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Top 10 Tips for Camping in Ladakh & Spiti Valley


Camping in the lap of Himalayas is something each one of dream about and when it comes to camping in Ladakh or Spiti Valley, it becomes a more pristine dream 🙂 🙂 … Camping in Himalayas is considered to be one of the key adventure activities by the people with craze of adventure. And, I will say why not, when you have the luxury of a billion star place to stay right in the middle of nowhere with just raw nature surrounding you and your soul. Today, in this article, I will talk about some most important tips which you should keep in mind while camping in Ladakh or Spiti Valley or any other place in Himalayas.

Thinking of camping in Ladakh or Spiti Valley?

Thinking of camping in Ladakh or Spiti Valley?

There is usually a common confusion or question with almost everyone looking forward to camp in ladakh or spiti valley. Well, camping in places of trans-Himalayas such as Ladakh or Spiti Valley could be a little different than camping in the jungles or lower hills. There isn’t much luxury of water every where in places such Ladakh or Spiti Valley which are considered to be cold desert in Himalayas. Secondly, the high altitude takes a different toll on the body and acclimatisation becomes key factor to the success of your Ladakh or Spiti Valley trip. I am sure below mentioned tips will help you have a great camping experience in Ladakh or Spiti Valley and you can definitely apply them to other parts of the Himalayas too.

10 Tips for Camping in Ladakh & Spiti Valley

Given below are some of the tips for camping in Ladakh or Spiti valley or other parts of Himalayas that will help you answer many unanswered questions for you and knowing them may help you be out of trouble while camping in Himalayas.

1. Where can I do camping in Ladakh or Spiti Valley?

The first and foremost concern is where should I camp in Ladakh or Spiti Valley? Well, you can pitch your own tents or camps almost anywhere in Ladakh or Spiti Valley but I will suggest that you pitch them at a place where there are some dhabha tents put up by locals or where other camping guy pitch theirs or somewhere near some local house in village or in their garden/lawn.

All you will need is to gently ask them (villagers/dhabha guys/camping guys) for permissions. Most likely they will allow, other wise negotiate for small little tip or move on to some other such place nearby. This will give you immense sense of security too from loneliness (especially when you are a newbie) as well as wild animals.

2. DO NOT camp at restricted sites or wetlands

Though as I said, you can camp almost anywhere in Ladakh or Spiti Valley but keep in mind that camping is not allowed everywhere and there are restricted sites which mostly comes either under army secured zone OR under wetland reserves, ramsar sites etc.. Both the lakes in Ladakh, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri and Chandratal in Spiti Valley comes under wetland reserve and camping is not allowed at the bank of these lakes and treated as illegal. Hence, you need to pitch these camps away from the lakes where either other camps are there or at near by village. Sometimes, especially in Himachal, you have to take permission to camp in forest land. Please note without permission from forest department it is illegal to camp in the forest. So, do ensure you are aware of such sites.

I request each and everyone to respect the mother nature and follow the rules not your guts to camp at a forbidden land for both security and nature preservation perspectives. Try to condemn people doing it as well and ask them politely to respect the laws and nature to preserve the site. Seek help of locals in case you feel you may end up in trouble.

3. Choose a site where water stream is nearby and wind pressure is less

You should always camp at a place where water supply is in the vicinity and ensure that you select a high place from the stream’s level just in case the water level rises due to inclement weather or flash floods. Also, make sure you see there are no past signs of flash floods up there. Also, try to choose a place where you will be least hit by the wind.

Camping in the lap of Himalayas

Camping in the lap of Himalayas

4. Ensure that your camp is fastened properly & weather is clear in night

Little rains in Ladakh coupled with winds can uproot your tenting equipment if not setup properly. Hence, make sure you properly put up all the hooks and fasten the camp properly. Do ensure you have checked the weather and most of the days seems clear just to ensure you have a fearless sleep 😉 … Of course, in case you are in the middle of no mans land, there is nothing but to camp. However, if the weather is bad and you are in some village, you can always opt for some home stays just for that night. Better be safe than sorry, place will always be there and camping is to enjoy not to face nightmares 🙂 🙂 …

5. In case of camp fire, DO ENSURE you put it OFF completely with no ambers left

In case, you want to setup a camp fire please ensure that you DO NOT light up at places where there are thatched roofs in the vicinity. Do also ensure that you put it off completely before you leave the place.

6. Acclimatisation again is a key factor, stay warm and well hydrated

Acclimatisation does play a critical role in camping too. Setting up camp and then getting it off is an activity of exertion. You need to ensure that your body feels right and acclimatised before you under go exertions. If you do not feel well and are not acclimatised well, camping in the middle of no where may end up having you in deep trouble. So, please ensure proper acclimatisation and well being before camping. Manali – Leh Highway is a perfect example, where camping can be done anywhere on Manali – Leh Highway but you must be preferably at an altitude where AMS does not hit you. Till Darcha there is no issue and you can camp anywhere but beyond Darcha the whole highway runs at an average altitude of 14000 Feet almost until you descend down to Rumtse from Taglang La. There it is between to camp only around Sarchu and Pang to get some help in case required from the people around.

