Winter is coming! And we should get ready for it! The weather already warned us in Croatia and Bulgaria, and we don’t take this kind of warnings lightly. So now that we are resting in Istanbul (Javi and Goiznabar) and Hamburg, we are doing research and getting the best (for our budget) equipment to be able to continue with our adventure without freezing.
When we planned the route and the timetable, we thought that by the beginning of October we would be crossing towards the south of Iran, thus avoiding the cold. But the reality is quite different: We are still in Istanbul.
So in the next 2 months we will have the coldest places we were going to cross (except maybe Alaska): Turkey and northern Iran. Our summer clothes and sleeping bags are not enough, so we are doing a quite exhaustive search of affordable warm/winter things:
The first thing we knew we had to get is a warm sleeping bag. But, how warm should it be? Of course, the
warmer, the more expensive it gets. I’m also afraid of getting a too warm sleeping bag and taking it out while sleeping, what I usually do as soon as I get too warm. So at the end I found a discounted -6/-13 Celsius comfort one (Yeti Elements Comfort), and I think it will be enough. Javi on the other hand
, gets easier cold than me, so he is still thinking, but he will probably get a comfort -18 one (Mammut Tyin Exp Winter ), but he still doesn’t know it.
We were doubting between this ones:
Mammut Tyin 5 seasons Like the one Javi will get but warmer (-25ºC), so heavier and more expensive.
Nordik Gormsson -20ºC Really warm, but the quality is not as good as Mammut (also cheaper)
Chinnok Kodiak Peak It seems very warm (-20ºC), and we could get it quite cheap (100 eur), but we don’t know the brand and coulden’t find trustworthy reviews.
Do we really need new tents? Our answer was negative, but probably because the 4 season ones are really expensive. We thought that if it’s snowing so hard that we need a really resistant tent, we are probably not going to be able to cycle either, so we will be stopped in a town (hopefully). Of course if I had enough money to spend on a tent I would get the Hilleberg Staika. It has also models for 1 person, but I like having extra space.
I checked this tents:
Vaude Arco 2P heavy and big, but the cheapest for 2 people.
Helsport Ringstind. Out of our price range, but really light one roomy for one person.
New clothes are also needed. We need warm light and fast drying clothes (also waterproof and wind stopper, if it’s not too much to ask). Unfortunately most of the things we would buy are horribly expensive. For this reason we decided to just add thermo layers to our warmest clothes to make the cold more bearable.
Luckily decathlon has cheap things, but not that great quality. Also Lidl is helping out with their thermo shirts and pants and 2 euro leg-warmers. We really are looking everywhere to find a cheap solution to this problem!
For the shoes we will probably get some waterproof overshoes, but we are considering getting some snow boots in Decathlon. They are big, heavy and completely not breathable, but cheap and amazingly warm.
So as it will be only for a couple months all this will work (I hope).