Preparing for any holiday, journey, experience, is probably one of the best parts of the event. When that preparation involves buying equipment and in particular outdoor gear it all just adds to the thrill and excitement of preparing for the trip.
Although I have been involved in four season walking for many years I have never had to deal with the sort of conditions that Alaska and the Yukon were going to offer in February. That meant I have had to go and buy a whole new raft of technical equipment to keep me warm.
I’m not a worrier in normal life but this sort of thing both excites me and worries me in equal measure. I worry that I’m not going to have enough kit and be cold or discomforted in some way but at the same time I love researching what to buy and where to buy it from.
So having taken a bit of advice from Rob and Chris and lots of searching of the web I fairly quickly came to the view that the safest thing for keeping me warm would be the biggest and fattest Canada Goose parka I could find! That decision was the easy bit. The next challenge is actually find a Canada Goose UK stockist with an XL parka. After a week we found one – but had a 200 mile round trip to go and get it. As I write it is sitting in the corner of the bedroom and growls every time one of us walks past.
Since we’d driven all that way to Carters in Reading we thought that was the perfect chance to get all the other stuff I needed as well, Columbia boots (rated for -32c) merino base layer, yet more merino socks and some bright orange Arc’teryx gloves. One thing is for sure, I’m not going to be run over by a sled dog team because they can’t see me!
Now, what to do with all those hours I’ll have free because I’m not researching arctic gear….. I know, I’ll spend some time researching technology to take with me!