Youth Project Tramping Group
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This will be a growing area. You can ask questions by email by clicking on "Ask a Question" or through the feedback form under "Contact Us" and if deemed worthwhile, it and the answer will be added here.

Questions
1. How do we find out about Future or current trips?
2. Do you have safety equipment like an EPIRB?
3. Approaches to clothing.
4. Alpine skills - Crampon and ice axe technique

Answers
1. How do we find out about Future or current trips?
Click here or on "Future Trips" in the menu above and it will take you to a page listing both the current trip and any future trips planned for the year.

2. Do you have safety equipment like an EPIRB?
Yes we have a GME MT410 emergency Personal Locator Beacon. Click here or on "Safety" in the menu above to find out more.

3. Approaches to Clothing.
There are basically two approaches to clothing at present. The first is the Base/Mid/Outer Layered System and the second is the Base Layer/Soft Shell System.

Base/Mid/Outer Layered System
The concept of wearing layers of clothes is suitable for any kind of outdoor sports activity including tramping. The challenge is to maintain constant body temperature not depending on activity level, whether it is rock climbing, hiking or relaxing by the fire, and on weather conditions (such as rain, wind or snow).

Usually three different clothing layers are used:
1. Inner layer. Inner layer removes moisture from the body.
2. Middle layer. Middle layer preserves the body heat.
3. Outer layer. Outer layer protects from wind and moisture.

The key principle is to be able to quickly adjust to weather and body condition changes, removing layers when your body heats up (during activity) and adding layers when your body cools down.

Now lets look at these three layers in more detail:

Inner layer – removing moisture from the body.
This layer significantly controls the body temperature. It should be made from synthetic, moisture removing materials made from polyester, polypropylene or Merino wool. These materials are able to remove moisture from their inner side, the side that is close to the body, and evenly distribute it across their outer side, from which the moisture quickly evaporates. As a result you will feel comfortable even when you are sweating.

In order to maintain coolness in summer and to avoid hypothermia at extremely low temperatures it is very important that your body will remain dry. Trapped moisture will result in chilling in cold temperatures, windy conditions, long stops or when your energy levels begin to drop. It is very important for inner layer to adhere to the body for best moisture removal.

"Personally I find Merino better, especially in wet conditions  where it is better for keeping you warm, and just increase the weight of the thermal for colder conditions."

Middle layer – insulation.
This layer helps retain body heat, keeping a layer of air around your body. Fleece jackets, Merino jerseys, fleece vests and trousers are good examples for middle layer clothes. In addition to retaining hot air, the fleece polyester fibers are also removing moisture thus keeping their insulation properties when wet and getting dry quickly.

"Personally because of the varying weight of my thermal depending on temperature conditions I only need the fleece when I stop or if it is really cold. Alternatively if wet I will remove the fleece and wear just the raincoat to reduce sweating."

For extremely low temperatures down is still the best insulator but it should be used only in dry weather.

Outer layer – harsh weather protection
Outer layer protects you from wind, rain, and snow. Properly made, it retains heat allowing evaporations to go out. Otherwise moisture will condense on the inner surface of this layer.

For most of outdoor activities it is essential for outer layer to have good breathing properties and ventilation. In addition outer layer should be spacious enough so that it wouldn’t hamper movement, and additional layers could be worn underneath.

Fabrics that are most suitable for the outer layer should incorporate waterproof impregnations or membranes, which protect from wind and moisture. Outer layer items should also have a waterproof zippers.

Most popular fabrics for outer layer:
Waterproof/Breathable – Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Marmot MemBrain. Such fabrics are suitable for any type of activities and for any weather.

Waterproof/Not breathable – usually such fabrics are made from polyurethane-impregnated strong nylon, which has waterproof and windproof properties. Not breathable fabrics are cheaper and can be used when your outdoor activities don’t involve much sweating.

"On a personal note nothing really keeps you dry in wet weather because of the internal build up of moisture from sweating. The trick is to stay warm without sweating too much and to wear the outerlayer in such a way as to maximise its' breathability. So wear just enough gear under the outerlayer to keep you warm while walking without sweating and keep the raincoat done up to allow for the maximum temperature differential which facilitates the breathability function of fabrics like goretex."

Base Layer/Soft Shell System.
The Soft Shell system keeps the base layer of the three layer system but replaces the mid and outer layer with one garment. The outer layer of a Soft Shell garment trades the 100% waterproofness of the hard shell outer layer  and insulation of the fleece mid layer for slightly less waterproofness, but improved comfort, flexibilty, combined insulation and better breathability of the softshell. It's probably the way of the future.

4. Alpine skills - Crampon and ice axe technique.
Ice Axe Technique

Crampon Technique

Surviving in the Outdoors