It's said that to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. Well, you'll not find me getting caught out. I've consulted the weather reports, precipitation levels, barometric pressure, temperature and phase of the moon, waxing. I've poured over maps, studied several routes and come up with one I think will work best given the conditions, drizzle/turning to steady rain, the amount of day light I can reasonably expect and, of course, the lay of the land, mostly flat with one or two slight elevations.
I've carefully chosen a lightweight, Italian made day hiker that should offer support yet prove nimble enough should speed be of great import. The temperature is seasonal, winter, but the wet weather has negated the down Summit Parka I'd usually opt for on an outing like this one. Down has fantastic insulating properties, especially when you consider it's weight to warmth ratio, but it's useless when wet. I've chosen synthetic insulation in the form of a fleece jacket, well it's actually part of my 3 in 1 system, all conditions jacket (Mountain Hardwear). It zips effortlessly into the Gortex shell which sports abrasion patches on the high stress areas, shoulders, elbows and skirt. I particularly like this one as the hood is out sized to allow for use over a helmet, if, say, you are belaying up a cliff face for instance. I won't need a helmet today though. Instead I've plumed for a simple woolen bobble style hat, hand crafted by the descendants of the Inca, no two are the same. The hats, I'm not sure about the Peruvians. It's made, of course, from wool and resists the elements well.
I picked up a pair of Gortex mittens in the sale at Blacks, this is to be their maiden voyage, if you will. I've decided to go with the classic Patagonia hiking pant, with the zips at the knees that enable you to convert them to shorts should the need arise, not that I think it will on this particular trip. They are synthetic and dry quickly, an important consideration given the rain expected.
Right, I've chosen a small day pack, I'm not travelling far and I wouldn't want to get weighed down unnecessarily so provisions have been chosen with the utmost care. I'm quietly confident I'm ready for all mother nature can throw at me. Right, I'll be on my way, I think I've got everything
"You off hiking son?"
"No dad, it's Oldham Preston at Deepdale, can you give us a ride to the train station?"