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Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Trip: A Complete Guide

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip is one of the most searched queries when planning a trip to Leh Ladakh. Ladakh is every traveller’s dream destination and one of the most picturesque regions in India. A trip to this cold desert is bound to leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime

Leh- Ladakh as a travel destination is very different from the rest of the regions in the country. If a visit here is on your cards, you might want to start by curating a list of things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip. This will ensure that you are completely prepped up for this adventure.

While most of what’s on your list of things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip is available in the Leh town, you should try and carry most of them if possible, just to be on the safer side. Take a look at this packing list for Leh- Ladakh trip. While I have tried to cover all the essential things to carry for Leh Ladakh in the current blog, you can add things that you think you might need.

Also Useful:

The complete backpacking guide to Leh Ladakh

Is Leh Safe? 12 Major Concerns & How to Deal with them 

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip: An Overview

Before I go into the details of things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip, here is a quick overview of Leh Ladakh as a travel destination.

How to Reach Leh?

Srinagar-Leh Highway: Route 1

Manali-Leh Highway: Route 2

Reach Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport or Leh Airport: Route 3

Major Attractions in Leh Ladakh

Magnetic Hill

Monasteries

Lakes

Nubra Valley

Khardung La Pass

Shopping

Food

Seasons in Leh

Summer: June- September

Winters: November- February

Weather Conditions

Summers: -5 degrees C to 30 degrees C

Winters: -20 degrees C to 10 degrees C

Best Time to Visit

June to September

Accessibility

All Year Round

Ideal Visiting Time

7-10 days

Mode of Transport within Leh -Ladakh

Cabs

Private vehicles

Top 5 things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip

1.       Documents

2.       Suitable Clothing & Footwear

3.       Emergency Medication

4.       Toiletries

5.       First Aid Kit

Important Documents

ID Proof

Permits (ILP or PAP)

Vehicle Documents

Passport & Visa

Mobile Connectivity

Only BSNL Postpaid Sims work here



List of things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Trip

Leh-Ladakh has its own set of travel requirements. From special permits to medicines to deal with altitude sickness, you need to be careful about all the essential things to pack. Here’s a checklist of things to remember while travelling to Ladakh.

1.       Documents

The first thing to secure your adventure trip to Leh Ladakh is the essential documents. Make sure you pack all of these first.

Permits

Certain areas in Ladakh region are Protected/ Restricted including the famous Pangong Tso Lake. In order to visit these places, you need to secure a Permit.

Indian Citizens need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) while foreign nationals need a Protected Areas Permit (PAP). You can either get the permits beforehand or once you reach Leh Town.

Carry multiple photocopies of the Permits as they can be collected at the checkpoints.

Also Useful:

How & where to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) – For Indian Visitors

How & where to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) – For Foreign Nationals

 Government Issued Identity Cards

You must carry at least one identity card issued by the government. It may be your Passport, Aadhar Card, Driving License or Voter ID Card.

Carry the original and a few photocopies.

Printed Itinerary

Keep a few hard Copies of your Leh Itinerary. This would help you when you’re applying for your Permit and also act as a reference during your journey.

Also Useful:

A 7 day Leh Backpacking Itinerary- Download Free    

Passport Size Photos

Carry a few of your Passport Size pictures

Flight Ticket

If you are travelling to Leh by air, carry some copies of your flight tickets

Hotel Reservation

Carry the hotel reservation slips if you have booked your accommodation in advance.

Medical Insurance

Carry your medical insurance if you have any.

Emergency Contact List

On a piece of paper or a small diary, jot down a list of your emergency contact names and phone numbers. Keep this handy with you in case your Mobile phone’s not working

2.       Luggage

While choosing the bag you wish to take on your Leh Ladakh Trip consider the following things

Backpack or Luggage Bag

Choose just one backpack or bag which can accommodate all your primary luggage including clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc.

While choosing a luggage bag, avoid strollers or heavy suitcases

Smaller backpack or Rucksack or bag

You should also carry a smaller backpack or rucksack for everyday travel. In this bag, you can carry your documents, water bottle, snack items, etc.

