2020.03.19

イッシー&ウキコの
教えて!山のワンダー Lesson 3and wander journal #08

第3回
山での重ね着はお洒落目的じゃありません。

tateishitateishi

We’re going to talk about layering today. This might get long, so you better drink a cup of coffee to keep you awake, Ukiko.

kaikai

I won’t sleep today! Layering means to wear multiple layers of clothing, right?

tateishitateishi

Yes, but you can’t just wear layers of random clothes. Each outdoor clothing has particular attributes for the roles they play.

kaikai

Oh no, I sense technical terms now……

tateishitateishi

Okay... I’ll try to explain it as simple as possible. Outdoor clothing that you wear in a mountain can be roughly divided into five types. First of all, there’s something called a base layer. For the base layer, you should choose the ones that dry quick since it’s the layer that is supposed to fit tight to your skin.

kaikai

Like our “hybrid base layer long sleeve T”?

tateishitateishi

That’s right. “Merino base T” can be another option. Merino wool fabric is not only highly moisture wicking and quick-drying, but odor-resistant, too.

kaikai

I see. So, there’s various types of clothes for the base layer.

tateishitateishi

Then the middle layer comes on top of that. This layer will control your body temperature. A fleece or a shirt plays this role.

kaikai

We have many fleece items too, like our “high loft fleece jacket”.

tateishitateishi

“Polartec alpha jacket” is also for the middle layer. Polartec Alpha fabric has been gathering attention these days and simply put, it is a knit fabric with polyester fibers woven into a gauzelike thin mesh cloth. Polartec Alpha jacket has this fabric lined on the inside, so it keeps you warm and at the same time, it’s highly breathable and quick drying. What is more, it is a sweat-wicking fabric too, allowing it to be also suitable for vigorous physical activities including trail running, backcountry skiing, and alpine climbing.

kaikai
tateishitateishi

There she goes again.

kaikai

I’m awake! I know the next one. Wind-resistance, right? The ones that make the crinkly sound.

tateishitateishi

Exactly. It’s what you’d call a windbreaker or a softshell. Wind draws heat from your body more than you think and that is why this layer is important for the times like when you’re hiking on mountain ridges. You will be taking this jacket on and off quite frequently.

kaikai

Well, there’s two more left.

tateishitateishi

Right. These were the 3 main types of outdoor clothing for when you are active. You use these 3 layers effectively by mix and matching your clothes, depending on the temperature. Let’s suppose that the temperature is relatively high, but it’s windy. What would you do?

kaikai

I can’t take off my base layer, so I’d wear a windbreaker on top of it!

tateishitateishi

Correct. How about when there is no wind, but the temperature is low?

kaikai

It would be the time to pull out a fleece or that Polartec-thing!

tateishitateishi

Well done. This is only the minimum, but you’ve probably got the basic idea of layering. The other two are thermal insulation and water resistance. To protect yourself against the cold, down jackets are perfect since it is heat retaining, and for water resistance, you should wear a hardshell.

kaikai

When do I wear a down jacket?

tateishitateishi

For example, when you’re having break or in the tent. It’s better to choose a bigger size so that you can easily wear it on top of everything.

kaikai

A hardshell jacket is for rain protection, isn’t it?

tateishitateishi

Yeah, you said you were using it for jogging last time (Lesson 2), but I see that you’ve grown! The shape of the hood is important to protect yourself from the rain effectively, and it is also important to choose a highly breathable hardshell jacket because the heat can easily build up inside. These two types of jackets usually stay in the backpack when you are active, so lightness is another essential factor.

kaikai

That makes sense! I’m starting to get what layering is!

tateishitateishi

Perception of heat and cold varies from person to person, so it is important for you to find your best combination using what you have learned today.

Isshi イッシー

Plays the teacher role in this program. A 15-year experienced hiker who heads out to the mountains under the pretext of a “field test” every time he buys a new outdoor gear. A mid-career staff at and wander, who realized that he gained much more weight himself than the weight he succeeded to save over the past 10 years by lightening the gears.

Ukiko ウキコ

Plays the student role in this program. Although she is interested in backpacking trips, she is a new recruit at and wander and still has a lot to learn. Fluent speaker of English and well-versed in fashion but tends to get panicked when she hears too many technical outdoor terms.

text Takashi Sakurai
illustration Mizumaru Kawahara
translation Masumi Tokugawa