Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Having fielded quite a few questions on trekking in Ladakh — which trek to decide on, tips on how to discover a trekking company, when to go, tips on how to get there, what to pack, and extra — we’ve created this Ladakh Trekking Beginner’s Guide. We hope it encourages you to make the lengthy journey to Ladakh and discover its beautiful mountain landscapes and interesting Ladahki and Tibetan Buddhist tradition and other people. You will not be sorry.

Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner's Guide

Every yr we attempt to go on a giant trek, one which takes us far distant and excessive into the mountains. For us, it isn’t solely a strategy to train our our bodies, however to clear and problem our minds. It’s a strategy to disconnect from all that’s a part of our day by day life — expertise, social media, running a blog — and reconnect with nature and ourselves.

Our trek of the Markha Valley in Ladakh in India’s excessive Himalayas was one among our favourite treks of all time. We had dangerously excessive expectations, having dreamed of this area for over a decade. Fortunately, what we present in Ladakh and on our trek far exceeded what we had imagined, not solely when it comes to the beautiful panorama but in addition the Ladakhi folks.

Short consideration span warning: This is an extended submit. The motive: it comprises all we wished we would discovered after we researched our personal journey to Ladakh. Here is my try to put collectively all it is advisable to know to decide on, arrange after which get pleasure from a trek in Ladakh. If questions stay, tell us!

Update: This article was initially revealed in January 2014 and up to date in July 2019 with present 2019 costs, a Ladakh trekking packing listing and different info.


Update: You can now purchase the Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide with all the knowledge from this web site plus a number of further particulars and different goodies (like packing and different preparation) in a simple book you could obtain and take with you.

Buy the Ladakh Trekking Beginner's Guide

Choosing a trek in Ladakh

There are a great deal of trekking decisions in Ladakh. Your selection will rely on the period of time you could have, how distant you’d prefer to go, and the difficultly stage you search. Some of the extra distant treks require particular permits as they might go into delicate border areas, however trekking companies can simply maintain this for you inside a day or two.

Ladakh Markha Valley Trek Views
Room with a view from Hankar village alongside the Markha Valley Trek.

There are infinite variations of treks you possibly can absorb Ladakh, with many taking you to distant areas and might go as much as three weeks. You can discover a full listing of Ladakh trekking choices here.

Some of the extra well-liked treks in Ladakh embody:

  • Markha Valley Trek (6-7 days): This is the one which we selected as a result of it mixed mountaineering and landscapes with folks and tradition by incorporating homestays with households in villages alongside the best way. For us, this mixture is good and resulted in a trekking expertise that exceeded our expectations. The Markha Valley Trek can be the most well-liked Ladakh trek and we’re instructed it might probably get crowded within the excessive season (July and August). If you journey to Ladakh throughout excessive season, take this into consideration and maybe select a much less well-liked trek to keep away from crowded trails and residential lodging.
  • Hidden Valleys of Ladakh, Zanskar Range (9-10 days): This trek takes you into the Zanskar vary and thru small villages all through the valley space. Camping gear is required because it’s not attainable to do homestays for the complete trek.
  • Nubra Valley (5-6 days): This can both be performed with out a lot trekking for 2-Three days, or it may be a fuller trekking expertise with tenting, camel rides and extra. We’ve heard the world is kind of lovely.
  • Kharnak trek (15 days): Begins just like the Markha Valley trek however continues additional south for one more week. A Ladakhi trekking information instructed us that is one among his favourite treks.
  • Rumtse to Tsomoriri (8-9 days): This was one other favourite trek from a information we spoke to due to the fantastic thing about the lakes and the enjoyment of interplay with shepherds alongside the best way. This trek is on the brief listing for after we return.
Environmental Note: No matter which trek you select, please keep in mind that Ladakh is a excessive desert with a fragile setting. As guests, we have to respect this actuality and attempt to scale back our influence. Here is a few good recommendation on traveling responsibly in Ladakh.