Choose a bag that is waterproof.

3.       Suitable Clothing & Footwear

You must remember that the weather in Leh Ladakh can be very unpredictable, so you have to stay ready. Ladakh is a cold desert, with warm summers days and cold nights. Winters get extremely cold, especially during nights.

 Leh Ladakh Clothing
Carry Light

The most important thing to remember is to pack light. Make sure you carry the essential things only. You can always mix and match.

Carry Layers of Clothing

The trick to staying warm in cold Leh weather is to wear your clothes in layers i.e. one over the other. Not only does it keep you warm it also gives you the flexibility of removing layers if you are feeling warm.

Comfortable clothes

Don’t pack clothes that are too tight or too heavy. Make sure the clothes you carry are comfortable.

Outdoor Activities

If you want to indulge in outdoor activities like trekking, hiking, etc. make sure you pack extra warm stuff like

Warm Socks     

Gloves

Mufflers

Caps

Clothes to Pack for Leh: Checklist

Regular Full Sleeve Cotton T-shirts or Sweatshirts

Jeans

Comfortable Lowers or Track Pants

3-4 Pairs of Socks

2-3 thermals

Light Woolen cardigans/ Pullovers/Sweatshirts in Summers

Water Proof Jackets

Heavy Woolens in Winters

Light Jacket in summers

Heavy jacket in winters

Mufflers, Warm Socks, Caps and Gloves in Winters

Night Wear- Warm Pajamas or Lowers

 Shoes for Leh Ladakh Trip

The choice of shoes for Leh Ladakh trip depends on the activities you want to engage in. Here a few pointers.

Sneakers or Sports Shoes

Carry comfortable walking shoes like sneakers or sports shoes. Also, try to carry an extra pair of shoes.

Winter Shoes   

Carry Furry or Insulated Boots in Winters

GumBoots

If you are riding a bike, you must carry gumboots or any waterproof boots as there are many streams to cross.

Slippers

You can use slippers at the end of the day when you reach your accommodation

 

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Nubra Valley is one of the most visited places in Leh Ladakh. Photography by Ganesh Prabhu

4.       Emergency Medication

Since most places in Leh are located at a height of over 10000ft, Altitude Sickness is a real problem.  Therefore, you might need to take some precautionary medicines to prevent Altitude sickness and if it does happen, to manage it.

Also Useful:

How to deal effectively with Altitude Sickness in Leh Ladakh?

In case you have some allergy or are suffering from some health condition, please visit a doctor before taking the pills.

Diamox

It is the most commonly used medicine for dealing with altitude sickness in Leh. Take the medicine a day before you visit a high altitude location and continue the dose twice a day for a couple of days more.

Disprin and Aspirin

Carry medicines like aspirin or disprin to manage the symptoms of AMS, in case you are hit by it.

Mild Analgesics

Carry some mild painkillers just in case

Other common medicines

Cold and Flu and Stomachache medicines

Oxygen Cylinder

You can also carry small oxygen cylinders if you planning to hike or stay at high altitudes. These are light and are easily available at chemist shops and even online.

5.       Toiletries

Even if you do not wish to carry all the toiletries, don’t worry you can find the common things in Leh town itself. But I personally suggest that you carry most of them with you might not get the products of your choice.

If you are travelling to Leh in winters, carry all your toiletries with you. It is almost impossible to find even the basic things at this time.

Tooth Brush & Toothpaste
Soap & Face Wash
Hand Sanitizers
Towel
Tissues
Shampoo & Hair Oils
Cold Cream & Moisturizer Lotion
Vaseline or any other petroleum Jelly
Lip Balm
Sunscreen Lotion (SPF UV50+)
Sanitary Napkins or Tampons
Small Looking Glass
Comb
Shaving Kit

6.       First Aid Kit

A small First Aid kit is the most important thing in any traveller luggage. When travelling to Leh make sure you carry a small first aid kit with some basic and prescription medicines and other basics.

