Before every trek, we receive a thick chunk of mails and calls asking us what and how to pack for the trek. Over the years, we have come up with a simple, yet extremely useful method which comes in handy before any trip at all.
Since Pin Bhaba Trek is next on the cards, let’s start making the arrangements right away, shall we?
The awesome packing technique
Imagine yourself lying down in the snow-angel pose. Then start selecting items for each body part starting with your head.
In the mountains, the UV rays are strong. You will need a good pair of goggles, preferably the wraparound ones. These will prevent the harmful rays from entering, even from the sides. In addition, it will help you walk comfortably in the snow ensuring that the glare from the snow doesn’t give you a headache.
A good quality sun screen is also essential.
A fleece cap will come in handy, protecting your head and ears from cold.
Keep all the above next to your snow angel’s head.
Layering is the sure shot way of protecting yourself in extreme (cold) temperature conditions. Layers can be added or removed as per the weather conditions during the trek.
Body hugging thermals (vest and pants) are perfect as they keep you snug inside. Do note that synthetic thermals get smelly, so go for natural ones.
T-shirts – carry several T-shirts.
Fleece – Fleece is relatively cheap and light weight. It will still keep you warm, even if it gets slightly wet. Fleece jackets and lowers are perfect for the campsites. Layer them up with thermals and you are sorted in the mountains.
Jackets & pants
You will need a good quality, warm jacket for most treks which are over 3,500 meters in altitude.
A rain suit (light waterproof jacket and lowers) is essential if you’re going in the monsoon months. In the Himalayas, weather conditions are unpredictable, so it can rain anytime. You can get cheap rain suits at various adventure stores in most metropolitan cities. Expect to pay between Rs 1200 and Rs 2000 depending on the quality of the rain suit.
If you have a good waterproof jacket, you do not need the rain suit.
Lowers – All trekking lowers must adhere to two rules: 1. they should be light weight and 2. They should let your legs breathe. If on top of that, you have something that is quick dry, then you got to keep just one thing in mid – make sure you don’t part with them!!
Word of caution: Do not carry jeans when you are going for a trek. They are heavy and take eternity to dry up. And did I mention that they get even heavier when they get wet?
Now that you have a bunch of things, you can layer them up as and when needed.
Keep a belt handy. You will lose weight and you will need something to keep your pants from slipping. You don’t want to be caught in an awkward situation.
Undergarments – Work out the number of pairs you want to carry. This will depend on whether you have options to wash/ dry them during the trek.
This is the most important section as wet feet can single handedly kill your trekking experience.
Make sure you carry several pairs of socks on your trek and keep a dry pair for use only at the campsite/ lodge. Even if your shoes/ socks get wet while trekking, you can change into the dry pair as soon as you get to the camp.
While trekking at high altitudes, wear two pairs of socks. A thin pair inside and a thick pair outside. Two pairs will reduce the friction between your foot and the shoes and reduce the possibility of blisters, additionally, the thin inside pair will keep your outer pair relatively smell free. The thin pair can be easily washed and dried during the trek.
This depends on the kind of trek you’re doing. If you heading for something like the Pin Bhaba trek or its equivalent, you will not need heavy duty trekking boots. A good hiking pair shall suffice. For most of these treks, gore-tex type shoes are good.
However, if you’re trekking in the monsoons or at places where you will be crossing rivers, etc., then waterproof shoes are recommended.
It’s a good idea to carry a pair of floaters/ slippers along for use at the campsite/ lodge.
Hands – Depending on the altitude, you can carry a pair of simple gloves or a pair of woolen ones. Mittens are useful if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the snow. However, I prefer the finger type gloves as it gives my hands more flexibility.
Don’t forget to keep a bottle of moisturizer near the hands of the snow angel. You’re going to need it up there!
A water bottle will come in handy for the trek. Carry a small torch for using around the campsite, a small first aid kit with the basics and any specific medicines that you need/ use, basic toiletries (tooth brush, paste, soap and deodorant is good enough), a light towel (not one of those beautiful, soft full size ones)
Keeping it dry
Plastic garbage bags are a cheap alternative to expensive rucksack liners. Just drape a couple around your rucksack and load it up on the horse. It will keep the bag dry.
Hard cases are cumbersome on treks, so make sure you go in for rucksacks. On GoMissing treks, your luggage will be transported on horsebacks or by porters, so don’t forget to carry a small day pack which you can keep with yourself throughout the time.
At GoMissing, we provide you with an awesome trekking experience, so it is worth spending some time preparing for your trek. It will help you get the maximum out of the experience. Plus, preparing for treks/ other trips is good fun. It only helps build the excitement.
Looking for a trekking packing list? Here goes: http://gomissing.in/blog/packing-list-for-a-trekking-trip/
In any case, we will send you a pre-trip checklist so that you definitely don’t miss out on anything.
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