When you go to a place like Ladakh, you know that your packing has to be comprehensive and concise. You need to ensure that you do not miss an essential item but also not burden yourself with way too many bags. In short, what you pack should be conclusive of all but only essential things to carry for Ladakh trip.
Why does it become so important? It is because you will be gone for several days to an area known for its harsh weather and challenging terrain. A place where even some of the basic facilities like ATM, mobile connectivity, mechanics, fuel stations, eateries, and accommodation can still be scarce.
It becomes even more crucial when you are traveling with family or kids. You cannot miss a necessary item because it may become difficult to find on the spot. At the same time, you cannot be hauling way too many bags because that is just inconvenient.
So what should you pack for Ladakh? Below is a comprehensive list of these items; more of a checklist that you can refer to depending on the type of trip you are planning. For other details on visiting Ladakh, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide.
Ladakh Checklist – Things to Carry for Ladakh Trip
There is no doubt that not everyone would need or pack in the same manner. For example, what a lady would pack would be way different than what a guy would. Your necessary items in case of a family trip would not be the same as on a solo trip. What you will pack for a bike trip will be different than if you were flying to Leh.
With that being said, there are still a few things that remain applicable in all cases. These are some general items that will be required in every case. Let us talk about those first.
Clothes to Pack for Ladakh
What to wear in Leh Ladakh is one of the foremost questions asked so I will start with this. Your clothing for Ladakh has to be carried in layers. It cannot be all heavy woolens and at the same time, it cannot be all light cotton clothes either.
What it necessarily means is that you will be wearing one cloth over another. So it is important that you do not pack all heavy and woolen clothes; or clothes that are way too tight.
In Ladakh, weather is highly unpredictable. Standing in the shade will make you feel cold but you will be warm the moment you step in the sun. Temperature can change rapidly depending on the time of the day or the place.
So your clothes have to be in a way that you can put one over another if cold; and can take off layers if feeling warm.
For a trip in summer, you should pack plenty of your regular cotton clothes like T-Shirts and Jeans. Carry a couple of pairs of thermals, some light woolens followed by a heavy windproof and waterproof jacket. Gloves (if possible waterproof), warm socks, and caps will be other necessary items.
If you are traveling in winter, you will of course have to carry all of your heavy woolens. The temperature at this time can drop to as low as -25 degrees celsius. So bring in all the warm clothes you got.
For a more detailed version of this information, you can also read What kind of Clothes should you pack for Ladakh Trip?
After clothes come some necessary accessories that you must be carrying with you. Below is a list.
Sun is quite harsh in Ladakh, so much that it will not just tan you but may even burn your skin. Carry a good sunscreen lotion with the highest SPF that you can find. Lotus is considered among the best brands when it comes to sunblock lotions.
It is not just your skin that you need to protect against the sun but also your eyes which will get stressed easily due to Ultraviolet rays at such high altitudes. Carry a good pair of sunglasses that you can put on for a longer duration without starting to hurt your face or ears.
Woolens gloves are a good idea but if you can, then try to find a waterproof one. If you are into a bit of photography, then you will need to carry two pairs. You need to bring a thick one and another one that sticks to your skin and would not have to be taken off every time you need to operate your camera.
Carry a regular cap that you can put on while walking around in order to protect your face from the sun. This can be used during the daytime.
For nights, evenings, and mornings, find a good monkey cap or Balaclava. It will protect your head, face, ears, and neck as well.
A muffler would be a good idea as well. If you would however not prefer a monkey cap then ensure that your jacket has a hoodie that you can pull over your head.
After clothing and accessories, listed below are a few daily-use items that you must pack.
Cold Cream / Lip Balm / Moisturizer
I guess this one goes without saying. You are visiting one of the coldest regions in the country where the dry weather will cause your skin and lips to crack. Carry a good cold cream and lip balm and apply it on regular basis.
This falls under the category of one of the best things to carry for Ladakh trip and can be put to multiple uses. Apply it to your hair and scalp of course but apart from that, use it for your hands, arms, and face as well.
It works as a natural moisturizer and will help protect your skin. As a practice, after you apply oil to your hair, just rub it on your hands, arms, face, and a little on the inside of your ears and nostrils.
