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  1. How to Choose Your Perfect Base Layer

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    How to Choose your Perfect Base Layer
    Keeping Warm

    Staying warm is incredibly important. Whether you are skiing in the Alps, enjoying the outdoors or just getting through the winter months, staying warm is essential.The key to warmth starts with a good base layer. But with all the different types available, it’s hard to understand what is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to choosing your perfect base layer.

    What are base layers?

    Base layers are the foundation layer of clothing, designed to provide temperature regulation. They should move moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry as you sweat and cool down while you rest. It’s important to understand that base layers are not insulation. They help regulate your temperature, but the clothes you layer on top will keep you warm.

    Choosing the right base layer

    When choosing the right base layer for you, there are many different factors to consider.

    Material
    Firstly, base layers can be made from different materials. The typical materials you can choose from are:

    • Cotton: Cotton is affordable, but is a bad base layer material. It can add a bit of warmth, but only if it’s heavy and thick. Cotton will also soak up any sweat or moisture, making it cold, clammy and uncomfortable to wear.
    • Silk: Feeling great on your skin, silk is great for layering under your clothes. Silk also works great when you need to squeeze into pieces of form-fitting clothing, such as shoes or a helmet. Unfortunately, silk is not great at regulating temperatures. In warm conditions, silk can be too hot or uncomfortable to wear.
    • Synthetic: There is a big range of synthetic materials used in base layers. In general, synthetic materials are breathable, dry incredibly fast and can add warmth. Most synthetics are not resistant to bacteria and can build odours.
    • Merino wool: This type of wool is very soft, great at regulating your temperature and resists odour. Coming from the New Zealand Merino sheep, this wool is a pricey option for some.

    Size
    Your base layer needs to be comfortable, but tight-fitting. Having a tight-fitting base layer traps air next to the skin, helping insulate and regulate your body temperature. It’s also a great idea for the shirts to be long enough to tuck into your trousers. This will avoid any cold spells while bending over, and help retain the trapped layer of air. Generally, most base layers are made to be tight-fitting. So, stick to your normal clothes size when ordering your base layer.

    Style
    Base layers can come in different styles, with short- and long-sleeve variations. The perfect style depends on your activity, climate and personal preferences. Generally, if you are exposed to colder conditions, long-sleeved based layers will be right for you. On the other hand, more active or warmer conditions will prefer shorter sleeves.

    Conclusion


    Choosing your perfect base layer depends ultimately on your unique needs, activity and weather conditions. Need more information on choosing your base layer? Our experts can help you choose your perfect option based on your unique requirements.

    Ready to choose your perfect base layer? Browse our selection today:

    https://www.subzerostore.co.uk/outdoor-clothing/baselayer-thermal-underwear/base-layers

     

  2. Best lightweight thermal underwear for Autumn weather

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    What is the best lightweight thermal underwear for changeable Autumn weather?

    Autumn can be an unpredictable month as one day it can be scorching hot whilst the next day you can get out of your tent and find ground frost. This swing in the weather cycle is not ideal if you are out on the hills for a  prolonged period of time as you have to pack for all eventualities. But how do you fine the best lightweight thermal underwear for the job? Researching the following four  properties when buying thermal underwear should help you get the best from your purchase.

    Insulation

    Best lightweight thermal underwear Sub Zero Factor 1 plusTo lighten your load it is a good idea to wear thermal underwear that will adapt to both hot and cold conditions. This is not  an endorsement for  thermal brands that claim they will keep you cool in summer and hot in winter. Anyone with a simple grasp of physics or textiles knows this is an impossibility. The best you can hope to achieve is a lightweight thermal  base layer that will insulate you in the cooler weather, but not be so insulating that you start to cook when the sun comes out.

    But how do you know how insulating/warm a thermal underwear brand is going to be? A simple but underused test is the TOG, which measures the thermal resistance of a fabric.  You have probably seen it used on duvets, mattresses and pillows, and the lower the figure, the less insulating it is. In the Autumn you need a lightweight thermal underwear brand that has a TOG rating of between 0.35-0.50. Anything higher and you are going to be too warm, anything lower and you will chill.

