Taurus The Truck in Spiti Valley

What to Pack -List

How to Prepare for Holidays in Ladakh and Spiti Valley

Ladakh and Spiti Valley enchant everyone and now with the social media these two have become most sought after “hottest” destinations to travel in India. There are some serious challenges to travel to these rugged regions but can be managed easily with some basic preparations.

Temperatures in Ladakh and Spiti Valley range from -3 to 30 degrees Celsius in the summer and from -35 to -60 degrees Celsius in the winter. The weather in these regions can get cold pretty quickly, as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains and it gets extra cold suddenly due to wind chill effect and temperatures can change rapidly. One needs warm clothing for even in summers in these areas. 

Any situation in mountains can change suddenly and things can turn very dramatic in a moment in the mountains, especially weather conditions.

LIST OF ITEMS SUGGESTED FOR LADAKH
&
Important Points to Note 

We have tried our best to make a comprehensive list for what to carry and precautions, but with your own experience and needs, you may add and remove items.

REMEMBER:  Best is to be prepared than be sorry!

Taurus being a mobile camping having space for your basic comforts, can’t afford to provide you laundry facilities. Stay at guesthouses/ hotels is as per the check-in / check-out timings of the hotel. Breakfast and dinner at these establishments is included in the tariff, where prescribed. 

Meals on excursions and travel are NOT included in the tariff, pay directly.   

CLOTHING: There won’t be any laundry available at our camp, please bring your clothing accordingly. But at the same time, you won’t need to wear fresh clothes everyday, therefore its suggested not to carry over-packed bags with extra clothing which you won’t need. 

  1. A jacket you usually will wear during winters in the plains and one like that of fleece.
  2. A wind cheater.
  3. The best way to handle this tricky weather to carry ‘layers of clothing’, so you can remove and wear as per the temperature. Keep a jacket handy.
  4. Warm hand gloves.
  5. Woolen head gear (cap) especially to cover the ears and neck. 
  6. Woolen scarf.
  7. Inners/ thermals, preferably two pairs. 
  8. Comfortable shoes to walk, preferably water proof.
  9. Carry enough woolen socks for ten days.
  10. Days can be warm, so carry full sleeve T-shirts or cotton shirts, to guard from sunburns. 
  11. Hand towels. 
  12. One personal towel.
  13. Cotton brim hat to protect your face from UV. 

PERSONAL TOILETRY & SANITARY ITEMS: Please carry own toiletry, bring small items and don’t carry big bottles of shampoo, toothpaste and big soap cakes. It will add to your baggage for air travel. 

  1. Lip Guard, cold cream, Vaseline, moisturiser, sunscreen of SPF30 or higher.
  2. Dark glasses with UV protection.
  3. Personal medicines : if anyone is using some specially prescribed medicines, please carry more than the supply needed, in case flights get cancelled or there are road blocks. We will provide you basic ‘first aid kit’.
  4. Inhalers, if you use occasionally.
  5. Medicines for motion sickness.
  6. A small bottle of coconut oil or best is mustard oil (as this wont freeze) to prevent your nostrils from getting dry.
  7. Personal water bottle is a must to ensure that we all don’t contribute to the plastic menace in these ecological fragile regions.
  8. Hand sanitizer. 
  9. Glucose:  Glucon C/D for hydration and instant energy.
  10. Crepe bandage for twists etc. 

OPTIONAL / Misl. 

  1. Normal reusable poly-bags with zip lock of various sizes to carry wet items. 
  2. Money: Spiti has only a couple of ATMs, many times out of order. So carry extra cash.
  3. Leh has plenty of ATMs, need not to worry.
  4. Carry your Credit/ Debit Cards. 
  5. Carry a small light (preferably a head torch). 
  6. Chocolates.
  7. Items of your own choice, nuts and other items to munch while travelling/ excursions, especially for diabetic. 
  8. Notebook, pens and pencils for personal notes. 
  9. Pens, pencils, colors, crayons, chocolates, toffees for distribution among local children.
  10. Cellphone chargers, battery pack (powerbank). 
  11. Data cables for charging and downloading. 
  12. OTG adaptor for plugging in pen drives etc to your cellphone, if you are going to use your cellphone for photography. 
  13. Carry a small sling bag for the items often used (power bank, phone, hand sanitizer, sun lotion, lip guard, hand towel, water bottle). 
  14. BEFORE THE TRIP
  15. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, start doing light physical exercises.
  16. Practice Pranayam (breathing exercises).
  17. About a week before starting the trip, start swallowing  3-5 slices of raw garlic everyday.
  18. If you have bought new shoes, get used to walking in them.
  19. Must buy medical insurance/ accidental with clearly written for air evacuation to your home town.

