TOP 25 things to bring on a Himalayan trek
(Any Winter/Summer Himalayan YHAI TREK)
So you have googled your trek for photos,videos and blogs + all other possible information 🙂 The excitement is mounting and …
So you have googled your trek for photos,videos and blogs + all other possible information 🙂 The excitement is mounting and …
Finally the date of travel comes.Before you know it ,you already are packing for your adventure! Here are a few suggestions for you.
How to pack for a trek
These are my personal suggestions based on serving as a YHAI campleader in Himalayan treks and my experience as a certified Mountaineer, Skiier & Kayaker.
First ,what will YHAI provide you?
At Base camp you will be provided a
1. Hygiene sheet : Issued only at basecamp.Comes fresh from laundry,for only you.Use throughout the trek,carry it from camp to camp.Deposit back to basecamp after trek.Some choose to buy and bring their own.
2.Blanket : Issued at every camp ,for you to use and deposit back ,when leaving that camp.
3.Sleeping Bag : Issued at every camp ,for you to use and deposit back ,when leaving that camp.
4. Rucksack : Issued only at basecamp.You could use your own rucksack instead of YHAI’s. If you are bringing your own backpack,then ensure you bring a lightweight one.
Things provided by YHAI
25 things I recommend you must pack
Now that you are trekking ,let me tell you two secrets.
1st secret : Trekking is addictive.
You are going to find yourself on a trek more often from now on.Trekker’s usually regret buying the low cost option ,which doesn’t last them more than 2 treks.So ,for each must bring item ,I have listed both the Low cost vs Good value option (My choice).
2nd secret : Trekker with a light backpack,with just the essentials is a happy one.
So if you have started asking yourself : How heavy is this ? + Is it really necessary ?
Congratulations! you’re thinking like a happy trekker.
Note: I have listed the links for you to buy the essentials online. AdBlock extension in your browser interferes with the links.So please disable it.
1. Cotton Shirts/T shirts
Bring maximum 2 pcs ,1 for wearing on trek ,other for backup if you get wet.Avoid white/light colour.They get dirty easily.Choose full sleeves ,they would protect you from harsh sunlight and tan.Normal Tshirts will do.However,there is a fabulous option available now in India.It’s my choice, available on Snapdeal and Flipkart.
My choice : A quick drying ,full sleeved , Synthetic fabric means reduced,sweat drying time and transfers moisture out quickly ,keeping you dry. Throughout the trek, for many treks.
2. Track pants
Do not bring jeans. Yeah ,I know they have such a rugged image So why not bring them? Have you ever been in a wet pair of jeans? Doesn’t it feel heavy and uncomfortable.Even if it doesn’t rain ,jeans don’t actually give you maximum freedom of movement.
Simple track pants are a good lightweight option .Bring maximum 2 pcs ,1 for wearing on trek ,other for backup if you get wet.Avoid white/light colour.They get dirty easily.
My choice would last you many treks are extremely quick drying and fairly robust, a useful feature to have when you have arrived after a rainy day trek to your camp. You could simply change to a spare track pant and hang up the wet ,quick drying pants ,in the morning it would have dried! These are worth the money,I spent while buying it.It has lasted me many long treks.
3. Rain coat
Himalayan weather is unpredictable so be prepared to protect yourself from getting wet.
Low cost option: Buy a huge plastic sheet and fold it to cover yourself like a rain sheet.You need to hold the rain sheet together through out the trek.
My choice : A lightweight Raincoat top with hood and rain pant set.To keep me dry throughout the trek.
4. Woolen Inners
This is a absolute must have,because of the light weight and the warmth it provides you,in Himalayan cold.Buy the top and bottom set in the right size.I have listed good brand names,which offer good quality product.
5. Sun Cap + Woolen cap
Gives you shade from sunshine .Protects your neck also by covering behind .
6. Trekking Shoes
Single most important thing you will pack.
