Hill Walking Clothing Advice

#1
Right, I've got into the hillwalking lark this year and have enjoyed tabbing around the peak district through the summer. However now the weather has changed I wish to continue my travels and am left in the position that I have nothing to wear.

The last time I ventured into the bondu her majesty provided all the kit I needed, some admittedly was of dubious usefulness and indeed quality.

Now, as I have lots of green stuff left over I could wander around the hills looking like a pikey walt, or alternatively could someone enlighten me to the latest in fashion?

Actually, ignore the fashion bit - I just need some practical outdoor clothing of decent quality that will allow me to ignore the weather reports when I go wandering (within reason).

Many Thanks.

Edited to say, this may sound stupid but when I joined up Goretex hadn't been invented - is layering with a goretex outer still the fashion?
 
#2
Buy a Páramo. It's better than Gortex as it has a lifetime guarantee. I have had the same jacket for over 8 years now and it's a fantastic bit of kit, still keeping me as dry as they day I bought it. I am a MLT, so it gets its use. Top recommendation from me anyway.

Web page: http://www.paramo.co.uk/en-gb/index.php
 
#4
Hi, I've been out in the Dale today -it was 'Baltic' but I could see for days...
I had some Regatta walking trousers (£20)
T-shirt Norgie - Softie - Gortex in my day sack in case it rained/snowed
Black Beenie hat - Job a good 'un!!
Boots were standard issue - sorry but I said in another thread I love 'em but not to everybody's taste.....
Mrs 'Cayote' says I look like a knob with the hat but when I go into the Lakes its like a fashion parade - All the gear and no idea eh!!
 
#5
My-Pants said:
What area do you live
Edge of the derbyshire Dales/North Notts.
 

Gook

Old-Salt
#6
I know its also quite 'military' but I have a Buffalo special 6 shirt, does wonders for keeping warm, keeping the wind out and even the odd shower too. But I bought mine in purple not wanting to look too militant!

I suppose the way to go is a wicking top, something like a Helly Hansen, and another layer on top of that, there a many civvy versions of Norwegian shirts made of fleece and other stuff that shouldnt hold water.

Goretex is still used but there are now 'softshell' materials which is like half-waterproof half-fleece as I understand it. Ive not used them but apparently they are good for general use or the odd day or two, not sure I'd want to use them in really bad conditions or for an extended time though, and they do tend to be pricey... For what its worth Im still looking out for a decent goretex...
 
#7
I have done quite a bit of hill walking and never bought any expensive kit as such never bothered with gortext even. Buy man made fabrics if you are staying out for days as natural doe not work well when wet. You should be able to reliee on your stuff working wet as in a bad senarior you may not be able to dry it. This particular important of sleeping bags.

If just dicking wool and stuff can be more comffy if you are staying some where at night you can dry stuff.

I do like dressing up like pikey walt but thats just for fashion though.
 
#8
WilieCayote said:
Hi, I've been out in the Dale today -it was 'Baltic' but I could see for days...
I had some Regatta walking trousers (£20)
T-shirt Norgie - Softie - Gortex in my day sack in case it rained/snowed
Black Beenie hat - Job a good 'un!!
Boots were standard issue - sorry but I said in another thread I love 'em but not to everybody's taste.....
Mrs 'Cayote' says I look like a knob with the hat but when I go into the Lakes its like a fashion parade - All the gear and no idea eh!!
Ta, I found the civvies looked like they fell of a catwalk as well which is why I'm asking here and not checking out the Mountain Warehouse website......yet
 
#9
You're right with the layer principal. Layers dependant on the climate, load you are carrying, speed you're traveling and heat you're generating. I'm old now so travel slower and need another layer.
I start with a thin layer either a helly hansen or an under armour, then either a wind proof or gortex dependant on weather. A thicker fleece in the day sack for stops or tabs downhill back to the car.
You are not too far away from Stafford Outdoor Leisure, who have a sale upstairs and are very helpfull. Ask for Danny.
 
