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  • Writer's pictureRuss Hewer

Know what to buy for Trekking in Sikkim

The weather in the Himalayan mountains can be unpredictable and unforgiving so I've some recommendations for footwear, equipment and clothes.

I'm a traditionalist as I prefer the harder leather walking boots which are waterproof but a little heavier that their contemporaries. Its important to get a firm ankle support and these boots gives you this especially as you get older in life, as I am, you need to reduce risk to injury.

Use a price compare site such as Pricespy and type in walking and trekking boots and you will get all brands and see what deals they have. You can be specific in terms or female or male boots and wither you want a boot with Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex material allows the foot to breath whilst at the same time keeps the foot waterproof. For further information please see Gore-Tex

For starters, get a base layer which will keep your skin dry even if your own body sweat makes your layers damp. helping to keep you dry, cool, comfortable, and chafe-free is very important. For more information on base layers, see Base Layer Information. For budget base layers, try motorcycle base layers which are more economical then the trekkers counterparts but just as good. Try EDZ or Oxford Motor Cycles

The two top left pictures show a typical two piece base layer but you can also get a one piece long-johns. Waterproof jackets can come with inner fleeces that are detachable and some have armpit zips to give you ventilation especially if you encountering changes in temperature. They sometimes have built-in hoods situated in the collar.

Waterproof leggings can also be made into shorts so when you get hotter, you can zip the bottom half off in double quick time. Make sure that the zip doesn't rub on your knees by trying them on first before you purchase.

I would suggest a woollen hat especially if you are like me and completely bald. 40% of your body heat can exit your head so its a simple way to keep warm.

Have a pack of Compeed in your rucksack to deal with chaffing and blisters. Its the best way to heal the foot and keep you going. Click on here for more information Compeed

I would recommend Nordic poles to give more stability and help with walking in the mountains and I would recommend Trekrite. It's worth spending £20-30 on good poles and the cheaper Chinese ones have failed on me twice in the past

Trekking Poles by Trekrite

The picture below show my old poles that have failed so try Trekrite one which are made of carbon fibre and lightweight.

I prefer to buy a rucksack that is small around 20kg maximum but I normally don't take more than 15kg. The rucksack should have a detachable day bag that you can carry on your back as per the one above. I put all my valuables in the day bag including wallet, passport, tickets and permits plus my phone and charging cables. Internal flights in India will sometimes allow 15kg of luggage in the cabin and this is sometimes included in your ticket price. You can get laundry done very cheaply in India so keep the weight down and periodically get your clothes cleaned. A full dry clean for 15kg of clothes is £7 and takes 24 hours. The rucksack should have clips that you can cable tie together for extra security so look at the way that it's made before you purchase. I carried this rucksack all over India and because it was compact, I managed to get it into a sleeper compartment of a bus with me where space is restricted. Try to keep the poles inside the rucksack as this saves delay in getting your luggage screened in the X-Ray machines. For domestic transfers inside India, you have to get each item tagged and stamped and you have to carry the luggage yourself to the machine. The security staff spend time trying to dismantle the poles and many of them have never seen this item before, each pole is tagged and stamped.

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