Spring into the great outdoors

PUBLISHED: 10:45 24 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:49 20 February 2013

Recycled Polartec Thermal Pro jacket £60 over LS Zip Tech T with silver ion technology £26, men's sizes S-XXL, women's 8-18; women's stretch nylon Statis pant £60, men's versatile trekking pant £45 and Freeflow daysac £60, all by Berghaus

Recycled Polartec Thermal Pro jacket £60 over LS Zip Tech T with silver ion technology £26, men's sizes S-XXL, women's 8-18; women's stretch nylon Statis pant £60, men's versatile trekking pant £45 and Freeflow daysac £60, all by Berghaus

Whether you're a spectator or a participant, you can always look good on the outsideWORDS BY VICKY PEPYS <br/>How lovely to get out and about again. That first heady whiff of the rising sap in the hedgerows means spring has...

Whether you're a spectator or a participant, you can always look good on the outside
WORDS BY VICKY PEPYS


How lovely to get out and about again. That first heady whiff of the rising sap in the hedgerows means spring has kicked in and from now on, 'outside' is just as appealing as 'inside'. So here's a little tip - the right attire will make a world of difference. It's not just about looking the part, even if you pursue a spectator sport rather than getting actively involved. There's a reason dedicated outdoorsy types wear what they wear; it usually 'works'. Leisurewear for the great outdoors is a recent invention. The first hikers who simply rolled their trousers up and escaped over hill and dale were paving the way (excuse the pun) for a future million-dollar international leisurewear business and a changing countryside that everyone could enjoy. The principles of correct dressing for your chosen sport are very simple; keeping dry and warm if it's likely to be chilly, keeping cool and comfortable if over-exertion is the order of the day, and protecting yourself from the sport itself. Recent technological developments in fabric and fibre production mean that garments don't have to be heavy. Some are as light as a feather, they dry easily and they let your body breathe, avoiding a build-up of condensation. Design features protect and keep the body and personal possessions safe and dry; some even have tracking devices and integrated MP3 systems. And most of us now understand the benefits of man-made fibre layering rather than just putting on an extra cotton t-shirt shirt. (For those who still don't know, cotton soaks up perspiration and goes cold and damp and so chills the body, which can be potentially dangerous in cold weather.) The same technology developed initially for harsh weather sports like skiing and mountain climbing exists now in some form or other in much gentler sports. The gentle stroller will know as much about the benefit of layered fleece as the most enthusiastic rambler; the golfer will now realise that he or she is being protected from wind chill by the weave of the fabric and clever design features to stop the breeze whistling through stitching and zips. Everyone must surely be pleased that many of our 'delicate' sports garments now include silver ion technology to eliminate the growth of bacteria (less odorous), and joggers these days need no longer suffer from uncomfortable chafing by choosing garments with flat seam construction. Their new running 'tights' (whatever happened to jogging bottoms?) now have integrated targeted muscle support so that tiresome 'dicky' knee is no longer a problem. Much of the new swimwear will have inbuilt UV protection - who'd have thought it? Looking the part and having clothing working with you rather than against you is also the basis of the whole sports psychology industry too; feeling good about yourself means you'll be more confident, 'perform' better and enjoy the journey wherever it takes you


Stockist info:


Barbour Tel: 0800 009988 www.barbour.com and Bede Industrial Estate Tel: 0191 428 4707


Berghaus www.berghaus.com and Red Mall, MetroCentre, Gateshead Tel: 0191 516 5700


Hackett Tel: 0207 939 6865 www.hackett.com and within Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrews Square, Edinburgh EG2 3AD


Hardy and Grey Ltd, Willowburn, Alnwick Tel: 01665 602771 www.hardygreys.com


Joules is at Hexham and Morpeth branches of Farmway and online at www.joulesclothing.com Tel: 0845 6066871


Rohan, Eldon Garden Shopping Centre, Newcastle Tel: 0191 261 0033 www.rohan.co.uk 0870 601 2244


Snow+Rock, Metro Park West, Gibside Way, Gateshead Tel: 0191 493 3680. www.snowandrock.com Tel: 0845 100 1000

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