Dressing For The Outdoors

Water beads off the Pumori - great for the British climate...

If you’ve got a week booked away for fun and adventure in the outdoors, whether that’s a week away in the Lakes on the water canoeing, kayaking and cliff jumping or if you’re on terra firma in Snowdon, climbing, bouldering, clay pigeon shooting and 4 x 4 driving, you need to be dressed right.

The North Ridge FireFly ready for action!

If you’re new to the outdoors, you don’t want to spend too much either, so here are the key rules to stay comfortable, warm and dry in the outdoors. I’ve even dressed myself for a day out kayaking so you can see how it all looks on. Even though this is a ‘feminine’ outfit (plenty of purple!) the basic rules still apply for men.

  • Layers are your friend. Lots of cheap, slim layers are much better than one thick, expensive coat or jumper. Rather than a big down jacket that will leave you sweating when you start moving, we say you should pick a baselayer t-shirt (these are made to mop up sweat, leave no stains or marks, and to keep dry, unlike cotton!) You can then wear a fleece midlayer for warmth, and then a waterproof jacket, or if the sun’s shining on you, just wear a windproof softshell jacket.
  • The key players in outdoor wear for waterproof, windproof and breathability are GORE-Tex, eVent and Dewpoint. They all work in slightly different ways to manage moisture (sweat) and to bring it to the outside of the jacket. We recommend these for waterproof protection that won’t leave you sweaty. A cheaper waterproof jacket might keep the rain off, but you will get really hot and bothered in it because it isn’t breathable (e.g. able to remove sweat) like a more expensive jacket can. The jacket i’m in is a North Ridge Pumori Jacket which is waterproof, windproof, breathable, with zips aplenty. It looks great with jeans too. The men’s version, The Kalias is also available.

The North Ridge Pumori Jacket gets an outing- despite lack of rain!

  • Good footwear is key! Get some good walking boots for those hills, willies for muddy activities like archery or clay  pigeon shooting, and cheap but cheerful lowland approach shoes for general use or for that bungee jump! Socks are also little thanked but often appreciated bits of kit, so get some thick ones or waterproof socks for your rucksack in case you’re walking or climbing.
  • Waterproof overtrousers are great for saving your trousers and you can wear them over other trousers when you go kayaking, paintballing, canoeing or monster trucking!  You can get a pair of walking trousers, leggings or thermal underwear or even shorts for use under these.
  • A nice pair of gloves and a hat are great for heights when you feel the wind more and are so cheap they are well worth buying.
http://www.youtube.com/user/gooutdoorstv#p/u/20/w7A0-sOX_A8 – Click here to see a GO Outdoors video on layering for even more information on what to buy before you go, go,  ‘GO Activities‘.

Before I got them dirty!