prepare for winter treks

How to Prepare for Winter Treks in the Himalayas

Everything you need to know about the winter treks in the Himalayas
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Prepare Yourself for Winter Treks in the Himalayas

In order to Prepare for Winter Treks in the Himalayas, you must follow the advice of your trekking leader, and adhere to the guidelines. It is mandatory to appropriate winter clothing, trekking gear, toiletry, cutlery, and many important things for enhancing your trek tour. Wearing strong trekking boots with ankle support, and grip is a great factor to ascend or descend effortlessly through the snow trails. Prior training is required to take a winter trek because most of these are difficult ones owing to the tough trail passing through snowfields, moraines, and glaciers. Another important thing to enhance your winter trekking experience is to hydrate yourself regularly and eat a healthy breakfast with satiety levels to keep you energized during the experience. A backpack of 50-60 L is appropriate for a winter trekking experience containing all the necessary items. You must carry trekking poles to increase your speed, headlamps for keeping your hands free, and additional batteries to support your electronic items.

Expert Advice on Preparing for Winter Treks in the Himalayas

Winter Treks in the Himalayas
Winter Clothing

The first and foremost step to Prepare for Winter Treks in India is to pack appropriate thermal clothing. Owing to the temperatures, you may add or remove extra clothing layers. You may choose to carry warm wear such as inners, sweaters, jackets, and coats to cover your body fully. Ears and head are susceptible to cold and these uncovered body parts may cause damage to your health. Hence, you need to cover your head and ears with caps, and scarves.

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Trekking Gears
Trekking Gears

For the best himalayan winter treks, you need to carry essential gear such as Trekking poles. They balance your body and provide you stability as you ascend/descend through the trail. The trekking poles are known to reduce energy consumption by 30-40% and enhance your speed during the trek. Another important thing to carry is headlamps. Carrying torches, and flashlights is a good option but headlamps make your hands free to perform other activities and provide a wider coverage area.

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Water Bottle
Stay Hydrated

It is a misconception that you can skip drinking water in order to Prepare for Winter Treks in the Himalayas. Even though it might be cold, and you are not thirsty, drinking adequate water energizes your body to perform well on the trekking trail. It is mandatory to carry refillable water bottles, and an adequate amount of water to hydrate yourself regularly during the trek. If you don’t follow the same, chances are that dehydration will reduce your energy, and become a cause for altitude sickness.

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Winter Treks in the Himalayas
Physical Fitness

If you want to enjoy the best himalayan winter treks, you need an appropriate physical fitness level. Most of the winter treks are analogous with snowfields, moraines, and glaciers. Even some of them require you to walk on frozen lakes. Walking such ascending trails is a strenuous activity and requires a good fitness level. The prior practice of running 10 km a day is a good start to preparing for your trek. The experience can be better if you carry some amount of weight while running as you would be carrying your backpacks during the trek.

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Lunch Table
Full Diet Meal

Fulfilling your macros- proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in adequate amounts lets your body perform the best. To Prepare for Winter Treks in the Himalayas, you can consider having healthy food prior to your trek. It is advisable to avoid junk food as it has low satiety and keeps you hungry, and unfulfilled all the time. At the time of trekking, you need to cook your own healthy meals around the campsite. You can think of carrying some quick energy bites, glucose biscuits, and some snacks to keep yourself energized amidst the trek.

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Carrying toiletries for maintaining hygiene is essential to Prepare for Winter Treks in the Himalayas. Essentials like toothpaste, soaps, toothbrushes, shampoos, and sanitizer help you maintain basic hygiene during the treks. Even during the winter, it is essential to wear Sunscreen for protection against UV rays of direct sun, and moisturizer for reducing dryness. Carrying an anti-fungal cream is a good way to avoid any infections caused due to touching bugs, or allergic plants. A bug spray is another essential that keeps allergic reactions, and irritations away.

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Things to Carrry

You need to carry winter wear, trekking poles, food, toiletries, a medical kit, and a first-aid kit to enhance your trekking experience. Some cutlery like a mug, spoon, lunchbox, disposable plates, and glasses let you enjoy your food. You must carry power banks, and additional batteries to support your electronic items. Carrying covers help you to keep your used and worn clothes away from eatables, and fresh wear. A magnetic compass can point out the right directions in case of any urgent requirement during best himalayan winter treks.

