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Clothing for Lakeland walking WALKING - Clothing

Innermost/Base Layer:
Base LayerTo 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:
FleeceThis 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 jacket.

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 to wear.

Outer Shells:
Shell JacketFor 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 [3] 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 instructions.

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 helmet.


Disclaimer - 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.


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