Camping in Ladakh is quite a fun in itself. Sleeping under a starlit sky in pin drop silence presents an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. If you are planning a trip to Ladakh, here is some information about places where you can hope to find a tenting accommodation or places where you can set up your own camp.
Manali Leh Highway: When we use the words camp in Ladakh, it can mean two things, a chadar tent and a proper camping site. Chadar tents are available throughout on Manali Leh highway and you will keep coming across them every now and then. However, proper camping sites are only available near Sarchu. If you are carrying your own gear, you will find plenty of spaces to camp once you have crossed Rohtang. It is however advised that you set up your camp somewhere closer to a Dhaba or a chadar tent. That way you can be sure that you are not camping somewhere you shouldn’t. Secondly, that way you won’t run out of food and water.
Srinagar Leh Highway: There are no camping sites anywhere on the Srinagar Leh highway and you may also have trouble finding a spot to set up your own camp, primarily because of the heavy army presence on this road. My advice is to just stay in a hotel while travelling from Srinagar to Leh. However, if you must camp, then find a Dhaba and speak to the owner about finding you a place to camp.
Nubra Valley: No camping sites or Chadar tents here but if you are carrying you own gear; you can definitely find a spot to set up a camp. However do not set up a camp in middle of nowhere, stay close to or within one of the villages. Speak to the locals first to guide you to a spot to camp. BEWARE of the dogs, they are quite dangerous and do not see a lot of strange faces. While you are camping, stay close to your tent at night and do not wander out alone after its dark.
Pangong Tso: After the release of 3 idiots, there is an entire series of camping sites now at Pangong. You can find both, a cheap chadar tent accommodation and a camp site. You can also set up your own camp but finding a spot closer to lake could be a problem since most of the space is already occupied by camp sites. If you are carrying your own gear, my advice is to just keep driving next to the lake until there are no more camp sites and then set up.
Tso Moriri: Plenty of camp sites, hotels and chadar tents here as well. If you are carrying your own gear, you may want to speak to the locals first before setting up because Tso Moriri is in Karzok so most of the land around the lake belongs to the villagers. Or you may just set up the camp outside the village but you should also know that Moriri is a sweet water lake and there is a lot of wild life around it. A bunch of wild animals drink from this lake so it is better to stay within the village. However, if you are camping out somewhere a little alone, stay close to your camp and do not wander out at night. Also, BEWARE of the dogs.
Changtang Valley (Pangong to Tso Moriri Route): Do not make the mistake of camping anywhere on this route. This is a highly sensitive region and you may run into trouble with Army. There are no accommodation facilities in this area so you have no other choice other than to reach Loma from Pangong and stay there.
These are some of the most visited areas that I covered in this article. If you have questions related to any other areas, please feel free to comment and ask.