#10
First thing you've got to decide is are you going to

(a) try and stay dry
(b) accept that you're going to get wet

both may be appropriate at different times.

If you go the (a) route, then you need to think in terms of base-layer (wicking material), warm layer and waterproof layer.
If you go the (b) route, then make sure that you've got something warm and dry to change into at the end of the day.

In any event, avoid cotton as it gets cold when it's wet. Go for wool or fleece as your warm layer.

Boots, obviously - appropriate for the terrain
Hat for when it gets cold
Because you're ex-mil, compass and map (waterproofed and not in one of those horrible things that wrap round your neck).
Other bits and bobs including brew-kit and a mobile phone in case of injury.
 
#11
Gook said:
I know its also quite 'military' but I have a Buffalo special 6 shirt, does wonders for keeping warm, keeping the wind out and even the odd shower too. But I bought mine in purple not wanting to look too militant!
I've just priced up a Buffalo special 6 shirt at http://www.sportswarehouse.co.uk/acatalog/Buffalo-Special-6-Shirt.html and they're pushing £100 which is what I'm trying to avoid - to be honest I was hoping to dress myself completely for £100 - including daysack.
 
#13
I would not bother with a jacket as it is bulky costly and its ethier on or off so can be too hot or too cold. A fleece 2/3 jumper/norweighion type things water proof jacket. Thermal underwear.

If you are on a budget your green stuff is spot on. The fleeces are warmer than most of simlar budget the norweigions ideal.
To avoid looking militant just wear a doddgy pastal coloured water proof or top you might end up looking norweigion or eastern european.
 
#14
iv been mountaineering in some ******* hideous conditions.

1. your not going to stay dry. seriously, iv seen people with mountain equipment jackets, costing around 150 quid, and they got wet just like i did.

2. goretex is over rated. once it gets wet its a bit of a bitch to dry, and if you have gortex lined boots, the little mud particles tend to get into it, which gives water a point to enter. if your doing several days, it will be fairly crap in the mornings.

firstly, i use a waterproof coat, but a thin one. repels water but has no lining etc. far better, because you take it off at night, shake the water off and your good to go. also, if you need to take it off, its far easier to stuff in the top of your bag as it doesnt take up a lot of room.

accept your going to get wet from head to toe. same guy with the expensive coat had some £200 pound boots. and he still got wet feet.

a cheap way to equip yourself is this:

helly hansen lifa top (full length) about £20 quid.
3 cheap and shitty sports tops from wherever less then £10
a tracksuit top (thick, like a jumper, you know what i mean) again like £5-15 depending.
tracksuit bottoms £10
waterproof trousers a £20 pound pair is fine.

a helly hansen base layer, 1/2 t shirts, depending on weather, tracksuit top, and waterproofs.

i have been in storms where the rain was sideways and i couldnt stand up straight against the wind, absolutely freezing and pissing it down, and i was still comfortable.

some layers for warmth and they also waterproof you better. the top, and first t shirt will absorb any water to get through your jacket, so you'll still be dry.

i have a berghaus balaclava, which was about 25 pounds, and is fairly waterproof and covers all my neck.

if its really crappy out, i pop this on, and put my hood up and fasten it at the front. keeps your face nice and warm, and because it covers my mouth and nose, minimises heat lose from breathing.

expensive kit is not neccesary. this is fine for multiple days, all i do to dry kit off is to strip down, get snug in my sleeping bag, and rotate my layers. having wet shirt first, then a dry shirt means i may feel a bit icky, but it drys off fairly well, and i dont get hyperthermic in the process.

get some gloves and your good to go.

and for cold weather a tip i was always told was this. every so often, starting with your little finger, touch your thumb, sort of like the OK sign. work your way along your fingers. its quite common when its cold, not to be able to touch your little finger and thumb together. as you get colder, the fewer fingers you can touch with your thumb.
first to go is usually the little finger, followed by your ring finger, then middle and index.

if you can only touch one finger to your thumb on each hand, you have to stop and take some action to warm up. if its really nasty weather, and you cant touch any fingers together, you probably wont be able to put up your tent, light a match or help your partner if they had an accident.
 
