Dressing for the outdoors

Modern outdoor clothing is highly sophisticated and technologically advanced. Materials and designs are lightweight, hard-wearing, and versatile. Choose fabrics and combinations most suited to the environment and conditions in which you are traveling. 

Layering clothes Several light layers are better than one heavy layer. Wearing multiple layers gives you the flexibility to fine-tune your temperature by taking off or putting on layers. Wool, fleece, microfleece, and down are good insulators. 

Layering traps air between the layers and helps you stay warm in any environment. Wearing the correct layers in the right order is important. Wear wicking fabrics, such as polypropylene, in hot and cold weather. 

The outer layer repels rain, while dampness is wicked away by the base layer. The mid-layers insulate the body 

When deciding on your footwear, first think of your personal needs, including the shape of your feet and the support you need. Also, consider the distance and terrain you’ll be covering and the cost. When you buy a pair of boots, wear them around the house and go on short hikes to make sure you have broken them in.

Cold Weather

With cold weather, you generally want to protect yourself with 3 layers, Base, Middle, and Outer layer.

Base layers go for Merino Wool or "wicker" layers, this helps get the sweat and moisture off your body, having cold, damp clothes in the winter will cool you down fast.

Mid-layers, you can go for a fleece jumper or jacket, something lightweight, you want your middle layer to be an insulator, go for polyester fleece, you can also add a "down" insulated jacket to it for extra warmth.

Outer layer will be to protect you from the wind and rain etc, you want a waterproof or windproof coat, this will probably be the most expensive layer, try to get something with fewer zips and seams or make sure they have covers over the zips. Some coats you can get with armpit zips which are good for ventilation.

Again with your lower body, you can get merino wool trousers, cover with your outdoor trousers. Same with your socks, you can get wicking socks and wool socks. Wool socks tend to go flat though and lose their insulating properties if worn too often.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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