Just thinking about the winters brings chills to our bodies and describing the Himalayan winters is like being inside a deep freezer. In pictures the snow clad mountains looks amazing but the reality is far away from this, as during winters the temperature in the Himalayas easily reaches around -10 degrees especially during nights. Hence, enjoying and surviving in the fiercely cold weather needs proper set of skills and clothing.
Here “Dressing like an Onion” means wearing layers of warm clothes is the key to survival. In order to enjoy the cold weather and feel comfortable, it is preferable to wear at least five layers of warm clothing as these layers keep you warm enough by trapping body heat. Some of the important clothes for layering includes:-
Clothing for Upper body/ Torso
- Thermal/Inners – Wearing full body thermals or inners both upper and lowers. Thermals provide insulation to the body and regulate body temperature. This first layer of clothing remains closest to the skin and traps body heat because of which the body remains warm. Another important thing is to avoid wearing them while trekking as you will start sweating and it will make your trekking difficult instead wear them during nights when you would be done with the day’s trekking.
- T-shirts – Wearing long sleeve T-shirt preferably with turtle neck . This will form another layer of clothing. Go for the right fit. It should not be too tight or too loose.
- Woolen sweaters – Ensure to wear a layer of woolen sweater. The wool will act as an insulator and trap the body heat. Another important thing is to make sure that the sweaters must fit properly, they should be light weight and not bulky.
- Fleece jacket – fleece is a lightweight casual jacket made of polyester synthetic wool and typically have a zipper in the middle. It will also provide thermal insulation.
- Hollow fill jacket – To counter the wind chills, equip yourself with a proper fitting hollow fill jacket, they are light weight and will form the outermost layer of your clothing. Go for the one with a hood as it will cover your ears and head as well . Ensure that it should be waterproof and fits nicely.
Clothing for Lower body
- Thermal lowers – Again as mentioned earlier Thermals provide insulation to the body and regulate body temperature. This first layer of clothing remains closest to the skin and traps body heat because of which the body remains warm enough.
- Tights– Tights also provide warmth to the body. It will act as second layer.
- Trek pants – Carrying an extra trek pant would prove to be fruitful in case of excess cold.
Other important accessories:
- Suncap – Go for the sun cap with a flap that covers your ears and neck. These are specially made for trekking purpose and are easily available nowadays.
- Balaclava- It will cover most parts of the face and the head, through which we lose around 60 percent of our body heat.
- Shoes- Wear good quality shoes which should provide you good grip. You can get trekking specific shoes easily nowadays.
- Gloves- Carrying good quality waterproof gloves would be of extreme help. As during winters there would be snow and these waterproof gloves would not let your hands to come in contact with the snow.
- Socks– Woolen socks will keep your feet warm and cozy. Carrying an extra pair of socks is always a good idea.
- Sunglasses – They prevent snow blindness and also protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays which get reflected by the snow on the ground and mountains. So it is always beneficial to invest in good quality sunglasses.
Keep these above mentioned points in mind and enjoy your Winter Trekking. All the best.