Water is scare in Ladakh, so please be aware of this and take brief showers and reduce your use of this precious resource. In addition, we ask you to not purchase bottled water and as a substitute use a refillable water bottle in each Leh and in your trek. This will scale back the plastic bottle waste already piling up in Ladakh, in addition to the power and sources used to move the water bottles there.

To trek independently or with a information?

Some treks require a information as a result of issue of the path or native laws. Other routes just like the Markha Valley Trek will be performed independently (e.g., and not using a information) as a result of the path is fairly properly marked and there are villages to remain in all through the best way. You then have the choice of whether or not to go by yourself or rent a information. Factors embody: price range, your trekking expertise, talent at studying trekking maps, and climate. Let’s look at these.

Although our Markha Valley trek may have been performed and not using a information, we had been grateful to have one. Having an area information supplied us with the peace of thoughts that we had been at all times on the best path (as a few of you might bear in mind, we have now a historical past of getting misplaced in mountains).

As luck would have it, we crossed our first Markha Valley trek mountain go in the midst of a snow storm. Without our information, we by no means would have discovered the right strategy. Two guys trekking independently with us mentioned they’d have turned again that day if it weren’t for our information to assist them discover the trail. Word to the smart: It pays to hitch a trip with Dan and Audrey…if they’ve a information!

Our native information additionally supplied native context and tradition (e.g., Ladakhi Buddhist) to the expertise. We requested him many questions on his life rising up in a distant village in Ladakh and the modifications he’d seen in his brief lifetime. He served as an interpreter, offering us the pliability to have conversations with households we stayed with or ask questions of individuals we would met alongside the best way.

Ladakh Trekking, the People You Meet
Friendly mom and daughter working a tea home the place we ate lunch.

So whereas trekking Ladakh independently could prevent some cash and maybe permit you slightly extra flexibility, our expertise proved to us past a doubt that the advantages of getting a information on this area far outweighs the prices.

Ladakh Accommodation and Sleeping Options: Camping or Homestay?

Some treks gives you the choice of both tenting or homestays (staying with Ladakhi households in villages). Here are the benefits and downsides of each.

Camping: The major benefit of tenting (if you’re going with an company) is that it features a horse to hold your baggage so that you don’t should haul your stuff in your again as much as 5,000+ meters and again down once more. Another bonus: you possibly can typically camp nearer to passes, making for simpler ascents. A maybe apparent drawback of tenting: sleeping in a tent when it’s wet and chilly or blowing snow will be disagreeable. In addition, this selection is often dearer as you may want your personal prepare dinner and horse information along with your trekking information.

Homestays: If the trek you select presents the choice of homestays, we propose taking it. Staying with Ladakhi households in villages all through our Markha Valley trek was completely one of many highlights and delights of the expertise. The folks, tradition and custom floor you. Food (see under) can be a enjoyable aspect. Not to say, homestays are sometimes inexpensive than tenting.

Ladakh Trekking Homestay
Proud grandfather in our homestay in Skyu.

Note: We just lately met the founding father of Mountain Homestays, a social enterprise working to empower rural communities by means of the event of homestays along with native folks and households. You can seek for distinctive Ladakh homestays here, together with these focused on astronomy the place you could have entry to a strong telescope to discover the sky in nearly excellent excessive altitude and distant situations.

What to anticipate in a Ladakhi homestay:

