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Winter Essentials: Wear the Right Kit

Winter walking is becoming more and more popular as the years go on. With technology becoming more advanced, lighter weight and more affordable winter walking isn’t just for the elite hikers, walkers and climbers anymore! We have seen it time and time again during the winter months where people have seriously injured themselves by not wearing the right clothing or using the wrong equipment when winter walking. With that in mind we have come up with our own “wear the right kit” kit list. All the clothing and equipment has been handpicked from the Simply Hike team. From their personal favourites, which they wear on the hills, to the latest and greatest from the biggest brands. winter Ess Now you have seen our rather cool image (although I look "serious" in this snap, in my defence it was rather hot in the studio and it took an age to get the right shots!), let’s get to the important bit; the clothing and equipment that you see. Let’s start from top shall we?


Icebreaker Reversible Pocket Beanie – This is a brilliant hat to wear when winter walking. It’s made from pure merino wool, so no matter where you are walking it will react to your body temperature, which means when winter walking you won’t overheat. 9 Smith Optics IOX Goggle – Whether you are on the ridge of a mountain, or on the summit, if you are in high winds with snow, ice and rain being pelted at you sunglasses won’t cut it! Arming yourself with a decent pair of goggles is the way forward and having a pedigree brand like Smith Optics means it won’t let you down. With the clip adjustment the goggles couldn't be any easier to take on and off, and with the 5x anti fog inner lens you won’t need to worry about fogging up anytime soon. Oh and lastly the lenses are interchangeable, giving you the freedom to change lens depending on the weather.


Helly Hansen Warm Freeze Half Zip – This is a great baselayer from Helly Hansen. The Lifa stay dry technology is great at wicking away moisture from your body, keeping you comfortable when walking. With its merino and polypropylene mix you get the best of both worlds, it reacts quickly with your body temperature thanks to the merino, and because of the polypropylene it’s allergy neutral. 5 Mammut Ultimate Hoody – The ultimate hoody makes an amazing midlayer, with its Gore wind-stopper technology it will reduce the wind chill dramatically when on a windy mountain top. The midlayer also has a softshell finish to it, which gives you a better fit when you wear it, making it an ideal choice when layering up. Berghaus Antelao Jacket – The Antelao jacket is from the latest Berghaus mountain range. The jacket is of course Gore-Tex giving you great waterproofing, and it’s lightweight which makes it ideal when using in a layering system. Its bright colour is a must when winter walking, making you more visible when conditions are bleak. You also have high chest pockets which won’t interfere with your rucksack or harness. To be honest the Antelao is just a massive tick in our box here at Simply Hike. Montane Featherlite Down Jacket – The Featherlite is a great lightweight down jacket from Montane. It makes a perfect warm layer when winter walking. The jacket itself is covered in Ripstop material making it very strong, and the down works perfectly with Nikwax down wash. Even if you are not too keen on down, Montane have certified that the down used in their jackets are non-live plucked and non-forced fed which we know here at Simply Hike will give people peace of mind. 3 Black Diamond Rambla Glove – First things first the Rambla from Black Diamond is Gore-Tex lined meaning it’s 100% waterproof. The glove also has 3D patterning to give you a better overall fit, this is because it features a 4 way stretch to give you and a close fit which you won’t find in other gloves. The Rambla also has an extreme temperature rating of -18°C and to top it off the palm of the glove is made from goat leather which gives the glove more flexibility but maintains great strength.


Mammut Base Jump Advanced 2 Trouser (although you can’t see them) – The base jump pant from Mammut is a winter trouser must have. These trousers use Schoeller fabric technology that ensures water and dirt resistances it also has UPF 50+ protection. The base jump also has an amazing pocket selection.  The front pockets are wide and long enough for an Ordnance Survey map and all feature zips for security. 7 Berghaus Paclite overtrouser – The paclite are a classic from Berghaus. They are Gore-Tex lined so you are 100% guaranteed that they will keep you dry. They feature a ¾ length zip system making it easy for you to get them on and off over your walking boots. They work perfectly within a three-in-one system and they are really lightweight. Extremities Novagaiter gaiter (although you can’t see them) – The Novagaiter is perfect for winter hiking. Its Gore-Tex so you won’t have to worry about any waterproof issues, they are easy to adjust and to get on and off. A perfect all-round when it comes to a gaiter. Smartwool PhD Heavy Crew Sock – The Heavy crew from Smartwool is great for winter walking. It's 86% merino which means it will react to your body (or foot) temperature perfectly. The four degree fit system moulds perfectly to your feet giving you brilliant comfort. The sock also has mesh ventilation panels throughout to give you even more moisture management. 6 Mammut Magic Boot – The Magic boot from Mammut is a perfect boot for winter walking. It has the usual stuff you will find in any other walking boot like Gore-Tex and a Vibram sole. What makes this boot stand out is the overall design and fit. The sole has a B2 rating making it ideal for a strapped crampon. The technology that has gone behind this boot means even at -20°C the boot will perform and keep you safe. Black Diamond Serac Crampon – The Serac from Black Diamond is a perfect match for the magic boot. The strap system on the front of the crampon gives you a great overall attachment to the boot and the clip system at the back means you can adjust how tight or lose you want the crampon. The Serac gives you ten point contact with the ground which means it’s perfect for winter hiking and even entry level winter climbing. They are really easy to put on and to take off even with gloves on!


Gregory Z 40 rucksack – Gregory are an underdog brand but once you have bought one of their packs you will never look back. The key feature with the Z 40 (and most Gregory packs) is the fit. You can take the Z 40 out of its box, pack all your equipment in it, pop it on your back and it’s good to go! All the straps on the Z 40 are pre-moulded so you get the best fit straightaway. This Gregory pack has tons of space and also lots of straps to play with! The customisation of this pack is next to none. 2 Black Diamond Distance Walking Pole – The Distance from Black Diamond are a great lightweight pair of walking poles, they have a combined weight of 455g. The pole is split into three sections so once the poles are collapsed their overall length is 37cm which I think you will agree is pretty small. The fact that the poles go down so small is mainly for the fact that they don’t slide into one another like traditional poles. They pull apart and fold into each other, this technology comes from avalanche poles. 4 Black Diamond Raven with Grip Ice Axe – The raven (with grip) is most probably one of Black Diamond's most popular ice axes. The aluminium shaft keeps the axe lightweight, but the stainless steel head and pick means it’s very hard wearing and won’t let you down. The addition of a grip means you have full control of the axe at all times. Also the fact that you get a slider leash as standard is great for any winter walker. Don’t forget the key essentials that go into your pack: - 1 litre water bottle or  a thermal mug - Spare midlayer - Map and compass - Dry bags - Thin liner gloves - Head torch - Whistle So there we have it, our best picks to beat the winter. We hope that this has helped you out in what to look for when winter walking!