WALKING - Clothing
protect the body from losing heat and from the elements
is to wear the correct clothing is by using the layer
system. The principle behind this, that air is an excellent
insulator, therefore the more layers of air you trap,
the greater degree of insulation.
The innermost layer or base layer, which comes into
contact with the skin play's a major part of wicking,
the moisture of perspiration away from the body to leave
a dry layer next to the skin. However no clothing, whatever
claims made for it, can remove all the sweat instantly
when you are working hard. What the best fabrics can
do is remove moisture very quickly and dry rapidly when
they do get damp, minimizing the time the wet clothing
is against the skin.
Today the materials for these garments are changing
rapidly with technology, arguably the best is made from
100% polypropylene. Of the more traditional materials,
wool and silk are unbeatable.
Whether it is for the upper or lower body it is advisable
to have close-fitting garments but making sure that
they do not restrict movement or circulation. Take into
consideration the design whether you want long sleeved
for winter or short sleeved for summer day's, various
types of collars for protection against draughty occasions.
Cotton should be avoided as it
soaks up moisture rapidly then takes along time to dry,
using body heat as it does so.
Thicker Base Layers:
next layer can provide insulation and warmth, the aim
of this layer is to trap air so as to form an insulating
barrier between you and the outside elements. This barrier
can be made up from one or more garments, depending
on the time of the year and conditions.
With new garments that are round now there is really
no need to have a number of layers. It is good practice
to have a wind-resistant garment in this layer. Generally
speaking we are looking at fleece materials. Fleece
garments retain their insulation properties when wet
and they also dry very quickly.
The thicker the fleece, more likely it will be wind-resistant
even now with the innovations in technology the garments
are becoming less bulky and lighter.
Some manufactures are now offering garments which have
a fleece lining with outer lining with pertex
these help to increase wind resistance, can be worn
next to the skin and be worn in the rain if you are
kept moving so to keep you warm.. It is good practice
to include in your rucksack an inner layer and a waterproof
For the lower half of the body lightweight walking
trousers made of polycotton or similar fabrics are very
popular like trackster types and on
colder outings a pair of thermal long-johns
or tights can be worn underneath. On very cold days
fleece trousers can be worn.
The items should be close fitting with any restrictions
to body movement and circulation especially if you are
doing scrambling, climbing and in cold weather. The
design of the garments should be taken into consideration
also along with ventilation and must also feel comfortable
the final protection on top of layer system is known
as the outer shell the waterproof section. The progress
of breathable waterproof fabrics has changed the outdoor
clothing and nowhere is this more obvious than this
section. There are different materials used, the most
known material brand is Goretex is a durably waterproof,
very breathable outerwear. The various other materials
on the market are similar in application some being
better than others.
Generally how it works is that the fabrics contain
a material which has microscopic holes, small enough
to prevent water droplets from penetrating, but large
enough to allow water vapour to pass through.
In time the coatings will eventually wear away and
the membranes will deteriorate. The three  layers
jackets/trousers are the best but are the most expensive.
It is advisable that the outer shells are kept clean
to avoid the pores from being blocked and the washing
instructions should be followed correctly to the manufactures
The jackets should have room inside so that you can
wear the various inner layers and have movement and
circulation. If you are doing scrambling or climbing
maybe take into consideration purchasing a jacket/trousers
having abrasive materials on the shoulders, elbows and
knees. Also the hood should be able to fit over your
- Climbing, Fell Walking,
Mountaineering, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Watersports
and other Activities can be extremely dangerous
and can result in permanent disability or even
loss of life. Participants in these activities
should be aware of and accept these risks and
be responsible for their own involvement and
Lake District Let's Go can not be held responsible.
Always seek advice and information.