    Wicking Rates

    What this means is basically how quick perspiration is moved from the skins surface to the outside surface of the fabric, so it can evaporate or be moved on to the next clothing layer. The best lightweight thermal underwear garments will have a hydrophilic treatment applied to them. These chemicals actively aid the movement of moisture – hydrophilic means water loving – so vastly improve the fabrics own moisture transportation system. In the cooler Autumnal weather this process keeps a dry layer of air next to the skin (air being the insulator) helping you to keep warm. In warmer weather you will probably wear the lightweight thermal underwear on its own. A quick wicking rate will pump moisture out to the surface of the thermal and allow evaporation. This will help to cool you as water has a high heat capacity and needs a lot of energy to phase change i.e. transform from a  liquid to a gas.  In layman’s term, your excess body heat is absorbed by the water on the fabrics surface to change to a gas,  or evaporate as us mere mortals know the process.

    Construction and Fit

    Best lightweight thermal underwear needs good construction and fitThirdly, the lightweight thermal underwear must be snug fitting. By snug I do not mean restricting blood to an appendage so it goes purple with loss of circulation.  The base layer must be close fitting so no air can be wafted when you move. For someone who has not got the body of David Beckham this is not going to be a pretty sight as a good fitting thermal will contour to all your lumps and bumps. However, this close fit ensures that air is trapped next to the skin, insulating the wearer. It also aids hydrophilic treatments as they only work efficiently when there is a heat gradient. The best way to achieve this is by having the fabric in close contact to the skin.

    The best lightweight thermal underwear garments will also be constructed sympathetically to your activity. Look for thermal underwear that has a long body length so when you bend over to pick something up or tie your shoe laces your lower back does not become exposed. The sleeves should also be of a significant length that when you lift your arms they do not ride up and expose much your skin.

    Colour

    Finally, your choice in colour will also play an important part in how cool and hot you feel. Black is a good absorber of light wavelengths and will attract more energy from the sun than a lighter colour. However, black is also a good radiator of heat so in overcast weather it will loose heat quicker than a lighter colour. White is obviously the best colour for reflecting heat as it absorbs very little light. If you need thermal underwear in the autumn and are not sure on what weather conditions you are going to be subjected to then choose a colour between the extremes of white and black.

  3. Charity Walks Top Tips

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    Charity Walks may not be overly challenging, but you still need to prepare sensibly before setting off, especially if longer walks are not part of your normal routine.

    Regular walks of a few miles two or three times a week will head off problems if you’re new to walking longer distances for fun and fitness. Do take a few minutes before setting out to stretch muscles and get warmed off. Plus, build up your pace steadily rather than setting off like a rocket – remember the hare and the tortoise!

    Dress sensibly in layers to allow you to regulate how warm you feel as you step out. A key element is a good wicking baselayer to stop sweat evaporating on clammy skin and causing a chilly feeling. An easily adjustable mid layerfor warmth and a wind/waterproof outer layer should ensure you’ll stay comfortable. Don’t forget a hat as sunshine and rain can be expected in the same day in our climate!

    Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly – there are several options for carrying water from bottles to hydration packs.

    Walking briskly in warm weather and being well-hydrated means you should be sweating to help release core body heat. That’s good but can feel uncomfortable. A thin handkerchief soon becomes sopping wet but a small hand towel can be a welcome accessory.

    Suffolk Walking Festival 19th May – 10th June 2012

  4. Ten Reasons Why You’ll Enjoy Walking in Jersey

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    Walking in Jersey allows you to discover the islands heritage and natural beauty that otherwise would be missed when driving a car. In a series of free guided walks designed for you whatever your age and experience, the Walking Weeks offer almost 40 walks to choose from – over 1000 participants usually take part in both Walking Weeks.

    Put a spring in your step as Winter starts to draw to a close but don’t relax your guard on staying warm and dry. A snug baselayer combined with an insulating mid layer under an outer layer to protect you from wind and rain will ensure flexibility and comfort.

     

    Top 10 Reasons For Walking In Jersey

     

    1. Green Lanes

    Jersey’s famous ‘Green Lanes’, found in all but two of the Island’s twelve parishes, are identified by a special road sign. Walkers, cyclists and horse riders love these tranquil, highly scenic byways. And – for once – walkers have priority, not the car, since the maximum speed limit is just 15mph (24kph). In other words – this 50-mile network of narrow, tree-lined lanes are a walker’s paradise.