Antiseptic liquid- Dettol or Savlon
Cotton
BandAids
Bandages and Gauze
Antiseptic Ointment
Anti-allergy eye drops
Pain relievers-Moov or  Volini
Electrolyte Sachets
Glucose-Gluon D
Iodine-based water purification tablets



7.       Cash

This is one of the most important things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip. ATMs are very hard to come by in Leh.  ATM card machine of SBI, J&K and PNB are available at three places in the Leh market.

Even if you do find one, you might be greeted by long lines outside, no cash or non-functioning machines. Most of the shops and small traders will not accept cards one other online payment methods, so make sure you carry enough cash.

To ensure safety you can keep them tucked away in different places.

8.       Gadgets & Electronics

A trip to Leh is incomplete without the pictures. Don’t forget to carry your camera or mobile phone because you will be clicking a lot of pictures.

Carry fully charged devices when you are going out because, at high altitudes, the batteries drain out very quickly

Phone Charger

Make sure you pack your phone charger.

Power Bank

Power Bank, in case you use GPS a lot or click pictures with your phone.

3 socket Belkin Surge Protector

A 3 socket Belkin Surge Protector has 3 sockets and you can charge multiple gadgets simultaneously. It also protects your devices against power surges.

Camera Accessories to carry for Photography in Ladakh

Bag

Lenses

Battery Charger

Spare Battery

Extra Memory Cards

Tripod Stand

9.       Accessories

Other than those mentioned above, here’s a list of other miscellaneous things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip.

UV sunglasses

At high Altitudes, UV rays of the sun can be very damaging to the eyes. Buy decent quality sunglasses that are UV protected. You need these both in summers and winters. In winters it is even more important. When the sun shines on the snow-covered mountains, the sun feels all the more harsher.

Please don’t buy those cheap ones they sell at Rs. 100. You can buy some good ones online at low prices as I did.

Camphor

Breathing through Camphor is very helpful for dealing with AMS. A lot of travellers use it. 

Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil message helps in dealing with symptoms of altitude sickness

Find out other ways of dealing with AMS in Leh Ladakh 

 Snacks

Always carry some snacks such as biscuits, chocolates and dry fruits for snacking along the way.

Pen and Diary

Carry a small diary and pen to jot down important contact numbers and addresses. It also helps if you

Torch

Carry a small LED torchlight especially if you are planning to visit far-off places or camping. In some of the famous places like Pangong, there is no power after 10 pm. A torchlight comes handy.

Also Useful:

More detailed travel information about Pangong Tso Lake

Stay at the  rustic Spangmik Village near Pangong Tso Lake

Plastic zip lock bags

Ziplock Bags are really useful to pack up the used clothes. You can also keep your important documents in the bag to keep them safe.

Safety pins

Come in handy in case of windy conditions

Scarves

To protect you from the harsh sun

Multi-tool knife/ Swiss Knife

A multitool knife is useful especially during trekking and hiking

Water Bottle

Carry a big water bottle with a capacity of over 1 litre. Remember that plastic bottles are banned in Leh. So, carry a steel or aluminium bottle.

Most of the guesthouses in Leh provide you with filtered water. You can fill up your here. Avoid buying plastic mineral water bottles.

You can also fill up your water bottles at the Dzomsa Laundry for a small fee. Alternatively, you can use some iodine based (they work better than chlorine-based tablets) water purification tablets or a good water filter.

10.   Mobile Connectivity

One of the most important things to remember while travelling to Ladakh is that only post-paid mobile phone connections work here. While you may find airtel connectivity at certain places, BSNL does work in places beyond Leh town.

So, get a BSNL/MTNL post-paid connection.

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip in Winters

While most people visit Leh Ladakh during summers, winters is also an amazing time to be in Ladakh. Ladakh is fast becoming the favourite destination for adventure seekers. The temperatures can dip below minus 20 degrees Celsius, which for sure is not everyone’s cup of tea.  However, you get to see some of the most splendid views- the frozen Pangong and Tso Moriri, Frozen treks like Chadar, and the snow-clad mountains.

