A trip to Ladakh means that your packing has to be comprehensive and concise; so one must not miss an essential item and also not burden themselves. Ladakh is globally renowned as a ‘Cold Desert’ . When someone go to a place like Ladakh, the packing cannot be the same that it would be in case of a short trip to any other hill station considering, its harsh weather and challenging terrain; where even some of the basic facilities like ATM, mobile connectivity, mechanics, fuel stations, eateries and accommodation can still be scarce.
Below given, is a comprehensive list of things to carry while going on a trip to Leh :
- Clothing : When planning trip to Leh, make sure to back plenty of cold-weather clothes, including jackets, hats, and woolens. Also, pack extra pairs of socks, gloves, and heavy shoes. Even when it’s summertime, pack winter clothes. The temperature falls quite low, even in August. The temperature also falls very quickly at nighttime. The weather changes pretty fast, so it’s best not to take chances with clothing. It can get cold very quickly as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains.
- Medicines to Carry : One should always carry enough medicines as the trip to Ladakh will, bring many unexpected situations. One should always carry medicines for basic medical conditions like fever, stomach ache, headache and others. Further, altitude mountain sickness, or AMS, is quite common there. Carry medicines like Diamox, Dexamethasone, Aspirin or Disprin to combat the above mentioned problem.
- Sunscreen lotion/UV sunglasses: UV rays at high altitude can be quite damaging to the skin, even during the harshest of winter, so don’t forget to carry a good quality sunscreen lotion with rating of SPF30 or higher and apply it properly before going out in the sun. Also, having decent quality UV sunglasses is quite essential, especially when mountain passes have a lot of snow cover and sunlight reflecting from the snow can be even harsher!
- Lip balm: Dry and cold weather of Ladakh makes lips dry, which can get quite painful due to cracking and skin coming off, so make sure to carry a lip balm or Vaseline.
- Mustard oil: Mustard oil can be used for moisturizing skin, putting it in your hair and for lubricating insides of nostrils, which become quite dry and painful due to dry and cold winds of Ladakh.
- Torch: Not really needed if your mobile phone has one, but if in case it doesn’t, carry a small LED one.
- Money: Always carry enough cash to avoid wasting time withdrawing cash, it may not be feasible for everyone. ATMs beyond Srinagar and Manali are only available in Kargil and Leh and they too are few with often long queues in front of them.
- Glucose: Carrying water mixed with Glucon C/D is a good idea while traveling at high altitude, as it provides instant energy on the move, as appetite is likely to be reduced due to AMS and at the same time, doesn’t act as a diuretic, like most caffeinated energy drinks. Carry couple of small packs, which can be mixed in water, at the beginning of the day.
- Chocolates, biscuits and nuts: Carrying couple of chocolates, a pack of biscuits and few hundred grams of almonds, raisins and cashews is a good idea, as these provide instant energy and easy snack and don’t take up too much space. Those who love spicy food, make sure to carry pickle or sauce, since Ladakhi food is a bit bland.
- Mobile phone connectivity: Only post-paid mobile phone connections from other states work in Ladakh and even from these, only BSNL has presence beyond Leh. So, instead of depending upon STD booths, carry a BSNL/MTNL post-paid connection.
- Documents and IDs: It is essential to carry at least one government issued identity card and couple of photocopies of it, since it is needed while applying for inner line permit and at certain places, to register at the check post. Also, carry your medical insurance card, Map of Ladakh, your printed itinerary, hotel reservation slips , copies of your flight ticket and list of important contacts (useful in case your mobile phone stops working).
- Chargers for all the gadgets, cameras and mobile
- Car charger or battery bank: If anyone is an avid smart phone user and planning to log their route on favorite GPS App, then make sure to carry a car charger or a power bank with at least 4000-5000mAH capacity to keep their mobile phone running, throughout the day.
- Other personal essentials: Paper soap, toothbrush, face wash, toothpaste, comb and toilet paper. Also, carry shaving kit ,if there is space and need for these and any other toiletries.
- For Trekking–. A great pair of Trekking shoes ,a wooden stick is required for grip for trekking, rain coat for rain protection, Caps or hats for cold protection & water bottles ,are necessary in case of trekking
I hope the information above was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will be glad to answer.