    2. Coastal Walking

    The Island is also renowned for its fifty miles of coastal walks with splendid views of Guernsey, Sark and Herm from the north coast, and of France from the east. On the north and south coasts you’ll spot big differences. The north is rocky and rugged, with a curtain of spectacular 400ft/120m cliffs that slope to a south coast fringed by vast expanses of sand.

    3. In the Country

    Jersey may be famous for its coastline, but the Island is also a rural paradise of green lanes and hidden valleys cloaked in wildlife-rich woodland. Jersey Tourism also has a selection of pub walks that combine great walking with good food, heritage trails and parish trails.

    4. Wildlife Watch

    Red squirrels still live and thrive in the woods and the Island is a stopping-off place for many migratory birds. Other residents include the green lizard and the rare agile frog (not found anywhere else in Britain). You may even meet the brown or olive toad that gives local residents their nickname, ‘Crapauds’ (a Jèrriais or Jersey-French word).

    5. Two Feet; Four Wheels

    At nine miles by five and with an excellent public transport network, the Island is easily accessible for walking with only a bus timetable as a guide. Linear and circular walking routes are easy to put together. The local Connex bus service operates all year, and in summer there are additional ‘Island Explorer’ buses bringing even greater frequency and coverage, enabling you to link up services with added convenience.

    6. Warm Walks

    The Island’s southerly location and its protected position in the Bay of St Malo result in an attractive, temperate climate that makes Jersey one of the warmest and sunniest places in the British Isles. In the warmer months, walkers tend to head for the coast, tackling the cliffs and beaches. In contrast, the colourful and sheltered valleys, woods and scenic reservoirs provide an entirely different atmosphere in autumn and winter.

    7. Walks for All

    Jersey suits all kinds of walking. If you’re ambitious try the ‘Around Island’ walk that can be completed with the aid of an OS -style map over three or four days or as part of a guided group during one of Jersey’s two Walking Week Festivals.

    8. Naturally Speaking

    In 1997, Jersey became the first Island to gain Green Globe status. There are many designated ‘Sites of Special Interest’ and four internationally-recognised wetlands known as Ramsar Sites, covering the south-east coast and three offshore reefs.

    9. En Route

    You’ll encounter Jersey’s rich and diverse history on paths and trails everywhere. Fort Leicester and L’Étacquerel Fort, both located at Bouley Bay, were built to keep out the French. Look out for the Island’s iconic Jersey Round Towers and ghostly remnants from World War Two.

    10. Get Yourself a Guide

    Jersey Tourism’s programme of escorted walking tours with experienced Blue Badge guides takes in the Island’s unique history, heritage, landscapes and seascapes – see the latest ‘What’s On’ guide for details. Best of all are the Island’s two annual walking festivals – the Spring and Autumn Walking Weeks, with a huge choice of guided walks for all abilities.

     

     

  5. The Ramblers Festival Of Winter Walks

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    For over 25 years, through snow, sleet, rain and under clear winter skies; in parks, forests and on mountain tops, the footsteps of thousands have dotted the countryside each year as family, friends and avid walkers step out to enjoy the Ramblers’ Festival of Winter Walks.

    This year, the Ramblers is once again providing wintery walks for all to enjoy with two weeks of festive wanders, led by volunteers, from 21 December 2013 – 5 January 2014. It’ll be here before you know it, so why not bag a winter warmer now? Baselayers, mid layers, softshells and other outer layers, hats, gloves and socks will ensure you make the most of days out however cold it is. Whether it’s a merry jaunt to the pub on Christmas Eve you’re after, a festive Boxing day walk to burn off the mince pies, or a lengthy hike to start the new year on the right foot, there are hundreds of free walks to suit everyone across England, Scotland and Wales with the Festival of Winter Walks.

    Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth said, “There is something wonderful about walking over the festive season; the company of family and friends, exploring beautiful winter landscapes under clear skies or the fun of being the first to make tracks in the snow, all of these things make getting out and about at this time of year even more of an adventure. Our Festival of Winter Walks is as popular as ever after 25 years. So, put on your winter coats, wrap up warm and join us again as we head out to enjoy the season the way we know best, on our feet.”

    This year for the first time ever you can also download one of their expert walking routes from Ramblers Routes to try on your own or with friends and family this winter, visit www.ramblers.org.uk/ramblersroutes for info.

