In today’s article, I will try to enlist below some tips which will help you pack your Clothes for Ladakh, especially in the start of the season (April to June) and end of the season (September to October) because both these windows have some winter or cold conditions up there in Leh Ladakh.
Hence, once shall be prepared with proper clothing when visiting these Ladakh in these shoulder months of the season when the cold conditions are either about to settle in or they are about to fade away. If you are confused, then you should check about the best time to travel to Leh Ladakh.
July – August are considered to be pleasant and light woollens mostly do the job for you. In the winter months, when both Manali Leh Highway and Srinagar Leh Highway are closed due to heavy snow then the conditions are extremely cold. In such winter months, very heavy woolens are required to survive.
We can talk separately in some other article for preparing yourself for winter Ladakh tour. Hence, the tricky windows are April to June and September to October and hence in this article, I will focus on them only.
Carrying Clothes for Ladakh Trip
The basic thing for making your Ladakh trip a successful one is that at any cost, you MUST KEEP yourself warm enough always with proper woolen clothing and always wear shoes all the time with woolens socks.
This helps you keep yourself warm and reduces the chances of getting hit by AMS or cold. You must always protect your chest from the cold winds all the time. When the cold is severe it is also important to protect the neck portion as well using full Balaclava, maybe.
The second thing on clothing is that you must carry clothes which can be worn in layers as it helps you adjust to the fluctuating temperatures in sun and shades, up there in Ladakh. Yes, in these start and end season months, when the sun is shining then everything appears good and suddenly you enter a shaded portion with the wind blowing, that is cold enough to have a jacket 🙂 … Hence, take due care around it and avoid letting the cold flow inside the body in such cases as well.
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 you can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
Apart from that, the following is a general list of clothes to carry on a Leh Ladakh trip:
- 2-3 Pairs of Inner Thermal Suits. Those of you who don’t know where to buy them, you can check the Amazon link at Full Sleeves Round Neck Thermal Top & Trouser Set
3-4 sets of Heavy woollens in most part of the year except July and August where one can get away with light woollens.
1 heavy woollen jacket is always handy throughout the year even in the months of July and August (personally I feel) where it can act as a backup. But, you should carry 1 light woolen jacket as well in the month of June to August, may be, there could be days when you need just your light jacket only. I have been using my fleece zipper Quechua Forclaz 50 for last 5-6 years and much pleased by them always because they act as a really warm base layer below any jacket or windcheater.
3-4 pairs of woolen socks. And if going to Ladakh in winters from November to March, you also might need well-insulated shoes as well to protect your feet from the cold.
Carry at least one or two caps to protect yourself from direct sunlight as it is too harsh in this region. Kids especially should wear caps or hats all the time when out there in sun. Especially, in the month of September and October, the UV rays are harshest and you must protect your skin using Hats / Caps and good high SPF sunscreen lotions.
Carry at least 1 Balaclava too to protect yourself from cold entering the head.
Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the reflections from snow especially from January to June when there is too much of snow and looking directly at reflecting sunshine from snow will cause a sense of irritation in the eyes or watery eyes. So, do carry sunglasses for sure or photochromatic spectacles.
An extra pair of shoes/gumboots in case people are on bikes and are expecting a lot of water crossings, as suggested by Raunaq in comments below. If you are looking for a good trekking/hiking waterproof and a bit warm shoes, you will not go wrong with Forclaz 500 Hiking Shoes. Though I have used them for about 7 years, they never proved me wrong. I have moved to North Face Versa Thermoball but then you don’t need them because Forclaz 500 is one good pair of shoes any day.
Hand Gloves must have in the months of October to June. Always good to carry them with you.
In the end, it is always nice to take some candies, chocolates, books, pens, pencils, crayons etc. anything that you can distribute among the local children. Nothing but the smile on their face would be too much worth it. You can always refer to this list of things to take with you on your Himalayas trips.
I hope this article helps you prepare yourself with a list of clothing items to carry on a Ladakh trip. Now, you know the secrets of how to pack your clothes especially when you are traveling to Ladakh in the shoulder season months of opening and closing of season time in Ladakh.
Feel free to share your thoughts or tips or any other suggestions you might have to help other fellow travelers, in the comments section of this article. If you still have any questions on packing your clothes for a Leh Ladakh trip, feel free to leave a comment below in this article.