The layering system – what do you need to know?
Tempted to wear your thickest jacket for a cold winter’s day walk or setting out on your expedition?
It seems like the right decision , but wearing several thinner layers – which can be added or removed depending on the weather– is by far the best solution and an essential consideration when planning for your expedition.
Here we explain the key elements of the layering system, so that you can put it into practice for your next expedition or outdoor adventure.
When should you use the layering system?
The layering system is a great way to keep your core body temperature at its optimum level, which is vital when walking in the great outdoors and especially during expeditions.
So be prepared, whether you’re embarking on your Bronze, Silver, or Gold DofE programme.
The wicking layer
The wicking or base layer is the item of clothing worn closest to your body. As it rests directly against you, it helps move body moisture and sweat away from the skin, regulating your temperature.
When choosing the correct wicking layer for an expedition, think about sports or technical t-shirts which are lightweight and quick drying. Cotton tops should be avoided because once they are wet, they stay wet for longer and can become heavy.
The DofE recommended Craghoppers Fusion T-Shirt is the perfect wicking layer for day-long comfort.
The mid layer
The mid layer works with your base layer to provide you with insulation by directing your body heat back into your body and prevent cold air from cooling you down too much.
Don’t wear a hoody as this will weigh you down if it gets wet. A microfleece or softshell jacket is quick drying, will keep in as much heat as possible, and block out the wind.
A lightweight, technical fleece top such as the Craghoppers Vector Jacket, which includes a cosy hood, is flexible when walking and easy to carry when you need to cool down, so that you can stay focused on the path ahead.
The waterproof outer layer
When planning your DofE expedition, don’t forget that you will be outside most of the time and so a carefully chosen waterproof jacket is a must, you never know when it might rain.
Look for “waterproof” and not “showerproof” or “water resistant” to ensure that you are kept dry even in sudden or unexpected weather changes.
Your jacket is also essential to ensuring that all of the heat from the wicking base and mid layer will not be lost should you get caught in a sudden downpour or have a drop in temperature.
The practical and lightweight Craghoppers Apex Jacket will keep you dry, thanks to the AquaDry waterproof and breathable membrane technology.
You can never rely on the UK weather when out on expedition, so it is always advisable to be prepared! By using the layering system – a wicking base, an insulating mid layer and a waterproof jacket – and packing your layers at the top of a sturdy rucksack when not in use, you will be prepared whatever the weather.
Save at least 10% on all your expedition clothing at DofE Recommended Retailers of Expedition Kit. Always show your DofE Card or Voucher. You’ll get the best savings and help support young people doing their DofE. Find out more.