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List of things to bring by Indian and Foreigner

CLOTHING:
1) 2 pairs of convertible pants/shorts (pants that zipper to shorts) for hiking mountaineering – these are worn a lot on the trek and are very practical.

2) 4 pairs of very good hiking socks (ie: Smartwool brand available at REI stores or on-line at www.rei.com, www.campmor.com, Adventure 16 stores or on-line at www.adventure16.com)

3) 1 bathing suit (for Kir Ganga or other times when jumping in a lake would be great!)

4) High quality long underwear tops and bottoms (ie: Patagonia’s Capilene brand – expensive but keeps you warm when needed, cool when needed and very breathable!)

5) A quick dry camping towel available at stores mentioned above

6) For women: (Read Culture Shock-India in depth!) It may be a summer in India (very hot) but it is not appropriate generally to wear Western-style tank tops and shorts outside of remote areas where it is only your trek team around. Bring loose, breathable long sleeve tops and pants and very few skin baring clothes (esp. if you plan on traveling post-trek in India)! Also – dress covered when visiting temples, monasteries (gompas) and DEFINITELY mosques!

7) A rain poncho and small travel umbrella for very wet days on trek – it’s monsoon season!

8) A waterproof hat that is also warm and covers you from the sun OR a waterproof hat, a hat for sun and also a hat for the cold mountain nights where it can get below freezing.


 

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9) Gloves

7) A rain poncho and small travel umbrella for very wet days on trek – it’s monsoon season!

8) A waterproof hat that is also warm and covers you from the sun OR a waterproof hat, a hat for sun and also a hat for the cold mountain nights where it can get below freezing.

9) Gloves

10) Sport sandals are a must (ie: Tevas)

11) Bandana

12) Good (well worn in before trek) hiking boots that have been water sealed

13) gators for snow or mud

14) breathable quick dry under garments (women might want to consider bringing sport bras)

15) Ski/down warm jacket

16) wind/water resistant parka/jacket (could include a lining that makes it a warm winter jacket)

17) Extra pair of warm socks for nighttime – not for hiking

18) Several t-shirts for hiking, sleeping, etc. (easy, breathable, quick dry running or hiking t’s recommended)

19) Women might want to consider wearing a “wedding ring” if not married to prevent some irritation – though it’s impossible to prevent (though a wedding ring in India is not the sign of being married in that country culturally it is somewhat understood as a Western sign of marriage)


TOILETRIES :

THINGS THAT WILL HELP WITH THE HIGH ALTITUDE/WIND/COLD WEATHER:

1) saline nasal spray

2) Tissues

3) Eyedrops

4) Aquaphor healing ointment (available at any drug store/pharmacy). Excellent for cracked, chafed, wind burned, sun burned skin and for the chapped lips you WILL have on the trek!

5) A high SPF and mosturizing lip balm

6) A very high sunscreen – 30 SPF or higher required!


OTHER NEEDED SUPPLIES:

7) Insect Repellent (get one with DEET in it as malaria is a problem in India – the higher the altitude the fewer the mosquitos but mosquitos are found in the Himalayas).

8) A 3 week supply of baby wipes is a must.

9) Face wipes are helpful as well if washing your face after a full day’s hike is not easily done.

10) Purell anti-bacterial hand gel is a definite must for pre-during and post trek travel in India!

11) A very good hand and body lotion. I recommend Garderner’s Hand Repair (available at natural and health food stores, Trader Joes, etc.)

12) Travel size toothbrush and toothpaste and dental floss


FOR WOMEN:

13) Leave-in hair conditioner as washing your hair with shampoo on a trek is a feat enough (esp. if you are a woman). You don’t want to be putting hair conditioner in and washing it out as well.

14) A wide-toothed comb and brush

15) bands to keep your hair back

16) TAMPONS – they are not easy to find in India and not widely used there and of course can not be found during the trek!

17) Nail clipper and nail brush to clean under nails (keep your nails short for cleanliness and sanitary reasons!)

18) Good moisturizer for day & night (can be sunscreen too)
MEDICATIONS (Prescription & over-the counter – preventative and necessary in case you do get sick): For Stomach illness prevention or problems :

1) Acidophilus pills – natural good bacteria found in yogurt which can help counteract any bad bacteria trying to fight it’s way into your system through food/water or what not (available at drug stores and any health food store)

2) Pepto-Bismol

3) Immodium

4) A prescription for Cypro in case you contract severe gastro intestinal illness

5) Anti-altitude sickness medication (DIAMOX)

6) Anti-malaria medication (I recommend Malarone as it has many few side effects than the well known older medications)

7) Must get your vaccinations prior to trek (ex of what Kaiser Permanente Health Plan’s Travel Advisory Clinic recommended I get and therefore I got in terms of vaccines for travel to India: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid up-date, hepatitis A, Meningitis, Diptheria, etc.)

