“Who doesn’t love a getaway that involves admiring the wondrous beauty of the place while enjoying a sport? Lake Tahoe is the resting spot for many adventurers, all round the year because of the outstanding natural beauty accompanied with the hordes of outdoor activities it offers. Roosting high in the mountain ranges of Sierra Nevada and straddling along the borders California, the Aspen and fir tree lined Lake Tahoe becomes the boiling pot of outdoor sports, especially during the winter season which is why people love to make their way to this beautiful place. Now winters in Lake Tahoe region have a broad spectrum of climatic conditions. One day you may find yourself waking up to a bright and sunny day that is a pleasant blend of warmth and cold while the other days you may wake up to robust and severe blizzard winds lashing at your door at the rate of 40 miles per hour. You can spend one day sitting back all relaxed on the beach having a picnic time with your friends and family while the other days you may just need the warm support of the fire burning in the fireplace.
Though weather predictions are usually quite accurate and you get to know about the impending occurrence of a winter storm well in time to prepare well you still have to remember that you are on a vacation, away from home where you do not have all the necessary items to help you survive the storm. Apart from these weather changes the alpine elevation also experiences an average of 600 inches of snowfall round the year along with 275 days out of the total 365 when the sun is shining. Therefore, you must make enough preparations beforehand, so you don’t have to face any difficulties later. If your winter plans involve heading out to Lake Tahoe to have a fun play-in-the-snow trip with your family, a ski trip or just about any winter sport that one can do, here are a few things that you must throw into your backpack to make the trip a wonderful no-fuss and no-hassle escape into the winter wonderland.
Clothing: Since you will be visiting the place during the winter season, the weather will automatically be cold accompanied with a little wetness. To cope with this kind of weather pack the following:
- Layers of thermal clothing for the upper body
- Bib / pants that are waterproof and insulated
- Waterproof ski jackets
- Sweaters with thick knitting
- Sweatshirts preferably made of fleece. Though they may get wet, they keep you immensely warm on the inside.
- Knit scarves
- Gloves or mittens
- Pocket hand warmers
- Goggles and sunglasses
- After ski sunglasses
- Woolen and hiking socks. Carry a minimum of 4 pairs. If you’re going on an extended holiday, pack even more because the cold weather will not allow them to dry with ease so there is a low chance that you can reuse the socks once they get wet.
- Hats or woolen caps
Our feet are most vulnerable to the cold, so you have to make adequate preparations to keep them protected. Apart from the thick woolen socks pack thick non-leather boots or snow boots.
Make sure that you avoid taking the following:
- Any item of clothing made of cotton because that offers the least protection against the cold winter weather.
- Jeans, as they soak in the water and due to the low temperatures, they will freeze, and that will make you feel even colder.
- Tennis shoes and hiking boots are not meant for the snow as they are not waterproof. Couple them with cotton socks and you have the recipe for a disaster trip.
- Flip flops. Even if the sun is shining full and bright, flip flops are not what you should wear during the winter season on a trip to Lake Tahoe. Save them for the summer months.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Here is a list of all the medical supplies and toiletries essentials that you need to have for a winter trip to Lake Tahoe:
- Sunscreen lotion with a good SPF. You may not think that the skin gets affected by the sun during the winter season. Though you may not get tanned, you are still exposed to the ultraviolet radiations, and that can harm the skin.
- Antiseptic lotion
- Antibiotic solution
- Prescription drugs
- Hand sanitizer
- Lip balm
- Bandages of various shapes and sizes
Sporting gear: Most of the people who go to Lake Tahoe want to take up a winter sport rather than sit back and relax. If that is what you intend to do too, then make sure you pack the right sporting gear. Though there are a lot of resorts in the region as well, if you prefer using your equipment then it is always a better option to carry it with you. You can enjoy hiking in the snow covered alpine ranges of the region, or you can go for skiing as well. Sometimes when you get to the place you decide to do something entirely different than what you had planned. You may have wanted to spend your vacation admiring the natural beauty but looking at the weather conditions you may be driven to go on a hike. So make sure you pack the following:
- Detailed Maps. Make sure you know how to read the map because it is important to have knowledge about how to identify some symbols in it to make use of it.
