If you’re ready to take your trekking skills to the next level, then try doing a Himalayan trek. They come in varying difficulty levels so that even the inexperienced can have a taste of this adventurous mountain range. But to have a taste of what it is, you need to be prepared, especially those doing it for the first time. There could be the possibility of overpacking and we don’t want that happening as trekking requires utmost mobility to scale the terrain.
So, if you're confused about how to prepare, then don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a newbie looking for what equipment to pack or an experienced trekker just wanting to brush up on a few things, this guide is meant for everyone. Here is a list of things to pack for a high-altitude Himalayan trek.
Trekkers require trekking shoes! Not Converse, not sandals, and certainly not your favorite pair of high heels. Trekking shoes provide that sense of comfort, safety, and confidence, which is needed while trekking the great Himalayas. In addition, a good pair of trekking shoes will provide an added touch of protection from the cold and wetness of the snow/rain.
Using other footwear will only result in discomfort, and since it’s not made for trekking, casual footwear is bound to break on the trek. So, ensure that you have a good pair of sturdy trekking shoes, not only for a Himalayan trek but any trek in general.
Trekking shoes have a sense of complexity and they can be a bit tricky to choose at first. They come in many variations that are designed according to the tastes of different trekkers, so you should know which type suits you. Here are a few pointers you should look out for when buying trekking shoes:
Trekking boots or high-ankle trekking shoes have good ankle and heel support but are a bit heavier than usual. Nevertheless, they provide better durability and are meant for intensive treks such as the Kedartal Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek. So, choose your trekking shoes according to the type of trek you’re going to.
Low-cut shoes provide the bleakest form of ankle protection and are not advisable to use for Himalayan treks. They can be used for hiking flat terrains or lighter treks but not the Himalayas.
What you should be looking out for are high-cut and medium-cut shoes as they provide the maximum support to the ankle, protecting your feet from skidding and causing any major harm. Since Himalayan treks usually go on for more than 2 days, medium-cut shoes are a must.
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Choosing a backpack is just as important as choosing a good pair of trekking shoes. It’s important because your backpack is going to be your sole constant throughout the trek. And depending on the type you choose, your backpack can either be a blessing or a burden if you happen to select the wrong one. Here are a few tips to help you select the best one for your trek.
Since Himalayan treks are longer, consider buying a backpack that’s between 40 and 60 L so that your resources and equipment are distributed more evenly. They’ve got wider straps and broader hip belts for support, in turn, making walking comfortable.
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When it comes to trekking in the Himalayas, you’ll need to wear layers of clothing to protect you from the cold. Don’t ever make the mistake of carrying a single piece of clothing, thinking it’ll protect you from the high-altitude cold or the changing weather. Layered clothing will offer the utmost protection and flexibility. And when the weather changes, you can add more layers or remove them as and when required.
What you can do is wear one T-shirt and carry two. Even when you’re buying T-shirts, see that you buy long-sleeve dry-fit synthetic T-shirts. Long sleeves will protect you from getting sunburnt. Plus, the UV ray radiation at such high altitudes is quite high and will burn you within a few minutes if you’re not fully covered. Another reason why you should opt for synthetic material is that it dries faster and soaks in sweat better, in turn keeping you dry and comfortable.
Also, don’t forget to carry two pairs of trek pants. One pair you can wear while the other can be kept for backup. Again, purchase quick-dry pants over any other material since they dry faster after crossing a stream or in case of rain.
Wearing sunglasses is mandatory while trekking the Himalayas to prevent you from snow blindness. Snow blindness is caused when one’s eyes are directly exposed to the sun reflected on the snow. It’s likened to 100 flashlights reflecting on a mirror and directly hitting your naked eye - now that sounds painful!
Thankfully, the damage done is not permanent and it usually takes a few hours to resolve. But, why spoil your trek by being blinded by the snow? Just wear a pair of sunglasses (with UV protection) and you’ll be fine.
