December In China brings a few challenges, one of which is an average minimum temperature of -15C at night. So In preparation for my return, I’ve picked up a few items that I cannot do without. This is my new kit for a Chinese winter.
SkyeHigh 900 Hydrophobic – Alpkit
My current sleeping bags lowest temperature was -2C, so I took to Facebook to ask for advice. The two most popular suggestions were to buy a new sleeping bag, and either buy a Vapour Barrier Liner or a Fleece Liner. The VBL is used by Alpinists in extreme cold conditions, to stop the bag freezing as well as adding extra heat.
However, when I spoke with an online mountaineering company, they advised that It wasn’t what I was looking for. They explained that “VBL prevents moisture from getting away from the body, protecting the down. It means you’re deliberately sleeping in as damp a microclimate as possible though: only something people really choose to do when their survival depends on it!” They continued by advising that a Fleece liner would be the best choice.
As well as purchasing a Fleece Liner that could add up to 10C, I decided on a new bag. The SkyeHigh 900 has a minimum temperature of -13C and packs up fairly small for its ability.
CompressLite II Jacket – Craghoppers
My current down Jacket is a bit worse for wear after being dragged through the Pamir Mountains, not to mention that its missing a hood. Craghoppers is an awesome brand, who make some great long sleeve shirts, and trousers, which I have been sporting since April. Not to mention their wide range in clothing items, and an amazing generosity to help adventurers.
So, it was time for an upgrade, a hood was a must given the temperature, and so is the ability to pack away small, to fit in my bags. This jacket hit the mark! I have been wearing it for the last few weeks as the weather has started to get colder here In the UK. As well as keeping me warm, it looks great, has plenty of pockets and is light to wear.
NosiLife Pro Long-Sleeved Shirt – Craghoppers
This is almost the updated version of my current shirt that Ive had since day one. They come with NosiLife technology which prevents insect bites, a lifesaver through central Asia. This new addition is extremely light and made from a stretchy material that feels like It will keep me warm and cool.
There virtually wasn’t a day that I didn’t wear my current NosiLife Shirt for warmth, protection against the sun or insects, or even to tidy up for dinner invitations. I already know how this short is going to perform and am very fortunate to be taking two more with me.
Kiwi Explorer Trousers – Craghoppers
My current pair of trousers are zip-off, which means they can turn into shorts. Great for when the mornings start out chilly, but the day begins to warm. Now that Im heading into winter a more durable pair of trousers were necessary, insert the Kiwi Explorer Trousers. With a tonne of pockets, protection form the sun, stretch in the material, and not to mention resembling some famous adventurers, they were an obvious choice.
NosiLife Convertible Trousers – Craghoppers
I also grabbed a new pair of zip-off trousers for the warmer months, as I head for Australia and New Zealand. These again have the NosiLife technology and come with a load of pockets including a waterproof pouch. Perfect for adventurers.
Wool Blend Thermals – M&S
Although I have a new sleeping bag and a fleece liner, I felt thermals were a good back up just incase. I didn’t see the need to go crazy on an expensive set of thermals and have used the M&S brand on Ski trips so I know that they are great.
Foil Sleeping Mat – Amazon
In addition to having a sleeping mat already, I read up on some winter camping advice, that suggested placing a foil matt under the bag, on top of the mat. In order to keep the heat from underneath the bag, and to avoid the cold from the ground. It was very cheap addition and packs up small.
Wine Bottle Wrap – Lakeland
The final, and probably strangest item I’m returning with, is a pair of wine coolers. Hint, I not a massive fan of wine. Recommended by Lizz Dodd, who has recently just rolled out of a bitterly cold Pamir Mountain adventure, and sharing her thoughts on keeping your water from freezing at night. Its a ingenious idea, that Im sure will take off int he future!
- Enjoyed reading this post or have anything to add? Leave a comment below.
- Visit the charity fundraising page and make a donation towards Meningitis now and Macmillan Cancer Support