Air is a good insulator and it is a good basic
principle to use clothing that will trap pockets of air.
Underwear. A woollen or string vest
under a long woollen shirt and two medium-weight long-sleeved woollen jerseys
will probably be found most satisfactory. Between the different layers of
clothing, pockets of air will be trapped and so act as insulation from the cold
Trousers. Ordinary or woollen
trousers are quite adequate. Jeans are unsuitable as there is little warmth in
them and when wet, have the disadvantage of taking an extremely long time to dry
out. Many people wear shorts but trousers or breeches are preferable. If shorts
are worn, you should also carry a spare pair of light over-trousers. Trousers
give much better protection if the weather turns bad or if you are out after
dark. In bad weather conditions, waterproof over-trousers worn over the other
pair give excellent protection. Eventually you may wish to buy specially made
climbing breeches but these are not essential. Snow gaiters are a useful
addition in either Summer of Winter while walking in snow is involved. Zip up
gaiters are the easiest to put on and take off.
Windproof. This is an essential piece
of equipment to keep out the wind and prevent it from removing the pockets of
stale warm air and continuously replacing them with cold air that drains away
heat energy. It should have a hood, a large zipped map pocket, good long sleeves
and be long enough in the body to sit on. In wet/ cold climate which you may
encounter on mountains, the material should be windproof and as water-proof as
possible. Remember that plastic material in particular have little friction in
the event of a slip on steep wet grass or on snow.
Gloves. Gloves with only one
compartment for the four fingers may be found warmer than the ordinary kind.
They should also have long wrists. Windproof outer mittens are essential in
Headgear. Warm headgear is essential
in winter and can be either the traditional woollen Balaclava or a simple
woollen cap worn with a scarf to keep the neck and ears warm.
Spare emergency clothing. Most people
with a will to live will be able to survive an unexpected night out in winter if
they have with them the following spares: a pair of woollen gloves, a pair of
woollen socks, a woollen jersey, a pair of windproof light trousers of and a
polythene bag or ground-sheet. This is the bare minimum and for mountaineering
in snow or bad weather conditions it is worthwhile precaution to take a sleeping
bag and/ or down jacket.