  • Home-cooked meals: All meals is vegetarian, which is healthier and safer for the digestive system, significantly at altitude. Alert the trekking company, your information and host households upfront in case you have any meals allergic reactions. Dinner is usually fairly hearty and is both a standard Tibetan/Ladakhi meal like momos (Tibetan dumplings) or temo (twisted bread dumplings) with daal (lentils) or greens from the backyard. All our dinners had been made freshly for us and had been very tasty. Breakfast, rather less outstanding, often consists of Indian flat bread (chapatis) with butter and jelly, whereas lunch is a few type of bread with packaged sliced cheese, arduous boiled egg and a few snacks.
  • Sleeping space: Sleeping in homestays often consists of mattresses on the bottom with a number of blankets piled on prime. If you’re trekking within the excessive season you may must share your room with different trekkers. For us, we had our personal room most nights. Take a sleep sack with you. Sheets regarded fairly clear, but it surely was unclear when the final time blankets had been cleaned.
  • Toilets: Expect bleak. Outhouses or compost bathrooms are often hooked up to the home or simply outdoors. They do the trick, however don’t anticipate any luxurious right here. Bring a headlamp so you do not, um, by chance slip and fall.
  • Common room: Some of the perfect recollections on the homestays come from hanging round ingesting tea across the conventional range within the massive frequent room. The bed room is for sleeping, however this frequent room is the place it is best to spend most of your time throughout a homestay.
Ladakh Trekking, Inside a Homestay
Traditional Ladakhi home with a giant frequent room and range.

What to search for in a Ladakhi trekking company and information.

Book a tour upfront or on the bottom?

We didn’t make any bookings or inquiries for treks earlier than arriving in Leh. We figured that we might use the 2 to a few days acclimatizing in Leh (completely required should you plan to get pleasure from your trek) to analysis all our choices and guide our trek. Since we traveled in shoulder season, this supplied loads of time to make our preparations.

If you determine to journey throughout excessive season (July-August), you might not have the identical flexibility. Consider sending just a few e mail inquiries upfront to make sure that companies aren’t already at capability with their guides and excursions.

Update: If you’re on the lookout for a trek in Ladakh with social influence and function we suggest you try Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE). We just lately met the founder, Paras Loomba, and had been impressed by him and the work of this social enterprise. Its mission is to affect villages by means of photo voltaic power, and one of many methods it does so is thru trekking and journey experiences in Ladakh.

This implies that its trekking expeditions not solely present vacationers with an unbelievable trekking expertise in Ladakh, however additionally they present the chance to assist convey electrical energy and photo voltaic power to a distant mountain village. GHE additionally trains native households in hospitality and helps them arrange homestays in order that they’ve further sources of earnings and employment that assist hold folks in these distant, rural areas. This not solely preserves these villages, but in addition the distinctive tradition in them that may in any other case die out with migration to larger cities and cities.

Choosing a trekking company in Leh

You will see trekking brokers in every single place in Leh. Many of them may have indicators outdoors promoting their treks, in addition to notices if they’re on the lookout for extra folks to fill treks with particular departure dates. The concept right here is that the extra individuals who trek collectively and share a information, the decrease the per-person value must be. We initially hoped to affix one among these treks, however the timing didn’t work out with our schedule.

Ladakh Markha Valley Trek
Lunch break with a view of Kang Yaze Peak. Markha Valley Trek, Day 5.

We walked round Leh for a day visiting varied companies asking questions on trek choices, prices, departure dates and suppleness so as to add on stops. Most of the trekking companies gave us an analogous value vary so our resolution was made based mostly on the sensation we bought from the company (e.g., did the company really feel like a intermediary or had been they really chargeable for their very own guides and excursions), their endurance, and their flexibility to accommodate particular requests.

We selected Ecological Footprint in the long run as a result of we appreciated how the proprietor, Stanzin, defined all our choices and was versatile to work with us to create a trek that met our wants, not only one that match right into a prepackaged field. In addition, Stanzin is Ladakhi and know the group properly. All the excursions he operates use native folks and intention to speculate again into the communities. So whereas the tour was barely dearer than what among the different tour companies had been providing, we felt that the value was value it for the standard of the expertise. We believed that our cash was properly spent.

We may extremely suggest our information from Ecological Footprint, Dorjee Tondup. He is younger however smart past his years and dispenses bits of perspective and peace in every single place he goes. His respectful strategy to native folks opened doorways for us in every single place. His strategy to everybody he met served as a lesson for all times. He guides on all the foremost Ladakh trekking routes.

