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Gearing up for Winter in The Lakes ?

When the Lake District transforms into a winter wonderland, it can offer a unique blend of picturesque landscapes and crisp, chilly air. To make the most of your outdoor experiences during this season, your wardrobe choices play a crucial role. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you dress strategically, ensuring comfort, warmth, and style. As ever, giving yourself options is always a good idea.

1. Strategic Layering :

  • Base Layers: Initiate with a moisture-wicking base to regulate body temperature. ‘ Long johns ‘, or equivalent, are a superb option for the bottom half.
  • Insulation Layers: Incorporate fleece or down jackets / tops for effective insulation.
  • Outer Layers: Prioritize waterproof and windproof outerwear to combat the elements.

2. Guarding Your Extremities :

  • Head : A quality beanie, or similar, makes a huge difference to comfort.
  • Hands: Investing in a decent pair, or two, of waterproof gloves is a great idea. Why two pairs ? If the elements eventually get through the first, replacing them with the back up pair is heaven. Warm, dry hands make a massive difference to how you feel.
  • Feet: For walking, generally, insulated and waterproof boots are the way to go, keeping your feet warm and dry. Waterproof socks are also incredibly cozy.

For the kayak trips, boots are ok, but trainers and warm socks will be more comfortable in the kayak . Your feet should stay dry throughout the trip. These are not ‘ sit-on-tops ‘, where usually you expect wet feet ( and sometimes your backside within seconds ), These are Sea Kayaks, built to maximise dryness, comfort & stability. You’re in the boat as I launch you and ease you back onto the beach.

3. Fabric Choices :

  • Base : Select wool or synthetic fabrics for base layers, adept at moisture management. Doubling them up is a great idea.
  • Mid layers : Embrace fleece and down materials for insulation without added bulk.
  • Waterproof tops: If you are considering materials like Gore-Tex for outer layers, maybe look at the PFC free options.

Winter paddling out on Ullswater


4. Environmentally Conscious Attire :

  • Eco-Friendly Alternatives: Explore options beyond Gore-Tex, such as PFC free materials for a sustainable choice.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Lots of brands now adopt PFC free waterproofing to contribute to minimizing environmental impact.

5.  Accessories :

  • Sun glasses : With the lower Sun angle, sunglasses to protect your eyes from winter glare are a very good idea, especially when driving.

6. Ventilation and Adjustability :

  • Breathable Choices: Opt for jackets with ventilation features for active days, preventing overheating.
  • Customized Comfort: Look for clothing with adjustable cuffs and hems to tailor your comfort.

Winter paddling on Ullswater

7. Smart Strategies :

  • Dry From All Angles: Waterproof trousers offer comprehensive protection, keeping you dry in various conditions.
  • Durable Water Repellency: Outer layers with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finishes, enhance resistance to the elements. NikWax is great. Just do as it advises on the bottles.

8. Weather Forecasts :

  • Weather Insights: Regularly check weather forecasts, plan your activities accordingly.

Couple kayaking in The Lake District in Winter

9. Nourish Your Adventure :

  • Hydration Emphasis: Cold weather can dehydrate you, so ensure you drink enough water.
  • Energize on the Go: Carry energy-rich snacks to sustain yourself during outdoor pursuits, kayaking or other adventures.

These guidelines serve as a road map to navigating the winter charm of the Lake District with confidence and comfort. Whether you’re exploring the quaint villages, enjoying the night sky on an evening walk, or coming for a paddle, your wardrobe choices will ensure you’re well prepared.

Ullswater Winter paddling