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Master the layering technique

Master the layering technique

Mastering your own climate control doesn’t require superhero qualities. It all comes down to layering. The layering technique is simple. You have four layers to work with – base, middle, outer, reinforcement – and you add or take away depending on whether you’re too hot or too cold. Each of these layers has a job to do and because you’re tight on space on a long-distance trek, each layer needs to be multi-functional. So here are our recommendations.

Base layer

This is to transport moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry and warm. Wool and its synthetic alternatives are best. Cotton is not a good option here.

Middle layer

This is to absorb moisture from the base layer and provide insulation. It’s also the easiest one to take on and off. Again go for wool or synthetic materials.

Outer layer

This layer has to be really functional. It has to be waterproof, breathable, windproof and also keep you warm but not too warm. So it’s not just the material that’s important but also the details. Vents and a hood are great ways to fine-tune your temperature. We recommend a shell garment in a material such as Eco-Shell.

Reinforcement layer

This is for when the temperature drops or you’re sitting still. It should be easy to put on over or under your outer layer (depending on whether it’s raining/snowing). Down or synthetic materials are ideal.


Other things to think about are trousers that you can zip off and turn into shorts; head bands or neck gaiters that can be used over your ears or around your neck and down or synthetic vests that are small and packable but add extra warmth just where you need it.

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