Kia ora guys, it’s Taka! Where is your favorite country?
I’ve been often asked “Where is my most favorite country?” by my friends. It’s a tough question, since every country has its beautiful things. However, I can comfortably say that, Thailand is the BEST!
There are beautiful beaches, mountains, great foods, and great people… definitely love the county!
However! I equally love Nepal as well! My first visit to the country was in 2004, the country often went strike, lead by the Maoists, and it was a bit chaotic at that time. Because of that, there were much less tourists compare to now.
However, I met great people during my stay there, and we went to Everest base camp together. It sure was one of my best memories in my life!
In 2006, I visited Nepal again, when I went to Tibet with my friend, who took me to Everest base camp. And again, I went to Nepal for my third time in this year(2018), from the mid of Feb for a month. You know, the other friend, who went to Everest base camp together, took a trekking to Annapurna circuit last year… Since I heard that story, Nepal had been on my mind, and luckily enough(?) I did quit the job at the end of the year. Thus, I decided to go to Nepal for trekking!
Yeah, I traveled as getting unemployment benefits as I wrote the previous post. Cool Huh?
Generally speaking, the trekking season in Nepal is from the end of Oct to mid of May, as during the period is dry. However, Nepal is located in the Northern hemisphere, so there sure is winter from Dec to Feb. The height of Kathmandu is about 1400m high, so it’s pretty cold in the evening and morning. If you plan to go trekking, you do need solid gears.
My trekking plan was making “Around Annapurna” for 2 weeks, from the end of Feb. The route starts from the village called “Besisahar ” (taking a bus from Pokhara), then walk around the Annapurna mountain range. The highlight of this trekking is “Thorong la“, the biggest pass in the world, and the attitude is 5416m.
（サイトのトップ写真にも使われている、この写真はトロンパスに向かう途中の絶景です。 This pic is used for my blog’s top, taken on the way to Throng la.)
However, I did search how cold, and how much snowfall in Feb in the areas, but I couldn’t find certain information. I was wondering what kind of gears I should bring… Thus, I’m going to write about which gears you’ll need trekking in Nepal in winter this time!
By the way, I buy outdoor products from Trekk Inn. Since the price of outdoor products is rather expensive in Japan. I’m not sure about your country, but better compare the price first. It normally takes 2 weeks to get a product to Japan, and if you buy some expensive product, you may need to pay taxes. However, it’s still way cheaper than buying from the real shops!
ネパール冬季トレッキングに必要なギア The gears you need trekking in Nepal during winter
First and foremost, let me tell you about a sleeping bag. I would say that choosing a good sleeping bag is very important! It’s a nightmare if you can’t sleep well because of the cold. Moreover, if you can’t sleep well, and get tired could trigger for high altitude sickness! I’ve got few sleeping bags, but I got a new one in Kathmandu for the cold weather up in the mountain.
Of course, it’s a copy one, so it can’t stand for -20degrees. But I did NOT feel cold at all, and slept very well like a baby!
By the way, the thin one on the pic is a travel sheet from Cocoon. It’s a versatile product! It can warm up about 5 degrees, if it’s put in your sleeping bag. It’s also very useful when you travel in South East Asia. You know, some budget accommodation don’t clean bed linen. I’ve been using it over a decade!
There are cotton ones, and silk ones. I do recommend silk one, as it’s much thinner, lighter, and warmer!
As you can see, there is a tag like this… but I don’t trust it at all!
There are tons of outdoor shops in Kathmandu, but the quality isn’t the same, and it’s really tough to find good products.
I was working for an inspection company. Thus, I’ll write about how to inspect clothes near the future. It’s pretty useful when you buy products especially in Asia. FIY, Ho Chi Minh is a good spot to buy FAKE North Face products.
(写真クリックすると、写真のミレーのジャケット購入ページに飛びます。 Click the pic, then jump to the page of Millet’s hard-shell jacket.)
I never felt cold while I was working. In fact, I wore a T shirt, and long sleeve while walking even over 4000m high.
I put on the fleece jacket early in the morning. I wore the fleece, and Gore-tex jackets on the day I crossed the Thorong la pass. Against for rain and snow, a hard-shell jacket is highly advisable.
The first time when I wore this Millet’s jacket was skiing in Miyagi Zao. On that day, it was snowing pretty hard, but thanks to the jacket, I could enjoy skiing whole day! The good thing about this jacket is, its design. The huge pockets can store many things, and these are really useful.
A 3-layer Gore-tex jacket isn’t cheap, but it sure is a versatile one for city-use, and the nature. If you maintain it well, you can easily use it over 5 years.
I was wondering if I should have brought a down jacket… My friend said, the problem is, when you stay in lodges! Of course, temperature plummets after the sun goes down, and there is no heater in a sleeping room. Moreover, the wind might come in from gaps…
There should be fire places in dining rooms, but fires are on after 4~5pm. That’s why you may want to take a down jacket! You don’t need to bring a thick one like mine, but a compact one will definitely make you comfortable. You can buy one in Nepal, but I don’t recommend it. (Yes, I’ll post about it in the future!)
From the left, Mammut’s down pants, fake Mammut’s pants, and Arc’teryx’s pants.
The friend, who visited Nepal last year bought the fake Mammut’s pants for me. Its logo is pretty good shape, and it’s difficult to find in Nepal. Most of the logos of Mammut in Nepal are very poor quality.
I was comfortably surprised that these pants were water repellent. However, there is one drawback. The belt strap is too tight, so it’s difficult to adjust… This is the reality of fake products! Hahaha.