DOCUMENTS

  1. ID cards, preferably Aadhaar card or passport with few photocopies. 
  2. Few passport size photos of yourself.
  3. Photocopies of  your flight tickets. 
  4. Please carry enough photocopies of all these documents needed for travel. 
  5. A printed list of contact details of your family members, close relatives and friends/ office for emergency
  6. You must carry your medical insurance card and related documents.

PHOTOGRAPHY: If you are a photographer then you need to make preparations carefully.

  1. Make a checklist of items and ref it while packing.
  2. Your camera, tripod (properly packed for check-in baggage), lenses and filters ( circular polariser/ polarizer, neutral density and graduated gray filter) suitable for landscape and portraiture.
  3. Enough memory cards (high speed) with card reader.
  4. Suitable lens cleaning kit
  5. Chargers for the batteries of your cellphone and camera.
  6. Extra batteries, as battery life in cold climate is less than its normal performance.
  7. Portable flash with off camera cable or trigger. With enough rechargeable batteries and two sets of chargers minimum. 
  8. Camera Release Cable, remote release for digital cameras. 
  9. Head torch is a must for outdoors. 
  10. Sturdy tripod for long exposures, especially for astrophotography. It gets windy in Ladakh and Spiti.
  11. Bean bag.
  12. One empty sand bag which can be hanged under the tripod.
  13. Thin gloves for night photography, these will save you from cold but won’t hinder your photography.
  14. Laptop to view your day’s work and download cards into HDDs. 
  15. Portable hard drives (preferably 2 for backup) made for hard conditions. 
  16. Taurus has AC 220 volts Indian sockets for charging.
  17. Please carry conversion/ multi plugs (220V AC   15 Amps) or whatever its called or understood by you. 
  18. Camera and lens protection covers or any means to guard from dust. 
  19. Don’t carry drones, you may find it difficult at the airport itself unless you have special permissions and understand the rules regarding the drone batteries for air travel. 
  20. Check with your airline what they allow as cabin baggage / check in baggage and the restricted items not allowed.

IMPORTANT SPECIAL NOTES

Baggage: Lockers with individual locks will be provided onboard Taurus. Please travel with ultra soft bags which can be compacted when luggage is emptied into the lockers on board Taurus. We have no room onboard Taurus for any hard bag or suitcases.

INTERNET & CELL-PHONE NETWORK 

  1. Ladakh: Best is to find out the latest services available just few days before your travel. Only Post-Paid numbers work in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 
  2. The BSNL, Idea, Jio, Airtel, Vodafone provide cell-phone services and internet; calls work reasonably good but internet is not that good. 
  3. Internet is very scanty in Spiti and it demands immense struggle to open one simple WhatsApp message. But the situation is supposed to improve with Jio internet in 2020.

    WHILE ON THE TRIP 
  4. If you arrive at Leh by air then you must follow the medical advice sincerely. On arrival by air, as per medical advice you must take complete rest for 24 hours for very basic and essential acclimatization.
  5. If you are following the basics then your trip can be hassle free. But over-bravado and casual attitude towards the “high altitude sickness” can be fatal.
  6. Don’t drink alcohol, it can be fatal.
  7. Don’t starve yourself.
  8. Keep yourself hydrated, with warm water.
  9. Take deep breath after every few minutes.
  10. Walk slower than your normal pace in the plains.
  11. Never step out of your hotel without warm clothing. At the time you go out in the morning it could be warm, but you may get late for site-seeing and gets colder suddenly, weather can also take sudden twist (windy and cloudy which adds to wind chill factor).
  12. Be a responsible and sustainable traveller in these ecologically fragile regions.
  13. Avoid bonfire in these regions, its for your fun and not a necessity.

    IMPORTANT POINTS:
  14. Age and physique are not to decide who can travel to Ladakh or who can be affected by the high altitude sickness or AMS (acute mountain sickness).
  15. Children of any age can visit as long as accompanied by parents.
  16. At your place of stay, get yourself examined oxymeter (to measure your pulse and level of oxygen in your body). Preferably, on your arrival day in the evening.
  17. At any point of time, if you feel uneasiness of any kind – headache, dizzy, nauseous, tired or  breathless, don’t ignore and inform your fellow travelers and seek help from the nearest Indian Army camp. One must take immediate medical help.
  18. Please carry large heart to enjoy these outdoor holidays as sometimes unexpected pleasant and no so pleasant situations and events spring up.
  19. We are coordinators of different services for your holidays and not your travel agent.  
  20. You are all requested to maintain cleanliness on board Taurus.

DISCLAIMER

The information above has been shared only as a suggestion, it all depends on you what you need do or what you need to carry, you are free to do what suits you. Yes, baggage you have to carry as per advice given above. You must consult your doctor or any doctor who is well versed with high altitude sickness and knows the parameters for high altitude travel. We will not be responsible for any kind of losses or harms and thereafter its consequential compensation of any kinds. Before you follow anything you may consult others too.