Winter is here! Kathmandu is generally a warm place except during the day (or even hot) but surely you didn’t come to Nepal to hang out around the urban areas. The winter temperature falls between 19°C to 4°C but the case in the mountainous regions takes a 180 turn and not even the thickest blanket can keep you warm all night. As a backpacker, you know its time to see Mother Nature’s snow capped mountains and the white-layered villages up in the mountains. Obviously the weather up there drops down to a freezing level of 0°C and the deadly winds cut against your skin hence why you need to prep against the stinging attacks of the cold air and snow.
Ready to meet the mountains? You may have a list of bulky items in your mind but how prepped are you for the depth of the snow? Besides the basic stuff here’s a reminder list of what you need to prepare for travelling to the heart of winter.
Rain Pants - Rain Pants make a great alternative hiking pants during the winter. If you’re sleeping in the snow then you don’t need to worry about it getting drenched from the cold air at night. And they dry fast!
Mittens - Warm and worth it! Mittens keep the hands warm and toasted any time compared to gloves however you can wear your gloves under the mittens making it winter-proof. Of course you can wear insulated gloves if you’re a ‘glove person’.
Sleeping bag -The most essential item that will decide your fate at night is your sleeping bag. It may be expensive but investing on a good sleeping bag will be the best thing you do. Since you’ll be out camping in the snow look for a mummy bag with a temperature rating of minimum 15°F. Of course, don’t forget a sleeping pad!
Boil-In-Bag Frozen Food - Boil-in-frozen foods are a better choice of meal that only requires boiling compared to prepping a whole meal out in the mountains. It is ready-made, warm and time saving to fill an empty stomach. The best part is that you have fewer dishes to clean.
Lithium Batteries - Alkaline based batteries are not effective in the cold weather. Lithium batteries are more powerful making them ideal for torchlights; headlamps and other battery run electronics. Choose your batteries wisely.
Stoves - A trip without a stove means no food! You are suggested to take an extra stove as well as extra fuel with you incase one fails due to the extreme cold or dirty fuel. Liquid-fuel/white gas stoves perform well in the cold weather although you need to be careful with the fuel you use to avoid it from failing.
The mountains always have windy nights so make sure that your tent is secured so that it doesn’t blow away or get buried deep by the snow. Shovel is an important tool for digging a snow shelter, scooping fresh snow for drinking water and leveling a tent site so that’s something you might want to have you with you. Don’t forget to enjoy your snow.