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
- Soap (Paper soap if possible)
- Toilet Paper (Don’t ask me where or why you will need it but you may :-))
- Face Wash
- Deodorant, if you use it.
Carry a few dry fruits from home. You can pack some almonds, raisins, and cashews. Things like chips and biscuits are these days available on most routes in Ladakh so it is not really a mandate to pack these. But if you can, add a few chocolates to your packing. Dry fruits and chocolates can work as instant energy-giving snacks.
If you are a strict vegetarian and cannot even eat in utensils that may have been used to cook non-vegetarian, then you should pack at least one pan and some disposable plates and spoons. Below are some other items that you can consider packing.
- Sugar-free if you are diabetic or do not take regular sugar
- Coffee pouches
- Fresh Fruit or packed fruit juice or both
- A few packets of Maggie or Cup Noodles
Also read: What to see in Ladakh – A Complete List
Water in Ladakh can be a little hard on the stomach for some people. If that is the case with you, then ensure that you are carrying packed mineral water with you throughout the travel.
Drinking water at regular intervals can also be helpful with AMS. So irrespective of how you are traveling, ensure that you are carrying a couple of liters of water and in-taking it regularly.
Traveling With Kids
Carrying some snacks becomes even more important if you were traveling with your kids. You got to pack items that you can give them to munch on. Carrying packaged water as well then will become a necessity.
Irrespective of the time of your trip, you need to bring enough clothes that can pack cover them from head to toe, in order to protect them from both cold and the harsh sun. I have covered this aspect of the journey in detail in another article, How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh with Kids, that I will urge you to read for some necessary tips.
Diamox works as a precautionary measure (not a cure) for acute mountain sickness. But please only use it that you are not allergic to sulfur medicines. The best would be to consult a doctor if you are unsure. Apart from Diamox, carry some other basic medicines for headache, upset stomach, fever, cold, and cough.
If possible, I will also recommend carrying a small pack of glucose. If the high altitude, long hours of travel, and mountain sickness start to take a toll, it can work miracles to keep you going by providing instant energy.
In all probability, AMS is bound to kill your appetite as well. Consuming some glucose will definitely come to the rescue in such a situation.
My recommendation will be that you create a small medicine box that includes the following items. I will list as as one of the most necessary things to carry for Ladakh trip.
- Some basic medicines for fever, headache, upset stomach, body ache, etc.
- Pain balm or sprays like Iodex, Moov, or Volini.
- Few strips of Band-Aid
- A bottle of Dettol
- An antiseptic cream
- A crepe bandage
- Nasal drops can be extremely helpful if end up with a blocked nose after catching a cold
- Chargers of all your electronic devices
- Spare Battery for your camera if you are into photography
- Power Bank if you plan to use your phone camera a lot. Batteries die faster than the regular rate in a cold environment.
- Car Charger will be a good idea if you are traveling by your own car or renting a private taxi
- Spare memory cards if you are a trigger happy person clicking pictures at every turn
You need to carry at least one government-issued identity card like a driver’s license, voter ID, Passport, or Aadhar Card. Please ensure that you are carrying both the original and a few photocopies of it. Other documents to carry will include the following.
- Print out of your itinerary
- Copies of your flight tickets if traveling by air
- Hotel reservation slips if booked in advance
- Write down some of your emergency contacts (name and phone numbers) on a piece of paper and keep them in your wallet. I am not talking about saving it as an emergency contact in your phone but actually write on paper.
- Medical insurance if any
- Multiple copies of your Inner line permit once you have procured it in Leh
- Passport size photographs
ATMs in Ladakh are still a rare thing. There are a few in the town of Leh and that is about it. From the Manali side, there is no ATM after Manali and on the Srinagar route, the only one available is at Kargil.
Sometimes functionality of the ATM and availability of cash also is questionable here. So as a practice, make sure that you are carrying enough cash that can last until you reach the next ATM. There are no ATMs anywhere in Ladakh except for the ones in Leh.
Please also do not rely on credit cards. They may or may not be accepted in Leh. But for the rest of Ladakh, they will pretty much be just plastic without money.
Only postpaid mobile connections work in Ladakh. As long as you have a postpaid connection, you will get reception for almost all networks in Leh city. But for the rest of Ladakh, only postpaid BSNL connections work at some places like Nubra Valley.