8) Aerobic 7 (available at Health Food Stores) – oxygenated bacteria killer in liquid drop form which can be added to water and food to prevent stomach illness.

9) Moleskin to prevent blisters and second skin to protect if you have gotten a blister

10) EmergenC – flavored packets to add to your water bottle that contain high levels of Vitamin C, electrolytes and minerals. Good for the added stress on your body, in case you get a case of diarrhea, and to flavor your water which doesn’t always taste great).

11) Multi vitamins

12) Melatonin and/or homeopathic jet lag medications available at camping or health food stores to fight the jet lag faced by a very long flight time to India).

13) DMG – increases oxygen intake for high altitudes (available at health food stores or on-line)

14) Spirulina pills (available at health food stores) helps with energy levels

15) Disposable thermal heating pads (available at drugstores, Costco) for that days of long hikes, for aching muscles and to keep you warm

16) Tiger balm for same reason as above

17) Ibuprofen or other over the counter pain killer
SUPPLIES:

1) A large back pack that can carry up to 70 lbs

2) A large day pack that you will be carrying that can contain the following: your water bottle, camera(s), clothing for instant weather changes (ie: a rain poncho, your hat, gloves, warm jacket, extra pair of socks, umbrella if needed, some snack foods, your journal, your sunglasses, a cover for the day pack in case it is raining heavily, etc.)

3) A therma rest or other kind of pad for sleeping is not required as the trek provides pads but is recommended for added comfort!

4) A very warm sleeping back that is good for temperatures that go below zero at night.

5) A water bottle or a thermos that can be used for HOT or COLD water is a good idea

6) A hot water bottle to keep you warm at night

7) A head lamp/torch

8) A walking/hiking stick or sticks if you have knee problems or want to prevent future problems – studies show that they can alleviate 700 lbs of pressure on your knees (available at stores mentioned above)

9) Resealable ziplock baggies for toiletries

10) A couple of large size garbage bags in case of rain, etc.

11) Small personal first aid kit

12) Locks for bags

13) electricity converter for digital camera batteries (not usable during mountain trek but before and after!) India uses 220 volt system

14) Camera – digital works at high altitudes but be vigilant about usage as you cannot charge your battery on trek (take extra battery and a lot of memory!)

15) Books about India--

Recommended: Lonely Planet India or Lonely Planet Northern India, Lonely Planet Hindi/Urdu Phrase Book, Culture Shock: India)

16) Travelers Checks (record numbers separately in case you lose checks)

17) Passport

18) waterproof bag for toiletries, journal or books, important documents
PREPARATION: THINGS TO DO/GET BEFORE LEAVING!

1) Apply for Visa to Indian Consulate at least 6 weeks prior to trip (see www.indiaconsulate.com)

2) Get travelers checks

3) Buy travel insurance (recommended: Travelex Travel Plus Plan. Customer Service #1-800-228-9792. Be sure insurance includes emergency evacuation. I recommend including trip cancellation, interruption, delay or missed connection, itinerary change, emergency medical benefits/evacuation AND repatriation, baggage, baggage delay, common carrier AD & D, 24 Hour A D & D and Travel Assistance).

4) Vaccinations and medications

5) Plane ticket – try to buy at least 2-3 months in advance to get cheapest available tickets during summer high fly season. I used Air Consolidators (recommended by Payson Stevens who travels frequently to India and now lives there). Andy Bhat, Air Consolidators, 5150 Candlewood Street, Suite 21-C, Lakewood, CA 90712. Phone number (562) 263-6000.

6) Make a copy of passport and pack separately from actual passport in case you lose passport

7) For your consideration: depressing but a good idea to have done – make a Living Will which states that you do or do not want to be kept alive in case something happens to you by extraordinary means if you are not brain functioning. Also along these lines – consider creating a Durable Power of Attorney for similar reasons. (I am attaching copies of such documents as examples).

8) Most importantly as well – be sure to be in excellent physical condition for the trek. This includes (in my opinion) – doing as much hiking as possible before the trek, getting or staying in good cardiovascular condition and lifting weights. It is also helpful to remain flexible and practice something like yoga or other stretching exercises to prevent injury.



 

 

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