Tips for Carrying Clothes for Ladakh Trip

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In today’s article, I will try to enlist below some tips which will help you packing your Clothes for Ladakh or a Trans – Himalayan trip, especially in the start of season (April to June) and end of season (September to October) because both these windows have some winter or cold conditions up there in Leh – Ladakh or Trans – Himalayas. Hence, once shall be prepared with proper clothing when visiting these Trans – Himalayan places in these time windows when cold still makes the mark for it.

Packing Clothes for Ladakh Trip… Clothes for Ladakh Trip

July – August are considered to be pleasant and light woollens mostly do the job for you. In the winter months, when both Manali – Leh Highway and Srinagar – Leh Highway both are closed due to snow then the cold is too much and VERY heavy woollens are required in these winter months to survive. We can talk separately in some other article for preparing yourself for winter Ladakh tour. Hence, the tricky windows are April to June and September to October, and I will focus on them here.

The basic thing for making your Ladakh trip a successful one is that at any cost, DO KEEP yourself warm enough always with proper woollen clothing and always wear shoes all the time with woollens socks This helps you keep yourself warm and reduces the chances of getting hit by AMS or cold. You must always protect your chest from the cold winds as well, all the time. When the cold is severe it is also important to protect the neck portion as well using full Balaclava, may be.

The second thing on clothing is that you must carry clothes which can be worn in layers as it helps you adjust to the fluctuating temperatures in sun and shades, up there in Ladakh. Yes, in these start and end season months, when the sun is shining then everything appears good and suddenly you enter a shade portion with wind blowing, that is cold enough to have a jacket 🙂 … Hence, take due care around it and avoid letting the cold flow inside the body in such cases as well.

Apart from that, following is the general list of clothes which I prefer to carry on Ladakh trip:

  • 2-3 Pairs of Inner Thermal Suits.
  • 3-4 sets of Heavy woollens in most part of the year except July and August where one can get away with light woollens.
  • 1 heavy woollen jacket is always handy throughout the year even in the months of July and August (personally I feel) where it can act as a backup. But, you should carry 1 light woollen jacket as well in the month of June to August, may be, there could be days when you need just your light jacket only.
  • 3-4 pairs of woollen socks. And if going to Ladakh in winters from November to March, you also might need good insulated shoes as well to protect your feet from the cold.
  • Carry at least one or two caps to protect yourself from direct sunlight as it is too harsh in this region. Kids specially should wear caps or hats all the time when out there in sun. Especially, in the month of September and October the UV rays are harshest and you must protect your skin using Hats / Caps and a good high SPF sunscreen lotions.
  • Carry at least 1 Balaclava too to protect yourself from cold entering the head.
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the reflections from snow especially from January to June when there is too much of snow and looking directly at reflecting sunshine from snow will cause sense of irritation in the eyes or watery eyes. So, do carry sunglasses for sure or photo chromatic spectacles.
  • An extra pair of shoes/gum boots in case people are on bikes and are expecting a lot of water crossings, as suggested by Raunaq in comments below.
  • Hand Gloves, must have in the months of October to June. Always good to carry them with you.

In the end, it is always nice to take some candies, chocolates, books, pens, pencils, crayons etc. anything that you can distribute among the local children. Nothing but the smile on their face would be too much worth it.

Conclusion

I hope I have covered most parts of clothing and how to go about the clothes especially when you are traveling in the tricky months of opening and closing of season time in Ladakh. Feel free to share your thoughts or tips or any other suggestions you would like to add in the comments section below OR in its corresponding thread in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community at the link here.

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217 Comments

  1. Chinthan Y Jain on

    Hi,

    Me & my friend have planned to set off to Leh,Ladakh, Manali, shimla in the mid week of january 2017. Please suggest if this trip caould be made successful as we have learnt that most of the roads are closed etc. We will be on holidays for 12 days. Please help us on this.

  2. Pushkar khare on

    Hello Dheeraj…
    I am planning for leh from 22 of October up to 30 oct….with 3 of my friends on bike…is this plan is good or not? bkoz many people told me that its bnot a right time and dont go over there…but i have no other holidays…what u say?

  3. Hi Dhiraj

    I am planning to go leh 12 Sept 2016 with my two friends , I want your suggestion if we go two persons on a bike ?

  4. Hai dheeraj..Myself and wife had planned to visit manali at the 1rst of October..How should we prepare.. We have a plan of going to leh too. But will the roads be open ? and how will be the weather condition during october 1rst..

