Things to Carry for Trekking - Packing List

A successful trek or expedition takes efforts and requires tasks like proper exercise, deciding the correct time and trek, etc. Out of all, packing a rucksack is also one of the important tasks. People usually get confused regarding what to pack and how to pack things for a trek? and they end up making their rucksack heavy. Here is a list of essential things to carry for trekking. The list includes almost all the required things and the same list can be used as a packing list for road trips. You just need to filter out stuff that is only required in trekking.

Basics for trekking

  • Backpack or Rucksack – Must for a trek, be it a weekend or multiday. Some people bring suitcase or handbags with them and face problems while trekking.
    Short trek/Weekend Trek – 40 Litres would work
    Long/Multiday Trek – 60 Litres
    Multiday Alpine trek/Doing on your own – 70-80 Litres
  • Rucksack Rain Cover – Weather remains uncertain on mountains. It’s always better to carry a rain cover for your rucksack so that your stuff will be intact in case of rain.
  • Torch or Head Torch – Since there is no electricity on campsites, a torch can help you in various ways such as while starting a trek in the dark, during night walks around your campsite, etc.
  • Water Bottle – Keep a handy 1-liter water bottle with you which you can refill while on a trip/trek.
  • Personal Medical Kit – Always keep your prescribed medicines with yourself along with the first aid kit.
  • Shoes – Shoes are the lifeline on treks. You never know what type of terrain is going to come on your way.
    If you are going for a weekend trek in summers and the maximum Altitude is around 3000 m then you can trek with your sports shoes.
    If you are going for a long duration trek and the altitude is also higher than 3000 m then you should purchase a pair of trekking/hiking shoes of a brand (Decathlon, Wildcraft, Columbia, Solomon). Don’t go for any cheap or local brand shoes. A bad quality shoe can ruin your trek. Consider it as an investment.
Stuff to pack - Trip to Bhutan
Stuff to pack

Clothing

Apart from shoes, clothes are one of the main things to carry for trekking. The quantity should be accurate so that the clothes would not be less or more.

  • Trek Pants – Though people trek with jeans and cargos but jeans are not as comfortable as trek pants are. Carry 2-3 trek pants depending upon the duration of the trek.
  • T-shirts – Carry t-shirts according to the number of days of the trek. For example- If you are going for a 5 days trek then carry 5-6 t-shirts at least.
  • Fleeces – Fleeces are required on all the treks and in all the season. They are good at keeping the body warm. Carry 2-3 fleeces.
  • Thermals – Inner thermal layers also play a major role in keeping the body warm. Carry at least 2 thermal layers. In case of a winter trek, do carry thermals for lower as well.
  • Sweaters / Hoodie – If the temperature on the trek is below 5 or near 0 degrees then carry 1 sweater or hoodie.
  • Jacket – A light jacket would work in summers if not going on a high altitude around 4000 m. Otherwise, a down feather padded jacket is best to take on treks, because it is lightweight and compact. A jacket compatible with -5 degrees would work for the temperatures as below as -15 degrees, after adding fleeces, thermals, and sweater/hoodie as layers.
  • Windproof / Windcheater – If you are going for a trek in which you will be crossing a mountain pass or climbing a peak or if the place remains too windy then carry a windproof jacket with you. It will protect your body from freezing cold winds which a down jacket can’t do. If the temperature at the windy place is -5 degrees then your body would feel like -10 or -12 due to the cold winds.
  • Woolen Cap – It is very important to cover your head and keep it warm. The body heat exits from the head. Always carry a woolen cap.
  • Neck Warmer / Muffler – Strong winds can enter the body through your collar and neck and make you sick. Carry a neck warmer / muffler to insulate your body completely.
  • Socks – Carry socks according to the number of days so that you can change them every day. If you are going for a winter trek then carry woolen socks to keep your feet warm or wear double socks.
  • Undergarments – Don’t need to mention why they are necessary 😛
  • Gloves – Gloves are required in winter treks to keep your hands warm and protect from cold injuries.
  • Raincoat / Poncho – Weather remains unpredictable on mountains. Always carry a raincoat/poncho so that your trek won’t get affected by rain.

Personal Utilities

  • Sunglasses – Sunglasses are really important because they can save your eyes from cold wind and snow blindness.
  • Whistle – With the help of it you can easily call out your trek mates on a trek.
  • Sanitizer – You don’t get water streams or rivers every time on treks that’s why it is better to carry a hand sanitizer.
  • Slippers – Putting on/off shoes and tying/untying laces every time you get in or out from the tent, usually becomes a task on treks. Especially during winters when your hands are freezing. Slippers are useful on treks.
  • Sunscreen Lotion – To prevent your skin from tanning or sunburn. Use SPF 50 + to work better.
  • Moisturise and Lip Balm – Due to Cold, the skin gets dried.
  • Toilet Paper / Tissue Roll – It’s not necessary that you will find water at every campsite and can use it for washroom purposes. Always carry a tissue roll / Toilet paper.
  • Paper Soap
  • Tooth Brush & Tooth Paste
  • Small towel
  • Power bank
  • Trekking pole – Trekking pole provides support to the body while climbing up/down. Some people think that the trekking pole affects the body’s pace while trekking. So it’s up to you that you should take a trekking pole or not. If you are going for a snow trek then I would suggest you take a pole. It would help you to identify the depth of snow on the trail.

Documents

Some regions required forest permits to allow one to enter into the forest. These documents should be in your list of things to carry for trekking.

  • ID Proof – Driving License/Passport/Voter ID Card/Aadhaar Card
  • PAN Card doesn’t work usually

Food

High-calorie food should be with you every time so that whenever you feel starving or drained out while trekking, you can recharge yourself. That’s these snacks/eatables are in the list of things to carry for trekking.

  • Dry fruits
  • Chocolates
  • Juices
  • Glucon-D / ORS
  • Jaggery
  • Snacks
  • Dates

If you have any doubts regarding the packing stuff, let me know.

Happy Trails 🙂

Written by

Manu Khandelwal

An engineer and a travel blogger. Loves trekking and doing bike road trips. Burger lover (want to try every burger in the world). Clinomaniac. Sports fanatic. Likes technology but not a technology addict.