Here is a list of additional things to remember while travelling to Ladakh during winters.

Heavy Jacket

A LIGHT JACKET WON’T DO! Get the warmest one available in the market. Make sure it is warm but not tight. You should be able to wear a couple of pullovers inside it.

Also, ensure the jacket is a little long (hip length at least) and covers your neck too.

Heavy Woollens

You also need to carry some heavy pullovers to wear inside the jacket. You can buy it in the market or online.

Woollen Caps and Mufflers

Carry a warm cap to cover your head and ears. You should also carry a warm muffler to cover your nose and your mouth.

Balaclava 

A warm thermal fleece balaclava will help you keep your face, ears and mouth protected from the cold Himalayan winds.

Gloves and warm Socks

Very important to keep your hands and feet warm. Buy gloves similar to these. They have warm fur on the inside and waterproof material on the outside.

Also, carry at least 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks. To keep your feet warm, apply some mustard oil and then wear socks.

Shoes

Buy a good pair of hiking or trekking shoes. They should be comfortable with a good base. Buy shoes that are insulated

Thermals

Carry at least 2 pairs of thermal inner wear.

Walking Trousers

Buy some good quality, waterproof walking trousers or pants suitable for hiking.

Cash

Carry enough cash. There are no ATMs other than in main towns like Leh, Kargil. As I mentioned above, even if you do find an ATM, the availability of cash is very bleak.

Eatables

In winters it is very difficult, rather next to impossible to find eating joints. So carry enough eatables with you.

Body lotion

Do carry a good body lotion suitable for winters. The air can get very dry, so it’s important to keep your skin moisturized.

Vaseline

Use vaseline on your hands, feet or other parts of the body if they feel dry.

Toilet Tissue Rolls

Carry a few of these. You will need them.

Sunglasses

As I said earlier, sun reflecting from the snow is pretty harsh, so carry a good pair of sunglasses.



Things to carry for Leh Ladakh in Summers: Month wise

Other than the items I have already covered earlier on in the blog, here’s a month wise list of things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip in June

June is a pretty pleasant time in Leh- Ladakh. The temperature during the day can soar up to 30 degrees Celsius. Do not forget to carry these:

Full sleeve Cotton T-shirts for use during the days

Light woollen pullovers for night time

A  light jacket

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip in July

In the last week of July, monsoons hit the Ladakh region. In addition to other things carry

A raincoat

A light jacket

An extra pair of shoes, in case a pair gets wet

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip in August

Rainy season in its full form during the month of August in Ladakh. During the rainy season, you might have to face mild to heavy rainfall. Add these to your checklist for Leh-Ladakh

A raincoat

A light jacket

An extra pair of shoes, in case a pair gets wet

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip in September

The rainy season in Leh-Ladakh continues up to last week of September. It also starts getting slightly chillier as winters start to approach. Add  the following to your bag

A Raincoat

1-2 Heavy Woollens

A warm jacket

A hat to protect yourself from harsh sun rays

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh 1

Biking Trip to Leh-Ladakh is challenging and needs adequate preparation. Photography by Prateek Verma

 

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh For Road Trip

You can choose to travel within Leh-Ladakh in your own car or motorcycle. However, driving in the mountainous can be very challenging.  So, make sure you add all the things mentioned below in your list of things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip.

Checklist for Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip

Riding a motorbike in Leh is very different from riding in other regions including the mountainous ones. The treacherous roads can pose quite a task for even the most skilled of riders. If you are planning a Ladakh Bike Trip make sure you carry some essential tools and spare parts to prepare for the tough ride ahead. This is in addition to all the things that I have already mentioned above.

Below is a list of things to take on a bike trip to Ladakh which I have compiled based on my personal experience and the experience of many of my close fellow travellers who have travelled extensively in Ladakh.

Feel free to add other things that you feel are important and tell us too in the comment section.

