The nights are drawing in, and the temptation is to spend a night in vegetating. The idea of going out on the fell of an evening is to some frankly ludicrous. This week’s blog takes a look at the kit you’ll need to take that bold step into winter evenings outdoors.
Head torch: Quite obvious, but I suppose I should shed some light on the subject. A good headlamp can make or break your time outside. Well worth investing in a decent one, with a good amount of light. You’ll be able to nav with ease in the dark, and avoid underfoot hazards. Whatever the night activity, a torch can be worth its weight in gold. If you’re unsure what model to buy, it’s well worth checking out our review on the new Reactik+.
Insulation: The night may be dark, but it’s not full of terrors. However, it can be pretty cold and winter is coming. A warm jacket can turn a potentially dangerous situation into a cosy time out. There are simply loads to choose from, and nowadays they pack beautifully light. Next week we’ll have a review of a few, depending on what activity you’re doing.
Footwear: Sensible shoes save lives! Wherever you are going this winter, make sure you’re wearing the correct footwear. Even if you want to wear something light and fast, having a set of micro spikes with you can make the difference between a confident pace and a cautious crawl. If you’re out on the ice, remembering to sharpen those front points can save tones of effort. Good foot based decisions will make your season.
Food and drink: Be it a thermos full of hot coffee, or a packet of shot blocs, on the fell refreshments are essential. For slower paced activities, such as winter climbing or mountaineering, a quick nip from a hip flask can be a real moral boost. Especially if things are getting rough. If you’re after a more family friendly affair, how about some hot soup? Or if fast and light is your jam, self-heating meal packs are always a good shout.
Tools of the trade: From Ice axes to running packs, it’s essential to have accessories that work for you. When you’re out in lower temperatures and at night, the consequences of failure are considerably higher than the summer months. With that in mind, it’s important that you’re confident and have faith in the equipment you’re carrying. A well fitted rucksack can lighten a winter load to keep you moving. Technical axes on steep ice can make the route feel rather effortless. Choose your weapons wisely, and trust the gear.
I hope this gives a little more direction to those wanting to get out this winter. It can seem like a daunting idea, but it’s worth the extra effort. Some of the most beautiful views of the lakes are at night.