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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. 

don't use cotton as a base layer | LD Mountain Centre

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!

Synthetic Base Layers | LD Mountain Centre

Synthetic materials such as polyester are very good – for example the Salomon Agile Tee.    

Merino Wool Base Layers | LD Mountain Centre

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 insulation layer. Intended to trap enough heat to keep you warm    

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:

Hard Shell Jackets | LD Mountain Centre

The most robust and hard-wearing, capable of facing the most extreme weather and conditions. For example The North Face Point Five or Berghaus Extrem 7000 and 8000 Jackets.    

Soft Shells LD Mountain Centre

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.

Insulated Outer Jackets | LD Mountain Centre

In very cold conditions such as the arctic, more thermal protection is required over wet weather protection.  Jackets such as the Canada Goose Expedition Parka and the Fjallraven Polar Guide Parka are tried and tested examples.

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.

Kit List| LD Mountain Centre

Kit Builders | LD Mountain Centre

Kit Builders | LD Mountain Centre