Things to carry on a Himalayan Trek – The Ultimate Guide – The Himalayas are home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes, cultures, and wildlife on the planet. But before you embark on your journey, it’s important to know what to pack and plan accordingly. Here’s a handy guide to help you get the most out of your Himalayan trekking experience!
Hiking in the Himalayas is an unforgettable experience, but it does require some preparation. The basic key is to carry as light as possible. So before you pack your bags, take a look at the things to carry for trekking:
- Trekking Shoes: Himalayan treks require trekking shoes which are not only comfortable but should have a good grip and should be waterproof. As you might encounter rain on the trek so it is very important to have sturdy shoes which can handle rain. Read more: How to choose the best trekking shoe.
- Backpack (50 – 60 litres): Make sure your rucksack has good shoulder support and hip. Please avoid carrying trolley bags. Only a rucksack is allowed for offloading.
- Daypack (20-30 litres): A day pack helps as you can keep your essentials like water bottles, energy bars, medicines etc. It is generally used on the exploration visit from your campsite/homestay when you are not carrying your rucksack.
- Insulation layers: For high-altitude treks, it gets cold during the night. Even during the summers, it is advisable to carry at least 3 insulation layers for this trek. You will need a padded jacket with a hoodie for the outer layer. Carry 2 light fleece layers and 1 full fleece sweater (to be on the safer side).
- Clothes: In the mountains, weather can change anytime hence layering plays a vital role. You can add layers or remove them according to the weather. For the base layer, carry 2 or 3 dry-fit t-shirts. Dry-fit shirts quickly dry and are easy to wash. Tip: You can keep them inside your sleeping bag during the night to make them dry. It would be great if u carry light full sleeves as they will protect you from sunlight and UV rays. Preferably a synthetic t-shirt because they dry quickly but tend to smell so carry some deodorant.
- Trek pants: Two-three pairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They are comfortable crossing streams so when they get wet they dry easily. The best would be with a lot of pockets. Please avoid denim.
- Woollen cap or Balaclava: It will help you in extreme weather as the temperature during the night. For early morning trekking, it protects you from cold and harsh weather.
- Suncap: A cap or a hat will protect you from heat strokes.
- Warm gloves: Get 1 pair of warm gloves with a windproof outer layer.
- Socks (3 pairs): Carry 2 – 3 pairs of woollen socks or cotton socks.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses will be protecting your eyes; go for the covered one rather than the open facing.
- Headlamp /Torch: Go for a headlamp instead of a hand torch because then you are free to do other activities like holding a trekking pole while trekking.
- Trekking pole (a pair): Trekking poles give you stability and support. However, two trekking poles give you more excellent stability and also help in improving your pace.
- Rainwear: Carry a raincoat or a poncho. Go for a poncho as it is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. Rain cover for your backpack: If your backpack becomes wet then your stuff inside might also get wet so it is important to carry a rain cover.
- Large Cover: A large plastic cover to put all your belongings inside. Another safeguard would be to pack your belongings into a cover before settling them inside the backpack. Double protection!!.
- Toilet kit: Carry everything lightweight, toothbrush, toothpaste (you can share with your friends too), small tissue roll, face wash, lip balm, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, small soap and sunscreen moisturiser. Do not buy oversized ones as you are only for a few days on the trek. Avoid carrying soaps and too many shampoos because you won’t be taking bath on the trek.
- Cutlery: Carry a lunch box for packed lunch on the trek. Make sure it is airtight and doesn’t leak.
- Water bottle: Carry a 1-litre water bottle to keep you hydrated.
- First aid kit: Carry Avomine (motion sickness), Digene, ORS, Glucose or Strepsils. Diamox (only if prescribed). Please consult your trek leader before taking them and carry personal medication if any.
- High-energy snacks: Carry a pack of nuts, dried fruits, muesli bars and chocolates, they are all quick sources of energy and proteins.
- Cash: For your personal use because there are network problems in the mountains. Sometimes ATMs do not have enough cash or online transfer can be an issue.
- Mosquito & insect repellent.
- Bring your trash back: Let us keep our mountain clean and be responsible. Nomad Adventures has started the initiative ‘Go GREEN’ policy, where we encourage travellers to bring their basic belongings and take back the trash that can hamper the destination, which is proven to be successful and effective. We do not want to harm nature in any form and want the place to be intact for future generations. So please carry a small trash pouch to keep your stuff. Also if you find anything on the trail, you can carry and dispose of the waste in bins. Please do not litter in the mountains.
Mandatory Documents to carry –
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar Card, or passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.
- Covid Vaccination certificate.
After collecting the essential items now please note, HOW TO PACK YOUR BACKPACK –
A – Accessibility – To use frequently or to be used during the day should be kept at the top of your rucksacks like a cap, poncho, gloves, torch, towel and sunglasses. Start by packing the items you’ll use least like only at the campsite which will be your sleeping clothing, trek pants, and an insulated jacket. Start packing your backpack with heavy items at the bottom.
B – Balance – Please make sure your backpack is equally loaded on both sides. Heavy items should be kept right in the middle like a camera; it will also protect them from getting damaged.
C – Compression – Items should be kept tightly packed without leaving any gaps in between. To fill those gaps you can keep shirts and thermals. You can make a roll of shirts and pants to make room for more space.
D – Dry – Always keep a rain cover accessible, you can keep it in one of the outer pockets of your rucksack. Put your water bottles and trekking poles in the outer side pockets of the Rucksack.
Must read – Fitness preparation for Himalayan trek.
- Keep in mind that carrying too much luggage on the trek will put an unnecessary strain on your body.
- Do not carry anything in spare or extra. Hence, try to carry only the required items which you will be using on the trek.
- Ensure that you can easily walk with your backpack. It might be a good idea to try walking in your home to see if it is comfortable for you. Pack correctly or your entire trek will be a nightmare.
With these tips, you’ll be ready to take on any trek the Himalayas have to offer.
Now that you’ve got all the things to carry on a Himalayan Trek and learnt how to pack, it’s time to hit the trail. Here is another article which you can read to ensure you make the most of your first Himalayan trekking experience.