Chadar. Kedarkantha. Nag Tibba. Dayara Bugyal. Kuari Pass. Prashar Lake. Dodital. Sandakphu. Chopta Chandrashila. Har Ki Dun. Chamba – Dalhousie. Dzongri. If you’re about to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime – a winter trek to one of these places – then nailing your packing down to perfection is going to be important. Wintertime lends itself to trekking conditions that require proper planning. And, as with any other trek, you won’t want to carry more weight than you can handle for long distances. So, here’s a handy packing guide for winter treks to make things easier for you!
Trekking Shoes –
Snow treks require shoes that are different from normal trekking shoes. They should have a more robust sole (for better grip), contain extra padding and be water proof. Invest in these shoes – they will keep your feet happy, warm and dry.
Clothing Essentials –
Since temperature varies throughout the day/night and snowfall intensity is unpredictable, you need to carry layers to help you adjust to the climate at any given point of time. We recommend the following –
a) Thermal tops (with wicking properties)
b) Thermal tights (save these for cold evenings and nights – they will get sweaty if you wear them during the actual trek and take time to dry)
c) Waterproof winter hiking pants
d) Mid-weight fleece sweater
e) Soft shell jackets
f) Waterproof padded jacket
g) Long woollen hiking socks (multiple pairs)
h) Woollen cap (remember, 40-60% body heat escapes through your head!)
i) Sun cap (winter sunlight can be quite unforgiving)
j) Waterproof gloves
k) Scarf/neck gaiter
m) Ski goggles (in case of heavy snow)
n) T-shirts (multiple)
o) Undergarments (multiple)
Tech Essentials –
If you’re carrying a camera in addition to your Smartphone, make sure you keep extra SD cards and plenty of extra batteries (performance of batteries dips considerably at lower temperatures). It is highly advisable to carry a solar charger since electricity connections are typically poor. An LED headlamp is also a good investment for safety reasons.
Health & Safety Essentials –
A multifunction knife can be handy in many situations, so keep one on you at all times, along with a whistle. Don’t forget to carry a small First-Aid kit, any important medication (and, medical records) that comes to mind, hard copies of emergency contact information and trail maps, toiletries, hand sanitizer, sunscreen lotion and insect repellent. Water purification tablets are also useful.
F&B Essentials –
Carry some high-energy snacks with you. A few sachets of instant tea/coffee and noodles isn’t a bad idea either. Most importantly, carry an insulated flask; plastic water bottles are a complete no-no because the stored water will freeze!
Other Essentials –
A quick-dry travel towel and waterproof bag covers will be very handy. Walking sticks are rather useful for downhill sections of treks. Although not a necessity, some trekkers have found sleeping bag liners and emergencys blanket helpful. Most importantly, invest in a good waterproof backpack (at least 30L).
Happy winter trekking. Don’t forget to email us photos from your journey!