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Get Out & Layer Up

Gear Matters - Walking ClothesOn a walking holiday you like to pack as lightweight as possible. But with unpredictable weather, or when walking at different altitudes this isn’t an easy job. That’s why guide John looks at walking clothes for colder weather this month!


Autumn, winter sun, and spring breaks at lower altitudes require walking clothes that are lightweight and easily to pack as you will hopefully rarely use them, but they are always there in your bag if things get a little chilly. Long gone are the days of heavy furry fleeces and waterproofs that are the weight and consistency of wet cardboard. Although maybe less durable than the heavy duty stuff, modern lightweight walking clothes are so compact that they can be folded up and carried almost unnoticed until the time it is needed. All this has been spurred on by revolutions in lightweight mountaineering and mountain running.


Walking clothes for cold weather - Sherpa Expeditions


Starting with shells, have a look at the ranges by the likes of Montane, Salomon, Berghaus, Mountain Equipment and Rab etc. They all manufacture super-lightweight jackets that are great clothing to wear when walking. Check out test reviews online or in magazines for the best models and look out for sale items. Haglofs for example do an ultralight trekking jacket called the L.I.M, which has minimal seams and pockets for waterproofness.


The classic puffa jacket may be a bit of an overkill for this sort of walking, however you see some Europeans in them sometimes in the summer! - well at least the fashion versions. The lightest, most compact walking clothes of this type are not cheap, but if you feel the cold they are great to wear and look great too. Look at the Montane 'Featherlite' or the Rab 'Microlight' jackets, they are goose/duck down, pack to nothing and have nice features. They do become a bit of a wet tea bag in the rain, hence you should wear a shell with them in such conditions. If socialising in them, beware of smokers or open fires: cigarette ash and wood sparks will immediately make your walking clothes somewhat less water resistant. 


Walking Clothes for Cold Weather - Sherpa Expeditions


What to wear when walking - Sherpa Expeditions


Talking about walking clothes for cold weather, baselayers must of course be mentioned. Merino wool tops are nice, they may not be ultra-quick drying, but they are very warming for their weight and you can wear them a few more times compared to polyester. Look at makes such as Ayacucho or Icebreaker. Although Merino is relatively expensive, there are nearly always deals during the winter clothing sales at your local gear stores (see Cotswolds Outdoor in the UK for example or Paddy Pallin in Australia). Merino baselayers come in different weights but the lightest ones are really fine for walking, although if sitting at a bar on the trail, it looks as if you are wearing your underwear, so the next step is to wear a fleece jacket.


Fleece jackets are as numerous as the stars and come in as many different weights and qualities. Take a look around the outdoor shops for this type of walking clothing and see what fits you well and folds into a small space. Berghaus, Northface and Haglofs do a good range of cold-weather walking gear, some being technical with hoods and handwarmer pockets and/or thumbloops on sleeves which extend over your hands if you don't want to carry gloves.


Enjoy the cooler seasons in great style and comfort!


If you like to find out what walking holidays you can book with us in the autumn and winter months, have a look at these tips to beat the winter!

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