Ladakh Trekking Guide
Our information, Dorjee, having fun with a second alongside the Markha Valley Trek.

Choosing a information

Although you might or could not have the choice to decide on a selected Ladakh trekking information, we provide just a few questions and ideas that will help you discover a good match.

Ask to fulfill the information earlier than you allow in your trek.

This is one thing we often do earlier than any trek to offer us peace of thoughts that we’ll get alongside properly with our information. We’ve by no means needed to change guides, however should you do suppose that the information assigned to you can be problematic then ask for a change. Remember, it’s an extended journey. It can be significantly lengthy should you should spend it with somebody who rubs you the flawed means. Not to say, you may need somebody you are feeling snug with and belief within the case that climate or well being flip south. We know this firsthand as a result of a information from one other company who trekked alongside us in Ladakh irritated completely everybody, together with his personal shopper. We spent power making an attempt to keep away from him.

Ask for a Ladakhi information.

During excessive season in Ladakh, demand for guides is excessive and so folks come from throughout India to information for the summer season. We don’t need to discriminate, however we really feel that you will have a greater expertise with somebody who’s a Ladakhi information due to the information of native tradition and language. Our trekking companions had an Indian information, and whereas he knew the mountain trails, he did not know the households working the homestays or the Ladakhi language and tradition.

Explain any particular must the information.

This goes for medical wants, in addition to another idiosyncrasies you might need. For instance, we take a variety of photographs so we cease quite a bit on the path and gradual issues down. Alerting the information upfront of this conduct lets the information know to not fear when it takes us some time to go from level A to B. He can regulate his tempo accordingly. One of the ladies trekking concurrently us had again points, so her information would usually carry one among her baggage for her when her again ached. The concept: assist your information provide help to.

Estimated Costs for Markha Valley Trek

The up to date value for our Markha Valley Trek (6 nights/7 days) together with a information, lodging (homestay), meals and transport to/from the trek is round 20,000 rupees per individual. This additionally included a cease at Hemis Monastery on the best way again to Leh. (Not all trekking companies provide this, so ask about it. We actually loved the extra cease on the return and suggest it.)

Ladakh Hemis Buddhist Monastery
Why it is value stopping at Hemis Monastery on the return to Leh.

This was barely cheaper than among the different trekking companies whereas others supplied naked bone costs at 1,600-2,000 rupees per individual per day. Understand that you just sometimes get what you pay for.

Homestay prices on Markha Valley Trek (Updated 2019)

If you do determine to do the Markha Valley Trek independently, discover out in Leh what the official price is for homestays that yr. The official price is a typical quantity set yearly by the homestay affiliation in order that the households all cost the identical quantity and don’t attempt to underbid one another (thereby inflicting tensions in the neighborhood).

Updated homestay costs, July 2019: The the usual Markha Valley homestay price is 1,200 Rs ($17.50) per evening per individual. This contains dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch. A tent at Nimiling is 1,400 Rs ($20.50).

When to Trek in Ladakh?

The trekking season in Ladakh actually begins to take off early-to-mid June and runs till September. The excessive season is July and August with August being the busiest month. Rains often begin late August to September. If you possibly can time it, we suggest going early within the shoulder season in June. Note that climate is at all times the wild card, nevertheless.

Ladakh Trekking Buddhist Chortens
Chortens within the village of Skyu, Day 2 of the Markha Valley Trek.

Our trek was mid-June and there was hardly anybody (6 folks) alongside our whole Markha Valley route. This meant that the homestays weren’t crowded and there have been no visitors jams on the paths. We skilled a shock snowstorm on our second morning on the first go, however that simply added to the joy and meant that each one the mountains round us sported a lovely overlaying of snow.

Acclimatization and Accommodation in Leh earlier than Trekking

No matter which trek you select, make sure you spend at the least two days acclimatizing in Leh (or wherever the setting off level of your Ladakh trek occurs to be). Take a stroll by means of the outdated city as much as Leh Palace and Namgyal Tsemo Gompa. This helps get the blood pumping and the legs shifting. It additionally provides you some expertise climbing hills at altitude.