Staying warm and being well hydrated will surely help you acclimatise at a much faster rate.

Camping near Chandratal

Camping near Chandratal

7. Wash your hands properly and if possible carry a filter bottle

It is always better to wash or sanitise your hands every now and then because even a diarrhoea could become very serious when coupled with high altitude. Best way to stay away from it is to wash/sanitise your hands often and if possible try to carry a water bottle with a filter. Do carry medicines for stomach upset, diarrhoea and other basic medicines for regular illness especially for which you are vulnerable.

8. Carry the essentials while camping

It is always better to carry first aid, regular medicines, a torch, a flint, a camping knife and mosquito repellent. Not to repeat, you should have enough food with few buffer days including dry fruits. Lot of ORS packets or electoral packets for oral rehydration of minerals. For much more comprehensive list you may refer: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip

9. Ensure you do not leave any food open

In case you will leave the food open at night, it might attract wild animals which can end you up in trouble. Always try to pack up all food after cooking and do not leave it in open.

10. Leave nothing but footprints

Last but not the least, PLEASE, NEVER litter in the Himalayas and NEVER disturb the flora and fauna up there in Himalayas. Please take all non-biodegradable waste back with you and leave nothing but footprints. In addition to it, I request you to please read our: Tips for Responsible Travel in Himalayas

Camping in Mane Village - Spiti Valley

Camping in Mane Village – Spiti Valley


I hope the above tips on camping in Ladakh or Spiti valley or other parts of Himalayas help you be aware of common practices and know how on camping at such places. I am sure these will help you in your upcoming camping trip to Ladakh or Spiti Valley. Feel free to share it with your friends or family who you know will be going over for camping in Ladakh or Spiti Valley in upcoming summers. Do you know any other tips which you think will be useful to fellow travellers? If yes, feel free to share in comments section of the blog.

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About Author

You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...



    Hey Dheeraj,

    Thanks for such a wonderful post. I have one simple question : We are a group of 5 guys going for the trip. Would it be economical if we buy and carry the tents or go directly and rent at the locations? How much is the average rent per person per night?

    • Yes, Rakesh, of course, if you will buy the tents like Quechua and all and have long term use of them, it will be economical in the long run. But only for one trip, you need tents, sleeping bags and mats. A good sleeping bag cost around 5K, a tent around 3K and good mat around 800 bucks. You will surely be paying more at hotels for a long trip.


    Greetings !

    Glad to have found this awesome post.
    I read the post fully but was getting confused.
    I would be thankful if I could get help on our bike trip for June 10th 2017

    We are a couple. We will parcel our bike Yamaha Enticer from Hubli to Chandigarh by train. Then start our bike trip from Chandigarh on 10th June 2017
    We plan to reach Manali by evening if possible. So we will begin our Manali-Leh bike trip on 12th June.
    We are carrying every possible thing with us and we want to do self camping in our tents.
    Only in Manali we want to stay in a hotel. Rest all places we want to self camp.
    Also we want to reach Leh from Manali in 3 days if possible or you can suggest.
    Now we need a detailed itinerary for our trip from Manali to Leh with the following information:
    1. What time should we start on 12th June
    2. What should be our average speed
    3. When and by what time should we reach each place on our route?
    4. What all permits and docs are required for us and where should we get them?
    5. What are all the self camping places along our route including Leh?
    6. We have a 8 month old German Shepherd and we take it with us everytime we trip since it was 3 months old. So can we take her on this trip too?

    Awaiting an answer!


    • 1. Start as early as you can start no later than 8 AM
      2. Consider about 25-30 KMPH on a average per day.
      3. Depends on road block and braks you take
      4. You need to get Rohtang Pass permit first to cross beyond Rohtang Pass. Once in Leh, you need inner line permit from DC office in Leh.
      5. Refer the article above.
      6. Please consult a doc on it

      • NAVEEN GIFT on

        Hi Dheeraj

        Thanks for your quick reply.
        Firstly I went through the rohtang pass details online. I have few question:
        1. My bike is 14 year old. Can I get a permit?
        2. We leave Manali on 12th June. We want to night camp on 12th and 13th night. And we want to reach Leh on 14th by noon. Can you suggest us the specific names of places where we can camp on 12th night and 13th night?


        • It is very unlikely that you will get the permit for Rohtang Pass for your bike. It is best not to camp two nights else if you really require it then do it Leh to Jispa, Jispa to Rumtse, Rumtse to Leh

  3. Thanks so much bro for all this info…we’retaking our own camping equipment and your info helps a lot. A bit nervous as we have no camping experience but you start somewhere right! just one query though…how do you take care of nature’s call while camping in a remote area? or in a village? do you use the nearby toilets of homestays? what if there’s nothing nearby? plz do answer…thanks again!