First let me tell you what type of shoes not to bring for trek.Shoes with low or no grip/PVC soles are not suitable for trekking.That means those awesome Nike,Reebok shoes you’ve with flat grip area.They are good for city life but,absolute no no for treks.
Bata hunter shoes are a low cost option, good for two treks maximum. Has rubber soles with deep grooves , for good grip. However it doesn’t offer water proof factor, so as you are trekking through snow, your feet are bound to get wet.A solution for this problem is to carry a multiple pair of socks and change them during the trek.
BATA HUNTER SHOES
|Cost max 700 Rs.|
My choice :
This will last you many treks. I,personally use only this shoe.Many trekkers are absolute fans of Quechua Forclaz 500 India’s most popular trekking boots .A bigger investment, but it gives you good grip and is,very very good in protecting your feet from getting wet.
- Traction: TPU Essensole sole with 5 mm lugs for good grip.
- Cushioning: Full foot PU midsole: durable and high-performance.
- Waterproof: Breathable and waterproof Novadry® membrane keeps your feet dry.
- Stability: High upper with two hooks on top provide excellent support on any terrain.
Lightweight: 555 g per shoe in size 8.5 Complete review here
7.Socks : Woolen and Cotton
Normal quality cotton socks .1 pair for each day of trekking.Trust me,you would want to ,start every trek day with a dry pair of socks.
Keep one pair of thick woolen socks (available in any hillstation market) for use only when you are inside the sleeping bag.
Normal quality 1 pair
My choice A better quality glove, which would last you many treks.
You don’t need a steel/enameled mug, mentioned in the YHAI website.It increases backpack weight.A lightweight plastic mug is enough for your adventure .
Some trekkers bring these,to help keep their drink warm.I personally feel it’s added weight on your back pack.
A simple light weight one
Plate, Just Lunch box is enough ,don’t add extra backpack weight by bringing plate also.
Plastic spoon is light weight
12. Water purifying tablets +Water Bottle
This is an award winning product,amazing for trekkers.
*Filters up to 1,000 litres of water *Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria *Reduces turbidity, filtering down to 0.2 microns *Lightweight: weighs less than 60 grams *Does not use iodine or iodinized resin *Contains no chemicals (and is BPA-free), uses no batteries, has no moving parts *High flow rate; no after taste (because no iodine or chlorine are used) *Easy to clean. Can be stored and used periodically. Just keep uncapped so it can dry thoroughly. *Very durable, made of impact resistant plastic *No shelf life. LifeStraw can be stored indefinitely
Or another option is a water bottle with an inbuilt filter
SPF 30 and if possible waterproof one.It helps when you are sweating,the sunscreen remains on skin,if waterproof instead of trickling away.Don’t buy lesser than SPF30,sun is fiercer in treks.
14. Pen knife
Not compulsory, but if you are buying a knife THE best standard is this one.It has a useful tool for handling blisters.(good tool for trekkers).There are many other models you can choose in the link.
15. Sewing kit
Imagine a situation your only rucksack has torn.Simply open your sewing kit and do a temporary repair ,which will last, until you’re back to basecamp.
To repair torn shoes,torn backpack or clothes . Carry Buttons
Various Size Needles ,Duct Tape – To add strength to torn fabric before sewing. Braided fishing line, Nylon Thread or dental floss – Much stronger than regular thread.
Shoe Goo – This stuff is great for repairing shoes, waders, rubber boots, and torn backpack.
To help protect from snow blindness.Sun shine reflects from snow and reaches your eyes.Choose sunglasses that effectively block out the sun’s UV rays from all possible reflective surfaces. If you are traveling in the conditions that can cause snow blindness, you will need full-coverage or wrap-style sunglasses that prevent light entering from the sides. Choose polarized or dark, mirror-coated sunglasses for the best results.Any shades with uv protection is good.Here’s a link below to UV protected goggles collection Sunglasses
Every gram of weight counts when you are trekking in Himalayas.Instead of vaseline bottle for moisturizing and another one for lipbalm .
My choice: Carry a single Small pack,you can use as lip balm also .