If you cannot stay off the grid and do not mind getting a new connection for the trip, you will have to get a BSNL / MTNL one. For a detailed version of this information, please read Mobile Phone Services in Ladakh and Data Connectivity.
Things to Pack for Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
If you are planning a bike trip, I will recommend carrying the following items.
- Spare key for your vehicle. Please also make sure that you do not pack it in your bags because if you get locked out of the car, then the spare key too would be useless.
- Foot Pump and Puncture repair kit including tools to take the wheel out
- Motorcycle Tool Kit
- Spare fuse
- Spark Plug
- Spare tubes for both front and rear wheel (If your bike is not Tubeless)
- Clutch, Brake, and accelerator cables
- Chain Links
- Engine Oil (About half a liter of it)
- Screw Driver Set
- Nylon Rope & Bungee Cords (Carry both)
- Petrol Pipe: Can be used to take out petrol from another vehicle in case you run dry and someone else is ready to lend you some; enough to reach the next gas station
- Documents: Carry all necessary documents including your driving license, RC, PUC, and Insurance certificate. Carry both original and photocopies of each.
- Headlamp bulb
- Rechargeable Torch
You will also need to ensure that you get your bike ready and serviced well in advance. For a more detailed version of this information, please take a look at How to Prepare your Bike for Ladakh Trip?
If you are a photographer then do not forget to pack your
- Memory cards
- Rain cover
Things to Carry for Ladakh Car Trip
If you are traveling by your own car, then you will need to get it ready for the tough trip ahead. You will also need to carry some essential tools and spares to ensure a hassle-free trip.
I have covered these two aspects in a different article How to prepare your car for Ladakh that I will request you to read. It provides information on how you can prepare your car and some tools/spares that you must carry.
Oxygen Cylinder for Ladakh Trip
Whether or not you should carry an Oxygen cylinder will depend on several factors. I have covered this topic in a different article that I will request you to please read How and Where to Rent an Oxygen Cylinder for Ladakh Trip. Details like when you should rent oxygen and where can you rent it from are covered in this post.
A few other things to carry for Ladakh trip that are not absolutely necessary but can be helpful are mentioned below.
- An extension cord can be helpful if are in a group or have multiple electronics to recharge. These can be used if you end up at a place with just one power socket, or a power socket at an odd place.
- A notepad and pen
- A few safety pins
- A lighter or matchbox
Things to Carry for Ladakh Trip – Conclusion
I hope the information above on things to carry for Ladakh trip was of help. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer.
Thanks dear Khan sir ,
very important and useful information given by you. I remember all the things you suggest.
Thank you Hitendra Bhai !!!
Thanks a lot for the info. We will be flying to Leh in July and your blog has helped us in planning the itinerary. If possible can you make a list of items that can be purchased after reaching Leh and the items which we must carry from home? I’ve heard heavy woolen clothes are cheaper in Leh local markets.
What measures to take in a Road trip from srinagar to kargil please let me know
Hi, You’re doing a great job with providing such details.
I read various blogs of yours for my Spiti trip last year (They were really helpful).
I’m again planning this leh-ladakh trip in end of May’22 on my own car. Could you please suggest that can we get access to all the places in Leh-Ladakh if we take our own vehicle.
Thank you Anubhav. Yes you can cover all the places if it is your own car.
Vwry helpful, tganks
Thank you Elina
Thanks Parv Bhai
Very Helpful.. Do you have an idea that Hanle will be open on jun June 21? and will Leh Manali highway be open on 2nd week of June
Thank you !!!
Is UMLING LA open for civilian? Then How to go there from leh?
No it is not open Mr. Ghosal
Is Muling la open for civilian? How to go?
We are planning to go leh,nubra and panging in June 2020 do we need heavy woolen ?
Your information means a lot to me.. Sir I have a question, is it safe to be in ladakh in July with 2 years old child?
See this post Bhai
Bhai In which month we can plan to leh
Hi Vargis, your blog helped me a lot. Please share your insights on the weather conditions of leh in the first week of November. I am planning to go for 4 nights with a family (5 Adults incl. one Sr. citizen). Anything to take care of, apart from your above mentioned things. Is it safe for elderly people to travel at this time. A normal sports shoes would be enough to travel.