Just a pro-tip: buy sunglasses that don’t leave space between the lens and the eyes. Slight bouts of peripheral exposure can also be dangerous.
Sun caps are another needed piece of equipment needed while trekking. Leaving your head exposed to long hours of sunlight at that altitude can cause quick dehydration, intense headaches, and frequent sun strokes. And that’s why it’s necessary to cover your head at all times.
While a sun cap helps to regulate body temperature during the day, the inverse happens when you keep wearing a sun cap at night. That’s when woolen caps come into the picture. They’ll prevent you from losing body heat quickly and will make you warm and cozy. Your ears are sensitive too and that’s why woolen caps that cover your ears are preferred.
In general, you’ll need to have a good pair of gloves whenever you’re in the snow. They provide the grip and support to hold yourself while you’re trekking. Plus, they even protect against the cold and warmth to your palms. Buy synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and comfortable padded lining on the inside.
Just imagine trekking through one of the Himalayas' most physically demanding treks and not having a headlamp to guide you through. This can be pretty uncomfortable to navigate and do tasks that require both your hands such as pitching tents, washing dishes, etc. To make your trekking a bit easier, buy a headlamp instead.
Make sure that your headlamp disperses light in such a way that you see what’s ahead of you and what’s around you. Don’t purchase those headlamps that shoot a single beam that just show you what’s up ahead.
Also Read: Experience: Valley of Flowers trek
For stability and balance in a Himalayan trek, you require trekking poles and they’re a great way of conserving your energy. Himalayan treks pose a certain challenge due to their complex terrain with slopes and descents and buying a pair of trekking poles will make all the difference in your trekking experience. Although you can use a single trekking pole, having two trekking poles is advisable because it’ll ease your pace and provide better walking balance.
Here is a list of medicines that you need to include in your Himalayan medical kit. If you’re allergic to any of the mentioned medicines below, consult your doctor for substitutes.
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Are You Ready To Get High?
Trekking the Himalayas is an exhilarating experience altogether. You get to understand the thrill of the snow under your feet, the company you’re with, and most of all, enjoy the wonders of nature. Now you know some of the things to pack for a high-altitude Himalayan trek. So, go, grab your trek enthusiast friends and explore the daunting Himalayas.
How Much Does It Cost To Trek The Himalayas?
The average cost of a Himalayan trek is between INR 9,000 to INR 15,000.
What Is The Best Time To Visit The Himalayas?
Late October to early May would be an ideal time to trek the Himalayas. December to February is the time it snows, making the environment look like a winter wonderland. Late October doesn’t see much snow and the landscape is more green, making the terrain ideal for trekking.
What Are Some Things To Pack For A High Altitude Himalayan Trek?
You should pack a good set of synthetic clothes, sunglasses with UV ray protection, sun caps and woolen caps, synthetic hand gloves, a headlamp, trekking pole, medical kit, rainwear, socks, cutlery, and a toilet kit when trekking the Himalayas.
What Are Some Easy Himalayan Treks For Beginners?
Some easy Himalayan treks for beginners are Chatakpur Tiger Hill Trek, Triund Hill Trek, Chopta Chandrashila Trek, and The Hampta Pass.
What Are Some Of The Best Himalayan Treks?
Some of the best Himalayan treks are Dayara Bugyal Trek, Khatling Glacier Trek, Dzongri Goecha La Trek, Dzongri Goecha La Trek, and Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek.
Can We Wear Jeans For Trekking?
Jeans won't give you the kind of mobility as compared to a pair of synthetic pants and that's why jeans should'nt be worn while trekking.
Which State Is Very Popular For Trekking?
Jammu & Kashmir is a pretty popular state for trekking as it includes a vast variety of trekking routes.
Can Trekking Be A Hobby?
Yes! Trekking can be a gret hobby, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. You can even camp and spend the night under the stars for an added memorable experience.