For those who are relatively or completely new to the activity of hill walking, ‘New Hill Walkers’ by the BMC highlights some essential skills you should learn and develop on your trips into the hills and mountains, and provides a reference base of resources for learning the required skills. The free, 28-page booklet contains chapters on clothing and equipment, navigation, hazards, walking in winter, access and the environment, and emergency procedures.
There’s good advice on choosing footwear and a rucksack as well as practical info on dressing to cope with the demands of weather and seasons in the hills. Insulating layers are the key to all day comfort – as the guide says:
“The range of temperatures experienced in one day will often be greater in the hills than in cities. Clothing to deal with such variation is therefore required. With the weight of your rucksack contents an important consideration, choosing items that fulfil a range of functions is a good idea. Waterproofs double up as windproofs for example.”
It makes the point that, “It is better to wear several relatively thin layers than a single thick one, because the layers trap air which is a good insulator, and you can regulate your temperature more effectively by adding or removing layers. Materials which do not absorb moisture are better because wet clothes will make you feel cold.” Plus, “The baselayer should wick moisture away from your body, and so keep your skin dry and prevent excessive chilling every time you stop. As well as providing insulation, a thin midlayer also allows moisture to wick.”