- Magnetic compass
- Materials that will start fire
Water and non-perishable food supplies: Water and food are paramount for any outdoor trip because you don’t want to spend your time dehydrated and malnourished. The best food option that suits all the needs of an outdoor trip is MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat. These food are quite high in nutritional value. They are packed with energy and fulfill your calorie and energy requirement for the day. A single box of MRE has as many as 1300 calories that are enough to keep you up and about. Hiking or trekking in the snow can get taxing, and you may not always have the energy to set up the fire to cook food for yourself or warm the food before consumption. With MRE in your backpacks, you don’t even have to take care of that because every pack of Meals, Ready to Eat comes with a self-activated heating system that will warm up your meals like they have been served hot right on your dinner table. The MRE packs have a lot of variety. If you pack a single pack of MRE for the entire day, then you do not need to pack extra snacks and beverages because MRE packs have all of that along with the three meals for the day which include desserts. The MRE packets also come with their set of eating utensils. These features make MRE foods a space saving food option with a lot of variety, high nutritional content and delicious taste. Some MRE packs also come with water packets. If you buy these, then you don’t have to worry about an additional supply of water on your trip.
In addition to the high nutritional content, ease of carrying, good taste and the ready-to-eat feature, MRE’s:
- Are packed in a hermetically sealed environment, so the nutritional content does not decline with time
- Have a long shelf life that ranges from 1 day to 5 years
Now that you have the information about what you should and should not pack for a trip to Lake Tahoe, to help enhance your experience, we come to you with some first-hand tips and tricks.
- Organize yourself to avoid getting lost: Though you will be taking a physical map with you unless you are a full-on expert in reading the map, you will only spend a lot of time in trying to read and understand it rather than moving ahead, backtracking around the Lake and exploring the surroundings. Don’t rely on your iPhone’s Siri for she may end up taking you to the wrong place. Google maps are a reliable source of direction in Lake Tahoe region so you can use them.
- Drink a lot of water:It is essential to keep yourself as hydrated as you can to keep your energy levels high. If you are hiking in the Tahoe National Forest, it is highly unlikely that you will stumble upon a convenience store where you can find a bottle of water to drink. So be prepared to satisfy your thirst. Go with MRE water packets as we suggested above.
- Avoid Crowds: Though Lake Tahoe is crowded mostly during the summer season, you will not find yourself alone when visiting the place during the winters as well. You might want to avoid public holidays and increasing the length of the queue at a popular tourist restaurant. If you want to enjoy your vacation, prefer places that are not so crowded and don’t have the tourist price for everything.
- Driving around in the region: If you are planning to come by car or to rent one when in Lake Tahoe you must prepare yourself for some stubborn traffic jams by getting the fuel tank of the car filled, emptying your bladder at the rest stops and also having some extra snacks and drinks to treat your tummy as and when you like. If you are stuck for a long time in the jam, opening a pack of MRE won’t be a bad option as well. So keep them with you in your car apart from some in your backpack.
Also, if you are renting a car make sure that you have made the reservations and also received a confirmation. Sometimes, overbooking leads to confusion and being without a mode of transport once you have reached the Lake would be heartbreaking.
- Make reservations beforehand: If you want to stay at a specific resort or have your dinner at that popular tourist joint, go ahead and make reservations well in advance to avoid inconvenience. It can hurt not to have your wishes fulfilled when on a vacation.
- Relax and Enjoy: You are doing all this planning because you want to have a great time when you are at the Lake. Make sure that you achieve this goal. Lake Tahoe is a place that allows you to leave your worries and cares behind and have a genuinely good time in the midst of nature. So make sure that happens. Weave some beautiful memories and come back to Lake Tahoe again, it is healing for your soul!