I did the most famous “beginner”(talking relatively :P) level trek called Hampta Pass in the Himalayan region in July 2019 with Renok Adventures. This trek takes you to a max altitude of 14000 ft or 4200 m. The best time to do this trek is mid June to mid October. The average temperature ranges from 8 to -2 degree celsius in the night and 10 to 20 degree celsius during the day time.
Though the trek falls into “Easy” category, you must know that any high altitude trek in the Himalayas is never going to be “easy”. I would recommend that you book your trek through a trekking company as they take care of the trek guides, stay, food etc for you. Renok adventures, Trek the Himalayas and India hikes are some of the well reputed trekking companies in India.
Now, if you are a beginner, there would be loads of things that you would feel are necessary for a 5 day trek. Its absolutely okay, I felt the same way. However, as soon as I finished the trek, “What to carry for a trek like this” was amongst the first few topics I wanted to write about.
Let’s get started
1. Backpack – For a 5 day trek, a 50-60 litres backpack should be enough. Look for a good, durable and comfortable backpack. You will be trekking for 5-8 hours daily and hence your backpack must have a good “carrying comfort”. Also go for a backpack that you can open both horizontally and vertically. So that you can access all the layers individually in your bag without disturbing the others.
**Product reference : I would recommend Decathlon Quechua 50/60 litres backpack.
2. Sleeping bag – Mostly all the trekking companies provide tent and sleeping bags. So you need not worry about them.
3. Shoes – They are the most important tool for your trek. Do invest in a good pair of shoes. From lush green pastures to glacial valley, Hampta pass has it all. You will see all types of terrain on your way. Hence, I would recommend Quechua Trek 100 by Decathlon. They provide with a good support to your ankles, good grip even on the snow and they are water resistant. So you need not worry about those several ankle deep streams that you will come across in your trek.
4. Floaters or Slippers – You would need these at the campsites. It will help you move freely amongst your tent/ dinner tent/ toilets. These are very useful while crossing river streams that are deeper than your ankles.
5. Clothing –
a. T-shirt : 2 quick dry
b. Trousers : 2 Trackpants/ Trousers
c. Socks : 2 pair of cotton socks + 1 pair of woollen socks can be used while sleeping
d. Thermals : 1 pair. You would need thermals only during the night. As in the afternoon it is sunny and it is not advisable that you wear thermals and trek.
e. UGs : I would recommend carrying 3 pairs. But its totally your call. You won’t get a chance to take bath during your trek. You can give yourself a sponge/cloth bath, if you wish to. However, you don’t sweat in the cold weather. So it is completely alright to just skip the bathing part. You can instead change your UG for hygiene reasons 😛
f. Winter wear : 1 fleece/ full sweater + 1 down jacket/heavy winter jacket + 1 wind proof jacket
g. Gloves : 1 pair of woollen/ waterproof gloves
h. Cap : 1 woollen + 1 sun cap
i. Towel : 1 quick dry towel + 1 quick dry hand towel
6. Gear : Head torch + Camera + extra batteries + Power bank for phone + Dark sunglasses + Trekking pole + Poncho
** Do carry an extra set of charged batteries for your torch and camera. As there is no electricity at any of the campsites.
**Trekking pole and poncho are available on rental basis. Do check with your trekking company.
7. Accessories – 1 litre reusable water bottle + tiffin with a spoon
8. Toilet Kit – Toilet paper + hand sanitiser/soap + a small shovel
** Shovel is optional. All campsites for Hampta pass trek have toilets(dry/wet) .
9. Medical Kit – Carry meds for allergy, cold, fever and exertion + Protein bars + Electral powder + Get some high altitude sickness meds prescribed by your physician. Diamox usually doesn’t have a side effects. However, its advisable that you check with your doc. Ladies, if you are expecting your periods around the dates of your trek, menstrual cups will be ideal. As sanitary napkins are difficult to dispose.
** Try to leave as less waste as you can at the campsites because caretakers have to carry all that waste back to the city.
10. Toiletries – Sunscreen(SPF 40 and above) + Lip balm + small talc powder + Moisturiser/cold cream + Tooth paste/tooth brush
** Small talc powder can be used in the areas on your body where you sweat the most. Do it in the morning before leaving for the trek.
How to put stuff in the bag ?
A few rules that you must remember while packing your backpack are:
1. Keep the emergency items in the outside, easy to access pockets on your bag. These items can be water bottle/tiffin, medical kit, tissue paper roll, camera/phone and a hand towel.
2. Keep your floaters/slippers and toilet kit separately in a bag and place them as the bottom most layer.
3. Keep your poncho and a winter jacket at the top.
4. In the middle section keep your clothes and toiletries. I like to keep my clothes segregated and organised in 2 packing cubes. One with t-shirts, trousers and the other with UGs, socks, gloves, cap etc.
With all that I have mentioned above, your backpack weight will not exceed 8-10 kg. For a healthy human being with a little preparation before the trek, carrying that much weight will not cause any major problem. However, I would highly recommend that you train yourself well before the trek.
I hope the above list helps you in packing appropriately for your next trek. If you have questions, leave them in the comment section.
Thanks For Reading
The Seeking Soul…
Recommended links :
Trekking company Renok Adventures – https://renokadventures.com
Backpack by Quechua, Decathlon – https://www.decathlon.in/p/8300849_trekking-backpack-easyfit-men-s-50-litre-blue.html
Shoes Quechua Trek 100 – https://www.decathlon.in/p/8384356_trek-100-women-s-trekking-shoes.html