Manali – Leh Bike Trip – the MAJOR dream goal for all adventure and travel enthusiasts. This Manali to Leh bike ride is a trip that one dreams of, fantasizes about for years on end before being able actually to embark on the journey. And, once you are indeed in the Land of the Lamas, you’ll know that the journey was worth it.
But, what comes before the stunning landscapes? A lot of planning and preparation. So, you’ve done the route mapping and the itinerary planning – what next, you ask?
Today, we bring you an all-inclusive list of the clothes and accessories one will require on this epic journey! Let’s begin.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Accessories for the Manali – Leh Bike Road Trip
Clothes are important and integral, we get it. But what is truly supportive and often forgotten are the accessories that you will need throughout the journey. These add comfort to the grueling grind of the Ladakh region and protect you from many misfortunes waiting to happen.
A little slip while climbing a hill to reach the vantage point might lead to serious injuries if you’re not fully protected. This point is where the accessories come in handy
A good pair of gloves because wet hands are a pain in the ass. When it’s snowing en route, you’ll want your hands to be warm and cozy – no matter if you’re in a car or a motorcycle. Some might say, oh, I am making this journey in the peak summer season, and thus, I don’t need gloves – let me save some precious space.
But, let me tell you that I witnessed snow not once, but three times during my entire trip in June! And, regardless, even if you might not use them – it is better to be prepared than sorry. It won’t hurt you to carry two pairs – one for the hot plains and one for the cold mountains.
If gloves are important, shoes are the real reason that’d you’d be able to enjoy. A good pair of shoes, say Quechua Foreclaz or (if you don’t mind) Gum Boots will be there to keep you company and ensure you’re dry and managing the climates well. For myself, I had hiking shoes along with a nice cozy paid or gumboots as well as some uggs for the journey.
For exploring Leh city, I’d say a sturdy pair of sneakers will suffice for most places. But, if you’re anything like me, you’d want to explore some trails in the wilderness, and sturdy shoes will be your best friends then!
But, do remember that any shoe you wear is bound to get wet if it is submerged in water deeper than the shoe’s height. The Forclaz is around 6 inches, as soon as it gets in water deeper than that, the water seeps in from the mouth of the shoe. However, the real problem is that they do not dry up easily or not at all for days, especially in the weather conditions predominant in Manali to Leh road trip.
The Gumboots wins here as their height is often more than what other shoes offer. And, also, even if the water does seep in, you can take it off and empty it, change your socks, and you’re ready to go.
Bonus Tip – Keep a small hair dryer with you, so u can dry shoes wherever possible. For this, you’ll need to first stuff your shoes with lots of newspapers so that they soak the excess water out. After this, you can use the dryer.
Some people will tell you to carry floaters or slippers. They say that whenever you come across a large stream, take off your shoes, wear the slippers, and jump into the water.
Yes, it might help in keeping your riding shoes dry but, I truly suggest to avoid wearing floaters and sandals while crossing streams as there are rocks in the water and the cold water you might hurt your toes bad.
Think this is just accessories adding to fashion and not having any real utility? Think Again. Muffles and scarves are so integral to your journey, especially if you’re embarking on the journey on a motorcycle.
You must have your face and neck area covered along with a full-face helmet at all times. Repeat full face. No matter how it is outside, it is necessary to keep your skin protected and covered. The elements of nature can create havoc for your skin, and we must protect it.
While I know this is environmentally disastrous, do carry plastic-polythene bags to wrap around your lower or riding pants in the form of gaiters. You can even wear them on your socks for added protection. This trick will ensure that no water is seeping into your shoes, making your feet wet. But, please be mindful and do remember to bring them back.
If there is one thing that is a MUST for your Manali-Leh expedition, whether you’re traveling by motorcycle, car, bus –whatever another way you can think of – it is the MIGHTY sunglasses. This is a must must must.
Your eyes will thank you, and your heart will be forever grateful that the sun is not blazing you blind! Direct sunrays can make your eyes watery, impact your vision quality, and make you tired more easily. Protect yourself from the sun rays and do remember to carry your sunglasses!
Carry bungee cords in place of ropes because bungee cords are easy to tie and untie.
Waist Pouch and a tank bag
Tank Bags are easy to fit on the tanks, and your camera nicely fits into it. So you don’t have to carry the backpack at all times, and you can instantly take the camera out if you come across a beautiful picturesque moment.
Last but not least, buy knee guards and elbow guards. Do not, in any case, ride without protective clothing or protective guards. Also, a good quality full-face helmet with a clear transparent visor (not the dark or chromed one) is essential.
