Sleeping bag advice for August trek?

#1 Jun 9th, 2004, 18:20
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#1
Would appreciate any recommendations on what kind of sleeping bags and coats to bring in August. We're doing a modified Markha Valley trek, with a couple nights at Nimaling (approx 4,700 m). How cold does it get at night? What should we plan for? Do we need warm (i.e. down, or heavy) jackets, or is lots of fleece and windstopper/rain gear sufficient? Thanks!
#2 Jun 10th, 2004, 13:40
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#2
In the month of August, it can go below -4 deg Celsius. (in Nimaling)

For 01 night, you need not carry a down jacket (though when ti gets cold, you WISH you could have carried the whole paraphernelia with you!).

as you plan to spend a lot of time, bringing a down jacket would be a good idea.

For treks etc, any bag that can hold up to minus 15 to 17 degrees is a good idea.

But I guess it also depends on personal preferences.
#3 Jun 10th, 2004, 14:14
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My sleeping bag is only a 3 season one, I think (have no idea how many degrees that means but I assume probably not minus 15-17). If I do the Lamayuru-Chiling trek in July, would I be better off leaving it at home and hiring a warmer one in Leh? Less stuff for me to carry to India so would suit better, I guess.
#4 Jun 10th, 2004, 15:52
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#4
Some ways of beefing up your sleeping bag :

* Use a liner.
* Woolen gloves/mittens
* Down socks
* Balaclava
* Zipped up jacket, inverted sleeves over leg section (if not too tight)

Bulkier and or or more expensive options :

* One more thin bag . Ideally one of the new no-fill on the backside. Get a large one (most normally sized women) or a XXL one (most normally sized men).
I sewed up a improvised version of this for my winter trip to Ladakh for my 4-season bag - and was glad for it.
*Silk long johns/ top : expensive, lot of warmth with little weight, super compact . You might consider the top that can be used daytime as well.

The lower it gets below zero and the heavier your boots are , the more painful it gets to put on your boots in the morning. Start thinking about bringing in your boots into the sleeping bag before it gets too uncomfortable. Also remember the batteries if you want that nice breakfast pic.

Gradings of sleeping bags is a mess. At best they can tell you how they compare to each other ( in Sweden the consumer board has run a couple of tests with a high-tech simulation dummy) but not what is good for you. Another thing that can be relevant is that high altitude adaption involves diminished circulation in hands & feet, so you may need a warmer bag higher up.
#5 Jun 10th, 2004, 16:33
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#5
thanks m.g. and visnet. I didn't realize it got quite that cold, but it stands to reason at that altitude. will make sure my daughter has down, gloves, etc.

on the sleeping arrangments, our trek organizer supplies mats--haven't asked what kind yet-- but I've heard it's often better to bring one's own as they might be better quality. the light weight, inflatable ones are not cheap, but perhaps they're worth the price since a stiff back in the morning --for 10-12 nights--can be a drag. any advice here? can good quality stuff be rented in Leh?
#6 Jun 10th, 2004, 16:44
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Quote:
Originally posted by montana
the light weight, inflatable ones are not cheap, but perhaps they're worth the price..
You might get a bargain price now on ThermaRest (Ive seen offers here) since they`ve just introduced a new, lighter model.
#7 Jun 11th, 2004, 13:46
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Mountains are nobody's friends - as long as the weather god is smiling at you, everything will be smooth. However you should be prepared for any turn in the weather. As it is with the change in global pattern the 'Met' dept's predictions are up for a joke!

Montana: since you are going on an organised trek, here are few things you can demand from your agency: 2 sets of carrymats (one regular and one thermest will be excellent). You can carry your own sleeping bag and also get the agency to bring a spare one for all and use it as the outerlayer to your own bag.

Most trekking agencies will provide this anyway. Alterntely, you CAN hire the equipment in Leh as well or get the agency to arrange beforehand.

For hiring: As a general rule, bring your own sleeping bag and IF possible your own tent. You can hire the lining or a thinner sleeping bag (Indian/ imported). Rest of the equipment is fine - only, check it properly.

Most of the agencies here now have imported bags - but they are pretty old so their capacities are much less than brand new ones.

If you plan to engage in some illegal climbing or exploring the area nearby (high altitude trekking etc) - which I presume most peple spending few nights in Nimaling do - unless you want to spend the entire time on a 'Tte--tte' with the sheperds who are up there with their cattles. For such trips, if the agency is providing you with any equipment for your personal use, check the equipment personally to make sure everything is fit and fine for use.

Maree, you can either follow the above advice Or, listen to vistet - I couldn't have come up with a better advice.

Remember LAYERING of clothes IS the BEST way to protect yourself.

Personally, feeling of being 'cold' also depends on other factors like acclimatisation, taking proper care of yourself and not trying to be a superhero/heroine!, following the rules of acclimatisation while going above 4000 meters or so.

Ah, now I have got started again.......!!!