Hi Suhail – It is going to be terribly cold so please pack clothes accordingly. Normal sports shoes will do fine.
Thank you. One more thing. I heard that most of the roads will be blocked like to say, roads going to pangong and nubra valley from the mid of october till feb. or march. So, are we able to visit both the places in the first week of november?
No, All internal roads in Ladakh remain open throughout the year
it was really nice to read your blog.. you have covered almost everything and it is really helpful.
We will be going in end of July,2019 , do we really have to take thermals along?
Thank you Chaitali. No thermals needed in July. Just carry your regular cottons and a couple of jackets.
Thanks a ton vargis for your detailed information. It will help us a lot. We are going on July 6th to 12 July.
You are welcome Kanjaprava !!!
I am travelling in the first week of August this year to Leh-Ladakh do u recommend to carry woollen clothes & thermals & strong winter proof jackets or cotton T-shirts & a warm jacket is enough.
Hi Pallavi – Just carry your regular cotton clothes, a couple of light woolens and a warm jacket. That will be enough.
Hi Vargis, Do I need to apply for inner line permit for leh ladhak trip? As I read somewhere that ILP got revised and now Indian nationals don’t need to apply for same? Is it true?
It is still required Ishaan. Please see the post below.
It will be very helpful for me n everyone who travel here at lifetime memorable place.
One thing i want to add that i am thinking if ur bike get punctures what will we do,can we carry a puncture kit also with us, if am right and any suggestion please advise me.
Carry a few spare tubes and a foot pump instead. Go to a mechanic and learn how to change tubes. That will be easier.
Hi vargihis bhai..
We 3 bikes from bangalore planning to go to ladakh but till delhi we will be coming by train from thr we will strt bike journey. and we gonna bring our own bikes like unicorn 160,fz,duke..if we are planning how many days we required to go ladakh ..how about travelling to ladakh in the month of december..plzz advice..thank you
You cannot go to Ladakh by road in December Abdul Bhai but you can definitely catch a flight there.
I have read some of your blogs and got impress. Nice to much info through your website.
Really appreciate it as your travel experiences you shared on the web and are available openly. Thanks.
I am planning to go on a road trip on the route ‘Delhi-Spiti-Ladakh-Jammu-Delhi’.
Is this route what I’m planning to do is open in the time of June-19?
Do I need to get any permit for traveling on this road?
I’m planning to do a solo trip on this road and do not want to get stopped for some reason like permission and all.
Can you please give the details so I can have my adventure ride soon.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Swapnil – Yes the route will be open in June. You will need permit for sightseeing in Ladakh and can get that from Leh itself.
first, Your blog really helps me alot to make a plan for riders.
Im planning to make a solo bike trip to leh. i need your suggest to choose the inner permit in leh ladakh. kindly help me to choose the inner permit circuits & let me know, how much they charge for all the permits.
CHOOSE THE CIRCUIT:
* There is no reissue option for direct Tourist, kindly select all the circuits that are going to visit at once.
Id Circuit Name Select
1 Khalsi,Domkhar, Skurbuchan, Hanu, Baima, Dha in Khalsi Sub-Division.
2 Khardong, Khalsar, Trith upto Warsi and Yarma Gonbo, Disket, Hunder, Turtuk, Pachathang, Tyakshi in Nubra Sub-Division.
3 Upshi, TsomoRiRi/Korzok in Nyoma Sub-Division.
4 Upshi, Dipling, Puga, TsomoRiRi/Korzok in Nyoma Sub-Division.
5 Kharu, Changla, Durbuk, Tangtse, Lukhung, Spangmik, Man-merag(Pangong Lake) in Nyoma Sub-Division.
6 Upshi, Chumathang, Mahe, Loma Bend in Nyoma Division.
7 Leh-Kharu-Changla-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Spangmik-Man Merak (pangong) upto Chushul and Loma Bend.
8 Tangtse-Kargyam-Sato, Barma, Chushul.
See these posts please
Hello sir , Thanks for all d info… sir is it safe to travel in mid week of april to leh via Delhi srinagar highway by road
Srinagar to Leh road will not be open in April so no, you cannot travel at this time.