     

    For more information on the Festival of Winter Walks and to browse the festive walks on offer visit www.ramblers.org.uk/winterwalks.

     

  6. Baselayer Foundations For Comfort Outdoors

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    At the heart of any performance outdoor clothing system are versatile baselayers worn, closely fitting, next to the skin. Options include long and short sleeve tops, leggings, underwear and one-piece suits. It’s as important for comfort to get the foundations right as it is to find the right insulation and weather protection. Too often, baselayers’ versatilities are under-estimated and they are seen as essential for warmth. However, in hot weather their fast wicking nature means that sweat is dispersed through the fabric where it can evaporate quickly with the result of delivering evaporative cooling thus avoiding clammy skin and damp clothing.  To help you make the right choice, we’ve got some sound advice on what will suit specific activities here. Travellers, too, can benefit from performance fabrics as they avoid the soaking from perspiration that can leave cotton T-shirts wringing wet.

    Baselayers are all about comfort and moisture management is key – for warmth or for helping to keep the wearer cool when needed. By wicking away sweat and allowing moisture vapour through, Sub Zero baselayers offer versatile comfort for men, women and children across a wide range of activities in all climates and weather conditions at prices to suit all pockets. Different fabrics in varying weights are used to deliver solutions to all outdoor clothing demands. With flexibility a key consideration, baselayers can also be worn on their own as stand-alone garments. Lightweight, durable and quick drying – key considerations for multi-day trips – a variety of modern synthetic and natural fabrics have helped in reducing the need for kilos of spare clothing and allowing more room for other equipment to extend active trips..

    With a wide range of insulation filling options for use a mid layer and flexible outer layer options, there’s a solution available for the challenges posed by most outdoor pursuits and weather conditions.

     

     

  7. Fort William Mountain Festival 2013

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    The full programme for the 2013 Fort William Mountain Festival has an impressive and diverse line up of inspirational speakers made up of top climbers, mountaineers and extreme sports men and women, together with adventure film screenings and mountain workshops. This year’s festival will be staged in and around the bustling Highland town of Fort William, in the heart of Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 February 2013.

    This year’s programme celebrates mountain culture in all its forms and promotes the mountains as an attractive, accessible and above all enjoyable place to be. It caters for a wide spectrum of enthusiasts from armchair adventurers to climbers and mountaineers to mountain bikers and budding wildlife photographers.”

    There will also be plenty of opportunity for both novices and experts to hone their mountain skills through a series of workshops in avalanche awareness, winter walking and winter climbing with Abacus Mountaineering; there is a one-off Climbing Technique Master Class with local climber Dave MacLeod.  There will be mountain photography workshops with Nevispix and a two day outdoor emergency first aid course at the Snowgoose Mountain Centre. Indoor climbing and ice climbing skills workshops will also be on offer at Kinlochleven’s Ice Factor Indoor Climbing Centre. There is even a Gaelic language workshop aimed at climbers, mountaineers and hillwalkers at the West Highland College, UHI, entitled ‘Understanding our mountains through the Gaelic language’.

    With the way the 2013 winter has developed, visitors will need to ensure they’re dressed to cope with demanding weather conditions as well as having the right equipment and skills to make the most of this outstanding area. Base and mid  layer thermal underwear are the foundation of dressing comfortably for the winter hills, topped off with insulating layers – fleece, synthetic fill and down – under an outer shell that is, at least, windproof plus a hat and gloves. All winter hill walkers should carry extra clothing, food and a torch, of course, as well as an ice axe, crampons and navigation – plus know how tom use them!

    To find out more and to buy festival tickets go to – www.mountainfestival.co.uk/

     

     

     

  8. 25% Off All Sub Zero Award Winning Merino Wool Base Layers

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    Why not treat your loved ones this Christmas to a set of super soft Merino wool base layers. Manufactured on state of the art Shima Seiki wholegarment SWG-VT knitting machines, these Merino wool base layers are manufactured three dimensionally without any seams, providing an unrivaled level of comfort and performance. The yarn used in the manufacture of these base layers has a core of Lycra with the finest grade of New Zealand Merino wool spun around it. This gives the garments a lot of stretch and recovery, stability when washed and a greater yarn lifespan – Long gone are the days of having to stretch your woolen garment back in to shape after a warm wash.