If you’re prone to altitude illness, take into account taking much more time to acclimatize in Leh. Your hike can be extra pleasurable and profitable for it.

Leh Palace
Good acclimatization stroll in Leh = climbing as much as Namgyan Tsemo Gompa on the best.

As for the place to remain in Leh, there are a variety of guesthouses and motels for each price range. You can search right here to see which motels can be found throughout your go to and evaluate costs.

The proprietor of Ecological Footprints, the trekking company we used, has just lately opened up a guesthouse known as EcoResidency. We have not stayed there but, but it surely appears fairly good and quiet.

Food suggestions in Leh

Summer Harvest: Best momos on the town. We really feel assured on this assertion as we sampled momos in 4 totally different eating places and kitchens on the town. Be certain to ask for the do-it-yourself sizzling sauce. We by no means ventured past momos (they had been that good), however different dishes rising from the kitchen regarded tasty as properly.

Ladakh Food, Momos
Fried momos from Summer Harvest Restaurant in Leh, Ladakh.

German bakeries: Don’t ask me why, however Leh is bursting with German bakeries. They don’t all have their very own ovens, so it looks like they get their baked items from a central German bakery supply. If you’re craving a cinnamon roll or some quasi European pastries, cease by one among these and luxuriate in with a chai. Quality is blended, however when you think about how distant you’re, you may be grateful.

Lassi man: In the alleyway simply to the best of the mosque on Leh Bazaar is a tiny place with this pleasant man making and promoting yogurt and paneer (Indian cheese). For just a few rupees he’ll create a contemporary candy or salty lassi for you and invite you in to get pleasure from a seat whereas he explains how he makes all of it. Highly really helpful.

Ladakh Food, Lassi in Leh
Making Lassi in Leh.

Monasteries and Other Sites in Ladakh

On our return journey from Leh to Srinigar we employed a driver from Leh to take us to go to just a few monasteries on the best way to Lamayuru, the place we dropped us off after which picked up within the night (pre-arranged) by a driver/shared jeep en path to Srinigar for the in a single day drive.

Update: There is now an internet shared taxi service in Ladakh to search out different vacationers going to the identical monasteries, villages or trailheads. This not solely shares the price of the taxi or jeep, however extra folks in the identical car additionally reduces the carbon footprint of your journey and makes it extra environmentally sound.

Likir Monastery

While touring, we regularly discover ourselves targeted on the current. This is an efficient factor. Then, one thing helps us recognize the historical past, the roots of the place we occur to be. This too, is beneficial as a result of it gives perspective.

Likir Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh, at nearly 1,000 years outdated, is a kind of locations.

Visiting Likir Monastery near Leh, Ladakh
A fisheye view of a Buddhist temple in Likir monastery close to Lah, Ladakh.

For a lot of our go to to Likir Monastery we had been alone, save a sole monk who tidied up and made certain guests took their footwear off earlier than getting into the temples. We loved all of it in peace and located ourselves stepping again, actually and figuratively, simply making an attempt to think about how monks had gathered in these areas for hundreds of years — chanting, meditating, praying.

Alchi Monastery

Built within the 10th to 11th century, Alchi Monastery is made up of three main shrines. It’s situated not removed from Leh, so it is a simple to go to on a day journey or en path to Lamayuru (like we did).

Alchi Monastery, Ladakh
Audrey turns the prayer wheels at Alchi Buddhist monastery.

Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru is likely one of the small cities in Ladakh, named after the well-known Lamayuru Monastery perched excessive above the city. It’s a pleasant stroll as much as the monastery with a view of the city under, attention-grabbing chortens on this excessive desert panorama, and intimate temples.

Lamayuru Buddhist Monastery, Ladakh
Prayer flags with Lamayuru Monastery above.