    • Sometimes many village houses have dry pits outside the house only. They will allow you to use the dry pits for nature’s call else nature is all there for it, you just need to find the convenient spot 😉

  4. Planning on staying at Narkanda, Kalpa, Kinnaur Valley, Tabo, Mud, Kaza etc. As I’m low on budget, I’ll be taking my tent along to camp instead of Hotels or camps. Any place where they do not allow camping or are there any definite camping sites in the places i mentioned? Would be of great help 🙂

  5. Hi we are two bikes planning on Aug 12th from Shimla to spiti Valley is it possible to camp & is safe?
    If yes please suggest places we are from Chennai & totally new to this place. Thank you sir,

    • 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

  6. Hi Dheeraj,

    How about camping on Srinagar-Kargil-Zanskar-Kargil-Srinagar route? (July Mid)
    – Kargil, Panikhar, Parkachik, Rangdum, Padum, Drass, Chah, Purne, Phugtal.

    Camping possible in all these places? And any particular camping sites in these places?
    Apart from the 10 tips mentioned in this article, anything else to be taken care of?

    Not urgent, please reply in case if you have some tips 🙂

    Rohith (roraindo)


    What kinds of wild animals are there is Spity valley. We are planning to camp there like Demul Gue MUD etc places. Is there any animal which may be dangerous to us and is there any chance of Scorpion or Spider Bite….

    • You may get wild animals for sure in Spiti but as long as you closer to a village it shall be fine. Demul, Mud both are villages wher you can camp in the farms/gardens of the villagers and tip them.


    Me and my One friend ( only two person ) have planned to visit Spiti Valley in May 2016 by our own bikes. I have Royal Enfield Classic 350 and my friend has Bajaj Boxer 150. We are starting from Shimla Side and will be there at Narkand on 9th May. We are also planning to visit Chandralat Lake. Is it possible to visit the lake with bike. Beside that place we are also planning to visit a off beat place Kaurik. There are a defined road showing in Google Map. Any idea about that place? We stay at Kolkata and have absolutely Zero knowledge about our travelling area. Hence please inform me about the fuel availability in that region. And if possible please give me some cheap homestay details in these areas where we are planning to stay at night.1. Narkand, 2. Kalpa, 3. Sumdo, 4. Tabo, 5. Mud Village, 6. Kaza, 7. Losar, 8. Chandratal ( we have tent and Sleeping Bag to stay overnight there)Kindly help us to complete the tour successfully.RegardsSubhadip Roy+91-

    • The road to Chandratal will not be open by the time you are planning to visit it. Kaurik is not allowed to travel, at max you might travel will be to Lepcha checkpost from where army will send you back. So, there are more offbeat places in Spitiwhere you can travel than Kaurik like Demul, Langza, Hikkim, Komik

  9. Sunil Khairnar on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    First of all thanx to you, becoz of all your information our last year ladakh tour were so successful.
    This year we ll explore it again from 15th to 30th july.. Turtuk and Hanle is in our bucket list this time, can we do campaign der???

  10. There are already local camps around Pangong and Tso moriri lakes, can we pitch our tents next to them?

    • Yes Danny, you can do so. They will charge few bucks. Rather instead of tents I will advice that you pitch the camps besides a home stays who will be more welcoming than competitor tents 🙂

  11. Yash Dhaliwal on

    Hi Dheeraj.
    This is Yash again.
    Is this possible to get camping goods in Leh on rent or all We need to carry with us from home?
    If it is not possible to get it on rent then Plz suggest me if the camp for three available on online sites like Amazon and snapdeal in Rs 2000-2500 will be sufficient in July near pangong and nubra?
    I got some good quality sleeping bags here at home. Is it necessary to carry a air filled mattress as suggested on some blogs or fiber filled light mattress will be OK?

    • Hello Yash,

      There are shops available in Leh main market who rent camping stuff. Yes Arpenaz T3 will be a bit tight for 3 but should be OK if you are OK sleeping tight together. Else buy two of them for three people as T2 version. If you around Delhi, you can go to Decathlon to test the space for them. I use foam mattress only but sleeping bag is a must.

      • Satish Nair on

        Hi Dheeraj
        I always pack a 3 person Tent, a yoga mat & sleeping bags and pitch it wherever possible after obtaining permissions from the local Police/authorities. But I haven’t yet used it on the Himalayas, though it was with me on my last ride 7 years aback. My only apprehension is the cold as my Sleeping bag is rated for 15C and not sure what I will use to prevent the cold from seeping in through the floor. Any suggestions as to what type mattress or mat I can carry on my Machismo without compromising essential space?

        • Well, sir, we I do carry a normal mat with me which is more like a foam only and have used comfortably in September. But, yes, you might need a sleeping bag that is at least 5 degree C

    • Chanrandeep, like I said in the article, you can almost camp anywhere in Spiti and Ladakh as long as it is not a militarized zone OR bank of lakes coming under wetland reserve. Rest you can camp anywhere you feel comfortable camping. Hope the above tips help you.

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