Nowadays many of the electronic devices have become an integral part of our lifestyles. Hence, the questions like “Can I carry my laptop to Ladakh?” has become common on my blog.
Since the addiction to using electronic devices has grown so much that some of us can’t even let them apart even when we travel to the remote regions of Ladakh or other high altitude terrains in like Spiti Valley. They have become a necessity in today’s day to day life and hence, once must know things to take care when carrying a laptop to Ladakh.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Guidelines for carrying a Laptop to Ladakh or High Altitudes
We tend to carry Laptops, iPods, iPhones, mobile phones etc.. to such desolate places like Ladakh either to avoid any boredom or to copy pictures, songs, backup etc to empty memories of our phones, iPods, cameras etc. The remote work culture is also growing and so the world of digital nomads.
Generally, at most of the places in the Himalayas, these devices operate without much concern. BUT, if you are traveling to Ladakh or other high altitude places such as Pangi Valley or Spiti Valley with these electronic devices then you need to take the precautions mentioned below in order to keep them safe and running well at high altitude.
1. Carry Waterproof Bags / Pouches
The electronic devices are not waterproof so carry a good quality waterproof bag or pouch to keep these electronic devices. This will protect them from either rainfall or snowfall. The weather changes suddenly in places like Ladakh and Spiti Valley. And when you carry a laptop to Ladakh, it becomes important to safeguard it as well from such moisture or water.
Hence, it is always recommended to have a good waterproof bag always on the list of things to carry while traveling to Leh Ladakh.
2. Do Not Switch ON at Altitude above 10-11K
Generally, Laptops have a non – specialized Hard Disk Drive (HDD) in them which are not designed to work above 3000 Meters i.e. 10,000 feet generally or as mentioned in their manual/guidelines stuck on them.
Hence, there are chances of HDD Failure at these high altitude regions. Specially manufactured, sealed and pressurized disks are needed for reliable high-altitude operation, above 3,000 mtr (10,000 feet). So, it is best NOT TO switch ON your laptops or these devices at high mountain passes like Khardung La, Taglang La or high altitude regions like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Tangste, Batal, Hanle etc which are quite above 10,000 feet mark.
To understand better, these hard drives have a head which flies between the rotating disks/platters. When the air pressure is too low, then there is not enough lift for the flying head, so the head gets too close to the disk, and there is a risk of head crashes and data loss.
If you are carrying the laptops with a Solid State Drives (SSD) you will not face a drive crash though. Hence, one more reason to buy the SSD enabled laptop or a MacBook apart from the awesome speed these drives provide us.
3. Keep them out in the environment before switching ON
Before you switch ON the device or Laptop in Ladakh, keep it out in the environment for some time so that the device adapt to temperature difference which might be present. Sudden temperature difference may cause condensation which may result in blown out electronic circuits.
A common example:
You have your iPod deep into some warmly dressed pocket, suddenly you take it out into freezing cold temperature where snow is around and switch it ON. This may cause temperature difference which may result in a blown out circuit. So, in such situation best bet is to place the device in the outside environment for 5-10 minutes and then switch it ON, just to be on a much safer side.
4. Always Shutdown or Switch off Laptops
Always shutdown or switch off the electronic device when you travel. If you keep them on standby or hibernate etc modes, especially laptop then a sudden shock or jerk may jeopardize the whole circuit or HDDs in a faulty device or HDD. In the shutdown conditions, these devices can withstand a shock to a much greater extent.
Hence, when you carry your Laptop to Ladakh, always make sure you do a shutdown before you start your travel from Leh to Nubra Valley or Leh to Pangong Tso or other sightseeing in Ladakh.
5. Protect them from Cold Conditions
In some cold conditions especially with the temperature around or below freezing point, the battery exhaust pretty fast and getting a power source at a campsite of some high altitude lake or region will surely be a challenge.
So, if you really want to have a longer battery life try then keep your batteries or devices in some warm clothes or padding.
6. Take care of your own belongings
In the end, generally, a sticker pasted everywhere but yes you should be responsible for taking care of your belongings from human theft or careless misplacement by yourself.
Most likely in the remote places such as Ladakh or other high altitude places like Spiti Valley, you will find pretty honest people but there is no guarantee of this fact with modernization needs crippling the honest of the honest persons 😉
Though there is no harm in taking the laptops, iPods, iPhones, IPads etc for music, movies, backup etc while you travel to Ladakh. But, I personally avoid taking them as much as I can to enjoy the nature and culture of the region more than enjoying myself alone.
Since nowadays the flash memory is getting cheaper and cheaper you can definitely get one or two extra memory cards for your camera and remove the reasoning of carrying the laptop to Ladakh just for a backup sake.
Having said that, it is a personal choice whether to carry these devices especially laptops or not with you. But, my concern was if you are taking any of these devices then do take care of the precautions mentioned in the article above.
I would really appreciate and look forward to your inputs or suggestions or comments on carrying the laptops to Ladakh and other electronic devices while you travel to the Himalayas.
Any other precaution you can think off? It will be great if you can share it with us too.
If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Ladakh, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Ladakh trip.
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