On 25 February this year, Wiggle’s outdoor buying assistant Jennifer Puskar (pictured above) travelled to the Lake District to take part in a hike with Haglöfs as part of their international women’s day campaign. Here's how kit held up in the cold.
International women’s day for me is about equal participation and celebrating and supporting other women. My passion is sport and the outdoors, and I love seeing other women getting involved in these areas - even more so if we can get involved together.
When the opportunity came up to take part in a hike with Haglöfs and a group of women I couldn't turn it down.
It was a long way from Portsmouth to Kendal and slightly nerve racking meeting a group of people you don’t know. The great thing though was that all of us were in the same boat.
Everyone who was part of the hike stayed in Kendal for the evening - Sam and Damien from Haglöfs, the camera crew, and a group of incredible women from different outdoor businesses and publications.
The evening before was great as it meant we could get to know each other. Some of the women came from other retailers and the others were bloggers or had worked in television or online magazine publications.
After a wine or two and a good night's sleep, I woke up early to frost and light snow, excited to get going. After some breakfast I sorted my pack out.
Haglöfs had given me a big bag filled with kit to wear for the day. I knew I would need it throughout the day but for now I was comfortable in the base layer, leggings, beanie, and the Barrier jacket. I packed my other layers away, added in some snacks and water, and I was ready to get going.
- Haglöfs Women's L.I.M Comp Tights
- Haglöfs Women's L.I.M GORE-TEX® Pant
- Haglöfs Women's L.I.M Mid Proof Eco Shoes
- Haglöfs Women’s L.I.M Barrier Jacket
- Haglöfs Women's L.I.M Mid Jacket
- Haglöfs Women's L.I.M GORE-TEX® Jacket
- Haglöfs Maze Beanie
- Haglöfs Spira 25 Rucksack
- Haglöfs Actives Blend Beanie
- Haglöfs Actives Wool Roundneck Women
- Haglöfs L.I.M Tech Headband
- Smartwool Women's Hike Medium Crew Socks
The Haglöfs team selected the kit and it had been well thought out for the hike - leggings instead of trousers, and lightweight kit from their L.I.M (less is more) range.
With the kit being lightweight I could layer up or down depending on how the weather changed. My favourite pieces were the L.I.M Barrier Jacket because it was so comfortable to wear and the Women's L.I.M Mid Proof Eco Shoes for their perfect fit which didn’t rub even after two hours of hiking.
A particularly great part of the day was that everyone taking part had different abilities. I enjoy walking and hiking but I thought I might struggle to keep up. Some of the women hiked as a hobby and for fitness and they shared their favourite places to explore, whereas others had never tried anything like this before.
We drove to our starting point where we met our guide, ready to hike to the Aira Force waterfall. There were 10 women taking part in the hike, all sporting the L.I.M series kit. It started to rain as soon as we were ready to set off so everyone put their waterproof trousers on straight away. We all had our 'before' pictures taken and then we were off.
Thankfully it stopped raining after 20 mins and the sun started to come out. I’d never been to the Lake District before and I loved it. It is such a beautiful place.
We walked for little while before getting to the waterfalls. I could have happily stayed there all day. We stopped a few times along the hike to take in the views and get more pictures. Everyone’s faces showed that the hike had been hard work, but we were all still smiling.
The higher we climbed the prettier it was. It went from bright green grass to white, snow-covered ground but it didn’t feel cold – plenty of well-planned layers, good walking boots, and a fairly challenging incline was keeping me pretty warm.
When we got to the summit the view was incredible. It was so clear that the camera crew wanted to get some more photos and footage, and they took a picture of our less-than-fresh faces after over two hours of hiking.
Standing still at the top I really could feel the icy breeze and my hands have never felt that cold. I learnt that I need to invest in some better gloves but thankfully all the layers I was wearing had been keeping my body warm.
The walk down was at a much faster pace. We all wanted to get away from the wind at the top and find a good spot to stop and have some food. Heading down, the ground was slippery as the snow had started to melt. There were quite a few near misses and lots of laughter. The boots performed really well and offered plenty of grip. I stood in a lot of cold puddles but my feet stayed dry.
Once we got back to the car and drove back to the hotel, it was time to head home. The one thing I remember from the day is how much fun I had. I met some incredible women, and left feeling like I had known them for years rather than just a day.
I felt like I taken part in something new, rewarding, and fun. But most of all, I was glad that I only almost fell over twice.