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  1. Essential Kit For Spring Expeditions

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    On group expeditions you’ll probably have a porter or pack animal to carry most of your personal gear. Each day, you’ll only need to carry a daysack with what you’ll need until the evening. Obvious items are a water/windproof, water bottle and a warm layer. After those key items, it’s very much a matter of personal preference camera, snacks, notebook/pen, small first aid kit, spare socks, hat, gloves and so on. Of course, if you’re exploring independently, then you may hire a porter or find yourself carrying all your own gear. That’s when ‘lightweight’ really matters!

    Whatever style you choose, it makes sense to have a checklist of what you will probably need and take advice from your expedition company, if appropriate, on local variations. If you’re independent, then ask fellow explorers for up-to-date advice and tips from their own experience.

    Clothing should be flexible enough to cope with a range of conditions so layering makes sense, especially with fast drying materials. To get you started, here’s a useful list that you can readily add to and adapt to suit your plans.

    • Photocopies of your passport and other important documents
    • Tough, comfortable mountain footwear
    • Light sandals
    • Trekking  poles
    • Waterproof duffel bag
    • Daysack
    • Sleeping bag and liner
    • Warm hat
    • Wind/waterproof jacket
    • Polar fleece jacket
    • Thermal underwear
    • Thermal socks
    • Sunglasses
    • Gloves
    • Wash kit
    • Water bottle
    • Small first aid kit and insect repellant
    • Sun cream and lip balm
    • Head torch and spare batteries
    • Whistle

  2. Keeping Warm In A Sleeping Bag

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    Just jumping in to a sleeping bag at the end of a day out on the hills is not necessarily going to keep you warm during the night. Follow our top sleeping bag tips for keeping snug:

    • Sleeping bags are not warm – it is your body heat that warms the air in the insulating fill.
    • The warmer you are when you get your head down, the faster your bag will warm up.
    • Spread out your sleeping bag when the tent is pitched so it can loft fully.
    • Sleeping bags liners will extend comfort ratings.
    • A hot meal will boost your body temperature as will even a short walk.
    • We breathe out a lot of moisture so, as all fills start to lose their performance when damp, avoid burrowing into your bag; make sure the hood is held snug around your ears.
    • Wear fresh socks to bed; a pair used only for bedtime.
    • Wear baselayer top and leggings will not only help in staying warm, they’re appreciated if you have to get up in the night. Keep a warm jacket handy.
    • Have a warm hat handy.
    • Air your bag each day to avoid damp building up and reducing its insulating value.


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