How to prepare for an extreme winter trip in temperatures below -50 C in Siberia?

When you decide to venture out to experience an extreme winter like the ones recorded in Siberia (Yakutia) you should not only be prepared to survive the weather but also to enjoy the many outdoor activities that the locals will be willing to share during your stay – among which may be – fishing, hunting, sledding or even swimming in the river at minus 50 degrees C!

It is a bit difficult to imagine the lifestyle in such extreme weather conditions but Siberians are not going to stay cooped up for fear of a winter that lasts almost 7 months let alone the many days without sunshine. Winter is basically part of their culture and therefore there are many activities of which it is worth being prepared to immerse yourself or in this particular case ‘freeze’ in the culture of the Sakha – Yakutia.

Therefore it is important a good preparation for your trip – apart from special winter clothing – The first thing to consider is a good travel insurance such as Safetywing before traveling or even during your trip because it is a flexible policy and does not even require your itinerary in advance.

The second thing to consider is strengthening your health through nutrition. Natives believe that a diet based on protein and fats provides stamina and antibodies to physically condition themselves for extreme cold.

Contrary to what one would imagine, among the Yakut’s preferred dishes are not soups or hot meals but frozen raw ‘delicatezes’, and if you are fortunate enough to be invited to a family’s table they will surely welcome you with their raw meats such as horse “Sylgy ete”, raw liver “Sylgy byara” or raw fish “Stroganina” – which are a health booster.

For those who prefer a plant-based diet should be aware that the production of many of the ingredients needed for this type of food may be limited by the short duration of temperatures suitable for their cultivation and on the other hand also due to the low demand in the markets. As locals said: ‘We don’t eat grass’.

WHAT YOU NEED

OUTFITS

  • Jacket and pants for temperatures of -30ºC. (outer layer).
  • Hat, scarf, gloves
  • Thermal busos (middle layer)
  • Thermal pajama-like set (Inner layer)
  • Waterproof hiking boots

HEALTH

  • Not mandatory but always advisable a travel insurance. I recommend SafetyWing
  • Protect your health outdoors to enjoy the trip.
  • Portable thermos to preserve hot drinks or hydration
  • Personal medications

Luis Barreto

Tu guía fotográfico

I am a graphic designer by profession and a photographer by passion.
More than 10 years ago I quit my job, packed a 40L backpack (hand luggage) and left Colombia with a one-way flight to work in video and photography documenting cultures, food, customs and smiles around the world.

My camera has become my personal vehicle that has transported me to almost every continent except Antarctica (so far) to promote social causes and tourism / gastronomic projects.

During these years I have co-founded brands such as Colomviajeros.com that have inspired many Colombians to travel, also Zoom In Projects that has a humanistic approach and social impact and more recently I help to facilitate travel experiences for other adventurers in Turkey and Georgia through AmigoTrips.info

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