Transport: How to get to Ladakh

Unless you could have your personal set of wheels (or wings) there are three most important routes to get to and from Ladakh.

By Bus or Shared Taxi to Leh:

Taking the general public or common bus is the most cost effective choice and positively delivers an expertise, however it’s usually the slowest choice. To guide a shared taxi or jeep to/from Ladakh think about using this newly developed Ladakh shared taxi booking system that will help you discover different vacationers to share the price and area. This not solely saves you cash, however with extra folks in every jeep it additionally reduces the environmental footprint.

Srinigar to Leh: You have the choice to take a two-day “Super Deluxe” bus (in a single day in Kargil) or a 12-hour shared trip in a non-public jeep (with 6 different passengers). Both go away from the identical space in Srinagar. Please notice that the roads are solely open for a brief interval every year, often from May – September.

We flew from Mumbai to Srinagar after which took the bus as much as Leh and a shared jeep for the return leg to Srinagar. If you could have extra time, take into account taking the practice from wherever you’re in India to Jammu and pepper in just a few strategic visits and stops alongside the best way to Srinagar.

Transport to Ladakh
Taking the “Super Deluxe” bus from Kashmir to Ladakh.

There are, in fact, benefits and downsides to the bus and jeep. While the bus trip from Srinagar to Leh is lengthy and never significantly snug, you’ll be able to take a variety of photographs out the window, because the tempo is glacial, snail-like for a lot of the best way. It’s additionally an expertise to journey with locals (e.g., Buddhist monks hopping on and off) and fellow adventurous vacationers. Suggestion: attempt to not concentrate on the lacking guardrails alongside the best way. A dose of fatalism may additionally assist.

Bus and Shared Jeep Costs from Srinagar to Leh (Updated 2019): Bus tickets = 1,399 Rs/individual. Jeep value is determined by your negotiation expertise, however often prices between 2,300-2,700 Rs/individual relying upon which seat you could have (i.e., again seats are cheaper).

Manali to Leh: This route from the south additionally options the choice of a 2-day bus journey vs. 16-20 hours in a shared jeep. We didn’t take this route so can’t converse to it firsthand, however we met a number of individuals who did. The roads appear to be in worse form than the Srinagar route, however you go over 4 giant mountain passes that are purported to be beautiful. If you’re coming from Delhi, that is the extra direct route. The roads are often open for just a few months of the yr, once more from June – September.

Bus and Shared Jeep Costs from Manali to Leh (Updated 2019): Bus tickets = from 900 Rs/individual for the usual HRTC bus to 2,700 Rs/individual for the extra snug Volvo Bus. Jeep value between 3,700 – 4,100 Rs/individual relying upon which seat you could have (i.e., again seats are cheaper).

Update: We have heard that latest street enhancements have shortened the size of this journey and have made it extra protected.

By Plane to Ladakh

Flying into Leh is actually extra expedient, however you may miss the wonder and journey of the roads. The views from the skies within the mountains are purported to fairly spectacular, nevertheless. Be certain to depart buffer days in your journey schedule should you fly as flights are regularly canceled because of dangerous climate.

Most planes fly from both Delhi, Srinagar and Mumbai (new in 2016). Try to guide your tickets early as costs go up in a short time. Begin your flight search with Skyscanner because it contains all low-cost airways in its listings.

Ladakh Trekking Packing List

Much of what we embody in our How to Pack for a Trek article applies to trekking in Ladakh. However, we provide a personalized Markha Valley trek packing listing to make sure you have all it is advisable to benefit from the mountains but don’t overpack.

Since we selected the Markha Valley trek with homestays this meant that we did not want to fret about tents, sleeping gear or meals. We carried our personal gear (largely garments) in a small backpack. The purpose is to make sure you could have all of the layers it is advisable to be snug in Ladakh’s diverse climate, however to not carry an excessive amount of in order to battle together with your backpack’s weight on the excessive mountain passes.