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Follow the Guidelines

You must follow all the advice of your trek leader in accordance with the guidelines for taking your best himalayan winter treks. These guidelines are issued by the state, and you must adhere to it. Carrying an ID card or international passport during the trek lets you start your journey, as it is among most forest department rules. Some of the guidelines advise you not to gain more than 1000 meters altitude for acclimatization. Trekking during the night is hazardous as you might encounter some dangerous mountain beings.

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Snow Trail
Snow Trails

Passing through the snow trails is one of the toughest phases of winter treks. You can easily overcome the same by wearing appropriate boots. Trekking shoes with ankle support, knee length, and strong grip allow you to move effortlessly and prepare for a snow trek. Using trekking poles lets you increase your speed in the snow. Another important thing for trekking through the snow trails is to carry UV glasses for protection against the snow. This is because the reflection of sunlight from the surface of snow might cause temporary snow blindness.

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FAQs For Winter Treks in the Himalayas

Which is the best winter trek in India?

The best himalayan winter treks in India are Kedarkantha Trek, Brahmatal trek, Chadar Trek, Chopta Tungnath trek, Kuari Pass trek, Dayara Bugyal trek, etc. Out of all these treks, the experience of Chadar Trek is the best. This is because the trek lets you walk on the frozen Zanskar River. The difficult trail takes you to a height of 11,000+ ft amidst the snowy mountains with temperatures reaching -25 degree celsius.

What should one keep in mind while trekking in the snow?

You should keep in mind to regularly hydrate yourself throughout the snow trek. Staying hydrated during the trek lets you trek for a long time. Even eating a healthy meal to complete your macros, and calorie requirement helps you to cross the snow with full energy. Another thing that helps you prepare for a snow trek is that if there is a snowstorm, you must refrain from trekking. You should take a shelter nearby, and continue trekking later.

Which are the best Winter Treks in Uttarakhand in December?

Brahmatal Trek, Kedarkantha Trek, Chandrashila Trek, Kuari Pass Trek, etc, are some of the best treks in Uttarakhand around December. The trail of the trek is mostly covered in snow, and there are high chances for you to witness frozen alpine lakes. Some of the treks let you cross the moraines, and glaciers with steep ascents. These winter treks in Uttarakhand bless you with rewarding views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks.

What are the best winter treks in Himachal?

Some of the best himalayan winter treks from Himachal Pradesh include Kareri Lake Trek, Kheerganga Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Prashar Lake Trek, etc. Out of all these, Prashar Lake Trek is a rewarding experience that lets you witness the pristine Lake. The trek allows you to set up camp next to the Prashar Lake, which is surrounded by lush meadows.

How do you stay warm during a snow trek?

In order to stay warm during the winter trek, you need to wear multiple layers of thermal clothing. Wearing inner jackets, sweaters, and coats protects your body from cold. It is important to note that you must wear bottom-thermal underneath the trek pants as improper legs may let the cold waves hit you. Another thing to wear is gloves, scarves, and hats for covering your hands, head, and ears.

What does one wear for a hike on soft snow?

For hiking on soft snow, you should wear appropriate trekking boots that provide ankle support and a strong grip. These boots let you move effortlessly through the snowfields and moraines. Using trekking poles would reduce your energy consumption by 30-40% and increase your trekking speed. Another important thing to wear is snow protection glasses. These let you protect yourself from temporary snow blindness caused due to UV reflection of sun rays.

Which are the easiest winter treks in India?

Some of the easiest winter treks in India are Bijli Mahadev Trek, Chopta Tungnath Trek, Har Ki Dun Trek, Prashar Lake Trek, Deoria tal trek, Triund trek, etc. Most of these treks are of short-span and take around 2-3 days to finish. Treks like Bijli Mahadev Trek take 2-days to finish and are popular to be a weekend trek.

What should you not do while trekking in the winter?

You should not trek during the snow storms and extreme temperatures during the winters. It is better to refrain from trekking around the night as lack of visibility might cause some slips or you could encounter some dangerous animals. Another thing to avoid during the trek is to quickly climb. Taking fast steps or climbing quickly uphill drains your energy level for the rest of the journey.

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