When it comes to adventures on home soil, there’s one thing you can never be sure of: the weather. And in the shoulder seasons, with random showers, gale force winds and sporadic sunshine it pays to be prepared.  And that’s where our expert guide to everything you need for the shoulder season comes in. You can thank us later. 


It’s no secret that layering is one of the most valuable tools in your shoulder-season wardrobe. But how can you use this system effectively, and keep the weight in your pack down when you need to strip off? A good layering system can be broken down into four elements: base layer, mid-layer, insulation and shell. But not all layers are created equal, so here’s quick run-down of how you can make the most of the trusty layering system. 




Your base layer is the layer closest to your skin and should be tight fitting to keep warm air close to your skin. You can choose a synthetic or natural fibre, short or long sleeve, but bear in mind that this is the layer you’ll probably keep on all day, so make sure it’s comfortable and suited to your chosen activity.


Pro tip: if you’re on a multi-day adventure, choose anti-odour technology to keep you feeling fresh. 






Next is your mid-layer, worn over your base layer and under insulation or a waterproof layer.  Again, this can be synthetic or natural, short or long sleeve, and could be anything from a lightweight cotton top to a microfibre fleece. If you’re out all day, aim for something that packs down fairly small so you can stuff it in your pack when things start to heat up. 






Your insulation layer should be lightweight and packable, so you can take it on and off as you need to. This can be synthetic or down-filled and ideally you should be able to fit a waterproof shell over the top if your chosen jacket isn’t already waterproof.


Pro tip: baffled insulation moves heat to where it's most needed, and away from where it isn’t. 






Finally, your shell layer is designed to keep off the wind and rain, especially if you have a down insulated jacket that you don’t want to get wet!  This should be lightweight and packable too, as it’s the layer you will take on and off the most, particularly if the forecast is showery.


Pro tip: go for a regular fit to allow for layers underneath. 




Another essential for pretty much any adventure, the humble backpack comes in many guises. So how can you choose one for ultimate versatility? 


First things first: size matters. If you’re out for a day, you don’t want anything too big, but you’ll need enough room for layers, provisions such as snacks and water, and accessories or equipment depending on your activity. A 20L or 30L should do the job. For multi-day adventures, you’ll need something a little bigger, but remember you need to be able to carry it. Go for anything from 40L upwards. 


You’ll also need to protect your pack from unexpected showers, so invest in a rucksack cover you can whip out at a moment’s notice, and some dry bags for your important gear such as electricals too. Dry bags also help you to organise your gear inside your pack so it’s easier to find on the go.


Pro tip: buy your dry bags in different colours so you can group your gear and remember what’s in each one. 



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Another staple of any outdoor escapade, finding footwear that can adapt to changing conditions can be a challenge, but we’re up to it and so are you. Choose footwear that’s comfortable over long distances and go for a style that is suited for as many terrains or activities as possible. A mid-boot or sturdy yet lightweight shoe will serve you well in a multitude of scenarios and try to pick a waterproof pair, so your feet will stay dry even if the weather doesn’t. If you’re not sure where you’re heading or what Mother Nature will throw at you, the more versatile your footwear, the better. 




Performance takes precedent, but style is a close second. If you’re not sure where your adventures will take you, you need a look that can seamlessly transition as you do, from streets to peaks and back again. Luckily our gear does just that, blending timeless style with unrivalled performance. After all, the more versatile your gear, the more sustainable your wardrobe so finding a look that does it all is key. Invest in pieces you can dress up for the mountains or down for the pub, and always have options for unpredictable British weather.   



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