If you’re doing one other trek in Ladakh that features tenting as a substitute of homestays then you definitely’ll must convey (or hire) sleeping baggage, sleeping mats, and different tenting gear.

Trekking Backpack

Recommended girls’s backpack: Deuter ACT Trail Pro 32 SL Backpack – Very gentle and comfy to hold. Includes all kinds of nice performance like a built-in rain cowl, water bladder compatibility, large waist belt for stability, and extra. Love this backpack. Buy on Amazon | Buy on REI (28-liter)

Recommended males’s mountaineering backpack: Osprey Packs Exos 38 Backpack – This backpack is available in a number of sizes, and the Large model is well-suited for tall folks. Light, snug, and sturdy. The strolling stick holder is slightly janky, however the remainder of the backpack is well-designed. Buy on Amazon | Buy on REI (48-liter)

Trekking Clothes and Shoes

You don’t want a variety of totally different garments. Don’t fear about carrying the identical factor daily. Everyone does it. It’s extra about having the right layers since temperatures could rise and fall dramatically between day and evening as Ladakh is a excessive desert. Here are the trekking garments we propose for a Ladakh trek.

  • 1 set of mountaineering garments: T-shirt (ideally quick dry), long-sleeved mountaineering shirt (his and hers)) or pullover, shorts or trekking pants, hiking socks.
  • 1 set of sleeping garments: T-shirt, pajama bottoms (or yoga pants), socks. To guarantee these stay dry, pack them in a plastic bag or different impermeable container inside your backpack.
  • Ski hat and gloves: This will not be needed later within the season, however by early to mid-June we had been very grateful to have these as we had been caught in a snowstorm on our 2nd day.
  • Hat and sun shades: The solar’s rays are exceptionally highly effective at this altitude and you will find your self particularly uncovered when there is not a cloud within the sky. Be certain to put on a hat always to guard your face and sun shades to guard your eyes.
  • Hiking footwear: Low-rise mountaineering footwear are advantageous, however in case you have weak ankles take into account bringing full help footwear. We each just lately shifted to carrying Oboz Sawtooth mountaineering boots. The insoles and help on your toes are actually good, and the footwear are sturdy and might stand as much as some robust terrain. In addition, Oboz vegetation a tree for each pair of footwear offered so you possibly can really feel good that your buy goes in the direction of reforestation and environmental tasks.Men’s Obuz Sawtooth Hiking Shoes: Buy at REI | Buy on Amazon. Women’s Obuz Sawtooth Hiking Shoes: Buy at REI | Buy on Amazon
  • Extra t-shirt: Just in case.
  • Underwear for daily of your trek: With an additional pair thrown in for good measure, should you like. Recommended his and hers
  • Extra pair of socks: Just in case you need to swap out or it is freezing and also you want an additional layer to remain heat in your sleeping bag.
  • Fleece or different shell jacket: For cool nights or sleeping.
  • Rain jacket (optional): Just in case it rains. We used ours as an additional layer to remain heat at evening. I just lately upgraded to a NorthFace Climatech expertise waterproof jacket and I like it. It not solely supplied safety towards the rain and chilly, however the jacket materials may be very breathable so it did not really feel like a sauna inside when trekking in it. Highly really helpful. Buy at REI | Buy on Amazon.
  • Thermal underwear (prime/backside): If you are trekking both early or late within the season, take into account bringing alongside some silk long johns as they’re heat, cozy and take up nearly no room in any respect.
  • River footwear or flip flops: At the tip of an extended day of strolling you might need to take off your mountaineering footwear and provides your toes a relaxation. But you may nonetheless want one thing in your toes to go to and from the outhouse or nearest bush. That’s the place flip flops or river footwear worn with socks (sure, ignore the style police) are excellent.Buy on Amazon (Women’s) | Men’s River Shoes