#15
Wearing issue gear doesnt make you a walt. I am a civie and hike in 95s and norgie tops. Reason being they are great for the price and do the job well. For the same reasons I DONT wear combat boots..

If you are on a budget get a pair of 95s, a norgie, some thermal underwear (mountain warehouse always have offers on), a decent waterproof jacket, cheap over trousers and a thinsulate hat and you will be sorted.

Dont skimp on boots and socks.

J.
 
#16
JayCam said:
Wearing issue gear doesnt make you a walt. I am a civie and hike in 95s and norgie tops. Reason being they are great for the price and do the job well. For the same reasons I DONT wear combat boots..

If you are on a budget get a pair of 95s, a norgie, some thermal underwear (mountain warehouse always have offers on), a decent waterproof jacket, cheap over trousers and a thinsulate hat and you will be sorted.

Dont skimp on boots and socks.

J.
AH, you see army gear is designed for a very different purpose to civvy gear.

any mountain leader worth his salt will tell you not to wear it in non military environments.

the reason is the same as why you can almost always only get jackets coloured red, blue, yellow etc from big brands.

your cs95's are designed to help you remain unseen. this is a major feature, as being wet and cold probably wont kill you, but getting spotted by the enemy probably will.

if you are in a group, wearing clothing designed to blend in, especially in fog, heavy rain etc, a member of the group could potentialy become invisible, when only a couple of hundred metres away.

if they are seperated (even because they are trailing behind a bit) it doesnt take much for them to go comlpetely the wrong way. even if you get mountain rescue involved, they too will probably struggle.
'eer..yeh, im the guy in green camo gear, in a big green field.'

a black/blue/red etc top is visible from quite a distance, and if you fall or have an accident, especially when on your own, you have a far better chance of getting rescue. in snowdonia for example, there are towns and small villages which can see most of the mountains. many of the locals are quite switched on, and if they see a red dot that hasnt moved for an hour or so, will probably have a look through some binoculars, and in turn raise the alarm.

if your in gear designed not to be seen, somebody has to walk fairly close to you, for you attract attention.
if your life depended on it, which would you want to rely on?
 
#17
IT Guy. You just need to keep it simple and not get carried away. Kit envy can come later when you've got more of a taste for it :-D

Base layer - HH Lifa top, or a merino wool one
Mid layer - Fleece, go for one with a zip so you can increase ventilation. Half zip or full zip is up to you, and how hot you get.
Outer layer - you need something windproof and waterproof. Montane featherlites are awesome for this. I know a lot of guys who swear by them. They're relatively cheap, online you could pick on up for about 40 quid. They last forever and pack well.

Trousers - basically anything but jeans. If it's uber cold, nick a pair of your missus' tights or whack some ron hills on underneath. (white stilettoes optional :-D )
Socks - nothing major to think about here, I've always been happy with Millets/Blacks own brand. Bridgedale are pretty good too.
Boots - don't scimp too much on boots. If you want them to last, you'll need to spend a bit. I'd recommend a Vibram sole, but for budget stuff I think Hi-tec do fairly good boots for occassional walkers.

Daysack - head to one of those bargin basement sports shop like Sportsworld. Last week I picked up a Karrimor for a tenner reduced from over 30 quid. Failing that Blacks and Millets have good own brand options.

Hats and gloves are a given. Mitten type gloves are warmer but a bit more cumbersome when you're scrambling or climbing.

There are loads of deals on at the mo in Blacks and Millets, so it would be worth finding one near you www.blacks.co.uk www.millets.co.uk or I like cotswold outdoor for more spanky kit.

What's your next 'walk' and when are you planning on doing it?
 
#18
BaggyInBlack said:
Buy a Páramo. It's better than Gortex as it has a lifetime guarantee. I have had the same jacket for over 8 years now and it's a fantastic bit of kit, still keeping me as dry as they day I bought it. I am a MLT, so it gets its use. Top recommendation from me anyway.