Documents

Your Driving License
Bike Registration Certificate (original and photostat)
Bike Insurance (original and photostat)

PUC or Pollution Check Certificate

Clothing and Footwear

2-3 Pairs of Thermals

Waterproof Jacket

Accessories

Balaclava to protect your head and face

Sunglasses

An extra pair of shoes/gumboots in case you wet your shows at river crossings

Bike Essentials

A good Helmet with unscratched visor

Protective Gear

–          Jacket with inner Elbow Guards

–          Pants with Inner Knee Guards

–          Riding Boots

–          Biking Gloves

–          Riding Goggles

–          Luggage Net

Extra Bike Key

Spare Parts and Tools

A basic understanding of your bike and fixing minor issues comes handy when travelling across places like Leh. It is very difficult to find a mechanic in Leh in case something goes wrong. Even if you do find someone, they might not have the parts for your Model.

So, ask your nearest mechanic at home to suggest you the parts you should carry. Nonetheless, here is a list of things for Leh-Ladakh Bike trip

Nylon Rope

Bungee Cord

Clutch and Accelerator wire

Chain Locks

Extra Sparkplug

Puncture Repair Kit

Chain Locks
Chain Spray

Engine Oil

Fuse

Electrical Tape and M Seal

Funnel to pour fuel

Brake and Clutch Lever

Swiss Knife

Extra Fuel

There are not many petrol Pumps in Ladakh, so it is advisable to carry some extra fuel with you.

Eatables and Water

Plenty of Drinking Water and Snacks/Dry Fruits

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip by Car 

If you are planning to take your car, the first thing you need to make sure is that it is suitable for Ladakh. You can’t choose a luxury vehicle over an SUV for terrains like these. Take note of the following things when driving in Ladakh.

Type of Car

The key to choosing the right vehicle is to look out for these attributes

1.       Good ground clearance

2.       Comfort

3.       A powerful Engine

4.       Smaller length

Documents

Your Driving License
Vehicle Registration Certificate (original and photostat)
Vehicle Insurance (original and photostat)

PUC or Pollution Check Certificate

Tool Kit and Spare Parts

In your Ladakh trip, you will be travelling in very remote and inaccessible areas, where help might not be available. Make sure that you know fix at least the basic problems in your car like-  puncture repair, battery problems

Jack and Spanner

Air Compressor

Foot pump

Puncture Repair Kit

Spare Tyre

Spare Tube

Stepney

Hydraulic Jack

Jump Start Cables

Spare Headlight Bulbs

Coolant & Engine Oil

Spare Clutch Cable and Accelerator Cable

Spare Fuses

Other Vehicle Essentials

Fuel Pipe

Funnel to transfer Fuel

Cloth or filter to remove any impurities in Fuel

Electrical Tape, Fevi Quick and MSeal

Windshield Cleaner

Cloth/ Newspaper to clean the windshield

Swiss Knife- Very helpful in all situations

Some Nuts and Bolts

Fire Extinguisher

Extra Car Keys

Keep them in your pocket, in case you get locked out

Extra Fuel

There are not many petrol Pumps in Ladakh, so it is advisable to carry some extra fuel with you.

Eatables and Water

Plenty of Drinking Water and Snacks/Dry Fruits

Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Sightseeing

When out exploring Ladakh, you should carry some important items in your rucksack. Here’s a list of the important things to carry for Leh Ladakh Sightseeing

Cap or Hat

Sun can be very harsh during the day in Leh, make sure you cover your head with a broad brim hat. In winters use a warm cap to prevent loss of warmth.

Water Bottles

Always carry a bottle of water. This will help prevent any dehydration. You can also carry some water purification tablets in case you need to refill your bottle somewhere.

Snacks

Exploring Leh involves visiting remote locations. There are hardly any shops in between especially during winters. Therefore, it is a good idea to carry some snacking items like dry fruits, chocolates, biscuits, etc.

Sunscreen and Moisturizer

Carry some sunscreen and moisturizer in your bag. You can reapply it when needed.