Other Recommended Trekking Gear

  • Waterproof backpack cover: You by no means know when a rainstorm will hit, so it’s important to maintain a rain cowl on your backpack shut at hand.
  • Camera bag: If you’re carrying a separate DSLR or mirrorless digital camera I counsel a digital camera bag you could put on in your waist in order that your trekking backpack rests on prime. I actually just like the ThinkTank Sling Camera Bag which inserts a mirrorless digital camera physique and two lenses. It is snug for mountaineering because it sits proper on my hips and I can nonetheless put on a backpack or daypack that rests on prime of it.
  • Reusable water bottle: We carry a reusable liter water bottle on us and refill alongside the best way. A CamelBak water bladder within the backpack additionally works rather well. Homestays (and a few tea homes) will be capable to offer you purified water so simply refill your bottle every time you could have entry to wash water. Even if the trek does promote bottled water, please do not buy it. Plastic bottle waste is a gigantic downside at elevation and in villages that don’t have any choices for rubbish disposal.
  • Water Purification: Although the homestays will offer you clear water it is good to hold some purification or sterilization drops in case you want further water from
    a mountain stream or non-purified village faucet.
  • Walking stick: Highly really helpful, particularly for downhill sections to assist with steadiness and to take among the stress off your joints. Two strolling sticks or one, you ask? That’s a private choice. We often share a walking stick set of two so every of us makes use of one stick.
  • Quick-dry travel towel: To dry off your arms or face.
  • Sleep sack: To present a clear layer between you and blankets supplied on the homestays.
  • Headlamp: Some of the homestays wouldn’t have electrical energy or lights. Carry your personal headlamp to search out your strategy to the outhouse or to type by means of your stuff at evening.

Toiletries and Health Kit

  • Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss: You know, the fundamentals. And do not snicker at us that we put dental floss as a primary.
  • Sunscreen: The greater the SPF of the sunscreen, the higher. The solar may be very highly effective at this excessive altitude.
  • Sunglasses: Necessary. That solar is darn robust.
  • Hand sanitizer: To be on the protected facet.
  • Pack of tissues or roll of bathroom paper: Always a good suggestion to hold your personal, simply in case.
  • Blister care: Duct tape is remarkably efficient for decent spots and blisters in your toes should you tackle them while you first really feel them. Compeed is magic when you have already got blisters because it basically covers your blisters with a protecting later which permits them to heal under.
  • Medical Kit (for emergencies): Band-Aids, anti-bacterial gel (for cuts), rehydration packets, ciprofloxacin/azithromycin (or one other remedy towards abdomen micro organism), Tylenol (anti-headache/aches), Immodium (or some type of “stopper” should you get diarrhea). Note: All this may be simply and inexpensively bought at native pharmacies, together with in Leh.

Electricity and Charging Batteries

Although some homestays could have photo voltaic power that you should utilize to cost your smartphone it is best to be ready in case you have no entry to electrical energy throughout your trek. Some tricks to deal with this and additional your battery energy.

  • Put your smartphone on airplane mode. There is not any connectivity alongside the trek anyhow, so do not waste your cellphone’s battery energy looking for a community.
  • Consider shopping for a cellphone case that doubles as an additional battery. Here’s an instance for our iPhone X battery case. Alternatively, you might carry a Mophie charger. They all present one other 1-1.5 expenses.
  • Take an additional digital camera battery or two.
  • Don’t spend time reviewing your photos in your cellphone or within the digital camera viewfinder, as this may shortly eat battery energy. Unless you’re reviewing photos to find out whether or not you’ve captured a selected shot, there can be time sufficient for picture assessment when your trek is completed.
  • Solar-Powered Energy Bank: If you actually are involved about charging your cellphone and equipment alongside the best way, take into account bringing a solar powered power bank.

Still have questions on Ladakh and trekking there? Ask away within the feedback under!


Update: You can now purchase the Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide with all the knowledge from this web site plus further particulars and different goodies (like packing and different preparation) in a simple book you could obtain and take with you.

Buy the Ladakh Trekking Beginner's Guide

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