  5. Hi,

    I am travelling to Leh on 30 Aug with my wife and want to tour by renting bike. Is it safe to travel solo or can I join any group there. Where to find a group to tag along. Anyone else from DOW community travelling in from 30 Aug to 6 Sep ?

    • Umesh, you should be able to find other people to tag along once you are in Leh. You can also filter the DoW Travel Calendar to see who all are driving/riding there and looking for company.

  6. Hello Dheeraj,

    Me and my Husband along with my father and mother in law are planning to go to Leh via Manali by our own car I.e VW Polo from Delhi. We will be going around 22nd of August’ 16. I would like to know few things which can help us plan our trip better and more safer :-

    1) Is it OK for people of age above 50 years to travel to Leh by car, like my in-laws!!! They both don’t have any such medical history, but still is it ok for them to travel to this high altitude?

    2) We have VW Polo car, can we travel by this car from Delhi to Leh. I know some wear and tear can happen but is it OK to take Polo to Leh, considering its ground clearance and all?

    3) Is August end the right time to visit Leh via Manali, considering the heavy rainfall in these regions?

    4) How much extra diesel should we carry with us to Leh?

    5) Our trip will be for around 9-10 days, can you suggest the itenary for the same as we don’t want to make our trip too exhausting, we can halt at Chandigarh, Manali, etc.

    6) Regarding the accommodation and food, what all issues can we face on our way from Manali to Leh. Shall we carry extra food items with us?

    7) Any other advise you can give us, which will help us in our trip, like any particular medicine we can carry with us and etc?

    • Hello Neha,

      1. Ages does not matter as long as they can uphold the long journeys in the day.
      2. There will surely be some concerning moments with low GC and fully loaded with passengers.
      3. It is OK OK time, in case there are predictions of rains, I will not be suggesting it with family.
      4. If you are sticking to normal routes, it wont be necessary to carry but still for contingency you can carry about 10 Ltrs
      5. You need more days in case you do not want to make it exhausting. About 13-14.
      6. Yes, you shoudl carry food items inc ase the road closure.
      7. Check: List of things to carry when you go on trip

  7. Karan Kapoor on

    Hii Dheeraj
    we a group of four friends are going to leh on 4 sep via flight from delhi and my plan is as follow:
    4/9/16 leh local
    5/9/16 nubra
    6/9/16 pangong
    7/9/16 leh
    8/9/16 tos moriri
    9/9/16 leh
    10/09/16 kargil drass
    11/9/16 srinagar
    12/9/16 local sightseeing
    13/9/16 flight from srinagar to chandigarh.
    As a lot of persons have visited leh in this year and based on that i do have following queries from you:-
    1. weather and road condition for bikes.
    2. is the itinerary feasible.
    3. type and number of clothes to carry there
    4. how to deal with Breakdown/puncture on the way.
    5. Whether Fuel can we carry is sufficient for nubra and pangong without coming back leh.
    6. Route condtions from Nubra to pangong without going leh.
    7. BSNL Postpaid or any other postpaid will also work there.
    8. Is drinking feasible there after 3-4 days there as we have a friend who is habitual of drinking and smoking i. e. sherry gupta.
    thanks in advance.
    karan Kapoor.
    7.

    • Below are the answers Karan:

      1. Weather and roads are mostly good in September, in fact one of the best time.
      2. I will suggest to take out local sightseeing in Srinagar and add for acclimatization in Leh. You need two days of acclimatization before going to Nubra Valley as you are flying in to LEh
      3. You should have one heavy jacket and rest have couple of light jackets or sweat shirts. Tips for Carrying Clothes for Ladakh Trip
      4. All you can do is pray it does not happen far from mechanic or main cities.
      5. Yes, yo should carry about 10 Ltrs of extra fuel and you should be OK
      6. Leave Nubra as early as possible in the morning as in later noon it becomes difficult to cross the water crossings or rivers on that route. Do not go without 2-3 vehicles as the route is desolated and in case there is any help needed, you might be in trouble.
      7. Best coverage is by BSNL postpaid, otherwise Airtel postpaid works around Leh.
      8. I will not recommend but if you feel OK you may have couple of rounds but be in limits as in remote areas medical helps is difficult to find in case required. I Will advise to take a call based on your own wisdom and conditions.