The down pants were very useful indeed, when I stayed in the lodges. One Belgian lady said “Hey, you’ve got nice pants! You don’t need a sleeping bag, do you?” Hahaha, of course, I did need a sleeping bag. However, these pants are very warm, and compact. I absolutely recommend the pants! I wear them for winter camp.
By the way, I also took tights as well, but I wore them on the day, I crossed Thorong la pass.
From the upper left, fake Forth face’s long sleeve, Macpac’s merino wool long sleeve, the bottom left, authentic North face’s T shirt, and Mont-bell’s T shirt.
As you know, wearing cotton products for trekking is no-no. Sweat→Stay wet→Getting cold→Hypothermia… it could be really dangerous. In recent years, the development of textile product has been improving dramatically. There are many innovative functions, such as quick-dry,and antibacterial etc.
You can get synthetic material T shirts in Kathmandu.However, as I mentioned before, there are dozens of poor quality products, so check very well before you buy!
Let’s talk about small stuff which I took. This cap was bought in Pokhara, I paid 6$. I saw many folded brimmed caps, but most of them were North face. I personally don’t like the brand very much, so I walked a lot… and finally I found it! If you want to buy some good products in Nepal, you need to WALK A LOT to check as many shops as possible!
Most of the route in Annapurna circuit, you get the sunlight on the back of your head. The sun is very strong indeed in the mountains, so wearing a cap is essential!
Many foreign trekkers carried plastic bottles, as they complained that a thermos is heavy. I mainly used the hydration bag, and the thermos was a sub-bottle.
At the begging of trekking(the first 2~3days), the attitude isn’t high, so you’ll sweat a lot. For that reason, you need to bring a lot of water, otherwise you might get dehydrated. It’s a pain in the ass to put your bag down each time, when you drink water. The hydration bag did a great job for me!
ネパールは、山の中に限らず停電が多いです！ほぼ毎日停電になります。よって、ヘッドライトは必須アイテムです。トイレ行く時に大活躍ですし、ポカラで一度町中が停電になり、自転車をレンタルしていた僕は、ヘッドライトを使用して町中を疾走していましたw Black Diamondの物は使い勝手も良いので超お勧めです。
You’ll experience power cuts pretty much every day not only in the mountains, but also in Katmandu and Pokhara… yes, pretty much the whole country! That’s why a head light is essential, and bringinga compact lantern is advisable. It’s really useful, as it works with solar power! A great product for camping.
Except for the gloves(the pic left up), all the products are MONTANE. This English maker isn’t popular at all in Japan, or maybe in other countries either. However, the quality is just awesome! I really do love the fleece jacket,which I mentioned before. The design is superb, and it’s made by a breathable material, so you won’t sweat a lot.
I brought the pants against rain & snow, but luckily enough, the weather wasn’t that bad, so I didn’t wear them. I bought the pants for 15000yen(about 140$) on sale, the original price was 70000jpy(about 680$). How lucky I was! and I wear them for skiing.
Bringing a beanie and neck warmer was also pretty helpful. Inside of the beanie is fleece material, so it’s very warm indeed! Wearing the neck warmer helped against the cold, and it could be a mask while walking. It’s killing two birds with one stone.
(写真をクリックすると、モンテインの手袋購入ページに飛びます。 Click the pic, then jump to the page of Montane’s gloves)
I brought thin gloves, and thick ones. I used the thin ones around 3000m high, when I started walking in the mornings. The thick ones were used in the higher lodges, and the day when I crossed the pass.
By the way, recent gloves get very compact! These ones are once again Montane’s, and they can be compact as palm-sized. Of course, they are water-proof, and breathable. Protecting your tip of fingers are very important!
I was pretty worried about snow, before going trekking. I stayed the village called, Upper Pisang(3300m high). I woke up in the morning, and outside was completely white… But, luckily enough, the snow wasn’t that deep, and the weather was recovering dramatically, so I could continue to walk on that day.
This is the snowfall of Upper Pisang. The snow was dry, so it wasn’t slippery. This time, I took Merell Capra Mid(Unfortunately, they are no longer available), and these shoes have a great grip on soles. I had few Merell products before, and I’ve been satisfied with their products. The shoes are very light indeed, and thanks to Gore-tex, highly breathable.That’s why my feet stayed dry and really comfortable to walk! I didn’t get any blister.
Over 5000m high, there had been snow already, and the day before I crossed the Thorong la, it was snowing… As you can see the pic, the snow is rather deep. However, the snow was very dry, and thanks to the other trekkers’ footprints, walking up wasn’t difficult.
The problem was, when I was descending. There were some tricky points. The snow was a bit deep, up to my shin, and pretty slippery. You don’t need to bring solid crampons, but better bring light-weighted ones. I’ll definitely bring light-weighted ones for next time.
I was wearing the sandals in the lodges. After long walking, your feet should be relaxed, aye? When you take a shower, sandals are better.
By the way, the sandals on the pic were bought in Ho Chi Minh city! (Sure, these are copy.) However! these sandals are really comfortable, and have a great grip. I’ve been highly satisfied with these sandals! I’ve been testing them at the moment, so I’ll write a review near the future. I’m sure the authentic ones are much better than mine! Hahaha.
・There isn’t much snow even for Feb, but If you want to go over 5000m, better bring light-weighted crampons.
・You can buy pretty much any gears in Nepal, but jackets and shoes should be authentic ones.
・Bring a solid sleeping bag!
Mid Feb is a off-season, so there aren’t many tourists, and I really enjoyed it. Prepare well against the cold, and please do enjoy trekking! If you have any questions, just leave a message. I’ll post my trekking reports near the future. See ya guys, Ciao!
Trekk Innで日本より安く購入しましょう！ Buy cheaper in Trekk Inn than your country!