In today’s article, I will share some tips which will help you pack your clothes for Spiti Valley trip. In general, the season for Spiti Valley opens up in summers when roads from Manali to Kaza opens up. So, mostly light woolens and summer clothing works. However, the road to Spiti Valley from Shimla – Kinnaur side remains open all round the year. Hence, people even travel in early season March to June and also the end of season September to mid-November. Both these travel windows to Spiti Valley have some winter-like cold conditions. Hence, you should be prepared with proper clothing when visiting Spiti Valley in early or end of season.
How to Carry Clothes for Spiti Valley Trip
You should know that end of June to August are always considered to be pleasant months in Spiti Valley. So, the light woolens mostly do the job for you when planning a trip to Spiti Valley in summers. In the winter months, Spiti Valley is too cold and proper gear or heavy woolens are required to survive in such harsh conditions. We can talk separately in some other article for preparing yourself for a trip to Spiti Valley in winters. The tricky windows are mid-March to mid-June and September to mid-November. In this article today, I will focus on these tricky windows and summers only to talk about carrying clothes for Spiti Valley trip.
The basic thing for making your Spiti Valley trip a successful one is keeping yourself warm. The warm you are, the more your body will be in control and focus its energy on other things. Hence, having light warm fleece or jacket cutting the wind is always the best outfit any day no matter if it is a warm or a hot day. 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. Keeping your body warm reduces the chances of getting hit by AMS or cold.
The second thing on clothing is that you must carry clothes which can be worn in layers. It really helps you adjust to the fluctuating temperatures in sun and shades, up there in Spiti Valley. Yes, in these early or end season months, when the sun is shining then everything appears to be bright, warm and sunny. However, the moment you enter a shade region, the cold breeze can do the enough damage in just that little time window. The fleece or light jacket will help you with it. Hence, take due care around it and avoid letting the cold flow inside the body in such cases as well.
Apart from these basic points, following is a general list of clothes which I prefer to carry on any of my Spiti Valley trips:
2-3 sets of Heavy woolens in most part of the year except late June to early September when one can get away with light woolens.
At least one heavy woolen jacket is always handy throughout the year even in the months of summers (personally I feel) where it can act as a backup. But, you should carry one light woolen jacket or a fleece as well in the month of late June to early September, maybe, 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. If you are going to Spiti Valley in winters, then you also need well-insulated shoes as well to protect your feet from the harsh cold. 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.
Carry at least one or two caps/hats to protect yourself from direct sunlight as it is too harsh in this region. Kids especially 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 70 sunscreen lotions.
Carry at least one Balaclava too to protect yourself from cold entering the head. Even in summers, if the conditions get overcast, it starts to get cold up there in Spiti Valley
Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the reflections from snow especially in winters when there is too much of snow. Looking directly at the reflecting sunshine from snow will cause a sense of irritation in the eyes or watery eyes. So, do carry sunglasses for sure or photochromatic spectacles.
An extra pair of shoes/gum boots in case people are on bikes and are expecting a lot of water crossings. It really helps in case of crossing deep water crossings.
Hand Gloves, must have in the months of winters and early season. Always good to carry them with you to protect your hands.
In the end, it is always nice to take some candies, chocolates, books, pens, pencils, crayons etc.. anything that you can distribute to the local children. It helps you in spreading smiles in the Himalayas. Nothing but the smile on those innoncent faces would be much worth the money, effort and the pain you might had carrying them.
I hope this article will help you get an idea on how to pack your clothes for Spiti Valley trip. In case you have any further doubts or questions about packing your clothes for a Spiti Valley trip, feel free to share it under the comments section of this article or as a travel question in our Travel Q & A section. We can always discuss more on your upcoming trip to Spiti Valley and other regions of the Himalayas 🙂
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