  8. Abhishek Verma on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Another good article, these are helping me a lot in planning the trip to Leh.
    I’ll be riding on a bike from Manali to Leh on 1-2 July and will be in Leh-Ladakh for around 5 days.
    I’ve lived in cities like Kanpur and Delhi most of my life, so have faced temperatures lesser than 10 degree Celsius. I’m planning to carry 1 thermal inner, 1 bomber jacket (for windy situations and moderately cool weather) and 1 jacket (non woolen).

    I have few questions:
    1. Do we need some woolen/heavy jackets; wouldn’t thermal, a t-shirt and the jacket suffice? As per few sites, the minimum temperature is around 5-10 degrees.
    2. Will we need leg thermals? Would only jeans work?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Abhishek,

      1. Well, yes in general it will suffice but weather can change at a blink of an eye ther. In case there isnt too much trouble to you, it is advisable to carry one heavy jacket as well for a contingency
      2. Not really during that time.

  9. Pankaj Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj ,

    well we are 4 guys planning to do Haridwar-srinagar-Leh-Kla-nubra-Pangong Tso-Tso Moriri via Chumathang-Manali during 13th August to 25 August on bikes (bullets as well as 100 cc)
    so ll it be dobale in 12 days or what are the chances of rain during that period .
    kindly suggest & help

    TIA .
    Pankaj

  10. Suvendu Nayak on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are two people travelling Leh via Manali from Delhi on 1st July, 2016. All your suggestions checked. Need some more help…

    1. We will be travelling Manali from Delhi by Bus. But confused by negative comments on Bus services. Heard it gets delayed by 5 to 6 hours. Please suggest a good bus service so that we can reach Manali on 2nd July early morning.

    2. We’re planning our Night Stay in our own Tent through out the 10 days trip. Is it a good idea? I mean is it feasible?

    3. We will be hiring a bike from Manali. Can I visit Pangong, Nubra Valley and Tso Moriri on the same bike?

  11. Hi Dheeraj
    Been following your blog since we have planned our trip to Ladakh.Ur writings have made us plan our itinerary so ease.Thank u.
    We group of 6 gals are visiting Ladakh this 22 June 2016.We will carry all the things that u have mentioned in the blog but would like to know if we can carry jeans/casual wear or would u suggest us wearing tracks?We will be staying at pangong and nubra camps.

  12. HI Dheeraj,

    we would be reaching leh on july 1st. This is our first trip to Leh and also our first trip to such high altitudes. Also being from mumbai i am not used to much cold.

    would like to know if there is an option of purchasing winter wear in leh itself after we land to protect us from cold winds. we would be staying at hotel cho palace. We do have some sweaters handy.

    Regards,

    mamata

  13. Shaveena Madhok on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are booked to travel to Ladakh via Delhi on 8th Jul. Will reach Leh around 8.00 am on 9th Jul. I have read the above comments and have a fair idea about the to-do things. Our flight back to Delhi is via Srinagar on 17th Jul. Is there a bus option to commute from Leh to Srinagar? If yes, how long does it take? Can we book the bus when in Leh?
    *cannot contain the excitement* 🙂

  14. Pushpendra on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning for a road trip from Delhi to Leh. We have few questions rather concerns.
    – How many hours of driving (breaks not included) will take to reach Leh from Manali?
    – What are the chances for rain (blocked road due to rain) in July 1 and 2 week? just your experience
    – Will XUV 500 be okay to drive in Himalaya’s – Leh Manali hwy? I feel it is a huge car and it can be a disadvantage on the narrow roads? your suggestions plz
    – On an average, how much time will it take to complete the trip Delhi – Leh – Delhi? Is it possible in 7 – 8 days.

    thanks in advance:-)

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization.

  15. Hi Dheeraj ,

    Need your help on this one, as i am travelling to leh from 10th – 25 June 2016.

    – Is riding jackets with thermals would be good enough to save someone from cold , or you need some extra jackets as well.
    – If i am wearing jeans underneath, would a thermal would be sufficient or we need additional layers
    – how do riders protect their hands, are there any tips for the same ?

    Thanking you in advance

  16. We are 3 people and planing to go on 10 of june ..I have some question if you can help-
    if all the roads are open , if not when it will be ?
    if we can take the gateway pass online for Leh or this can only be at Manali ?
    Should we start our trip fri – sat – or sunday from chandigarh,, So we can get the pass at manali next day , without wasting much time.. Thanks

    • Yes Pawan by 10th June, all routes to Ladakh will be open. You can get the Online permits to Rohtang Pass online but currently the link is not functioning. May be they will start it once roads to Leh will open.