Facewash and Paper soap to use in camps
19. Toilet Paper
In case water isn’t available in higher camps.
Facewipes,these wet tissues are so refreshing during a trek.Ok ,Ok this is not a must have,but I love these facewipes so much,had to list it too. 🙂
For medical safety.You are strongly advised against taking bath in higher colder camps.Do you really need a heavy towel then ? Only for wiping yourself after a face wash, how about just carrying a small hand towel or a lighter big towel.
22. Medicines (First Aid kit)
Important : First pack your personal medicines.
Next pack medicines for
Cold,Cough,Fever,Headaches,Crepe Bandage for sprains,Volini spray for fast relief,Band Aids,Antiseptic cream,Combiflam for easing pains,Anti vomiting tablets.
There will be a medical kit available in campsites,but always be on the safe side and carry your own supply.
23. Camera and Memory cards
I see ,on many treks,passionate photographers carrying their tripods along too.I’m just getting into photography too,so I understand the lure of a tripod.However,before bringing ur tripod ask yourself. is your rucksack super light, much lighter than others ? Because others aren’t carrying Tripods,only you are carrying that extra weight.Do not over burden yourself.The most important thing here is to enjoy the trek.Think honestly ,is a tripod absolutely necessary? You decide. Carry empty memory cards(if possible extra batteries), which you will happily fill in the trek 🙂 Wishing your photos, many Facebook likes ahead.Do share your favourite photos with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m sure you have your own favorite camera
My favorite point & shoot camera ,designed specifically for adventurers like us is Go Pro.A camera that is as tough as you.
2nd choice Nikon Coolpix AW110
COOLPIX AW130 is built tough so it keeps going wherever you go. You can dive with it to a depth of 30 m/100 ft with no need for a housing. Enjoy photography under various extreme environments and situations, as this camera withstands drops from up to 2.1 m/7 ft., and temperatures down to -10°C/14°F. By combining with various accessories it’s possible to expand your range of activities even further.
A must have : In addition to thermals and T-shirts you will wear a third layer of a warm jacket .
The winters temperatures easily drop to subzero temperatures.Ensure the jacket you bring ,will perform well in these conditions.
I have listed 3 price ranges,each for men and women here.Pick the right size .This investment will keep you toasty and warm in the trek and winters back home.
Most probably ,there will be no electricity at any higher camps during treks,U can pack any light weight torch.Carry extra batteries.
My choice is buy a hand charging one which doesn’t depend on batteries.Its a dependable light source.But not very strong light. Hand Pressing Flash Light – No Battery No Bulb, Simply Shake to Recharge .
The best option of course is a headlamp giving u freedom to use your hands.very helpful when in a dark tent and searching through your back pack for chocolates.
YES congratulations ! ✌ you now have the essentials for your Himalayan adventure .
Top 5 Comfort Things to bring
Most of the trekkers I know carry some comfort items which help them, ease into the trek.These items aren’t compulsory.However many wouldn’t leave home without them.
1.Backpack cover For protecting your backpack from getting wet
2. WALKING pole Helps in maintaining balance and brings stability.
3. Bandana To protect face from dust and grime during trek.
4.Pickles ,Chutney ,snacks etc.
The food can always be spiced upto your homely favorite taste with this
(plastic small sachets are best,don’t carry big glass bottles)
Somehow there is mobile network coverage in your camp site.You want to talk to your family or update your amazing trek photos on Facebook ,but there is no battery left in your mobile .Awwww , Get a fully charged powerbank on your trek.
One last useful thing
This will protect your arms from a sun tan.Ensuring your family recognize it’s you,when you return home 🙂
YHAI provides a rucksack,however if you prefer your own,
here are 2 recommendations for you.
A weight check of all backpacks would be done,before you start trekking at base camp.
Be prepared to pack a little less than others,since the weight of these empty backpacks,will be more than what YHAI backpacks weigh.
These are other guides written to give you a complete understanding.Happy reading 🙂
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