, one a light green. The difference inside the tents is huge.
The white tent has bright, airy, feel to it, while the green tent is dark and somewhat dungeon-like.
I'm not trying to make direct comparisons between canvas tents and nylon tarps, only make the point that color does make a difference...it is mood altering.
I haven't bought a winter tarp yet, but when I do, it will be a light color.
I've been out of the loop, so thanks for telling me about your new colors.
i am looking at having paul make me a tarp that is hi-viz orange. I bought my hammock not only for hiking, but to allow me to have more options while hunting. the last thing I want is a bullet zinging through my netting if I happen to sleep late.