The Knickers Philosophy – it’s the small stuff

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Some of you may already know about the Knickers Philosophy, “If your knickers are right, then your day goes right.”


When I first began mountaineering I missed the bit about bring 4 pairs of knickers on a month-long expedition.  I was away for 28 days, so I took 28 pairs!  Although it was a bit of a laugh, I do ponder for a few seconds each morning when selecting which pair I’ll put on.  It depends what I’m doing, how I’m feeling and sometimes who I’m with!

The bigger meaning

You see really, the knickers philosophy is a nod to getting the small stuff sorted.  Then the bigger things naturally or more easily fall into place.  When I break things down into their smallest parts I realise that it’s the details that form the foundation of everything and that’s massive!  If I want to climb a mountain, the climb doesn’t begin at the foot of the mountain.

The climb begins when I wake up weeks, months even years before the climb…

when I..

  • go training
  • choose to eat well
  • rest well
  • learn skills that I’ll need on the mountain
  • build a team around me
  • learn how to read mountain environments
  • test and work out which kit I need

When I was a little girl, my mum always woke me up half an hour before I needed to get up, we’d drink tea and chat.  We’d spend that time talking about all sorts.  It was a small detail in the day and it made all the difference to my day.


Recently, Palu – ProCashmere sent me their Arctic baselayer and I’ve been wearing it a lot.  When I was out ski touring in it and feeling really comfortable, it dawned on me – I was comfortable because I’d got the little things sorted.  I’d started the day with a good cup of tea and the right pair of knickers!  I’ve been working on my touring fitness all season and had waited for good weather and mountain conditions.  My kit was right; lightweight touring skis, boots that fit like a glove, and good clothing layers.  I need to be able to keep warm and be able to cool down, I need my layers sorted!

I’m loving the Arctic baselayer; it feels lovely, keeps me warm and wicks away sweat brilliantly.  And because it’s 100% cashmere it doesn’t get smelly!

The Knickers Philosophy for you

We’re all different and for you, it might not be about the right pair of knickers! I think we all have our own version of the “knickers philosophy”.  Your’s might be about the perfect cup of coffee to start the day, the soundtrack you listen to on your way to work, what you like to eat for breakfast.  Whatever your small things are though, don’t underestimate how important they are to your days, because it’s your days that make up your life.