So ye as the title says, this was my first really winter long day walk, usually I’m up early on a Sunday, 3-4 hours in bad weather on a circular then back to the car and home. This was a three-peak challenge in Abergavenny 27th of December and it had rained heavy for days, and it rained all day for us, it was very cold, and the winds where very strong on the peaks, so it didn’t take me long to work out that the kit I had wasn’t good enough, but I wasn’t going to die of cold or anything so it was bad but not very bad, if you know what I mean.
The kit that didnt work, was my boots, my leggings and shorts, and my lightproof water jacket, so pretty much everything –
My boots just imploded within no time, water was coming in from everywhere and the grips where just not good enough, so I slipped everywhere and it did get a bit dangerous coming down the mountains as the paths had turned to mud baths and lost my footing all the time. So, the boots are going to now be my summer ones, as they are lightweight and I’ve worn them in, so they will be fine.
I asked around on the day and basically everyone had ‘La Sportiva’, so i went for the ‘Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX‘
Awesome boots, they are lighter than they look, and have worn them a few times in all conditions and I have a much better grip, the water stayed out and so am actually looking forward to seeing how they go in the summer, when ideally, I’m looking to stay as light as I can.
So, then the jacket was next, I may have gone slightly overboard as in reality it doesn’t get very cold and I don’t go out as much in winter as I do in better weather, but at least I got it now, and on a day like that again it will be good to have a big jacket, and it will also push me to go on longer walking days in bad weather, so not all lost.
The ‘Montane Extreme Outdoor Jacket’, I bought this from www.sportsshoes.com
It’s easily the best jacket I have ever owned, very warm, the hat and face covering are very good, and it has kept me warm and dry, in fairness a bit to warm once I get going, but I’ll just adjust my layers, and that brings me onto a slight issue with it. The jacket is very tight under the arm pits, you can’t really put a big jumper on with it, without feeling very restricted, so maybe worth looking at wearing a good mid layer instead, I have a Rab one so second outing that done the trick, but it was still cold, so was good to keep moving and try and warm up that way, always best anyway.
The last bit of kit I bought was trousers, the leggings just didn’t work at all, and I have always been put off buying trousers as I really don’t like to be restricted as some of my walks are over rocks, and long and high steps in places, and steep climbs. But these did good, they kept me warm, and dry and I quickly realised I should have bought some ages ago, but never mind. Again, one issue, they kept on slipping down from my waist and I was constantly stopping and pulling them up, not the best, but I resolved that by getting some braces from the same brand, so all good, and you don’t see them under a jacket or jumper.
The ‘Regatta Highton Winter Trousers (Short Leg)’, again I bought these from www.sportsshoes.com, and they worked very well.