One of the most common questions that I get nowadays is “Can I find Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh?“. And why not, as we all know that Leh Ladakh is situated at a high altitude with rarified oxygen levels.
Well, mostly, I tend to provide them with a long answer by going into the specifics of the acclimatization and its importance. However, in today’s article, I will talk about this topic in detail so that you also have references for renting Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh. I will also share some tips on how and why you should rent or carry Oxygen Cylinders on your Leh Ladakh trip.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Why should you carry or rent Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh?
Thousands of people visit Leh – Ladakh every year to witness the magnanimous beauty of its barren landscapes. In the last few years particularly, there has been a major boom in the domestic tourist footsteps in Ladakh region. As Ladakh is located at high altitude, your body needs proper acclimatization to breathe/sleep/feel properly and being normal at the high altitude.
However, with domestic tourists, the major challenge is the lack of leaves or holidays and so they tend to rush through their Leh Ladakh trips. Hence, the majority of people who fall sick due to AMS in Ladakh are domestic tourists who are rushing from one place to another. I have already talked about it in detail as one of the common 9 mistakes people commit on their trip to Ladakh.
Is it necessary to carry oxygen cylinder to Leh?
You must be wondering if you need to carry an oxygen cylinder on your Leh Ladakh trip or not. Will you run into any kind of problems in Ladakh? Well, to make your decision easy, I will write about situations or reasons I think carrying an oxygen cylinder on a Leh Ladakh trip may prove worthy, helpful and at time life-saving.
God forbid, you may never go into a situation when you may have to use Oxygen cylinder in Leh Ladakh but having them with you will provide you a level of safety and can buy you time to reach a safe altitude in a life-saving situation. In last 8 years of my travel to the remote Himalayas, I have got a chance to use oxygen cylinders thrice so far and well, to be frank, it was indeed a nasty situation when I had to do so. I was glad the availability of oxygen cylinders in Ladakh and Spiti Valley helped me come back to safety 😉
1. Traveling with Kids or Elders to Leh – Ladakh
If you are traveling with kids or elders in old age, it becomes utmost importance to have more safety measures in place especially when trip includes remote villages. In general, it is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say 😀
The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly.
Hence, having a portable oxygen cylinder in Ladakh may help you out in buying some more time before descending to lower altitude.
Are you planning a trip to Leh Ladakh with kids or infants? I will suggest reading my article on Tips for traveling with Kids to Leh Ladakh.
2. Traveling with People having Medical Conditions to Leh – Ladakh
If you are traveling with people having some medical conditions like asthma, hypertension, blood pressure etc.. carrying an oxygen cylinder is no longer a luxury I believe. You must carry it with you just for any unfortunate situation you might need it for those folks. It is a necessity in such situations. Hence, make sure you carry a portable oxygen cylinder on Leh Ladakh trip when traveling with such folks.
Some people recommend certain medicines for Ladakh trip which I will strongly suggest that you consult your doctor first before taking any medicines. Some of those medicines are known for allergic reactions. Hence, do not take any medicine just because some travel blogger or website recommends it. Consult your doctor always.
3. Traveling with a Large Group to Leh – Ladakh
When you travel with a large group, it is very difficult to maintain a decorum with a different mindset of people. Hence, the probability of someone getting hit with AMS becomes high. Many people in general, especially domestic one, toss up the guidelines for acclimatization and AMS. Some of them, in excitement, will be ready to open up a bottle for a toast as soon as they land up in Leh.
Carrying a portable oxygen cylinder for Ladakh trip will certainly help you with such folks when they get hit with AMS. Also, with a large group, when you divide the rent of oxygen cylinder among everyone, it ends up being very trivial against the benefits and peace of mind it offers on your entire trip.
Did you know about the essential tips for carrying clothes to Leh – Ladakh?
4. Having Rushed Travel Plan for Leh – Ladakh Trip
Ladakh altitude is classified to be high to very high including the places like Khardung La, Pangong Lake, and Tso Moriri lake. Having a rushed travel plan will never help your body acclimatize and chances of getting hit with AMS are highest if you try to squeeze too much in too little time on your Ladakh trip.
Best is to avoid such ill planning and make a trip to Leh Ladakh when you have sufficient time and days at hand. This will help you not worry about your body’s Oxygen percentage at Leh all the time 🙂 …
5. Flying Directly to Leh
Flying directly to Leh will never help you with AMS as you end up being at a very high altitude of Leh in no little time. The general guideline is you take at least 36-48 hrs of rest in Leh before moving to other places in Ladakh.
Some people also ask about carrying oxygen can for Ladakh trip in flights but I will answer about it in the FAQ section of this article.
