What to Wear

It is vitally important that you consider the clothes you wear when you are observing. A beginner's first night out can also be their last as they get very cold. They tend to tough it out and do not realise until later how dangerously cold they are until they begin to warm up again. It is not a pleasant experience. They often never come out again.


When you are observing 1) You tend to be out for hours not minutes. 2) You are relatively stationary and not generating heat through exercise.

3) Temperatures in the countryside (such as our dark site) can be much lower than in a city, especially on cloudless nights (the ones we use for observing!)


You need to keep the core of your body warm, if you do this you will be fine. It still amazes me that I can use fingerless gloves even when the temperature is -5 °C.


You will need lots of layers, the colder the temperature the more layers you will need. Put on lots of layers - you can always remove them if you have too many, you can't warm up once you get cold. Thermal underwear, fleece tops and trousers, thermal trousers, salopettes are examples of what I wear. I find salopettes useful as they cover the trouser/shirt gap.You will also need some warm socks and thick soled shoes (I use my hiking boots). You will also need gloves and a good hat. I also use a buff to keep my neck warm. You can look like the Michelin Man but believe me it is far preferable to getting cold.


If you need advice, please contact me simon@centralmidlandstargazers.com


What to Wear

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