“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices”
Canada is filled with beautiful and off the beaten trail opportunities, here is what to bring to ensure you are prepared for the Canadian wilderness.
The word wilderness can evoke feelings of pristine beauty, but also stress. What is out there? What’s the weather going to be like? Thankfully, the wilderness can be a very safe place with the proper planning and gear. At Wilderness North we take care of the hard parts, so you can make the most of your adventure. The only piece you need to cover is your personal gear. Here are our recommendations:
Avoid Cotton (Especially denim)
Moisture-wicking layers keep you and your adventure mates happy! Materials such as merino wool keep you warm in the cold and cool in the sun. The merino sheep are able to regulate their temperature on a range of elevations/temperatures, all thanks to their soft wool, making it the perfect material for adventures. Additionally, the wool is also anti-bacterial (which means as long as you dry it- it won’t smell!). Merino wool makes for a perfect base layer! Synthetic layers will also do the trick, and cotton will do fine on a sunny day; however, once wet it will dry slower and wrinkles easily.
Look for: Merino or synthetic
Fleece preforms incredibly well in the cold and although it absorbs water well, you can wring dampness out very efficiently. Fleece pants and a sweater are a cozy choice for fireside comfort!
Look for: Polartec® ,Thermal Pro polyester and other synthetics such as Thinsulate.
Water-resistant won’t cut it!
Waterproof is what you are looking for. If you are spending a lot of time outside we would suggest investing in Gor-tex as it is incredibly waterproof and (slightly) breathable. A waterproof layer is the most important piece of clothing you can bring! This layer is key to block wind and rain.
Look for: Wateproof, goretex, eVent, polyurethane-coated nylon
Synthetic Vs. Down
While camping the debate will typically arise when discussing sleeping bags and jackets; Goose down or synthetic insulation? Here’s the basics:
- Goose down is warmer and packs down smaller than synthetic; however, it looses it’s insulating properties when wet
- Synthetic is cheaper, not as warm but preforms better when wet/damp
Now which to pick? Both will do a great job. If it is compactness you need opt for down, if there is a high likelyhood of wetness opt for synthetic. On a Wilderness North adventure, either will do at keeping you warm on a cold morning.
Layers on Layers!
Layers are the key to packing efficiency, staying dry and keeping warm. While summer adventures are often filled with sun, you need to be prepared for the chance of rain or a cold evening. This is where layers are integral.
Base Layer (Moisture Management) → Mid-Layer (Insulation) → Shell Layer (Waterproof!)
You are already on your way, you have added merino wool orsynthetic for your base layer, fleece/down/synthetic for your mid-layer and a waterproof jacket for your shell. This will allow for a combination of layering depending on the weather.
All in all, avoid materials that will take too long to try, like jeans, sweatpants or bulky sweaters! Additionally if you take nothing else from this, ensure your bring a good waterproof layer, your ticket to happiness in the event of rain!
Now which adventure to pick?