6. Starting Leh Ladakh trip from Manali – Leh Highway
I am sure you must have already read about the 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road. As mentioned in that article, it is best to avoid the trip starting from Manali because your body never can acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali Leh Highway which runs over an average altitude of 14000 feet.
Are you planning a self-drive trip to Leh – Ladakh? If yes, then do check out my last article on 40 Must Have Things to Carry on Ladakh Self Drive Trip
Any mechanical failure in the middle of high altitude region that makes you stuck there for a prolonged period of time may result in catastrophic results. Having a portable oxygen cylinder helps you buy time to descend to a lower altitude in such a case on Manali Leh Highway and may result in saving a life.
Where to get Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh?
As the demand for oxygen cylinders have increased in Leh Ladakh, so as the supply and availability of it. You will find at many places in Leh main market or Changspa road, various oxygen bars have mushroomed. Some of these oxygen bars in Leh are also available in the restaurants or dine-ins at Changspa road or main market.
The limitation of these oxygen bars is that they are only available in Leh main market but what about if you are going to Pangong Tso lake or Tso Moriri lake or other remote parts of Leh – Ladakh. The answer is that you rent Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh or New Delhi and carry them with you for the whole trip.
These portable oxygen cylinders that you rent in Leh or New Delhi are big enough to last for several hours and that’s the whole point. Small oxygen cans do not provide any support and can mentally psych you up only. Hence, you need these medium sized yet portable oxygen cylinders to restore your dropped oxygen levels back to safety in Ladakh.
Cost of Oxygen Cylinders for Leh Ladakh Trip
The charges of renting the oxygen cylinder for travel to Leh may look a bit high if you are a budget traveler. However, it is somewhat like buying an insurance for yourself and the best return with any insurance is that you do not get to use it 🙂 …
The cost for renting Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh varies based on the capacity and number of days in Ladakh
- Rs 3000-3500 for 3 Days, 1880 Ltrs Capacity
- Rs 2500-3000 for 3 Days, 780 Ltrs Capacity
- Rs 1500-2000 for 3 Days, 414 Ltrs Capacity
- Rs 1200-1500 for 3 Days, 220 Ltrs Capacity
- Rs 650-1500 for a 6 Ltrs Capacity Use & Throw Oxygen Shots / Cans (not much usable)
You can get in touch with Ladakh Oxygen shop (+91-9906991393) in Leh main market or Chamba (+91-9596979829 / +91-9906999808) or Gaurav (+91-9716507246, +91-8447530163) can also help you with the Oxygen services.
The prices of Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh for rent are a bit steep and hence, if possible you should carry it on rent from cities like Delhi. In general, the oxygen Cylinders are available for rent only.
What I mean is that they ask you to deposit money for cylinder as security and fill the oxygen and charge only for the fill. You can go back for any number of refills and you pay for oxygen you refill. Once you are done with it, you can return the cylinders and get back the security amount.
They might charge some service charges, which in general, are nominal enough. You may get in touch with Asian Surgical Corporation at Netaji Subhash Marg, Dariya Ganj, New Delhi, Delhi 110002, Phone: +91 11 2324 7096.
Carry a Pulse Oximeter on Ladakh Trip
I always carry a pulse oximeter with me just to keep a check of what oxygen percentage levels and pulse rate I am running on in Leh Ladakh. It helps me keep a tab on them when I am in doubt. It also helps the people who travel with me and also many times at home as well. I believe it is an essential for any medical kit especially when you are traveling to high altitude places in the Himalayas. Although, I have moved to my Fitbit Charge 2 now that helps me track my workouts and as well as resting heart rate 😉 …
WARNING: PLEASE NOTE carrying oxygen cylinder and taking it can only help you buy some time in a dire circumstance. It is NO CURE for AMS. DO NOT treat it as a cure for AMS and respect the rules of acclimatization. In case you are hit with AMS, please plan a descend immediately to a lower altitude place. Oxygen cylinder will just be there to buy time in the need of an hour.
Airlines will not allow you to carry Oxygen cans or oxygen cylinder for travel to Leh Ladakh. Best is to rent a portable medium sized oxygen cylinder when you reach Leh
The medium sized oxygen cylinders that lasts for couple of hrs will be the best to be carried on your Leh Ladakh trip. You should ask for a demo on how to use it so that when time comes, you know how to operate the equipment and provide oxygen to the person in need on your Ladakh trip.
I hope the above article will guide you for carrying or renting Oxygen Cylinders in Leh Ladakh and make it a memorable trip. I will be here to answer any further questions you may have for your upcoming Leh – Ladakh trip.
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