Power Bank

If you are clicking pictures using your mobile phone, carry a power bank

Camera

Carry extra battery, lenses and memory cards in your camera bag

Cash

The only ATMs you will find are in Leh. So, carry enough cash

things to carry for leh ladakh Chadar Trek is one of the most sought after winter trek in Ladakh. Photography by Karnav

Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Trekking & Camping

Ladakh offers some of the best trekking and camping experience. Camping amongst the rugged mountains, staring at the night sky are some things no trekker should miss.

Here’s a list of things for Leh-Ladakh Trekking and Camping.

Camping Essentials

Tent
Sleeping bag
Sleeping mattress

Trekking Essentials

Proper Trekking/ Hiking Shoes

Trekking Pole

Raincoat in case it rains

Food and Water

If you are camping in an offbeat place, make sure you carry all the food items with you.

Also, make sure you carry with an adequate amount of drinking water. Dehydration at high altitude is a serious problem, so make sure you prevent it by regularly drinking water.  You can also carry Water Purification  – Filter, tablets or drops.

You can also carry some electrolyte solution or Glucose D to add to your water bottle.

Miscellaneous Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh trekking

Power Bank

lighter or Matchbox

extra warm socks for the night

first aid box

Toilet paper

Hand Sanitizers

Soap

Oxygen Cylinder for Ladakh Trip

In case you are planning to hike to a very high altitude, you can always carry an Oxygen Cylinder. These are small in size and very helpful.

Cash

The only ATMs you will find are in Leh. So, carry enough cash

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip:  For special Categories

In case you are travelling to Leh -Ladakh with children, elderly or people with mild health conditions, there are certain extra things you need to take care of. These are in addition to the things I have already listed in things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip at the beginning of the blog.

Before planning a visit with them, make sure you have consulted your doctor.

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip with the Elderly

Medicines

Make sure that you carry any prescription medicines and any other medicines prescribed by the doctor

Snacks and water

Carry some snacks and adequate water while travelling within Leh. This will help to keep up the energy levels

You can also add some electrolyte or Glucose D to the drinking water.

Proper Clothing

Make sure you are carrying adequate warm clothes for the elderly as they can be sensitive to temperature changes.

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip with Kids

When travelling to Leh Ladakh with kids, make sure you carry these things

Medicines

Make sure that you carry any prescription medicines and any other medicines prescribed by the paediatrician

Snacks and water

Carry some snacks and adequate water while travelling within Leh. This will help to keep up the energy levels

You can also add some electrolyte or Glucose D to the drinking water.

Proper Clothing

Make sure you are carrying adequate warm clothes for the elderly as they can be sensitive to temperature changes

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh Trip with people with a mild heart or Lung Condition

The first thing to remember when travelling with some condition is to check with the doctor. Once you get a go  from the doctor, make sure you carry the following things

Medicines

Make sure that you carry any prescription medicines and any other medicines prescribed by the doctor

Oxygen Cylinder

You can carry an extra oxygen cylinder as a safety measure

Things to carry for Leh Ladakh: Packing Tips

Here are a few packing tips that might come in handy.

Keep documents’ copies in separate places
Carry a light backpack which you can stuff with snacks, water and other small things for day trips.
Always keep your spare car or bike key in your pocket.
Carry a few Ziplock bags.  You can put your dirty laundry in that. You can also keep your documents on in these bags to protect them from rain and water.
Instead of Denim, you can pack some comfortable and warm track pants/ lower. Not only are they light but also extremely comfortable and warm.
Carry an easy dry small hand towel along with your bathing towel.
Instead of carrying big shampoo, conditioner bottles, try and carry satchets

I have tried to cover most of the things to carry for Leh Ladakh trip. Do let me know in the comments if something has been left out.

And as they say, ” Take only Pictures (Memories), leave only footprints.”

Happy Wayfaring 🙂

About the Author

Divya Sarjolta

Divya Sarjolta

Divya Sarjolta is a Ph.D in Economics and a Gold Medalist in her Majors. She hails from the beautiful town of Shimla and is a Himachali by birth. She enjoys exploring life to the fullest and has pursued quite a lot of backpacking trips around the country. Two things Divya craves more than anything else is good food and travel. She leads her life on the lines of Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones, “It is a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.” So, explore while you can


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