Monday, April 27

Waterproof Jackets - A Beginner's Guide

For regular readers this will be a slightly offbeat departure, so this is more in the way of a trial posting at present. By all means let me know what you think via the comments if you so feel inclined.

Now the trip report is finally over my thoughts turn to other matters. Or more particularly to those irregular readers that may have found this site whilst looking for some how to get started information.

A step back if you like from the more specialised topics, the 'advanced' walking and wildcamping matters, that are my normal interest.

So for those who may find themselves just starting out on the outdoor scene, I thought of offering some more generalised, even basic, advice to assist those less experienced get started. We all had to start somewhere and these days the Internet, with its huge variety of opinion & advice is where many now begin. So here goes .....

In the UK climate all walkers need the basic outer shell - namely Waterproof Jackets. Here's a video from Webtogs that briefly & simplify describes the key characteristics to be considered, using a North Face Jacket as the example.

If, like me, you're not a great fan of on-line video try to bear with it. Its barely seven minutes long and starts with a very brief over view of the main differences and benefits of the more popular fabrics.

Hey - its even in colloquial English!

The video quickly moves up a gear pulling the reader deeper into the Black Art of Keeping Dry.

For those just starting out you'll find a very quick but in-depth précis of the key technical characteristics that any potential purchaser should be aware of.

A little helper to whisper in your ear, acting as a friendly guide to What's What.

Which you'll probably need if it's your first experience of forlornly wandering around your local outdoor emporium. Gamely trying to decide which of the many makes & models fit your own specific purposes, whilst getting that shell shocked feeling at the seemingly endless variety of choice, colours and shapes spread liberally around the shop.

It should be easy. After all a waterproof delivers a very basic need, which to be simplistic is to Keep Dry. But hey its never quite that simple is it now? Especially surrounded by all that pretty cloth flapping on the hangars.

And don't forget the final check. The price. Ask yourself are you buying a Rolls Royce solution for a Mini Car trip? But also consider how your trip may develop as your experience of the outdoors develops


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