Get winter ready
Winter is on its way and you want to continue to be outside despite the weather.
It seems a simple job, in buying jumpers, jackets and what not to keep you warm, dry and raring to go still.
But here is a simple yet tough question a lot seem to get confused with.
Weatherproof vs waterproof? Do you know the difference?
To put it simply, waterproof is as it sounds. It’s waterproof and keeps water out, these are typically heavier and have a higher wind resistance versus weatherproof materials. The breathability can often be less too because to be a truly waterproof material it can’t let water in or out.
A weatherproof material, such as your down jacket will be resistant to light showers but use the same jacket in the snow or heavy rain and you will be left soaked through and cold. So, don’t get confused and expect a £300 down jacket that says weatherproof won’t be the same as your £50-100 WATERPROOF jacket. Cost doesn’t means its better or more waterproof/weatherproof.
To help, some of my favourite jackets which keep me outdoors through the colder, darker months are from Snugpak.
Both the Snugpak SJ3 and ML6 smocks are weatherproof and come in a variety of weights from the Softie filled 3 up to 12. The two styles are different in access and number of pockets. My personal favourite the Snugpak ML6 smock has a large chest pocket and fleece lined joint pockets for your hands. Whereas the SJ3 has a built in hood and two hand pockets as well as the stuff sack when it isn’t needed. The Snugpak ML6 is much larger and takes up more space in comparison.
I have used both deep in to winter, with snow, Beast from the East, 100km/h winds and neither have let me down.
The Snugpak Torrent Jacket is in a different league, being the waterproof jacket and built for Winter. Similar in temperature range of the ML6 smock down to -10ºc and is highly wind resistant. It’s suitable from late Autumn with wet weather and can be used with a T-shirt below when warmer. Or deep in to winter with snow, high winds and storms at the coast.
But what if you are still cold even with one of these three layers above? Enter the Snugpak Impact Fleece.
The Snugpak Impact fleece is a hardy, all-purpose mid-layer which keeps you warm in Autumn, Winter or for added comfort on a chilly summer evening. Better yet its soft to the touch and makes a great pillow or camera wrap when not in use.
With a comfortable base layer, Impact fleece and ML6 smock I have been high on mountains in the snow and stayed very warm and cosy without any issues.
Now what about the bottom half. The trousers? Afraid Snugpak don’t make any trousers. We as ambassadors keep asking but nothing yet. Yet!
I use two brands for winter. Decathlon and Rab. Both similar in style and construction but vary massively in the price. Decathlons Snow Hiking SH500 trousers are £40. My long standing and go to the Rab Vapour rise guide pants. These are the originals from 5 years ago and still going strong but can set you back a hefty £140 but can be picked up for as low as £95 in some stores with discounts. Both trousers are fleeced and have a water resistant outer, these are not waterproof so over trousers are a must in the wet.
What comes next?
Gloves, scarves (buff) and hat. Key essentials for winter and you can pick up plenty of different options out of supermarkets, Amazon, local shops, Outdoor shops from a variety of brands. My go to for several years now, has been from Sealskinz. My gloves, wooly hat and socks are all waterproof and keep me warm for hikes. If in the event it does get to cold I use hand warmers or swap to my thick Vallerret photography gloves but these are specialised to a degree and not cheap. My buff is from Buff UK, and I use a fleece lined neck warmer for winter.
Now you have no excuse not to get out this winter despite the cold and wet. Above is a full outfit to keep you hiking in the mountains or low levels keeping you warm and dry with a full waterproof, windproof and warm outfit.
Should you need further gear advise or assistance this winter, do get in touch. I can point you in the direct of many suitable brands, locations and prices to suit all your needs. You can also visit my Gear Advise page which explains everything you will need to camp, hike throughout the year.