Hi vargis.. please tell me the best route from Agra to leh.
When are you planning to go Selwin?
Actually my plan is kanyakumari to Leh. after reaching manali which route is best for sight seeing and riding, i saw your leh map too. But, i cant guess the perfect route. help me on this.
From Manali it is just one route to Leh.
Manali – Rohtang – Keylong – Sarchu – Pang – Leh
oh i dont know about it thats why i have asked. Thanks for your response.
You are welcome !!!
Hi i need one more information. Is there any permit required for drone camera? please advise on this
Hi please tell me the best route from Agra to leh
When are you planning to go?
In may 2019 in first week , can I plan to go leh via Srinagar and return route via Manali ??
My travelling plan is approx for 12-15 days .
Please read the post below. Should help answer your questions.
All your articles are real help. Keep it up, man!
I am riding to leh from Delhi this Friday. Media has been reporting unending landslides and suggests of poor road conditions.
Which route would you suggest for us to take in these conditions? We are struggling a bit at the moment reaching to a concrete route plan.
Hi Hanish – Thank you for your kind words. Yes it is indeed raining around Manali but not at all around Srinagar. So a better choice would be to go via Srinagar and return via Manali, allowing some time for monsoon to subside.
how is the weather now in august end . And should i need to carry boots or sports shoes is enough .
What are the filters that I should carry? CPL is enough or I do need ND? I am travelling on September..
Hello Sir, I am planning to visit to leh trip in the month of 18 Aug, do any issue of monsoon generally in that time.. .What should I need to know more for safe and enjoyable trip.
HEY SIR. I”M GOING TO MANALI TO LEH BY BULLET ON 22NG JULY..?? IS THIS TIME IS GOOD.. ??
Hi Vishal – Time is OK but please make sure you are prepared to handle monsoon.
First of all thanks to you for your helpful and important articles and suggestions.
I am planning a trip to Leh with 2 of my friends in last week of Sep, 2018. I want to know that if Permits also issued on Sat & Sun from DC office in Leh. if not, Can we seek permits in advance from Agents in Leh.
further, It is very helpful if you can provide some agents contacts who can issue and stamped permits on our behalf on charge basis.
Waiting for your reply.
1. Yes you can get permit in first half of Saturday but not Sunday.
2. Yes you can contact travel agents to arrange permits for you.
3. Best thing to do would be to contact a hotel in Leh. Ask them to arrange your permits and if they agree, book your stay in Leh with them. That way you can just reach the hotel and your permits too will be waiting for you there.
Hello Sir Can we do Tso Moriri direct from Manali and then Leh…..??
Cause we have registered our self on online website of inner line permit an have print copy of the same?
or do we have to go Leh first to deposit the fees and getting the print copy stamped and then visit Tso moriri???
Please guide us sir?
and one more thing can we do Nubra valley direct from pangong tso without going Leh first?
Tso Moriri from Manali – No because you will have to reach Leh city first to get your permits stamped.
Pangong from Nubra – Yes you can by Shyok road. See the article below.
Thanks a lot for your Info. We are 9 people planning for Manali – Leh road trip in the month of July. My only doubt is, can we visit pangong with HP registered bikes? We are clear that we can not visit Nubra Valley with HP registered bikes, but how about Pangong?
If you mean bikes rented outside Ladakh then yes, you cannot bring them to Pangong as well. If those are your own bikes and registered in your own name, then you can get those to both Nubra and Pangong.
I am planning to go to Ladakh from 7 th June from Delhi via Srinagar and return through Manali.
Could you please give a detailed information of your recent trip
I have not been on any recent trips.
Oxygen cylinder is an essential item to carry. You should have mentioned that.
Last week we visited Leh. Our reference was your site. We faced some difficulty during our trip throufh Khardung La.
Kindly include sufficient information about oxygen cylinder.
Thanks for pointing that out Mr. Jayachandran. I have actually covered the Oxygen aspect of the trip at a different article but have provided a link to that page here as well now. Thank you for bringing this to notice. I should have mentioned it here.
I am planning to go to Ladakh from May 20th to May 29th from Delhi via Srinagar and return through Manali.
Could you please give a detailed information of your recent trip