What are the things to carry for a 6 to 8 days of a high altitude trek
For a 6 to 8 day trek, it is important to carry the following:
Track pants cotton, quick dry 2 shall suffice. A big NO to denims, jeans, baggy low waist cargo's and formal trousers. Shorts and 3 quarters are optional. Other than the 2 quick dry tracks, ensure to carry 1 thick trouser that keeps you warm in cold conditions.
Depending upon the trek’s altitude and minimum temperatures, you might need to carry a thick wind resistant track pant as well.
T-shirts cotton, quick dry 3 out of which 2 are to be full sleeves. Formal shirts, short tops, denim shirts, long kurtas are all inconvenient to trek in.
Inner wears/ briefs, other than the one on you, carry 3 to 4 sets more for hygiene purposes.
Thermals – 1 set of thermals shall suffice. The point is to wear the thermals only at nights that too at very cold campsites. Other than that, if there is a day where you start the trek by midnight or 3 am kinds, then the thermals could be worn for that particular days trek. It is important to invest in a good set of thermals. It should be light weight, and not too expensive. A normal wedze brand thermal set would cost you about 800 rupees from Decathlon.
Jackets – While it is important to have a good jacket, it does not necessarily need to be expensive. It is important to be well layered up rather than investing in a jacket costing 10 to 12 grand. The jacket should be warm, water resistant and not too tight in terms of body fit. You get good water resistant jackets from decathlon too. Other make in jackets is a down feather jacket. Now a down feather jacket will certainly not be water proof, however it will be very warm. One layer of clothing along with a down jacket shall suffice for cold campsites in the day or late evening. 1 jacket that keeps you warm is sufficient for this trip.
Caps/ woollen cap – it is important to keep your head covered at most of the times while trekking. In harsh sunny weather, it is important to wear a sun cap. The head getting hot to avoiding a heat stroke, sun cap always helps. In case the weather gets colder or later after reaching the campsite, it is important to preserve the body heat so putting on woollen cap becomes important. Excessive winds, cool air, negative temperatures can cause headaches or/could lead to fever. Covering your head at maximum times helps big time. In between the day, as per your convenience, you can definitely get time to enjoy the weather with no cap on...!! 1 sun cap and 1 woollen cap will suffice for this trip.
Tiffin box with spoon (with an air tight lid) – it is suggested to carry a tiffin box instead of a plate. Tiffin box is helpful for times when you carry packed lunch.
Socks/ woollen socks – carry 3 pairs of cotton towel socks that you could keep rotating. It is important to keep your feet dry, clean and hygienic so every time before wearing you socks and shoes it’s important to sprinkle some anti fungal powder on your toes. Every evening while entering your tent, it is important for you to remove your shoes and sock and let your feet breathe. If you feel cold in the nights or for colder campsites, get into the woollen layers of socks for the night. Just like the thermals, it is suggested not to trek in a pair of woollen socks. That is because no matter how cold the weather, your trekking shoe prevents the heat to escape causing your feet to perspire. If you are wearing the woollen socks, they’ll not only make your feet suffocate but also get wet. So other than the 3 pair of cotton towel socks, carry 1 pair of woollen socks.
1 medium sized hand towel (preferably light weight)
Toiletries – a toothbrush, paste, mouth wash, floss, tissue wipes, toilet roll, soap wipes, comb (optional), powder (optional)
Anti fungal powder – Anti fungal powder has multi-purpose on a trek. From applying on the toes each day it reduces the chances for blisters. It can also be applie under the arm pits and in the groin area for personal hygiene too.
Nail cutter – It is important to ensure that both the hands and feet nails are cut before the trek. For additional preparedness for self or for the team you’re going with, it is always good to carry a nail cutter. Big hand or toe nails can lead to painful cuts and blood to clot; hence it’s important to ensure trimmed nails before and on the trek.
Sun screens – Sun screens are always good to apply on a hot and a sunny day. It is important to apply sun screen on your face/ hands at least 45 mins prior to the direct exposure of the sun. It is only then it will form the layer that will resist the harmful UV rays. For high altitude treks, it’s important to invest in a SPF +50 (sun protection formula) sun screens. Lotus, Lakme and Neutragena are a few of the brands that offer SPF +50’s. 1 sun screen is more than enough for a 6 to 8 days trek.
Trek pole, rucksack cover, fleece/ cotton liners for hygiene (optional)
Gear – Water proof gloves, sun glasses, shoes, sandals (optional) water bottles (hydration sack preferred), multi utility knife (optional), water proof layers/ ponchos
Basic medical kit – any prescribed meds (if any), diamox (acetazolamide), disprin, combiflam, avomine, band aids, 1 small sized gauge bandage, 1 hand sanitizer, 1 small cotton roll, 1 medium sized crepe bandage, betadine ointment, digene, pudin hara, loperamide, eno (5 to 6 sachets), Electral (5 to 6 sachets)
A valid identity proof – it is good to carry an identity card with you at all times.
Other than this general items list, we do have a trek specific equipment list as per the trek as well.