Friday, 14 November 2014

How to prepare yourself for a winter trek in Himalayas ?

How to prepare yourself  for a winter trek in Himalayas ?

            Common man thinks that cold in winter is unbearable. Even a fierce winter is bearable  if you are well prepared. Clothing is the winter camper’s most important gear consideration.  Your comfort, enjoyment, and fundamental safety all depend on your clothing “system”.  A multi-layer system that is flexible and used in combinations that allows you to adapt efficiently to many environmental situations. For a temperature that goes down to -10°C or lower, the suggestion is to be in 5 – 6 layers. As the mercury  level rises subsequently one can remove outer layers. But never strip off to less than 4 layers.  
            A six layer combination is normally suggested clothing for -15°C  temperature. Winter  is the coldest  season of the year in Himalayan regions , between autumn and spring.
             Those who like to do a winter trek are normally  worried about how to prepare for the extreme cold conditions and how to overcome it. Vishwanath over a decade of his experience talks about how to face the snowy conditions and how to take care of oneself.

Clothing for the Body.

The question is what are the layers that you need 

          1 Thermal inner
2 T-shirts full arm.
1 Fleece Jacket
1 Wollen Sweater
1 Goose Down jacket 600, 800 and 1000

 Depending on the comfort level Individual can try the permutations and combinations.


Few brands like Rab Neutrino endurance Jacket , Patagonia Encapsil Down ,G 2 Valandre Down Jacket are available.You can pick them up online during sale for a good throw away prices.

For legs, one thermal inner, with two synthetic wear/fleece pants is usually more than enough to tackle the cold.
But what needs more protection are your head, fingers, toes, ears and nose. You need to see that they stay warm and dry most times. This is what you need:

 Head Gear and Accesories

1 Balaclava or Monkey Cap
1 water proof gloves with insulation
2 pairs of thick woolen socks
1 wind stopper balaclava
1 Scarf

              A scarf, also known as a Kremer, muffler or neck-wrap, is a piece of fabric worn around the neck, or near the head or around the waist for warmth. A scarf is something a lot of people neglect to carry, but is a useful. A scarf can protect your neck, your nose or work as an extra glove. This multi-utility gear is a must for a winter trek.
            If  during the day when the sun is out and  in harsh sunlight, you are trekking, it actually gets very warm with the layers of clothes you have on.It makes you sweat so it is better to remove layers depending on the warmth.Better to stick to synthetic full arm synthetic t – shirt which protects skin from sun burn too and retain water content in skin.

Hand Gloves

Windstopper Balaclava

You can invest in a pair of Outdoor Research, Rab, North Face brand gloves.


It is necessary and Mandatory to protect your eyes during sunlight.Sunglasses are an easy solution that makes life more comfortable when outdoors, while also providing critical protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.Long-term exposure to UV rays can damage the eye’s surface as well as its internal structures, sometimes contributing to cataracts (clouding of the lens) and macular degeneration (breakdown of the macula). Always choose sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100% of UV rays. Some manufacturers’ labels say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.
           Wraparounds offer added protection. Sunglasses that wrap around the temples prevent the sun’s rays from entering from the sides.

Asolo WP Shoes

The most important thing to keep in mind is your shoes. You need a shoe that protects your ankle and gives you grip on snow. Always wear and try and then buy it.If you are confident with size then order online. Normally shoes are available in UK , US and Euro sizes.
* The common rule for choosing trekking/backpacking boots: Take one extra size larger than your normal size.
* High-quality footwear  with Gore tex material will generally fit better and last longer. It is quick dry.It's worth spending more for a quality product.
* Brands like Asolo, Vasque, La Sportiva, Scarpa , Lowa and Meindl - have good Water

proof  trekking boots. 

Winter weather can deter even the most dedicated exercisers. Aside from the usual outdoor exercises such as walking, running, short hikes  try shoveling snow is an excellent total body workout.
            Should I buy a Gaiter..? 
            It  is common question asked by trekkers who going for winter trek. 
               Answer is Yes..!

               Snow has  a way of sneaking into even the most waterproof of boots. To prevent this, put on some gaiters. Gaiters cover the vulnerable tops of your footwear to fully protect your feet from the elements.Gaiters are garments worn over the shoe and lower pants leg, and used primarily as personal protective equipment.

·           Regular gaiters are calf high, around 15" to 18" tall. These are designed for rugged conditions such as hiking through deep snow.
Gore-Tex®: This well-known laminate provides superior waterproof, windproof protection and breathability. It's ideal for tromping through wet snowy conditions

Gaiter Tips

Get a snug fit: Most gaiter styles come in sizes, which are aligned with a range of boot sizes. When you try on gaiters, adjust the straps to make sure the fit is snug. Your goal is to achieve the best possible seal around your boots.
Wear low gaiters under your rain pants: This creates the most waterproof seal.

             Go armed with the all the necessary gear for winter trek without fail

                                                            or else

                           you end up spending nights in cold without sleeping.

Warning : Overconfidence can be dangerous at altitudes.

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