      • Thanks Dheeraj for info.

        1 more question –
        For the Rohtang pass permit at Manali SDM office , what the timing to collect.. I mean if the office open on Saturday Sunday also…. ?
        I googled it and found , we have to submit the docs b/w 10AM -1 PM and can collect the permit b/w 3-5 .
        But is it open on saturday and Sunday ?

      • abhimanyu on

        Hi Dheeraj,
        We are planning to go to ladakh on 10 – 25 june. How many layers should I wear each day? And will photochromatic specs be enough or I have to keep sunglasses?
        Reply as soon as possible!
        Thank u in advance

  17. Hello!

    I am flying to Ladakh from Delhi and I am going to stay in Leh from 7th to 11th of September, then I want to travel to Srinagar via Kargil and then more to south (Dharamshala, Amritsar, Varanasi, Kolkata etc.) I am that kind of guy, who likes people, cities and its surrounding, so (big) treks are not made for me. In south India I am expecting high temperatures, so my “main” clothes will be shorts, shirts and light jacket, in Leh it should be around 15 – 20 degrees by day and I want to travel with baggage as light as I can. Can you recommend me, what clothes should I carry with me? Are woolen clothes really necessary for me?

    P.S.: Your web is epic, thanks for everything.

  18. Shruthi Bhat on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Very nicely written .

    Well, I and my friends are planning for a Ladakh trip in 1st week of July by Motorbikes. We are all from Bangalore and not prone to cold weather. Any suggestions on Jackets,kind of shoes and clothing that need to be purchased for the trip?

    Cheers

    • Shruthi, the above article explains it all. Shoes, especially for the trip may not be required. Rest you should consider if you guys dont have includin warm socks.

  19. Balaji Balasubramaniam on

    Dheeraj,

    We are arriving in Srinagar and travelling to Leh, from June 13. What kind of winter clothing that we need to have for both adults and kids. Do you suggest buying from Srinagar/Leh or from home itself? If you suggest buying from Srinagar/Leh, is there a place that you suggest? We would like to get quality product for reasonable price.

    Thank you.

    • You must have at least one heavy woollen jacket and one light jacket when you travel to Ladakh during that time. Best is to get from home to get at good rates.

  20. Hi Dheeraj!
    We booked a trip to Leh for a week from the 10th of May to 17th May. It’s my parents and me. Any suggestions on clothing and shoes? I’ve read about the weather being harsh in May.
    Thank you 🙂

  21. Shishank gupta on

    Hi dhiraj,
    I am planing a road trip to leh ladakh with two of my friends. We are so excited about the trip. I own a renault duster 85ps. I am not over confident at all about my driving skills but i do have a fine driving sense.
    Though my duster is well maintained and has never let me down till yet, still i have a second thought about taking it to leh.. The plan is all set.. I really need to know if you think duster can do it or not.. Any sort of advices of which you think can be helpful for me about this trip are welcomed.. I really doing this anyhow but i have alot of doubts about taking my car to leh.

    Shishank

  22. Akash Singhal on

    Hi ,
    We are 5 guys planning for a road trip to Leh-Ladakah via Zoom car from Delhi .
    We are planning to leave via Srinagar-Leh highway and returning from Leh – Manali Highway , would need your guidance how should be plan our stay and all the activities.

  23. Kiran Mistry on

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning a renunion of a close friend group in Form of a road trip to Ladkah. We are a gang of 5 and since we stay in diff part of india and two of them are traveling from Middle East, We are meeting in Mumbai on 22nd July and have booked ticket to fly to Srinagar. We all are in age group of 36-38 years. Beyond Srinagar we have not booked anything as of now. That plan is to travel to Leh via Kargil by hiring a car or jeep. Once in Leh we will hire a car and 2 bikes to go to Nubra and Pangong lake. 2 of my friends will fly out from Leh on 31st July and then 3 of us will travel to Manali via spiti valley. Few questions are
    1. Do we have to do hotel bookings or can we try it out on iur what, as we would like it to be little more adventurous and with some uncertainty! But need your recommendation
    2. Do we have to have rucksack and special tracking shoes? or the normal rolling suitcase and normal leather boots will do?
    3. Do we need to get hold of some organiser to plan things for us or booking things on the go from Srinagar onwards will work? We preferably don’t want to join another group.
    4. How do I organise the innerline permits? Will I need agent or can be able to organise on our own?

