Kinnaur is a place like no other in Himachal Pradesh. The land of Apples, Kinnaur provides much more in terms of views and experiences. From Chitkul to Sangla, from the stunning flow of the Baspa river to the magical snow covered mountain tips – Kinnaur has it all. Experience nature in the lap of the hills and camp out to your heart’s desire.
Best time to Visit
As with the rest of Himachal Pradesh – the best time to visit Kinnaur is pre-monsoon months of April-June. The weather is amazing, there is a lot to explore and you can easily camp out without the fear of landslides. However, if you’re a thrill-seeker – then winter months also make for some magical times. However, keep in mind that in order to camp out in the winters- you need to be a seasoned camper and understand the needs and skills required in the wild.
What to Pack?
If you’re new to the camping setup – don’t worry you can even plan by booking at certain campsites. However, ensure you pack sufficient clothes and prepare to dress in layers. Also, ensure you have all the safety equipment needed as well as a medicine kit at your disposal. Make sure your boots are trek worthy and you have a backpack that is supportive. The most important thing is a proper sleeping bag. A good night’s sleep can make or break your experience and thus, I truly believe that this is one thing you should definitely invest in, if you’re planning on camping.
Bonus tip – Pack a Tarpauling Sheet (if camping in your own tents) and lay it down before setting up your tent. This will ensure a beauty sleep like no other!
Where can I pitch my tent in Kinnaur?
- Anywhere really, but make sure you take precautions. Regular advice would be to pitch near villages or dhabas – unless you’re a pro at managing in the wilderness
- You can pitch your tents in many places. However, you need to take care of planning prior to heading out – this will help in making the experience seamless.
- Camp near a river stream. This was you can ensure that the impact of the wind on your tent would be lesser. However, maintain some healthy distance from the river basin – just in case the water levels rise and you might be facing some sudden flash floods. However, this option should only be used if you’re visiting in non-monsoon months – and even then with caution.
- Ensure you’re not camping in open fields. Same as above, this just helps in making sure the impact of the wind is lesser. Another good spot to avoid is on the edge of cliffs. Basically, use as much common sense as you in deciding the perfect location. Keep in mind that while, yes, it might be cool to wake up to stunning views – you need to factor in the risk levels to make the trip safe. Also, please ensure you fasten your tents properly!
- Are there campsites available? Yes, you will find many campsites available in Kinnaur. In fact, you may schedule your trips according to the places you want to stay in. There are some stunning views that await you. As an added advantage – these campsites usually take care of all your needs – including all meals. Apart from that, you might be lucky enough to get some electricity availability depending on the luxury you choose for your campsites.
- Do not camp out in sensitive zones. Ensure you follow all rules and limitations, if there are some, and adhere to the designated camping sites. Such rules are put in place to maintain the pristineness of the region along with your safety.
Basic Camping tips
- Do not leave out any food in the open. There are wild animals, especially in the lush green of Kinnaur Valley. And food makes it very easy to attract their attention. You do not want to get in a tight spot with not much to do when wild animals come around!
- Let your loved ones know of your whereabouts before you become unavaiblae due to lack of connectivity. Don’t make them worry when you enjoy bliss!
Other things to keep in mind
- If you light up a campfire – please ensure you put it off completely. Also, check the vicinity and ensure you’re not setting up a fire near a thatched roof. These might seem like obvious choices – but, these are the difference in saving disasters from happening
- Stay warm, stay hydrated – even if you’re visiting in the peak summer months – the nights WILL be cold. So, ensure you are cozy in your bed before you head to sleep. Ensure you’re warm and dry for the night to have a pleasant experience. Also, throughout the day – ensure you’re keeping yourself hydrated. Given that you’re in pleasant weather –you might think you need lesser water. But, in hills, you’re exercising more and moving around a lot – the air is purer and you’ll digest quicker. Just ensure you have sufficient water in your system at all times. At night, do relive yourself before turning in – there is nothing worse than having to wake up in the middle of the night and getting out of your cozy sleeping bag.
- don’t forget to explore – there is a lot of hills to cover. Especially in Kinnaur – heading out on day treks will lead you to the most magnificent views of high and mighty mountains and hidden waterfalls.
- Try your hand at fishing. If you’re anywhere near the riverbed of the Baspa river – having fun in catching the most spectacular (and delicious) Himalayan trout! Grill them for a spectacular dinner which would make for the best memories.
The Great Outdoors need to be enjoyed by truly being in the lap of nature. If you’re anything like me and love connecting with your truest self – Kinnaur will not disappoint. Its beauty is incomparable, even with other Himachali destinations. The distance, the journey, the place, the people, the views all make for some of the most memorable experiences. Enjoy camping in Kinnaur to make the most of your journey. However, do ensure you leave nothing but footsteps in the hills and clean up after yourself. Clean travelling is travelling by love! See you out there, fellow hill-lovers!