Friday, February 15, 2013

Nepal 2012 No-Stink Icebreakers

Trekking and Climbing in Nepal, I wore Icebreaker Merino Wool 24 hours a day, for 36 days, with NO washes. My trekking partners will agree - these Icebreakers are No-Stink!

Last year I also trekked in Nepal, and brought back some valuable experience for this Nepal 2012 adventure. Clothes washing opportunities while trekking and climbing in Nepal are few or none, so I should expect to travel the entire 36 days, wearing the same clothes without washing.  The polypropylene and fleece clothes I wore last year were synthetic and ultimately they both got clammy and stinky. I needed clothes that were breathable, warm in the cold, cool in the heat, quick-drying, and non-stinky... even after 36 days without a wash.
Those Merino Sheep must be smart. The wool protects from the sun and keeps me cool in the summer heat. With layering, it keeps me warm in the harsh mountain-cold of Nepal. I was pleasantly surprised the wool was soft and non-itchy.

I took just 3 sets of socks. I kept one special pair of HikeLites for sleeping. For trekking and climbing, I wore double-layers of socks - Icebreaker HikeLiners with Hike+Mids. Twice in 36 days, I rinsed these trekking socks in a cold stream, without soap, and hung them to dry on my backpack. In the very cold weather they didn't completely dry, so I pushed them to the bottom of my sleeping bag and dried them overnight with body heat.  Not wanting to repeat the sleeping-bag-dryer experience, I decided not to wash them again :).

Trekking in those sweaty hot days, I wore an Icebreaker Short Sleeve Tee. It wicked the sweat away, and kept me cool. I wore this same Tee as a night-shirt. I wore this same Tee as a base layer as temperatures dropped in the mountains. I wore this Tee all of 24 hours a day for 36 days. Without a wash!

On our approach to the Everest Base Camp region, I added an Icebreaker Everyday Long Sleeve Crewe200 as a second layer. These 2 layers kept me properly temperature-controlled when trekking during the day, and also for sleeping each night. I wore these 2 layers 24 hours a day, for about 3 weeks. Without a wash! I also started wearing a Pocket Hat-200 (for sleeping and for trekking on cold days).

As we gained elevation at Gokyo Ri (5417m/17,772ft), Chola Pass (5370m/17,618ft), Kala Patthur (5554m/18,221ft), Island Peak (6189m/20,305ft), I added a third layer with an Icebreaker Tech Long Sleeve Half Zip-260. I wore these 3 layers 24 hours a day, for about 10 days. Without a wash!

Initially I choked on the Icebreaker prices, but now having used them in extreme conditions I believe they are great value! They are cool in the heat, and warm in the cold. My only regret is choosing a grey Short Sleeve Tee... should have been red or orange for better pictures! And wish I had bought Arm Warmers - would have been so convenient to add some warmth without stopping and removing my backpack.

For trekking and climbing
these Icebreakers are now my unchallenged clothing of choice.

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