    • 1. Not really if you do not have anything special in mind or want any branded hotel
      2. Again not really, earlier i used to travel with almost like anything including strollers and sports shoes
      3. DoW has enough info. to make a memorable trip to Ladakh any day, if yuo can read and ask right questions will be happy to help
      4. If there is no foriegner in the group, you do not need any permit.

  24. Hi Dheeraj

    It’s just another 45 days to our Leh trip and we are all so excited.

    Please let me know whether we can cover Turtuk as I read it a most beautiful place. from Sri nagar on 6/6/2016 to 15/6/2016 by direct flight from Leh. Apart from Pangong lake and Tsomoriri Lake, Nubra Valley with Turtuk – Can we cover all these places in the above days of our stay ?!? Please reply soon.

    Thanks and Regards

    Anuradha

    • Hi Anuradha,

      Effectively you have 9 days if you start the journey to Kargil on 6th June. 2 days will be required to reach Leh from Srinagar, 1 day acclimatization is required, 3 day trip to Nubra Valley to include Turtuk, 2 day will be needed for Pangong Tso trip, 2 day for Tso Moriri trip. This makes it 10 days, so you can make a single day trip to Pangong Tso or skip Turtuk to fit all of them in 9 days.

  25. Hi Dheeraj

    It’s just another 45 days to our Leh trip and we are all so excited.

    Please let me know whether we can cover Turtuk as I read it a most beautiful place. We are starting from Sri nagar on 6/6/2016 and returning on 15/6/2016 by direct flight from Leh. Apart from Pangong lake and Tsomoriri Lake, Nubra Valley with Turtuk – Can we cover all these places in the above days of our stay ?!? Please reply soon.

    Thanks and Regards

    Anuradha

  26. If I m wearing riding jacket of cremster k2k do I need any additional jackets for cold while staying there

    • Dhaval, if you have the K2K, then well you may not need with other jacket on the ride with its two inner thermal liners which comes with it. But, those two inner thermal liners that comes with it may not be good enough to wear them without the jacket. If you keep on the jacket always with inner thermal liners, it is OK.

  27. HarishShankara on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m going to Leh this July, will be doing it part by taxi, part by rented bike. Can you kindly suggest what typ of jacket to carry? I have a light winter jacket(not windproof) which I was thinking of wearing along with thermals, tshirt and a sweater however since I will also be riding a motorbike to Nubray valley and Pangong do you suggest me to carry a riding jacket? Or can I do it with same jacket with external protection guards?

    If you think riding jacket offers more protection, can you suggest some good jackets?

    Thank you,
    Harish

  28. Aakash Verma on

    Hi

    Very excited as i am almost closer to fulfil my dream to drive to ladakh.

    I would be travelling with my one my friend .We both are travelling for the first time to ladakh.Would need your expertise on what all things should we bear in mind things to carry specially for the month of june we will be commencing our journey from 6th June to 16th June. In this short period hopefully we will manger to cover most of the places.

    Would much appreaciate if you can take some time in sharing the details that would be necessary for us.

    Also if possible can share your no via mail so that we can contact you and get a clear picture of things that we might be unaware of.

    • Hello Aakash,

      You can post your queries here or in DoW Community and get replies for what all your confusions are. To start with, start from below:

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.
      While going from Srinagar to Leh, you might need to work out few things as there have been some tensions now in taxi unions and to settle it out what they have done is that they have a transit point just before Fotu La while going to Leh from Kargil. All Leh taxis stop there and kargil taxis too. They exchange passengers and move back in respective directions. Leh taxis take passengers to Leh coming from Srinagar/Kargil and Kargil guys take passengers to Srinagar/kargil coming from Leh

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.

      To know about AMS and acclimatization including the tips to combat AMS, please DO READ: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

  29. Hemant solanki on

    Hi,
    We are planning a road trip from Jaipur to leh i.e. Jaipur -chandigarh-manali-leh.
    I wanted to ask like we are commencing our journey from 9th june onwards and in that season we will may have to pass crossing many streams or rivers on manali leh root, so what kind of shoe can we carry with us to protect ourself from the chilled water or only gum boots are the good idea?

    Thank you

    • YEs Hemant, snow melts in June and there will be many water crossings. In general, bikers use gum boots to cross the watercrossings and keep them hanging on their luggage and for rest they carry either trekking boots or other regular casual sports shoes.

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