Things To Pack For A High Altitude Himalayan Trek

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.

Prepping For A Himalayan Trek

Trekking Shoes

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:

  • The shoe’s weight: You would want your shoes to be sturdy without compromising grip and support. Light-weight shoes are good for mobility; if you’re looking for an added sense of grip, heavy-weight shoes are ideal but will compromise a bit on mobility.

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.

  • Ankle protection: You would want to protect those ankles while trekking the Himalayas as you don’t want to suffer from any form of a twisted ankle or strain-related injury. Trekking shoes come with different grades of ankle protection with low cut, mid-cut, and high cut being the main varieties available in the market.

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.

  • Crampon-friendly: For those who don’t know, crampons are traction devices that are fitted under the shoe’s sole for enhanced grip and mobility. Some high-altitude Himalayan treks may require crampons to battle packed snow regions and tricky passes so it’s better to check if your shoes provide the grooves to support the device.

Also Read: Treks In Northeast India


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.

  • The capacity of the bag: One thing you need to consider before purchasing a backpack is to think how much you’re going to carry. Short treks require bags not more than 20 to 30 L (liters) for the trek, but for Himalayan treks, you’ll require a bigger backpack.

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.

  • Test the backpack: It’s a given that you won’t be trekking with an empty backpack. So, before buying one, toss in a few things in it and see if you’re happy with the way the weight is distributed.
  • Check the backpack’s features: Every backpack comes with a set of features, and that’s why it’s important you thoroughly inspect them before buying. Check the grade of material used, the number of compartments it has for storage, how good the ventilation in the backpack is, etc.

Also Read: 4 Best Treks In The Himalayas In April

Things to pack for a Himalayan Trek

Things To Pack For A High Altitude Himalayan Trek


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 And Woolen Caps

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.

Synthetic Hand Gloves

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

Trekking pole

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.

Also Read: Experiencing The Chandratal Lake Trek From Manali

Medical Kit

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.

Things to pack for a Himalayan Trek


  • Dolo 650 - For fever and mild pain.
  • Allegra - For allergies.
  • Disprin - For headaches. However, at high altitudes, don’t take this medicine. Instead, drink lots of water.
  • Cetirizine - For allergic sneezing and cold.
  • Spasmonil - Meant for abdominal spasms.
  • Brufen 600 - Painkiller


  • Digene - For indigestion.
  • ORS sachets - Helps to prevent dehydration.
  • Loperamide/Lomotil - Used to treat traveler’s diarrhea.

For Wounds

  • Betadine Solution - To clean the wound and remove any infection.
  • Cotton - For cleaning.
  • Gauges - For dressing the wound.
  • Leukoplast - Waterproof first-aid dressing used for minor cuts and bruises.

For Altitude Sickness

  • Diamox - To prevent one from getting AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
  • Dexamethasone - To prevent symptoms of HACE (High-altitude cerebral edema: a condition where there’s excess fluid on the brain, causing brain swelling).
  • Nifedipine - To prevent symptoms of HAPE (High-altitude pulmonary edema: excess fluid on the lungs, causing breathlessness).

Also Read: Adventure Activities In India

Things to pack for a Himalayan Trek

Other Things To Pack For A High Altitude Himalayan Trek

  • Rainwear: The weather is unpredictable on a trek and that’s why you have to be prepared for any situation. One moment the weather is nice and sunny but at the next moment, it can turn into a sudden downpour. That’s why you need to have a poncho or a rain jacket ready. A poncho practically covers your whole body including your backpack and is also the much-preferred option.
  • Socks: Carry 3 pairs of socks: two pairs of sports socks and one pair of woolen socks. Two pairs of socks provide extra comfort and warmth while trekking and again, make sure you get a synthetic pair or at least a blend of it. Woolen socks are to be used at night to make you comfortable while sleeping.
  • Cutlery: A lunch box, a spoon, and a mug. Simple as that! Make sure that you wash them thoroughly after use to prevent bacteria from entering them. The last thing you want to do is fall sick on a high-altitude trek.
  • Toilet Kit: Just carry the essentials - a toothpaste, toothbrush, small soap, tissue rolls, and lip balm. Please don't overload and carry shampoos or other unnecessary toiletries.

Also Read: Adventure Sports In Sikkim

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.