Jigar Patel Driving fast in a slow lane!

Backpacking Checklist For Himalayas

October 04, 2015 / Jigar Patel

In my recent trip to Uttarakhand, I managed to travel to high altitudes without getting sick (in all my previous trips to the mountains, I have felt altitude sickness). The only thing I did wrong was packing unnecessary items. This list is an optimization based on my experience.

A minimal backpack (for a week long trip) should have,

  • No jeans!
  • Couple of quick dry convertible hiking trousers
  • A quick dry sports track pant
  • A pair of shorts
  • At least one t-shirt for each day
  • One or two full sleeves t-shirts
  • A jacket
  • Socks (ideally a pair for each day)
  • Thermal wear layer if you are going to a really cold place
  • Innerwear
  • A thin towel, a hand towel and few handkercheives
  • A thin fleece comforter or shawl
  • Toileteries
  • Medicines
  • Mixed Dry Fruits - It’s the best hiking food (100-200 grams for each hiking day)
  • Laundry bags and extra polyethene bags
  • A sturdy water bottle
  • A small daypack
  • Floaters / Sandals (optional)

All of this for a week long trip can be easily packed in a 50 litres backpack and should weigh around 8 kgs including backpack.

Other Tips

  • Ranger roll t-shirts to save space.
  • Get proper hiking / trekking shoes. Regular sports shoes aren’t good for rocky trails.
  • While travelling in jeeps, avoid seats facing sideways. Sitting sideways in a fast moving vehicles may induce motion sickness.
  • Take multiple breaks in order to acclimatize yourself to high altitude. Break for a tea and a light snack / fruit.
  • Avoid eating too much while travelling. Eat proper meal for dinner before sleeping.
  • Watch the water you drink. Unless you are sure of cleanliness, buy bottled water.
  • While trekking take breaks at fixed intervals e.g 2 minute rest for every 10 minutes of climbing.