Clothes for the Manali – Leh Bike Expedition
Now, this is something we’ve often discussed. Clothing is something that must be on your mind already, especially if you’re in the planning stage of your Manali-Leh bike trip. Packing for clothes has one secret mantra – layering is key. Weather changes often and can be difficult to predict. It is better to layer up and dress down as and when required.
Is there anything more important that comes to your mind when you think of embarking upon a Manali-Leh journey from Manali? A jacket is not your best friend. A jacket should be your body part. You should have it on you at all times. It keeps you warm; it safeguards you from the elements of nature; it protects you if you fall. Essentially, it keeps you safe! Have it on you all the time.
If you’re too warm, you can always take it off – as when you’re traveling in the hills, layering is the only way to dress up. The weather changes in a heartbeat – from sunny and warm to windy to extremely cold in a matter of seconds. Be prepared for all eventualities. Also, it might be sunny and warm where you’re at, but the moment you start climbing some hills and gaining some height, the sunny weather might still be around. But, the wind chill can be harsh and unforgiving.
Also, do remember to carry a poncho. In case it rains you can cover your clothes and ride ‘in it’. A big extra-large poncho is recommended in case you want to keep riding in wet conditions.
Stretchy and comfy pants
Wear clothes that are not too thin. But, ensure they have enough comfort to offer you. If you’re wearing jeans for the trip – it will be painful for you. Your body will feel like it has jammed, thanks to the restrictive movement of hard clothes such as denim.
Ensure you’re allowing your body enough breathing space, while also ensuring that you’re keeping yourself safe through enough protection in terms of clothing.
With regard to clothes, you need to cover as much of your body as you can.
This is often forgotten and must need on your Manali-Leh bike trip. Manali-Leh trip can get excruciatingly cold in certain regions. If you spend your halt night in Sarchu, you’ll be cursing yourself on why you ever took this trip (been there, done that) – being warm will be integral. Thermals help with that.
Socks and inner garments
Think of how many socks you might need for your journey. Double that and carry with yourself. Weather is fickle, and your wet clothes might not dry too fast. It is important to keep that in mind when you’re planning your packing requirements. The same goes for your underwear.
Must carry vehicle Accessories for Manali -Leh Road trip
When making this Manali-Leh journey on your bike, remember to also carry the following accessories for your motorcycle –
- Screwdriver set
- Small hammer
- Two or three 2 liter empty bottles of Pepsi/ coke etc. to carry extra petrol or diesel (jerry cans will leak; cold drink bottles do not leak)
- Spare tube (a must for bikes),
- Jack and Spanner
- Air Compressor and Foot pump
- Hydraulic Jack
- Spare Tire (Check for puncture before leaving)
- Puncture Repair Kit
- Jump Start Cables/wires
- Spare Bulbs
- Tow Away Rope approx. 3-6-ton Capacity
- Spare Coolant and Engine Oil
- A Long Stick/ Iron Rod
- Shovel and a Hammer
- 2-3 Packs of M-Seal and Quick Fix/Fevi-Quick/Elfy
- Extra pair of clutch wires, clutch plates too
- Electric Pump
- Valve tube removing key
- Tire removing lever
- Tube patches
- Spare Tube
- Clutch Cable
- Accelerator Cable
- Handle Lever
- Foot Rest Rod
- Spanner (full set in all size)
- Cutting player
- Chain Lock
- Spark Plug
- Spare bike key
- Additional fuel tank two 5 liters’ tank
- Metal carrier
Other Articles in Spiti – Ladakh Bike Ride Series
- Preparing your bike for Ladakh or Spiti trip
- The Complete Guide: Long Distance Motorcycle Riding
- Packing List for long-distance motorcycle riding
- Safely Carrying Spare Fuel & Luggage on Motorcycle
- Tips for Cold Weather Motorcycle Ride in Ladakh or Spiti
- Tips for Tackling Water Crossings on Ladakh – Spiti Bike Ride
These are some important basic items that should be on your list for your Manali-Leh road trip. This list can be very long, depending on the individual. For example, I like to go fully loaded, not leaving anything to chance as I am a believer in never compromising on your safety and safety of your bike.
Think of the emergencies that might arise and prepare according to them. Also, the above list depends on the route you wish to take and the places you wish to visit in Ladakh. Other factors that might impact your list are what bike/vehicle you’re taking, whether you’re traveling alone, what season you’re traveling in etc.
I don’t know where to post this, so posting here. This article is about the list of things which one can carry if on a long off-road drive and can help in case they get stuck badly in between.