Imagine walking through an incredible snow-covered landscape at an altitude of 4,000 meters in sub zero temperatures, right in the midst of winters. Think of snowball fights, stark white snow photography, snowman selfies and even getting a chance to spot an incredibly rare Snow Leopard & other elusive wildlife. Imagine the feeling of cold mountain air rejuvenating your lungs and your spirits.
Is your imagination running away to the mountains already? Or are you getting goosebumps thinking of sub zero temperatures?
Yes, the mountains are magical but they can also be unforgiving in the cold. Which is why we have a handy guide that will help you prepare for a sub zero degree winter trip in the great outdoors.
In this post, we’re not talking about shelter as that is something that GoMissing Expeditions provides on all outdoor trips. Shelter in the form of high altitude tents, sleeping bags and/ or home stays/ resorts.
Food, Nutrition and Hydration for Sub Zero Winter Trips
First and foremost, you must ensure you’re giving yourself adequate food and hydration during your winter adventures.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Staying hydrated is absolutely critical to your survival in the mountains. You must drink enough water even if you don’t feel thirsty. This will help your body acclimatize to the altitude and the weather conditions really fast. If you’re someone who forgets to drink water often, there is an app for that. The app will remind you how much water you have drank and how much you need to drink, at regular intervals.
Drinks like Gatorade may also help as they contain added sugar and freeze at a lower temperature than water.
Food and Carbs
While you might be on a diet regimen in the city, in the mountains in winter, do remember to load up on carbs. It’ll keep you fueled up for that trek and all your other outdoor activities.
Clothing and accessories for sub zero temperature winter trips
Layer Up to Survive ANY Sub-Zero Outdoor Trip
The best survival tactic is to layer up. Multiple layers ensure that your body stays insulated and doesn’t lose heat. Start with something body hugging which will retain heat and just add layers. The additional advantage of layering up is that you’ll be able to add or remove layers as and when required.
Choose a polyester thermal underwear as your base layer and add breathable fleece to keep warm. If you prefer natural fabrics, wool is the way to go as it keeps you warm and cozy.
Wear woolen socks and gloves to keep your feet and hands warm. You do not want frostbite on any part of your body and hands and toes is where is typically starts. If you’re going to be trekking, make sure you invest in a pair of snow boots. Most snow boots are waterproof, so ice-cold water can’t seep in through your shoes and you can keep warm.
Avoid Getting Wet
Baths, mountains and a sub-zero climate isn’t the most welcoming of combinations. If visiting for just a few days, avoid bathing during your expedition. You’ll get plenty of chances to bathe once you’re in the comfort of your home post the trek. While you’re on the expedition, it’s best to avoid getting any part of your body wet – especially the neck, chest and head.
While you’re out and about, make sure your outermost layer is waterproof.
Keep Your Feet Dry
As soon as you finish your hike, come in and change your socks. While hiking, your feet will sweat and it can become extremely painful to wear wet socks. Sit by the fireplace or the bonfire to dry your feet before putting on a dry pair of socks.
Since we’re on the topic of feet, do keep in mind that wearing multiple layers of socks and tightening your shoe laces might restrict blood flow to the feet and make the whole process counter productive. You should plan on wearing 2 layers of socks at most, plus waterproof shoes to keep your feet warm. Same goes for the hands and the rest of your clothing. You need to be snug, at the same time do not constrict blood flow to any part of your body.
Cover every part of your body, especially the head, neck and chest. Wear a scarf or balaclava and a fleece cap to keep your neck and head warm.
A number of chemical warmers are available in the market. These come in small pouches and are quite handy. To use chemical warmers, all you need to do is to open the pack, take out the pouch, shake it for a few seconds and place it within your jacket (not touching the body) or in your sleeping bag close to your feet. In just a couple of minutes, these chemical warmers will start generating optimal heat.
You can use these in your pockets, gloves, socks, jackets, sleeping bags etc.
Get Out There and Challenge Yourself
The mountains are incredibly beautiful during winter when they’re snow covered, a little cold shouldn’t deter you from creating memories which will last you a lifetime.
Do remember that a number of locals live up in the mountains during winters. They are certainly used to the weather conditions, but with a little care, there is no reason why you won’t be able to survive an outdoor trip in sub zero temperatures.
Finally, don’t miss the chance for a sub-zero outdoor adventure!