When it comes to cold weather clothing, we’ve always been firm believers in the layering system; opting for a separate base layer, mid layer and outer jacket offers far more flexibility than your all-in-one padded coat and, of course, means that you can use the garments individually at different times of the year. There are plenty of options when it comes to mid layers, but these are the three you’ll find on the Woodlore Team the most:
1. Swanndri Ranger Bushshirt
The Swanndri Ranger Shirt belongs to a very special group of garments which Ray Mears and the Woodlore Team rarely leave home without. Despite retaining the same, simple design as the 1913 original, the Ranger Shirt is as relevant to today’s outdoorsmen as it was a century ago. Made from 100% New Zealand wool, it provides excellent warmth as well as protection from wind and rain. And, while perfect as a mid layer, its rugged build means that you will use it just as much as your top layer when the winter chill begins to relent. Look no further than the front cover of the Ray Mears Outdoor Survival Handbook to see that Ray has been putting Swanndri shirts to the test for over 20 years.
When dressing for the cold, a mistake that people often make is to simply throw a fleece and a warm jacket over the top of their regular T-shirt. The problem here is that your standard cotton T-shirt offers very little in terms of insulation and – what’s worse – often has very poor breathability. Throughout the day the T-shirt tends to soak up any perspiration, leaving you with a cold, damp layer right next to your skin. It’s surprising just how much difference a decent base-layer can make to your overall warmth, and with the natural wicking ability of wool, you’ll find yourself dry and comfortable all day long. Here are three of our favourites:
1. Icebreaker Oasis T-Shirt
An extremely lightweight T-shirt made from 100% merino wool, the Icebreaker Oasis Short Sleeve Crew makes a fantastic base layer for year-round use. Thanks to the superfine merino wool used by Icebreaker, this base layer is softer against the skin when compared to many other woollen garments, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin. It has been ergonomically shaped for a more comfortable fit, resulting in the perfect base layer for active use such as cycling, running or hill-walking.