Chadar Trek – Packing List Essential and Where to Buy

What to Pack for Chadar Trek

My toes were so numb that at one point I cried with pain. A porter helped me in changing my wet socks!

 

Chadar trek, one of the best treks in India, is not easy. I landed in Leh on 12th of January, acclimatized my body, got all my checkups done and thought that I am well prepared for it. But questions still lingered in my mind. Have I packed appropriately? Will I need any extra layers?

To be honest, there is no piece of clothing that will help in keeping you warm in such an extreme weather condition, but there are certainly a few things that you can do to feel less cold.

Below, is a detailed as well as a checklist for what to pack for Chadar trek. I will also link the brands and products that I have been using since years. This list is a complete list and gives the minutest details of all the things that I carried. 

 

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What to Pack for Chadar Trek – Essentials

Bags

Rucksack

Let’s first start with an appropriate backpack for Chadar. It is essential to have a good backpack that gives comfort and is durable at the same time. I personally carried a 90L backpack, however, I would suggest you have to buy a 60L rucksack. The best one is Quechua’s Forclaz with compression straps. 

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Day Pack

Once you reach the campsite, you would need a day pack to carry your essential things. The daypack should not take much space in your rucksack and thus the one I will suggest you is the ultra compact day pack by Quechua again.

 

Raincover

Usually Quechua backpacks come with a raincover, however, if your bag does not have one then do buy a raincover as well because in Chadar the weather is very unpredictable. I would recommend Add Gear’s raincover, suitable for rucksacks between 40L to 80L.

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Neck and Above

Headcover – Woollen Cap

In cold, especially during extreme weather conditions, covering your body ends is extremely important as that is the place from where the heat leaves first. That is why we easily catch cold in our hands, feet, ears, etc.

Buy a woollen cap along with a fleece underneath it. Why?

During snowfall, the snow gets accumulated on woollen clothes easily, a fleece will help in refraining the cold and wetness from the snow to reach our skin/head.

My recommendation – 

Thermal Fleece Full Face Mask Balaclava
Woollen Slouchy Beanie

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

UV Protection Sun Glasses

In high altitudes, the rays of the sun get harsh. Having a good pair of sunglasses is a must. In fact, we were asked to get two in case we fall while walking on Chadar (highly possibly) and break our glasses. 

My recommendation – 

Quechua Adult Hiking Sunglasses

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Muffler

To keep your neck warm have wool mufflers. You can buy good ones from Leh itself.

Also if you want to travel safe, make sure to check this link here – travel first aid kit.

 

 

Base Layer

I was in five layers, which is essential and also a necessity in a trek like Chadar. There are several items of clothing that you need to wear, step-by-step to keep yourself warm.

During treks climate conditions vary. Layering gives you the freedom to shed or add layers as and when you need!

 

Thermals

Thermals trap your body heat and keep you warm. My personal favourite is merino wool; they are so thin that –

1. they do not take much space in your bag,

2. they don’t make you look like a potato, and

3. their ability to keep you warm is exceptional.

You can also buy the product from Decathlon as they have a perfect range of merino wool products for both men and women. 

My recommendation – 

Add Gear Ski + Mountaineering base Layer

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

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Middle Layer

Fleece

Fleece is a great way to protect you from cold. It is a comfortable layer of insulation by trapping air in the pockets between its fibres. 

My recommendation

For women

For men

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Down Jacket

Have a good warm down jacket that is water proof as well as withstands negative temperatures. This helps in further trapping of the heat.

My recommendation

Forclaz Trek 100 Hooded Down Jacket

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Hiking Pants

For your legs, wear your second layer over your thermals. I personally prefer quick dry and light cloth for this purpose.

My recommendation

Quechua Forclaz 500

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Outter Layer

Wind Cheater Jacket

In Chadar, the temperature goes to its minimum when winds are blowing. To avoid winds to pierce your skin, it is essential to wind cheat it with the help of a good jacket. I will highly recommend my ski jacket which I also used in Gulmarg while learning skiing.

My recommendation

For Men

For Women

Simond Makalu II Down Jacket 

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Water Proof/Wind Cheater Pants

In Chadar, it is essential that you wear waterproof pants. Your lowers are vulnerable as you might have to cross water streams, and if you fall (which you definitely will), your legs will get wet if your pants are not of proper material. 

My recommendation

Simond Mountaineering Pants

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

 

Hands & Feet

Gloves

It is essential to layer on your hands as well. You can wear woollen gloves underneath the snow proof gloves. If you will only wear woollen gloves then the snow might get accumulated on them and they won’t dry easily too.

My recommendation

Quechua Adult Trekking Mountain Gloves Trek 500

Woolen gloves

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Socks

Have at least 6 pairs of socks. Socks tend to get wet not only because of the streams but also because of the accumulated moisture while trekking. It is important to change your socks everyday.

Layer your feet as well. Wear a fleece first over your merino/woollen socks so that you do not get show bite.

