In early December, a group of our Support and Store Heroes went on a wintry training adventure with our Sonder and Alpkit Product Design Teams.
Day two was a romp around the Peak District with Alpkit Design Manager, Ronnie.
Hathersage Store Hero, Freddie, talks us through the morning session:
We started the day off with a big mug of tea and a couple of bacon and black pudding sarnies whilst layering up for the day! After a quick briefing and a talk through the different layers and what garment works well in different conditions, Ronnie quickly pointed out that I had been layering up wrong in all the years I’ve been in the hills. She mentioned that a cotton t-shirt and jumper were not the ideal base layers for a cold winter hike. Ronnie explained how a merino or synthetic base layer would be much more efficient in heating up and passing moisture (sweat) away from my body once we got going up onto Win Hill.
After a quick swap around of clothing, we packed different garments in our bag to change around throughout the day. We started off climbing up what seemed the steep side of Win Hill, quickly getting a little too warm (Koulin base layer, Yakutian midlayer, Morphosis second midlayer and Apogee on top). After taking the Apogee off, I was pleasantly surprised how well the Morphosis cut out the piercingly cold wind, even on the top of Win Hill.
When we found a nice place to have some dinner, once again Ronnie went through the different layers one would want to put on, so we swapped layers around while cooking up some lunch. This is where the Apogee came into its own, keeping me cosy warm while we were sat around eating lunch. The Firepot Chilli Con Carne and Extreme Foods chocolate puddings went down a treat!!
After spending the morning with Ronnie, I learnt much more detail about the several garments that I tried on. I also found my new favourite jacket; I can safely say the Morphosis is the perfect all-rounder and is new number one on my Christmas list!!
Continuing the the hike into the afternoon, Customer Support Hero, Rob, spills the beans on the afternoon session:
After a morning of making fresh tracks in the snow over Win Hill we took shelter from the wind to cook some lunch. Using Elly’s Brukit and Freddie’s Koro stove, we boiled up some water (and snow) to cook our Firepot meals.
In the afternoon we headed over towards Kinder Plateau before dropping down towards Ladybower. Whilst walking, we tried out a number of different layers and combinations of clothing. Breathability turned out to be a key point when finding the right clothing, particularly when heading uphill as even though the temperature was low it was easy to overheat. My Katabatic layered with a Griffon fleece was great in this respect as it kept the chill off whilst also breathing really well.
Later in the afternoon we headed back over Win Hill and then back down towards the campsite near Hope. As the sun set and the temperature dropped further I swapped out the Katabatic for a Apogee which really helped keep me warm.
The main thing I took from the day was the importance of considering your clothing in all conditions, especially when you’re active. Wind and water resistance along with insulation and breathability all play a part in keeping you comfortable, and finding the right balance is key.