Our essential packing list for a girls only trip to Ladakh: What we took and what we used – Part 1

Resfeber (n.): the restless race of the traveller’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together…

What a perfect word for what I experience before every trip, big or small and something that reaches a feverish pitch as the departure date closes in. A time when excitement and stress are matted together.

Before every trip, I spend days researching and agonising over what to pack and shop; ever concerned about missing out on something and packing for all possible situations. Sounds serious? You bet it is.

Worst of all, after all the meticulous prep, you still get the feeling of being, to borrow a phrase, “overpacked and ill-equipped” on the trip.

This time I am really feeling the pressure because coming up is a 10 day “Girl’s Only” trip that a dear friend and I are undertaking, to a destination that has been on our bucket list for ever – Ladakh!

What Ladakh brings to my mind is beautiful, never-ending vistas; stark mountains, lush valleys and indigo lakes and tons of culture. What it also brings forth is harsh conditions that can truly challenge you. After all, this is a high altitude desert. So the questions, when packing for Ladakh, are many and the choices, tricky. Are windcheaters a must in July or a fleece is better? Waterproof shoes or regular keds? What about a balaclava and arm sleeves? Binoculars? Tough. Especially when my goal is to fit everything into one rucksack and a camera bag.

So with the mantra of “Pack Light, Pack Right” in mind, we have drawn up a detailed packing list for Ladakh below. And so that we may all learn from our mistakes, we will revisit this list and assess what we needlessly carried and what we missed out on, in our follow up blog!

Additionally, this time we have also tried to minimize our upfront gear shopping to a minimum. Instead, we have greedily tapped into Bragpacker’s rental inventory to take with us gear that we would normally consider too tempting but also too pricey and indulgent! 🙂

So, here’s the list and a pic of the gear lined up:



RucksackBragpackerDeuter Aircontact – 55 lit
Bagpack/Suitcase/ HybridBragpackerDeuter Helion – 60 lit
Day BackpackBragpackerDeuter Speed Lite – 15 lit
Transport CoverBragpackerDueter
Camera bagBragpacker
Packing CubesBragpacker Dueter
Thermals (Upper & Lower)Bought
Leggings/ JeggingsAlready Owned
JeansAlready Owned
Full sleeve teesAlready Owned
Half sleeve teesAlready Owned
Knits/ Light SweatersAlready Owned
Jacket with outer windcheater shellBought Northface Triclimate
Night WearAlready Owned
Woollen HeadbandBought
Woollen BeanieBorrowed
CapAlready Owned Baseball cap
Woollen GlovesAlready Owned
Woollen SocksAlready Owned
Regular SocksAlready Owned
Stole/ MufflerAlready Owned
Protective Arm SleeveBorrowed
Travel TowelBought Microfiber
DSLR with memory cardBragpackerNikon D90
Telephoto LensBragpackerNikkor 18- 135 f4-5.6
Prime LensBragpacker50mm f1.4
TripodBragpackerYopro/ Manfrotto
Selfie StickBragpackerStuffCool
Camera RemoteBragpackerTo capture the night sky
Travel Essentials
Flashlight with spare batteriesBragpackerLed Lenser
Safety AlarmBoughtiscream
Pepper SprayBoughtThe Bodyguard Spray
Pocket KnifeBragpackerVictorinox
SunglassesAlready Owned
Photo ID – Original, Copies
Photo ID – Attested Copy
Garbage/Plastic Bags – Wet Clothes/ Trash
Books/ KindleAlready Owned
Car Charger/ AdaptorBragpackerScosche PowerFuse
Portable UmbrellaBragpacker
Portable Blue Tooth SpeakerBragpackerJBL
KedsAlready owned
Slip On SneakersAlready owned
Flip FlopsAlready owned
Sunscreen – SPF 50
Body Lotion
Face Cream
Foot Cream/ Vaseline
Lip Balm – SPF
Shampoo & Conditioner
Shower Gel
Face Wash
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes
Dry Face Tissues
Soap Strips
Cotton Wipes
Food/ Misc.
Dried Fruit
Premix tea
Granola Bars
Chocolate/ Books to distribute
MedicinesDon’t forget the Diamox

Within this list, we have chosen our gear carefully for the following attributes:

  • Apparel: functional and comfortable, easy to re-use, suited to layering
  • Luggage: Rugged but comfortable, Roomy enough to fit everything but easy to carry
  • Photography Equipment: good enough to do justice to the place without being too bulky (We have some aspirations to come back with a whole lot of killer photos and better photography skills)
  • Gadgets/ Essentials: functional to provide utility and entertainment but most importantly protection for two women travellers

Note that this list is meant for a regular touristy visit to Ladakh and it’s major sights. No major hiking, camping, biking etc, which would require additional specialized gear.

In part 2 (link here), which we will post after the trip, we will review each item on a scale of 0 to 5; 0 being “Didn’t Use At All” and 5 being “Lifesaver/Used multiple times”. We will also list things we missed carrying and reviews of certain products.

Ladakh, here we come!


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