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Cold Weather Travel Essentials
We’re all a little sad that summer is clearly over and gone for another year! But let’s not forget that this also means that winter isn’t far away. The season of snowy landscapes, frozen lakes and hot chocolate in front of the fire. No matter where you’re going this winter and no matter how far you venture into the snowy mountains, be prepared and stay warm with our cold weather travel essentials list.
What to take:
Money & Travel Cash Cards: Depending on access to ATMs, take with you enough currency to cover you for the first couple of days at least. For the rest of your travel money it may be worth getting a Travel Cashcard which you can pre load prior and during your trip. There are a number of different providers (including STA, CaxtonFX, Post Office) which generally do not charge a fee for withdrawals and transactions.
Selection of Clothes: Don’t pack your whole wardrobe, but do make sure you have a varied selection of clothes suitable for your trip (a pair of trousers, a few tops, hoodies/jumper, and of course enough underwear to last at least 5days before needing to do washing). Merrell’s Big Sky Hoodie is a must-take for guys. This hoodie offers windproof protection while also being breathable! Our insulated Ladies Soleil Mixer is a great option for women, and can be slipped on underneath bigger outer layers for those especially cold nights.
Base layers/ Thermals: These items may well be the most important on the list, designed to wick moisture away from the body, keeping your skin dry and warm during your activities. Base layers are available in a number of materials from synthetics to merino wool.
Down Filled Jacket: Protect yourself from the icy winds with good quality and fill down jacket. If available, a high fill power is more desirable as it’s more likely to fit underneath your waterproof if necessary. Women pick up one of our feminine but functional Astor Down Jackets. Synthetically insulated jackets are a perfectly suitable alternative. For you guys out there we recommend Merrell’s Adventure Rest Insulated Hoodie. This jacket will not only keep you toasty warm, but also packs up into a neck pillow, ideal for always on the move travellers!
Balaclava/ Scarf / Neck Warmer: A balaclava may not be the most flattering accessory but you’ll certainly prefer this look to having a chapped face! Neck warmers will also help to keep the cool chills from finding their way down your neck.
Waterproof Hiking Shoes/Boots: A waterproof shoe is essential for colder climates where rain is almost certain. Pack yourself a pair of sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes which will keep your feel comfortable and dry. A Gore-Tex shoe will offer you exceptional protection from the rain, although many brands offer their own waterproof membranes at a cheaper price. Guys check out our Chameleon 5 Gore-Tex, and for the ladies we’d recommend the Chameleon Arc 2 Rival Waterproof!
Snow Boots: Heading to the snow capped mountains? Ensure you’re fully prepared for getting around and able keep your feet toasty warm with a pair of insulated waterproof snow boots intended for freezing conditions. Merrell’s Snowbound is ideal for women; these fleece-lined boots are packed with 200grams of insulation, keeping you warm in temperatures down to -40c
Waterproof Jacket and Trousers: Certainly try and keep a waterproof jacket on you at all times, and additionally a pair of trousers if you’re out on a longer trip. Our women’s winter coats have been popular year on year; look out for our Haven and Ellenwood jackets! Booth are available in insulated and waterproof styles.
Gaiters: Protect the bottom of your legs and ankles from snow, rain and debris with a pair of waterproof gaiters.
Gloves: A good pair of insulated or thermal gloves is a no brainer. Opt for a waterproof pair for snowy regions.
Reactive Hand Warmers: End up sitting about in the cold too long and you’ll soon find your fingers turning blue. Avoid this painful experience with reactive gel hand warmers which rapidly heat up on demand. Other uses for these implements include pre-warming your sleeping bag, melting iced up water bottles and warming up sore muscles.
Sleeping bag liner: Keeping your sleeping bag fresher for longer, a sleeping bag liner is far easier to wash that your actual sleeping bag. This will also add another layer to keep you a little warmer at night
A Good Book: Get stuck into a book on those lazy afternoons in the sun or rainy days inside. If you’re planning a long trip and thinking of taking a few reads with you, don’t! Take one book which you’re happy to leave or pass onto a fellow traveller. Most hostels have a book exchange system or other travellers eager to get their hands on another book, so you’ll have no problem picking something up while you’re out there.
A Couple of Plastic Bags: For storing dirty or wet clothes and also for keeping liquids surrounded in case of leaks
Drugs: Of the medical type. Stock up on Laxatives, Rehydration Sachets, Pain Killers, Anti-diarrhoea pills.
Duct Tape: Great for repairing damaged bags, rips in coats etc. The list of where this item will come in useful is endless!
Flashlight/Head-torch: There are many uses for the old torch, whether it’s getting yourself home from pub after dark or avoiding waking up your fellow sleeping roommates in the hostel by turning on the main lights.
Waterproof Cover for Your Bags: Don’t get caught out in the open rain with your backpack getting soaked. Drying each item will be a right pain, especially without a private room to spread your belongings out safely. While some bags come with waterproof covers as standard, others don’t, so be sure to check this before you set off.
Security Pack Bag: This is a secure bag to pop your bag in while travelling, particularly on airlines. This helps to avoid anyone tampering with your luggage. Although this happening is incredibly unlikely, there have been plenty of scare stories where apparently innocent travellers have had items planted in their backpacks.