This is just a unsorted unreviewd recap of my Experience Treking in the Himalayan in North India. I try to answer some questions I had but never got answered searching the internet before taking this trip. Also I include some tips that emerged from having done this trip.
Things which where not suitable, to heavy ore plain useless.
Basic Jeans: Might be a thing you think as versatile and basic but its to dirty and to hot in North India for a regular jeans. Try to have one extra hiking pants.
Basic Pullover/Sweater: same as above.
Power adapter: As a german i never had to use the power adapter hence in India they Power outlet is the same as in Germany.
Iphone Charger: I bought for about 3$ an indian version which worked without any power adapter!
cushioned camera bag: i throwed my camera in the daypack without any cushioned protection and it worked like charm, no need for spezial camera gear I say.
rainproof trousers: we had one rainday during the trek and also a lot of myst in daramsalah, but i never used ma raincover trousers.
water sanitizer: we used it once it tasted bad and then we drank what the locals drunk too, some may call us stupid but we where fine the hole trek and never had to worry anmore.
Things I used seldom.
extra straps for the backpack on the horses – the horsemen gave us bags for our luggadge and the extra straps would just make things difficult for us and them, we had them on the lugadge in the airplaine once but never used it again.
Waterproof bag: this is a delicate thing, i had my camera in the waterproof bag and it might get usefull if you have a lot of river crossings, but we hadn’t and rain was falling only on one day and in daramsalah. So you can take it with you I guess to be on the save side but I didn’t need one.
Maps of the Himalayan: Hence we had a guide we took out the maps just for our enterteinment not to navigate, so if you trying to get away cheap don’t buy these which are apperently the best for 54 €
extra pair of sneakers: see the needed sandals below
rainproof jacket: as mentioned above we had one rain day on the trek and that day I was glad to have a rainproof jacket but i would have survifed without also.
Very usefull stuff.
Zip bags from your local supermarket (the ones for the freezer). – We had everything in this bags, Toothbrush, pils, small utensiels, evreything, we managed this zippers all day and where alsways pleased to have them, we even had one empty extra which was used very quick for something. (for the Germans: toppits zip tüten)
headdress: I can’t emphasize this enough, you have to wear headress! The sun will melt your brain and skin.
Skin cream: the heat and dust dries out your mucosa.
Pair of sandal sneakers for river crossings: I had one from Salomon, but Keen sandals are equaly usefull, just buy some that you can walk in the cities too, spare yourselve the weight of extra sneakers. buy one for all.
Mountaineer Shoes: (categorry A/B) shoes are good! even though the locals walk with sandals all the time, you will love your hiking shoes on the trek, hence there are a lot of rocks.
Sun protection creme – its a must, 7 minutes washing my body in a river and i had a complete sunburn on my back!
Look at that boys face, dryed out and burned by the sun – even the locals can’t compensate the power of the sun!
Stuff I’d try after thinking about it.
mask for the mouth: this is secondary but very usefull, all locals do this, the dust is so constantly ambient which dries out your mucosa.
saltwater for the nose: the heat and dust dries out your mucosa.
Basic Himalayan North India Info:
Temperature during the Trek:
Daytime (sun in your face) 20-30° degree Celsius yes i know its a broad spectrum but the wind is cold and the sund is hot. So keep something midly warm in your bag and walk with short arms (outdoor t-shirt).
Evening (Sun away) 10-20° degree Celsius very chilly the second the sun is away you start chivering a long sleve fleeze is a must in the evening.
Nighttime 0-10° degree Celsius, you’ll love your warm sleeping bag, but it wont drop below 0° so dont be afraid if you dont have a mountaineer sleeping bag, just pack some extra clothing for the night.
The North indian people are honest people in a sense ot tourism, you will pay a little bit more than the average indian, but we never got scamed or betrayed. as an example we payed from 60 to 120 rupies for the same tuktuk drive which is 50 cent to one 1$ (even tho this is very vague for you to read, we also booked a jeep drive hotel stay and domextic flight in india over a local tourism agency and it was very accurate and honest in a bussiness way.) I’ve heard different thing from the south of India though.
Daypack which had about 8 kg:
day backpack itself (1700g) +++++
passport (50g) +++++
documents (50g) e.g. Insurance +++++
money (40g) +++++
mobile phone (145g) (wont work for calling in the Himalayan, but you will need it anyway) +++++
cappy (60g) +++++
Swiss army knive (70g) +++++
First aid kit (300g) +++++
Warm fleece Sleeve ++++
blister aid (20g) ++++
sports sandals (500g) ++++(for river crossing, just once needed, buy some which are usefull in the evening too, see advice above)
Camera + 3 Lenses (2800g) +++++
GPS (160g) (just for fun) ++++
Batteries (60g) (GPS, and Camera) ++++
Small Tripod (300g) +++ (not needed during the daytime so I did put it i the horsebag later on)
3 granola bars (150g) +++
Raincover (250g) ++
Raintrousers (250g) +
Big Pack (on the Horse) 14kg:
backpack itself (2100g) +++++
sleeping bag (1200g) +++++
medicine: … (500g) +++++
headlamp (60g) +++++
100g bio degradeable soap (100g) +++++ pack 80g per week if you want to wash clothes too
2 sport pants () +++++
extra batteries for Camera and GPS (150g) +++++
2 Sports T-Shirt (175g) +++++
2 warm sports undershirts (180g) +++++
1 wam sports legins (80g) +++++
1 buff (25g) +++++
2 sports longsleefe shirts (600g) +++++
1 Zip of Hiking Pants (305g) +++++ I did never zip them off
1 Hiking Pants (275g) +++++
ligther (20g) ++++
1 sports undershirt (55g) +++
12 granola bars (720g) +++
3 cotton pants () +++
maps (450g) ++
tabasco (145g) ++
jeans - – - – -
pullover - – - – -
Route / Trek:
Lamayuru -> Photoksar Passs (on halt no workers here but the road goes up to the pass.) We did not walk the Road from Hanupatta to Photoksar Pass but it crosses the road several times.
From somewhere in the Valley to Photoksar Camp workers and Bulldozer are working here .(we had the bulldozer near the Camp in Photoksar).
Some may wonder how far the road constructions are. I can’t compare it to previous years but i can tell you the status from August 2011.
Roads are build from:
From Pidmo tp Padum the road is ready (for a few years now i guess) we took a shortcut by jeep here
Somewhere in the middle from Padum -> Char are the bulldozers working on the “left” side of the river while we where walking on the right side.
This is the GPS Track of the Trek ;-) Keep in mind that we did use a jeep shortcutting from Pidmo -> Padum -> Raru
This is a living post, I’ll update when I remember some usefull tips or have time to dig in deeper.