What to bring for travel in India
We will be arriving in India in winter. During the day, the temperature is often quite warm; however, at night it can get cold. So both warm and cold weather clothing is required. This also applies to the Himalayas, and even though it can be very cold there, while trekking you will get hot and sweaty. In Nepal all the trekking gear can be rented.
(adjust according your own experience, I might have left out something…) My personal list is here
- A warm, lightweight sleeping bag. (temperatures are quite low during winter and could go below 0 degrees centigrade (32 degrees F) during the trek. Best to have one rated -20C. If you just need a sleeping bag for this tour, it may be cheaper to rent one in Nepal and bring a slightly lighter one for India. Night time in India could go down as low as 3C though most of the time it will be 10 to 15C.
- Mat to sleep on: foam or the like. (In few places you may have to sleep on a concrete floor. You really do want something between you and the floor!) But, as in most places there are beds you could also just buy a blanket for sleeping on when necessary. Then afterwards donate it to the local project. In this way you can travel lighter and donations of blankets are always welcome. They only cost around $5, so this option is not bad either. (This blanket is to sleep on, not to replace your sleeping bag!)
- Good walking shoes with a grip, and preferably ankle support (for trekking). You can buy slip-on sandals for daily use in India, for a couple of dollars. If you have to buy the shoes it will be cheaper to buy them in Nepal. Although the quality may not be as good, they do have reasonable quality shoes for around US$50 which need little or no walking-in. Personally I use Tevas for the whole tour including the trek… Although it’s sometimes rather cold on the trek and if it rains… But I think such typr sandals could be enough for everything except the trek.
- 3 pair of socks, thick and thin ones.
- Towel and toiletries
- Sunglasses and sun block can be needed at a high altitude. I personally definitely need the sunglasses. You can buy sunblock in Nepal.
- Warm Jumper
- Wind breaker (wind cheater) / Jacket
- 2 Trousers
- 4 T-shirts
- 5 Underwear (during trekking it can be difficult to dry clothes)
- Thermal underwear can be a good idea, but can be bought cheap in Nepal
- Good flashlight and spare batteries (in some places there may be no electricity)
- Water Purification drops, if you want to stay longer (can be bought from a chemist) We will bring a high quality water filter so you can save on the expense if you are ready to put a little effort or patience. Otherwise you can buy your own water in most places for around EUR 0.20 per liter
- Pocket knife (very useful )
- A number lock is useful especially when sharing rooms and people need to be able to come and go at different times.
- Mosquito repellent. Only needed in very few places, but maybe worth carrying a small bottle. You know best if you are a popular snack for those guys.
- A strong lunch box with a good seal is practical while trekking or for day tours. You can easily buy one in Delhi.
- First Aid Kit: The organisers will only carry a simple one, so bring what you think you may need.
- You may want to bring a camera / smart phone, travel diary, etc.
- You may want to bring some dry food, that you like (to share) but can’t get in India
- Inoculations are not compulsory, but you can check with your doctor. An injection against hepatitis can be considered. Some of the areas we go through have a low malaria risk in the rainy season but as we are traveling in the cold dry season, the risk is very, very low. No one has got it in the last 30 years. Malaria tablets do not give 100% protection anyway and have to be taken regularly from a few weeks before, till a few weeks after the trip. They can have very strong side effects.
- Participants from Africa and South America need to bring proof that they have been inoculated against Yellow Fever. If you arrive without proof you will have to spend 10 days in quarantine in the airport! You do not require this if you come from other countries, but if in doubt check. You also need it if you have traveled accross those continents just before visiting India, so again if in doubt check!
- It is best to keep luggage to a minimum when traveling by train, you will really regret it if you carry a lot of luggage. When going up and down hundreds of steps on train platforms and squeezing onto crowded trains, carrying it on flimsy rickshaws, you will understand the full reality of this… For this reason a backpack with internal frame is recommended. You can also manage with a (carry-on size) trolley bag, but you do have to carry it up and down steps! Try to keep your luggage under 12kg / 25lbs or less if that’s too much to carry for you.
- You have to be ready to carry everything you bring! Others have their own luggage too. And as we share taking care of the kitchen and food bags it is best to bring less than you can comfortably carry.
- Also a small backpack will be useful for shorter walks or shopping. During trekking you can leave part of your things safely in the home base, so you don’t have to carry more than you need. Even after doing so many trips myself I notice there are always things at the end of the tour which I haven’t used at all.
My Personal List
- Small Backpack
- Money Bag
- Normal 60lit Backpack or Trolley Bag
- My New Passport
- Old Passport (my US visa is there)
- Driving License
- 6 Passport Photo’s
- Printouts of all Bookings
- Copies of IDs & Visas
Financial (Cards & Funds)
- Small Wallet with Coins
- Credit & Debit cards
- Nepal Sim
- Cash in USD (I bring part of what I need in cash and the rest I take out from ATM)
- 1 Sun Glasses
- 1 Belt
- 1 Hat
- 2 Reading Glasses
- 5 T-shirts (+1 wearing)
- 1 Gloves
- 1 Jacket
- 1 Down Jacket
- 1 Sweater
- 1 Black Pants
- 5 Underwear +1
- 1 Jeans
- 1 Swimming Trunks
- 1 Underpants
- 3 Socks
- 1 Sleeping Bag
- 2 Compression Bags
- 1 Uniform Set
- 3 Hair Ties
- 1 Toothpaste
- 1 Toothbrush
- 1 Scissors
- 1 Knife
- 1 Shampoo
- 1 Brush
- 1 Spare Toothbrush
- 1 Soap
- 1 Soap Box
- 1 Towel
- 1 Small First Aid Kit
- 1 Computer + charger, cables and bag. [Think many times before you bring it, a smart phone may be enough]
- 1 Phone + charger, cables and case
- 1 USB drive
- 1 Power back up battery [Now a days we can recharge almost everywhere so it may not be needed at all ]
- 2 Flash lights [One normal, one headlight. The normal one may not be needed if your phone has already one build in ]
- 1 Battery Charger + AA and AAA batteries [ for the flashlights… can also buy batteries ]
- 1 small Headphones [ I enjoy listening audio books on long train journeys, it’s nice to tune out from all the noise and just listen music or something ]
- 1 Screwdriver kit
- 1 Small Weighing Scale
- Maybe more…
- 1 Waterbottle
- 2 Spoons
- 1 Lunch Box