    To buy a set of Sub Zero Merino wool base layers either click here or on the image below.

     

    Sub Zero Merino Wool Base Layer 25% Set Discount

  9. Independent Trekking Tips And Advice

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    Choosing not to join a commercial trek is an attractive alternative for many adventurers and is an option enjoyed by tens of thousands each year around the world. Without the support of fellow-trekkers and tour leaders, it means taking more personal responsibility for the obvious matters such as permits, route finding, accommodation and food. Not so obvious before setting out are the practical considerations on the trail each day.

    Go lightweight – resist the temptation to pack for every eventuality. Your rucksack will weigh you down, hold you back and, ultimately, demoralise you. Modern outdoor clothing is light, flexible and easy care. A baselayer top or two will double as T-shirts and an insulating mid layer worn over it and under a waterproof or soft shell jacket allows you to be comfortable in a wide range of temperatures and weather. You certainly don’t need to pack changes of clothing – wash, rinse and dry quickly is the best way.

    Feet – if you’re not used to hiking day after day, take it easy at first and check your heels and toes regularly. Boots or shoes that you know you can wear comfortably day after day are a much better bet than a brand new pair of tough trekking boots. Good socks – and a spare pair – make all the difference to comfort and foot care so change them during the day rather than each night. When you take a break, whip off boots, remove insoles and socks and let them all dry as your feet air off and cool down.

    Drinking – water, that is, not local firewater! Avoiding dehydration is a key component in staying healthy and making good decisions. Drink water regularly – by the time you feel thirsty, it’s already becoming too late. Filter or otherwise treat water you think is safe to drink and top up yourself as well as your bottle at every opportunity. Hot drinks from local stalls are refreshing but beware of bottled soft drinks as they may be filled round the corner.

    Sun – Basking in hours of sunshine at altitude can cause serious sunburn. Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are the first line of defence. Take it easy to begin with until you adjust to the conditions.

    Stay in touch – even in remote areas, it’s surprisingly easy (depressing almost!) to stay in touch with family and friends. It’s hard to get lost on popular trekking routes and, if you’re tempted to wander up a side valley on your own, try to let somebody know what you’re planning to do. Use careful judgement as to who you tell, of course.

    Take it easy – you’re not in a completion so there’s no need to stick to a schedule. If a guidebook says a trek section should take 5 hours, remember it’s only a guide not an instruction or challenge. Take regular breaks, enjoy the scenery, chat with locals and share experiences with fellow-trekkers. It’s not a race and you’re there for the whole experience. When you’ve had a break, stretch your muscles before heading out again.

    Body clock – it pays to re-tune your way of operating to make the most of each day by rising early and enjoying a long break during the day before getting your head down early in the evening.

     

  10. Layering Clothing To Suit The Weather Conditions

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    On a news website, these headlines occupied the same page – ‘Indian summer this Autumn’ and ‘Nightmare winter’. Outdoors, it often feels like that in the same day, especially in the hills.

    Dressing to suit changing weather and different levels of exertion is easy these days. You’re not likely to need the same clothing heading up a mountain as you would coming down and you should never rely on mountain weather being stable. The answer is simple – layering. Modern fabrics, well-made in good designs will cope with anything you and the weather can throw at them – reliably, flexibly and not costing a fortune.

    Baselayers can use fabrics designed to keep you cool or warm with the aim of being consistently comfortable. Short sleeve or long sleeve, they’re worn next to the skin under other layers or on their own as appropriate.

    Over the baselayer tops, a mid layer is designed to deliver warmth by insulation. Light and durable, there are loads of options to suit the time of year, what you’re doing and where you’re going. Extra insulation, such as a down-filled jacket, is great in really cold weather.

    It’s not just the rain that an outer layer protects you from as wind can be an insidious force that steadily robs you of warmth.

    However, you chose to put the layers together, bear in mind the need to ventilate at times, by opening zips, rather than continually overheating. All too often people slog up a hillside and strip off layers on the summit. Taking them off before boiling up and replacing them to avoid cooling down too fast is the key.

    However you chose to dress, do check the weather before you go and, even if it’s looking good, pack spare clothing and a waterproof in your rucksack.

    Check it out!

    Mountain Weather Information Service – www.mwis.org.uk

     

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