This lesson covers the 3 basic tiers in layering, the base, insulating and outer layer. It is an introduction to the purpose, functions of the different materials in each layer and also the various advantages and disadvantages of different materials available.

Head Gear

We recommend a neck buff and a beanie. Helmets would be provided and to be worn during essential climbing phases.

Base Layer

This is the layer that is worn on top of your underwear. Its main purpose is to wick sweat away from the skin. This layer is designed to be lightweight and thin, and does not insulate as well as other layers nor does it protect against the weather. There are generally two types of materials to choose from in the market: Wool & Synthetic.

Wool Synthetic
Better Insulator; Heavier Poorer Insulation; Lighter
Does not retain odor; Works when wet Opposite of Wool
Harder to dry; Expensive Dries quick; A lot cheaper

base layer

Insulating Layer

This is the thickest layer and it is meant to retain heat. The two Sub-layers are: Fleece and Down.

Fleece Down
Wool; Cotton; Fur Duck Feathers
Cheap, Lower warmth factor Expensive; Higher warmth factor
Fixed Volume Highly compressible
No problem drying if wet Extremely difficult to dry when wet

insulating layer.jpg

Outer Layer

This is usually the shell layer and is meant to be weatherproof. Generally made of waterproof materials such as Goretex and functions as a windbreaker. It protects the more fragile insulating layer and keeps them dry.

shell layer.jpg


The same layering principles apply, the glove liner, insulating layer and the shell. Shell gloves are always to be worn when handling rope so as not to puncture the softer insulating layer.
glove layer.jpg


The inner layer is would be the sock liner or dri-fit socks that are synthetic and wick sweat away. The insulating layer would be the socks that are either made of wool are synthetic material. Mountaineering boots themselves are classified into the altitude and terrain that they are designed for. In MIR we have double layered boots that have an insulating inner layer.

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