Web page: http://www.paramo.co.uk/en-gb/index.php
From another MLT, sound advice above, spend the money, nothing better!
 
#19
flowers said:
IT Guy. You just need to keep it simple and not get carried away. Kit envy can come later when you've got more of a taste for it :-D
Thats the idea, I don't need the flash kit - I look good enough already... 8)
flowers said:
Base layer - HH Lifa top, or a merino wool one
So the layer thing is still the best way then, to that end I have some nice aircrew vests with long sleeves and roll necks.
flowers said:
Mid layer - Fleece, go for one with a zip so you can increase ventilation. Half zip or full zip is up to you, and how hot you get.
I have a Army fleece liner somewere as well....
flowers said:
Outer layer - you need something windproof and waterproof. Montane featherlites are awesome for this. I know a lot of guys who swear by them. They're relatively cheap, online you could pick on up for about 40 quid. They last forever and pack well.
I've got a rather nice Parka,Mens,(Cold Weather) around here somewhere........maybe not. The Montane featherlites look good though.
flowers said:
Trousers - basically anything but jeans. If it's uber cold, nick a pair of your missus' tights or whack some ron hills on underneath. (white stilettoes optional :-D )
I refused to wear ron hills when I was in so I'm not going to start now! I see that Montane featherlites do the trousers as well, any good do you think?
flowers said:
Socks - nothing major to think about here, I've always been happy with Millets/Blacks own brand. Bridgedale are pretty good too.
I'm happy with the sock situation, I wear a thin inner sock and a wool outer one.
flowers said:
Boots - don't scimp too much on boots. If you want them to last, you'll need to spend a bit. I'd recommend a Vibram sole, but for budget stuff I think Hi-tec do fairly good boots for occassional walkers.
I got a pair of light, waterproof, incredibly comfy boots already.
flowers said:
Daysack - head to one of those bargin basement sports shop like Sportsworld. Last week I picked up a Karrimor for a tenner reduced from over 30 quid. Failing that Blacks and Millets have good own brand options.
I took a cheapo daysack I got in Canada and discovered its not waterproof :roll: . I'll pick up another
flowers said:
Hats and gloves are a given. Mitten type gloves are warmer but a bit more cumbersome when you're scrambling or climbing.
Wolly hat and fingerless gloves are my personal choice.
flowers said:
There are loads of deals on at the mo in Blacks and Millets, so it would be worth finding one near you www.blacks.co.uk www.millets.co.uk or I like cotswold outdoor for more spanky kit.
I have a Mountain Warehouse local, I'll wander round there this afternoon I think.
flowers said:
What's your next 'walk' and when are you planning on doing it?
Looks like next weekend now, to much happening this week -gotta find another route around the dales somewhere....

Thanks for the ideas. :D
 
#20
Also a climber/mountaineer and would add a couple of things. A whistle and head torch are essential items of safety gear. Also if you're going far from the beaten track and there is a real risk of being benighted then a bivvy bag & insulation mat are also musts.

Stick to the essentials and try to keep weight to a minimum. The best way to keep warm is to keep moving briskly. I agree with the layers and would highly recommend a merino wool base layer - expensive but well worth it. I would then wear a thin fleece and a light waterproof shell according to weather conditions. When climbing I also pack a thicker spare fleece which I use when belaying or if I stop for food/serious navigating and it's really shitty. This is also where the woolly hat comes in. Make sure you have a waterproof liner for your spare gear in your daysack.

Avoid cotton clothing at all costs - this includes t-shirt and pants. If you know that you're going over boggy terrain or through lots of bracken then gaiters will help keep your feet dry for as long as possible. Make sure you get waterproof trousers which zip up the sides so you can quickly put them on over boots without any hassle.

Learn to climb - it will give you so many more options in the hills (traversing the Cuillin Ridge on Skye for example is awesome).

All the best and have fun.
 

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