You might have the best camera kit in the world, and you might even be in an amazing location with perfect lighting conditions, but if you’re distracted by your wet feet and the fact that your shivering is causing camera shake, then you’re more likely to head home before you get the images you wanted. Here are some ideas for staying warm and dry this winter.
Head torches have a number of uses. In poor light they can illuminate your kit, leaving your hands free to work, and they also light the way in front of you as you walk to or from a location in the dark. Just as importantly, they can work as a distress signal. As Jeremy Walker explains: ‘The distress signal in the UK and Alps is six flashes, repeated after a minute. The response if this is seen is three flashes.’
Our choice – Petzl Tikka
With 100-lumen brightness, this simple and compact head torch features a wide beam setting and is powered by three AAA batteries.
Most of our body heat is lost via our heads, so if you’re out in the cold a cosy hat is a must. There are plenty of styles to pick from, but a simple beanie is a good starting point.
Our choice – Sealskinz Cable Knit Beanie
Thanks to the acrylic knitted outer, this close-fitting beanie hat is waterproof, as well as being windproof and breathable. A micro-fleece lining gives warmth and moisture control.
Jeremy Walker’s advice is to dress using the layer system. Instead of simply pulling on a thick jumper, wear several thin layers to build up the right thickness and trap heat between each one.
Our choice – Craft Be Active Extreme Base Layer
It may be designed for active pursuits, but this is still a great starting point for any photographer who needs to keep warm. Simply build up the layers on top.
Gloves and photographers don’t generally see eye-to-eye, with standard winter gloves making it hard to operate your camera. However, there are a few companies producing thin (but warm) gloves that ensure fiddling with buttons
is a breeze.
Our choice – MacWet Climatec Long Cuff
These gloves feature a warm fleece-lined backing with a palm made from Aquatec material. They’re available in 14 sizes.
If you’re planning to spend a lot of time outside in the cold, then a decent winter jacket is a must. The small, fine feathers in a down jacket are incredibly light, yet will keep you snug and warm as they create thousands of tiny air pockets that trap and retain warm air. The downside, though, is that they’re not particularly suited to heavy rain, as the down feathers stick together and lose their ability to retain heat. With that in mind, try to go for options that have waterproof outers.
Our choice – Rab Electron
With a water-resistant Pertex outer shell and 800FP goose down for exceptional warmth, the Rab Electron has a generous cut, to allow layers to fit underneath.
You really don’t want to be scrabbling around in a pair of old shoes or trainers. Dedicated walking shoes are a must – they’ll grip better, support your feet more and keep them far warmer.
Our choice – Merrell Norsehund Omega Sport
This high-performance waterproof walking boot features a range of technologies that includes a working comfort range right down to a chilly -32°C.