As oft been quoted 'We don't have climate; we have weather.' And over the last few weeks we have experienced some. So with this in mind I thought long and hard about what kit that I might need to be comfortable in when out and about over the coming weekend.
The principle of a layering system is that several layers of clothes fulfil a number of functions; transmit moisture, keep you warm, keep the wind and rain out. And as you have a number of layers you have the flexibility to add or take away one or more to meet the demands of the conditions.
I usually use the five layer system that Chris Townsend has outlined previously; base layer, mid layer, windproof layer, insulation layer and waterproof layer. Depending on the items that make up these layers this system would suffice for most situations. However being cautious and wanting to be comfortable I've decided on some tweaks.
Under the usual Berghaus long sleeve top I'll be wearing a North Face Flight T shirt. The T shirt is a good fit so will trap air next to the skin around my body's core without hindering moisture transference.
I'll wear a Mountain Hardware micro fleece as my mid layer.
Over the mid layer I will wear a North Face Apex top. The Apex top is a soft shell garment that is wind and water resistant and replaces the windshirt that I would normally pack. I's more breathable and warmer to wear than a thin pertex top, although bulkier and heavier, it's something that's comfortable to wear over a range of conditions. In effect it's a secondary mid layer with added weather resistance.
I'll be using a primaloft jacket, a North Face Red Point, as a synthetic filled top copes better with damp conditions than a down filled one. The shell material is more robust than the shell material of my other top and is more weather resistant, and has full length zip for more flexible venting. If the weather is particularly harsh I can wear this whilst walking otherwise it will go on at rest or lunch stops, or at the end of the day when at camp.
A Marmot Precip jacket and a pair of Golite reed pants complete the layers.
Hats, gloves and gaiters
I've a selection of hats and gloves that I will have to make a decision on before the off. I'll most likely pack a pair of paclite over mitts and windproof gloves, and a Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap (probably the best bit of cold weather gear ever!) Add to these a pair of cheap Outdoor Designs short gaiters and that's me covered.