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Things to carry when going on a high altitude trek

9 mins. read

All those mountains are calling pictures that you see on Instagram have finally made you book your high-altitude trek, but that’s just the first step. With an adventurous trek comes the great responsibility of being prepared for it.

After you’ve selected the one from the trekking places in India, the next thing that arises is the innumerable doubts & questions. How should I pack for a hike? What should I pack for a multi-day trek? What is too much? And what is too little? How am I going to carry it all? Which hiking gear and essentials should I buy in advance and which can I buy on the ground? High-altitude trekking can be a daunting prospect for first-timers. That's where these high altitude hiking tips come in handy for all of those questions — and much more — to prepare you for your next adventure.

Basic clothing

It’s all about the layers. Layering is the key to dressing in the mountains. This is true in all types of travel, long-term and short, but especially for trekking into high altitudes. Carry a long sleeve t-shirt, preferably of a dry fit fabric as it helps absorb the sweat, keeping your clothes light and giving you movement as you hike. A few pairs of trek pants – loose dry fit ones with lots of pockets work very well as you can put tissues, chocolates etc in them and take them out easily when you're hiking.

And the most important addition to the basic clothing is the mask. A surgical disposable mask is recommended as you will tend to sweat on the hike, and it’s always advisable to keep changing it at certain intervals. (Be responsible about disposing of it though; we don’t want to litter masks everywhere in the mountains).

Warm clothing

Always have the option open to remove layers than to not have enough to put on when it is beginning to chill as you head over a mountain pass or through a storm. A thermal is important for those winter treks. For jackets, choose to bring a light fleece jacket, thin windbreaker and some sort of outer waterproof or water-resistant jacket. A waterproof jacket not only provides protection against the rain and cold, but the jacket material is very breathable so it doesn’t feel like a sauna inside. Choose a fleece t-shirt to wear inside so that you can remove the jacket when it’s not so cold or wear it as one of the layers in the cold. When it comes to socks, buy technical socks for hiking, which absorb sweat and keep you warm. Keep one pair of clean night socks that you wear inside your tent. Your socks start stinking after a while, so you don't want to take them inside your tent. Some other essentials are a scarf, woollen caps, and gloves. The layering totally depends on the type of winter trek or the climate of the place that you have chosen for the trek.


  • Lip balm: You definitely need a lip balm to avoid chapped lips. Avoid fancy ones as they don’t do the job and most times freeze in the mountains.
  • Sanitiser: A sanitiser is one more must-have in your essential kit. Although hand sanitiser has become a part of our routine life due to the pandemic, it is a trekking essential that you must take with you on the trek. During the trek, there are possibilities of you coming in contact with the ground while you climb using the support. Sanitiser will not only keep you safe from the germs but also avoids the chances of getting any infection. It is also a good practice to keep your hands clean before you eat as the last thing you would want on a trek is a stomach infection.
  • Sunscreen & Sunblock: The weather conditions in the mountains are harsh. Although the temperatures are pleasant if you go during the recommended season of the trek, you should always be prepared to experience the high intensity of the sun rays. You should always carry a sunscreen of SPF 70 or more to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays and direct sunlight.
  • Insect repellent: Protection from mosquitoes and all other bugs and insects is a must for adventure trips & hikes
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste, toilet paper, soap: While it may not be possible to keep the level of hygiene like you do at home, outdoors calling for easy to carry - miniature-sized toiletries. Dental kit, shampoo sachet, wet tissue, dry tissue, soap are just a few that you shouldn’t miss.


  • Trekking shoes: Hiking boots are the first thing you must buy when you decide to go on a high altitude trek and they must be broken in before you go to avoid blisters and sores. Never buy poor quality trekking shoes. Buy high ankle ones to avoid injuries in case you fall and waterproof ones as it is quite likely that you'd be walking on water/in rain/snow conditions.
  • Floaters/Sandals: You would use these around your campsite, as your feet would become sore if they are in trekking shoes all day.

Trek Accessories

  • Rainwear/Poncho: Usually the weather on mountains and terrains is quite unpredictable. It is always advisable to carry a lightweight raincoat.
  • Rain cover for bag: One of the first things you need on an outdoor trip is a weatherproof backpack. Trekking backpacks should ideally be lightweight and water-resistant. If you’re planning on carrying a camera, it is important to carry a backpack or rucksack that has a special compartment for storing cameras to avoid any damage. If you’re expecting rain on your trip, then a rain cover for your backpack is a good addition to your packing list. Rain covers offer additional protection to your bag and its contents and are usually suited for bags between 20 and 30 litres.
  • Water bottle: When you go for a high-altitude trek, acclimatization (the process of getting used to the surrounding environment) is very important. Drinking at least 3-4 litres of water helps in this process. Also, your body loses water while walking on the trail and even though the temperatures are cold, you are sweating without realising it. Hence, it becomes necessary to keep drinking water while you trek to keep your body hydrated.
  • Torch: Flashlights are a must-have accessory for any trip outdoors. It’s important to keep your torch handy, especially after sundown along with spare batteries in case the ones in use get drained.
  • Foldable trekking pole: Some people like to hike with 1 and some with 2. Try walking with both options to see what you're more comfortable with.
  • Cap/Hat: A cap or hat can be very helpful to avoid direct exposure of your skin to sunlight. It also helps to keep your head protected from heat and dust. Some hats are available with a flap to protect your neck as well.
  • Sunglasses: Sunglasses will help you to protect your eyes from harsh sun rays, reflection from the snow, wind and dust. Spending more time in a snow-covered area without sunglasses may cause snow-blindness. Exposure to high-intensity rays may also cause irritation which could be very painful and might damage the eye.


Keep your important documents handy as they may be required at certain checkpoints. Do not forget to carefully place your travel tickets, Aadhar card and insurance copy at a safe & accessible place in your travel bag.

What to carry in your trouser pockets

  • Food: Carry the snacks like nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts), energy bars and miniature chocolates to eat between meals, every couple of hours to maintain energy levels.
  • Phone: No words are needed for the importance of this device! You want to keep it handy so always carry this in your pocket.
  • Handkerchief and a lip balm or petroleum jelly are some of the other things you should keep in your pocket for easy access.

If the above tips and tricks have mentally prepared you for your next trek, do not forget to share them with fellow traveller friends. Explore the thoughtfully curated and designed trek tour packages.

August 28, 2021


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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