Gearing Up for Spring
Posted on March 8, 2013 @ 2:56 PM in
With the long cold winter months hopefully behind us, it's time to start looking forward to the season of spring and there is no better way to enjoy the improving weather and longer days than by walking in Northern Ireland. To make the most of walking in this season, it is always best to be prepared so in light of this The Outdoor Shop has put together a guide on how to best gear up for this spring.
1. Re-waterproofing walking gear
Last year saw the wettest April for over a century. Although this spring we may not be expecting quite as much rain, when living in the UK it is always useful to prepare for rainy weather. When hiking though the great British countryside it is always recommendable to do everything you can to avoid spending hours trekking in waterlogged gear which is not only uncomfortable, but if you get too cold can also be bad for your health.
Prepare for this year’s April showers by re-waterproofing your walking gear. There are plenty of products out there that are specifically designed to waterproof your outdoor clothing from sprays to washes with different products specialising in different types of fabrics.
When walking outdoors it is always advisable to wear sensible footwear. As Britain transfers from winter to the spring, we hope with this will come slightly warmer weather. It is important to treat your feet with care and to wear the appropriate footwear for the weather outside. So if you have been using thick walking boots throughout the winter months, it may be worth getting some walking footwear that is more breathable and suitable for warmer weather.
There are plenty of walking shoes out there that are suitable for the spring time. Look for shoes with qualities that are lightweight, waterproof and breathable; everything you need in a shoe when walking during the spring season.
3. Insect repellent
As with the other seasons, during spring you need to take enough precaution to protect yourself from insects that could cause you harm. In the UK, when protecting yourself from insects, pay particular attention to ticks as being bitten by one of these tiny creatures can cause lyme disease for humans. During spring when the weather gets warmer, ticks should be paid particular attention to when walking through tall vegetation. Covering yourself and your clothes in a good insect repellent will protect against ticks.
4. Lightweight waterproof jacket
Although spring is warmer than winter, it can still be just as wet and rainy. Investing in a lightweight waterproof jacket will be perfect for those spring days where the weather is mild but rainy. So in replace of your thicker and warmer coat you have been using throughout the winter months, invest your time in looking for a jacket that will keep you at the right temperature but also dry. Many jackets now come with Gore-Tex fabric which is perfect for your springtime walks. With a microporous structured membrane, each microscopic pore is roughly 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water. What this means is that outside moisture from rain or snow can’t enter the membrane, keeping you dry. Not only this but the pores on the Gore-Tex membrane are 700 times larger than water vapour molecule, meaning any perspiration can escape, keeping you comfortable on those warmer spring days.
5. Water bottle
Whatever season you are out walking in, taking plenty of water is always essential. As well as seeing a lot of rain, the spring weather can also reach heights of 32°c (very rare to reach these temperatures but it has happened). So whatever the weather, make sure you are at no risk of dehydration and purchase a good size water bottle. Alternatively, hydration systems can hold up to 4 litres of water and are perfect for those extra-long hikes remote from natural clean water supplies.
Spring may not be quite warm enough for shorts and t-shits, but it is certainly warm enough to ditch the fleeces and warm trousers. For those in-between spring days where the weather is warm but not quite warm enough to go out without a jacket, a body warmer is the perfect compromise. Body warmers are warm enough to keep off the chill of a cold breeze, but are small enough to fit into a rucksack. As the weather generally starts to get warmer in spring, stay comfortable and chose clothing made of wicking fabrics.
7. Bothy / Bivi Bag
We may now be looking forward to better weather, the past 12 months can demonstrate just how quickly the weather can turn. You can start off your trek on a beautiful sunny morning, but by early afternoon, the heavens have opened and you’re fighting your way through a thunder storm. When venturing out away from any form of shelter, it is best to prepare for all situations. A bothy bag will provide you with emergency shelter which can allow you to read your map or eat your lunch when nature turns against you.
This article was produced by The Outdoor Shop, a leading independent retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment.