1) 2 pairs of convertible pants/shorts (pants that zipper to shorts) for hiking mountaineering – these are worn a lot on the trek and are very practical.
2) 4 pairs of very good hiking socks Smartwool brand available at Adventure stores.
3) 1 bathing suit (for Kir Ganga or other times when jumping in a lake would be great!)
4) High quality long underwear tops and bottoms (ie: Patagonia’s Capilene brand – expensive but keeps you warm when needed, cool when needed and very breathable!)
5) A quick dry camping towel
6) For women: (Read Culture Shock-India in depth!) It may be a summer in India (very hot) but it is not appropriate generally to wear Western-style tank tops and shorts outside of remote areas where it is only your trek team around. Bring loose, breathable long sleeve tops and pants and very few skin baring clothes (esp. if you plan on traveling post-trek in India)! Also – dress covered when visiting temples, monasteries (gompas) and DEFINITELY mosques!
7) A rain poncho and small travel umbrella for very wet days on trek – it’s monsoon
8) A waterproof hat that is also warm and covers you from the sun OR a waterproof hat, a and also a hat for the cold mountain nights where it can get below freezing.
10) Sport sandals are a must (ie: Tevas)
12) Good (well worn in before trek) hiking boots that have been water sealed
13) gators for snow or mud
14) breathable quick dry under garments (women might want to consider bringing sport
15) Ski/down warm jacket
16) wind/water resistant parka/jacket (could include a lining that makes it a warm winter
17) Extra pair of warm socks for nighttime – not for hiking
18) Several t-shirts for hiking, sleeping, etc. (easy, breathable, quick dry running or hiking recommended)
19) Women might want to consider wearing a “wedding ring” if not married to prevent some irritation – though it’s impossible to prevent (though a wedding ring in India is not the sign of being married in that country culturally it is somewhat understood as a Western sign of marriage)
THINGS THAT WILL HELP WITH THE HIGH ALTITUDE/WIND/COLD WEATHER:
1) saline nasal spray
4) Aquaphor healing ointment (available at any drug store/pharmacy). Excellent for
wind burned, sun burned skin and for the chapped lips you WILL have on the trek!
5) A high SPF and mosturizing lip balm
6) A very high sunscreen – 30 SPF or higher required!
OTHER NEEDED SUPPLIES:
7) Insect Repellent (get one with DEET in it as malaria is a problem in India – the higher the altitude the fewer the mosquitos but mosquitos are found in the Himalayas).
8) A 3 week supply of baby wipes is a must.
9) Face wipes are helpful as well if washing your face after a full day’s hike is not easily done.
10) Purell anti-bacterial hand gel is a definite must for pre-during and post trek travel in India!
11) A very good hand and body lotion. I recommend Garderner’s Hand Repair (available at natural and health food stores, Trader Joes, etc.)
12) Travel size toothbrush and toothpaste and dental floss
13) Leave-in hair conditioner as washing your hair with shampoo on a trek is a feat enough (esp. if you are a woman). You don’t want to be putting hair conditioner in and washing it out as well.
14) A wide-toothed comb and brush
15) bands to keep your hair back
16) TAMPONS – they are not easy to find in India and not widely used there and of course cannot be found during the trek!
17) Nail clipper and nail brush to clean under nails (keep your nails short for cleanliness and sanitary reasons!)
18) Good moisturizer for day & night (can be sunscreen too)
MEDICATIONS (Prescription & over-the counter – preventative and necessary in case you do get sick): For Stomach illness prevention or problems :
1) Acidophilus pills – natural good bacteria found in yogurt which can help counteract any bad bacteria trying to fight it’s way into your system through food/water or what not (available at drug stores and any health food store)
4) A prescription for Cypro in case you contract severe gastro intestinal illness
5) Anti-altitude sickness medication (DIAMOX)
6) Anti-malaria medication (I recommend Malarone as it has many few side effects than known older medications)
7) Must get your vaccinations prior to trek (ex of what Kaiser Permanente Health Plan’s Travel
Advisory Clinic recommended I get and therefore I got in terms of vaccines for travel to India: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid up-date, hepatitis A, Meningitis, Diptheria, etc.)
8) Aerobic 7 (available at Health Food Stores) – oxygenated bacteria killer in liquid drop can be added to water and food to prevent stomach illness.
9) Moleskin to prevent blisters and second skin to protect if you have gotten a blister
10) EmergenC – flavored packets to add to your water bottle that contain high levels of Vitamin C, electrolytes and minerals. Good for the added stress on your body, in case you get a case of diarrhea, and to flavor your water which doesn’t always taste great).
11) Multi vitamins
12) Melatonin and/or homeopathic jet lag medications available at camping or health food fight the jet lag faced by a very long flight time to India).
13) DMG – increases oxygen intake for high altitudes (available at health food stores or
14) Spirulina pills (available at health food stores) helps with energy levels
15) Disposable thermal heating pads (available at drugstores, Costco) for that days of for aching muscles and to keep you warm
16) Tiger balm for same reason as above
17) Ibuprofen or other over the counter pain killer
1) A large back pack that can carry up to 70 lbs
2) A large day pack that you will be carrying that can contain the following: your water bottle, camera(s), clothing for instant weather changes (ie: a rain poncho, your hat, gloves, warm jacket, extra pair of socks, umbrella if needed, some snack foods, your journal, your sunglasses, a cover for the day pack in case it is raining heavily, etc.)
3) A therma rest or other kind of pad for sleeping is not required as the trek provides pads recommended for added comfort!
4) A very warm sleeping back that is good for temperatures that go below zero at night.
5) A water bottle or a thermos that can be used for HOT or COLD water is a good idea
6) A hot water bottle to keep you warm at night
7) A head lamp/torch
8) A walking/hiking stick or sticks if you have knee problems or want to prevent future problems – studies show that they can alleviate 700 lbs of pressure on your knees
9) Resealable ziplock baggies for toiletries
10) A couple of large size garbage bags in case of rain, etc.
11) Small personal first aid kit
12) Locks for bags
13) electricity converter for digital camera batteries (not usable during mountain trek but and after!) India uses 220 volt system
14) Camera – digital works at high altitudes but be vigilant about usage as you cannot battery on trek (take extra battery and a lot of memory!)
15) Books about India-
16) Travelers Checks (record numbers separately in case you lose checks)
18) waterproof bag for toiletries, journal or books, important documents