Vistet, I have been wondering if a 'WET SUIT' can be used while trekking - what do you think? isn't it supposed to keep you protected from cold?
#8 Jun 11th, 2004, 14:33
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#8
Thanks, vistet and mountaingirl. MG... I don't think wearing a wetsuit while trekking would be a good idea... you'd get really sweaty as they don't 'breathe'.
#9 Jun 11th, 2004, 17:06
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#9
Very helpful, Mg. I'll inquire about the mats. We'll come with good basics, but it's good to know we can top up with whatever we feel is missing in Leh.

Etiquette question: is it ok to hike in shorts, or is it preferable, especially when passing through villages and visiting monasteries, to cover up?
#10 Jun 11th, 2004, 17:19
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#10
I would also like to come in on this thread.

We won't be trekking but we would like to spend some time in August/Sept in the Nubra Valley, preferably in small hotels or guest houses.

Would places like this supply bedding or should we bring our own sleeping bags just in case?
#11 Jun 11th, 2004, 17:29
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Hi Montana: In the Markha trek, there is a lot of river crossing involved (meaning folding up your trouser and taking off your boots) and when you are not in a mood - then you will hate it.

Most people here are used to seeing people in shorts. However, getting those zip-off trousers will solve the problem for you. Women can carry a wrap around (you can buy one for Rs.50.00) in Delhi.

Alan, the guesthouses will provide everything. In Nubra valley, constructing a toilet is the most expensive part of the house. Therefore attached toilets are rare. Try the snow-leopard guesthouse in Hunder. It has a beautiful garden, good food...rooms are a bit small but with attached western toilets.
#12 Jun 11th, 2004, 17:30
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Quote:
Originally posted by montana
Etiquette question: is it ok to hike in shorts, or is it preferable, especially when passing through villages and visiting monasteries, to cover up?
Definitely covering up in the gompas. Also avoid pointing your feet towards people , altars .. i.e. tuck in your feet sitting.
#13 Jun 11th, 2004, 17:39
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#13
Thanks mountaingirl

You probably know how some of us older people are - sometimes we don't make it through the night! What does the night temperature drop to?

By the way, do they have any sinks in these places?
#14 Jun 12th, 2004, 18:18
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One last (promise) question about gear. Mountaingirl, for the Markah Valley trek, what kind of footwear do you recommend? Light trekking shoes? Or are sturdier over the ankle boots (leather/Gortex mix) a must? Assume that most paths are fairly well trodden, but have heard there are also steep sections with scree and such, as well as river/stream crossings that you pointed out. What's your advice?
#15 Jun 12th, 2004, 20:37
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Cool Shoes are the most important gear on a trek!!!

Over the ankle boots are a must if you have some tendency to sprain your ankles (like I have a recurring ankle sprain prob. ... only high anklets seem to mitigate the prob).

Gore-tex lined boots are good in the frequent stream crossings in Ladakh. The locals wear very poor quality cloth shoes made in India or China. I have seen porters wear rubber slippers even in the stream crossings. But don't try to emulate them.

I generally overdo myself on a long trek as far as shoes are concerned. I tell myself that my entire holiday will be spoiled if something happens to my legs. This is my foot-care routine :

Morning : wash them thoroughly. Nails should be clipped. Dry with clean towel. Even a small speck of dirt can give you a blister by repeated friction. Apply talcum powder all over the foot. Pour some into your socks. This helps absorb foot-sweat and keeps feet dry. Also dri-lubricates your feet so that hot-spots or blisters do not occur. The moment you discover a hot-spot apply plain micropore surgical tape (3M) over it. This will prevent the hot spot from becoming an actual blister. Wear thin cotton socks (or silk socks) next to your skin Then a pair of another cotton socks, slightly thicker. The third layer will be either a thick pair of Thor-lo's or a thick pair of hand-woven natural wool socks, (natural wool in case i am gonna go up above 3500m or so).

Now come the shoes. With all these socks it becomes necessary to wear a full size bigger shoe. Lace up tightly in the mornings. It will loosen up as you trek during the day. Most of my friends use only two layers of socks. I know very many foreigners use just a single pair. Keep an entire set as an alternative. Some stream crossings will make you so wet that you will have no choice but to change to a dry pair. Also if your putting talcum powder, the socks will have to be washed on the fifth/sixth day.

At higher altitudes, keep your shoes inside your sleeping bag at night. Their stink will be much more tolerable than having to wear shoes of ice the next morning. Heating them on a fire will ruin the leather and the gore-tex special wicking properties. (At lower altitudes, you will be keeping them outside. See that dogs do not carry the shoe away. They like to chew it. Also shake them out for small scorpions, snakes and other critters before putting them on in the morning.)

My maximum expenditure is on shoes. Sleeping bags can be used with a liner or even two. You will be travelling with porters/mules. Let them do most of the carrying for you.

No promise for any last questions. Ask a thousand more !!

Post a detailed trek-report on this or some appropriate thread !!
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