Camping in the lap of Himalayas is something each one dreams about and when it comes to camping in Ladakh, it becomes a pristine dream 🙂 🙂 … When traveling to Ladakh, camping is considered to be one of the key adventure activities by the people with the 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 nothing but just raw nature surrounding you and your soul, who can say no to it.
Today in this article, I will talk about some important tips which you should keep in mind while camping in Ladakh.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Can I pitch my camps in Ladakh?
There is usually a common confusion or question among almost everyone looking forward to camp in Ladakh. Well, the experience of camping in places like Ladakh can be a little different than camping in the jungles or lower hills.
Ladakh is a cold desert, and finding water everywhere is a challenge too and must be kept in mind when camping in Ladakh. Secondly, the high altitude takes a different toll on the body, and acclimatization becomes the key factor to the success of your camping in.
Camping in Ladakh is certainly possible and thousands of people camp every year in Ladakh. You need to take care of some points that will help you plan a better camping trip to Leh Ladakh.
I am sure that the tips mentioned in this article will help you have a great camping experience in Ladakh, and you can apply some of them to the other parts of the Himalayas too.
10 Tips for Camping in Ladakh
Let us see some tips for camping in Ladakh that will help you get the answers to many questions you might have and knowing them may help you be out of trouble while putting up in camps in Ladakh.
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1. Where can I go camping in Ladakh?
The first and foremost concern is where should I camp in Ladakh?
Well, you can pitch your tents or camps almost anywhere in Ladakh. 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 guys pitch theirs or somewhere near some local house in the village or their garden/lawn.
All you will need is to gently ask them (villagers/dhabha guys/camping guys) for permissions. Most likely, they will allow, otherwise negotiate for a small little tip or move on to some other such place nearby. Sometimes paying for the meals at their dhabhas should be enough too.
This will give you an immense sense of security too from loneliness (especially when you are a newbie) as well as wild animals, especially when you are camping in Ladakh
2. DO NOT camp in Ladakh at restricted sites or wetlands or lakes
Though as I said, you can camp almost anywhere in Ladakh. But keep in mind that camping is not allowed everywhere and there are restricted sites which mostly come either under army secured zone OR under wetland reserves, Ramsar sites, etc..
Hence, you need to pitch your camps away from the lakes where either other camps are there or at a nearby village.
I request each and everyone to respect 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 the help of locals in you feel you may end up in trouble.
3. Choose a site where the water stream is nearby and wind pressure is less
You should always camp in Ladakh 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.
Try to choose a place where you will be least hit by the wind.
4. Ensure that your camp is fastened properly & the weather is clear in the night
Little rains in Ladakh coupled with winds can uproot your camps, if not set up properly. Hence, make sure you properly install all the hooks and fasten the camp properly. You should check the weather to ensure you have a fearless sleep when camping on your Ladakh trip 😉 …
Of course, in case you are in the middle of no-man land, there is no other option but to camp only. However, if the weather is bad and you are in some village, you can always opt for homestays just for that night. Better be safe than sorry. The place will always be there, and camping is to enjoy nature not to face nightmares 🙂 🙂 …
5. In case of a campfire, DO ENSURE you put it OFF completely with no ambers left
If you set up a campfire, 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.
One little ignorance can prove life-threatening and damaging for the locals.
6. Acclimatization again is a key factor, stay warm and well hydrated
Acclimatization does play a critical role in camping in Ladakh too. Setting up camp and then getting it off is an activity of exertion. You need to ensure that your body feels right and acclimatized before you undergo exertions.
If you do not feel well and are not acclimatized well, camping in the middle of nowhere may end up having you in deep trouble. So, please ensure proper acclimatization 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. There is no issue up to Darcha, and you can camp anywhere, but beyond Darcha the whole highway runs at an average altitude of 14000 Feet almost until you descend to Rumtse from Taglang La.
Once you cross Darcha, then I will suggest to camp only around Sarchu and Pang so that you get some help in case required from the people around.
Staying warm and being well hydrated will surely help you acclimatize at a much faster rate.
7. Wash your hands properly and if possible carry a filter bottle
It is always better to wash or sanitize your hands every now and then because even diarrhea could become very serious when coupled with high altitude.
The best way to stay away from it is to wash/sanitize your hands often and, if possible, try to carry a water bottle with a filter. Do carry medicines for stomach upset, diarrhea and other basic medicines for a regular illness especially for which you are vulnerable.
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 your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
8. Carry the essentials while camping in Ladakh
It is always better to carry first aid, regular medicines, a torch, a flint, a camping knife, and mosquito repellent when camping in Ladakh. Not to repeat, you should have enough food with few buffer days, including dry fruits. Carry lots of ORS packets or electoral packets for oral rehydration of minerals and also check the 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 when camping in Ladakh, which can end you up in trouble. Always try to pack up all your food after cooking and do not leave it open.
You do not want to get in the tussle with some animals in Ladakh 🙂 🙂
10. Leave nothing but footprints in Ladakh
Last but not least, PLEASE, NEVER litter in the Himalayas and NEVER disturb the flora and fauna up there in the remote Himalayas. Please take all non-biodegradable waste back with you and leave nothing but footprints. In addition to it, you must be aware of the Tips for Responsible Travel in the Himalayas.
I hope the above tips on camping in Ladakh will help you be aware of common practices and know-how on camping at such places in the Himalayas. These tips should help you answer any questions about your upcoming camping trip to Ladakh.
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Feel free to share this article with your friends or family who you know will be going over for camping in Ladakh. Do you know any other tips which you think will be useful to fellow travelers? If yes, feel free to share in the comments section of this article below or in case you may have any questions do not hesitate to leave a comment.