Things to pack going up North

By Fatima Shaheen Niazi

Growing up in Karachi, I got to know about ‘snowfall’ through Archie comics and Hollywood movies. Since then, it became my dream to have a snowball fight and build a snow man. However, till you actually experience snowfall, you don’t realise how cold it can actually get.

My first experience with snow was in Kashmir and it wasn’t as pleasant as I had imagined it to be. But of course, that’s mostly because I was ill-prepared. Let’s make sure you don’t make the same mistake and have everything required to lead a comfortable winter vacation up north.

Here is a list of things you must pack:

Clothes

It’s important to know only sweaters won’t keep you warm in the Northern region of Pakistan. There is a proper dress code that needs to be followed when you are in freezing temperatures and this includes thermals followed by layers of sweaters and a wind breaker jacket. You will also need a woolen scarf and a hat to keep your head warm. You will also need a few pair of warm socks and leather gloves.

Also, since you will be wearing so many layers, make sure the jeans or pants you carry with you are loose. Trust me, it was a nightmare trying to fit in thermals under skinny jeans!

Shoes

If you are from the south of Pakistan, it is a given the weather of the north will be a little tough to handle. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – all you have to do is shop right.

The first mistake I made during my travels was carrying inappropriate shoes. Though the shoes were perfect for walking, they just weren’t warm enough and I would continuously feel my toes freeze up. The solution? Get snow boots that don’t get wet after you walk on ice.

If you aren’t going to a place with snow, carry normal boots with you. Pumps and sandals are really not the right footwear for a trip to the mountains

Medicines

If you are travelling to a temperature colder than what you are used to, there are chances you might catch a slight cold. Besides, its better to be safe than sorry, right? The few medicines you must keep with you include Panadol, cough drops, anti-allergies, Joshanda, and some pain killers. People also often experience digestive issues too so make sure you have medication like risek and eno with you.  

Snacks

When you travel to a cold place, you tend to feel hungrier than usual. And even though the northern region has delicious food to offer, you must keep some snacks with you at all times. This includes sweets, chips, biscuits, candy, gum, and lots of chocolates. Also keep a bottle of your favourite instant coffee with since good coffee can be hard to find at places that aren’t urbanised.

Some technology

Let’s face it, night time is the toughest in the northern region since it gets extremely cold. So instead of layering yourself up more clothes than before, why not let technology help you? Nowadays you can easily find electric blankets that can warm you up in seconds, or you have the option off purchasing an electric heating pad that can be wrapped around the hands and legs. You can also keep a battery-operated mini heater with you for emergencies.

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