(Please note I am not getting paid for endorsing any of the gear or products I mention here)
My last post was about dog walking in the rain. I got to thinking about the wet weather gear I use in my role as a dog walker and trainer and have quickly realised quality gear is essential. If you do any outdoor jobs at this time of year you are going to get wet and cold without the correct equipment.
When I first started out doing this job I used any old wet weather gear I had laying around. I soon found out that after spending up to 5 hours in the rain and mud this gear soon starting failing and I was wet, cold and ready to look for another job.
As with most things in life it was trial and error to reach the stage where I can say it doesn’t matter what the weather is like I will be warm and dry. It is about the layers when it comes to dealing with the cold. My base layer is a thin thermal top and on top of this will be various layers. The final top is a thick fleece jacket which is very windproof. Of course, the all-important hat to stop losing heat from your head. Depending on how the day goes I can then remove layers or add depending on how I am feeling. I try not to wear gloves if I can help it, but for very cold days I have found mittens are better than separate finger gloves as each finger helps warm the other, a faff with leads, but worth it.
Wet weather gear
I can stand being cold, but I hate being wet and once you are wet you stand little chance of drying off until the end of your day. The wet weather gear I currently use is as follows:
Shoes: I use Karrimor walking shoes as I find these are robust but very comfortable. Without being treated they are not very waterproof. I tried the various sprays you can put on these shoes, but they didn’t last a single wet day. I now put ‘Punch’ extreme weather proofer on the shoes. This proofer is not made for these shoes and it says so on the instructions, but it does work very well and water just runs off them. They do look a mess with the stuff on, but working with dogs in winter is not a fashion parade!!
Coat: Being a mountain biker I have some excellent, but expensive, wet weather gear. I use a riding coat for light rain on warmer days and that keeps me 100% dry. For those days where the rain is persistent all day I have a herdsman full-length coat which I wear over the top of my lightweight bike coat and not got wet yet to cloths level despite being out in the constant rain all day. At this time of year, I spray it monthly with a tin of wax and job done.
Hat: I wear a bushman hat for the sole reason it keeps the rain off my glasses. Anyone who wears glasses will understand what I mean.
Trousers: This is the one area I am still struggling with. I cannot find a pair of trousers which are fit for purpose. Thankfully the herdsman coat means only the bottom half of my trousers get slightly wet. This is work in progress.
I am sure by the end of this rather wet and cold winter I will have added other items to my wet weather gear list.