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.
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:
You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and you can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
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. I have been using my fleece zipper Quechua Forclaz 50 for last 5-6 years and much pleased by them always because they act as a really warm base layer below any jacket or windcheater.
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. If you are looking for a good trekking/hiking waterproof and a bit warm shoes, you will not go wrong with Forclaz 500 Hiking Shoes. Though I have used them for about 7 years, they never proved me wrong. I have moved to North Face Versa Thermoball but then you don’t need them because Forclaz 500 is one good pair of shoes any day.
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.
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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