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Dressing For The Switzerland Of Central Asia

Dressing For The Switzerland Of Central Asia 
 When preparing to set out on your trekking adventure, how you safely dress for such an endeavour largely depends on the geography and climate of the region. Yet, all your gear should, as a rule, not weigh more than 20% of your bodyweight. So choosing your clothing should always be factored in as part of that equation. Consider the Kyrgyz Republic, commonly referred to as "the Switzerland of Central Asia", home to several climate zones with incredible trails and mountain views. Its mountainous region known as Tian Shan is home to the mountain, Jengish Chokusu, the northernmost tallest peak in the world. This incredible country is also home to Issyk-Kul, translated as “warm lake”, surrounded by snow packed mountains yet never freezing due to being the second largest saline lake in the world, and the seventh deepest. It’s no wonder this destination lures outdoor travellers from across the globe. Here’s a quick how-to for dressing for a Kyrgyz Republic adventure.

Starting Off With Every Ounce Matters 
You might start your trek off on an even-grade valley then gradually climb over a rocky trail ascending into the Tian Shan mountains. When crossing multi-varied terrain, consider your footwear. There’s an ongoing debate as to choosing between hiking boots versus trail runners. Both have their benefits depending on their use. Hiking boots may offer more ankle coverage and prevent rocks and pebbles from getting in them, likewise providing better protection from the elements. However, their limiting range of ankle movement makes them more prone to ankle sprains. They take longer to break in, whereas trail runners take little or no time to break in at all, offer more range of movement and flexibility, and most importantly are far more lightweight than boots. When hiking through Kyrgyz Republic, every ounce counts, in which case trail runners seem clearly the wiser choice. 

Take Care Of Your Core 
Since the trekking high season of Kyrgyz Republic is June through September, it’s best to prepare for the elements. In the low lying valleys, summer temperatures can be subtropical, both extremely hot and humid. Whereas once you climb into higher elevations you’d best be prepared for the bitter cold. When it comes to choosing the right pants, tech pants are definitely the way to go. They easily convert from pants to shorts, with several zippered vents for when things warm up. Synthetic and lightweight, many are rainproof and great at keeping your body heat locked in. With several styles available, stiff to swishy, it’s not hard to find technical pants that have a lot of features and a cool look, so there’s no need to sacrifice your fashionability for functionality. Tech shirts hold the same concept as tech pants. Adjustable for warm and cold weather, there are a wide variety of styles and features available out there. But what you wear under is just as important. Be sure to pack merino wool undergarments. Lightweight, odour resistant, breathable and moisture wicking, they are an integral part of your trekking garment bag. 

Don’t Forget To Accessorize 
The accents to your outfit are equally important to the rest of your gear. Pack a stylish warm beanie for when the mercury dips. Slip some cashmere gloves on and wrap that scarf around your neck. And a lightweight fiberfill jacket to slip on over your fleece can make a world of a difference and are both garments you’d likely take advantage of year-round, whether you’re in the remote outdoors or on an urban outing. 
All of these garments should be in your gear list for your Kyrgyzstan or your Karakol adventure. Lightweight versatility is vital for the varied terrain you’ll undoubtedly face. Besides, the last thing you want to be thinking as you are taking in those breathtaking, once in a lifetime views, is that you wished you’d packed differently or been a little more prepared. Plan ahead and have the time of your life. 

Author of article: 
 Jacqueline Ross