How we interact with the elements is a large part of enjoying the outdoors. Whilst we all enjoy a certain level of interaction with the elements, there is too much of a good thing, and being too hot, too cold, or too wet can severely hamper your enjoyment or even cause harm.
Cotton holds on to moisture and doesn’t wick away from the skin, so is a bad choice. Save cotton t-shirts for the car journey home!
Merino Wool is moisture wicking, quick to dry and is naturally odor resistant. Because of this it is a good choice for multiple day expeditions, despite not being as wickable as synthetic. It is also a good choice for colder temperatures, as it offeres better insulation for its weight than synthetics. Brands such as Icebreaker offer a wide range of merino wool base layers.
Your principle defensive layer against the elements. This layer will face the brunt of wind, rain, or snow, so choose wisely. A good outer layer will prevent the elements getting in, whilst still allowing moisture and head from your body out enough to keep you comfortable. There are a few options for this layer:
When the weather isn’t too bad, but a bit of protection would be nice. Typically wind and shower proof, they are often quite flexible, and vastly more breathable than their harder counterparts. For example, the Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket. On cooler days they can act as a mid layer under a hardshell.
Its easy to see the levels of versatility you can build into your kit list with a bit of forward planning. Even a few choice items can revolutionise your outdoor experience.