My recommendation

Balenzia Cushioned High Ankle Sports Socks – Pack of 6

Quechua Arpenaz 100 Warm Merino Wool

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Shoes vs. Gum Boots 

Gum Boots

We did 95% of our trek in gumboots only. For Chadar, you do not need good sole underneath the shoes but long boots (preferably till knees) so that the water does not enter and wet your socks and feet. You can buy the gumboots from Leh itself. We got a good pair of gumboots for INR 400/-.

 

Trekking Shoes

Carrying shoes is essential because after reaching the campsites you would need to remove your gumboots for reasons such as –

1. gumboots can bruise your feet due to excessive use, so once you reach the campsites remove them, and

2. while exploring the campsites, you might hike on the muddy patches and rocks for which you need to have good shoes to get proper grip.

My recommendation

Quechua Forclaz 500 Snow Boots

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Electronics

Extra Batteries

Carrying extra batteries is a must in Chadar! In colder regions batteries drain quickly. 

Power Banks

To have a power bank is essential for your phone and your GoPro. There are no sockets or electricity here. It will be nice to have 2 power banks.

Cameras

Just in case if you are into documenting your experience 🙂

 

Toiletries

Tissue Papers

In Chadar dry washrooms have been installed near the campsites. There are no luxury of toilet seats and running tap water. It is essential to carry tissue paper or tissue rolls for hygiene.

 

Brush/Paste

Including this in the list here as it is one of the most obvious things to take, however in the last minute we all forget. At least I do. 

My recommendation

Slim Bamboo Toothbrush

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Sunscreen

In high altitudes, you are prone to extreme sun rays and your skin can get damaged. Do carry good sunscreen and apply it at least twice a day!

My recommendation

Avène Very High Protection SPF 50

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Moisturiser/Lip Balm

You will be prone to dryness in harsh and colder regions.

Tip: Your creams, paste, etc will freeze as they are liquids. A simple solution to this will be to place them inside your sleeping bags. The heat of the sleeping bags and your body will bring them back to its normal form.

 

Sanitizer

Well, not everytime you will be able to wash your hands before eating :)

 

Miscellaneous

Trekking Pole

This will provide you with an increased stability. Walking becomes easy and the risk of falling reduces too.

My recommendation

Bridge2shopping Anti Shock Hiking Trekking Pole

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Raincover or Poncho

It usually snows in Chadar trek, however, it is always good to be prepared. The jackets and pants that I have recommended above are waterproof but it is always better to take an extra security.

My recommendation

Rocksport Poncho Polyester Rain Wear

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

Small Towel

You will not be able to shower in Chadar so carrying a huge towel will not make sense. Pack a towel which is light and a small one for your daily activities.

 

Headlight

The headlight is essential on such treks as during the night while setting up your sleeping bags and camp you won’t be able to hold the torchlight throughout. Headlight makes the tasks very simple.

My recommendation

Garberiel 3 Pack Mini LED Headlamp

What to Pack for Chadar Trek

What to Pack for Chadar Trek

Flask

Carry a bottle that can keep your water warm. You would not want to get up early morning to find your water ice cold and frozen.

My recommendation

Quechua Stainless Steel Insulated Hiking Bottle

What to Pack for Chadar TrekWhat to Pack for Chadar Trek

 

What to Pack for Chadar Trek – Checklist

Bags

  • 60L Rucksack
  • Day Pack
  • Raincover

 

Neck and Above

  • Woollen Cap with Fleece
  • Balaclava
  • UV Protection Sun Glasses
  • Muffler

 

Base Layer

  • Thermals – 2 pairs

 

Middle Layer

  • Cotton T-shirts – 3
  • Fleece – 1 pair
  • Down Jacket – 1
  • Hiking Pants – 2

 

Outter Layer

  • Wind Cheater Jacket – 1
  • Water Proof/Wind Cheater Pants – 1

 

Hands & Feet

  • Woollen gloves – 2 pairs
  • Waterproof gloves – 1 pair
  • Sports socks – 3 pairs
  • Merino wool socks – 3 pairs
  • Gum Boots
  • Trekking Shoes

 

Electronics

  • Extra Batteries
  • Power Banks
  • Cameras

 

Toiletries

  • Tissue Papers
  • Brush/Paste
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturiser/Lip Balm
  • Sanitizer

 

Miscellaneous

  • Trekking Pole
  • Poncho
  • Small Towel
  • Headlight
  • Flask

 

Hope you have a wonderful Chadar trek and this guides help you with your packing list. Let me know in the comments below if you have any additional advice to offer 🙂

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paddockfamily4
2 years ago

Wow- this is a really thorough and comprehensive packing list! And I love that you can order almost everything right from Amazon! Great post!

dreambookandtravel
dreambookandtravel
2 years ago

I love it that you also explain why every item is needed! Some things people just don’t think about!

Family on Standby ✈️ (@familyonstandby)

How do you decide what lenses to bring? I am stressed just thinking about leaving some at home.

Pooja
Pooja
2 years ago

Brave young lady…sunshine smile…the world through your eyes is much more beautiful….And your guidance always make our trips better…god bless you….😊

nomllers
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Pooja

Thank you so so much, Pooja <3

This comment is so heartwarming 🙂

Tejal
Tejal
4 months ago

Hi Radhika. From which organiser did you book the trek?
Awaiting your reply