A trip to Ladakh: When in Ladakh, Always Expect the Unexpected!

Set in the Trans-Himalayan district, in the province of Jammu and Kashmir in North India, Ladakh has, as of late, become one of the most popular summer holiday destination goals by many. Riding crosswise over high elevation mountain passes, going to monasteries, and camping by some shocking high height lakes is what drives people to this place.

You should pack smart and layering is a must as the weather is very unpredictable on the journey to Ladakh. A couple of sweaters and jackets for the night and t-shirts for the day is sufficient enough. But that’s not enough. There is a huge checklist you need look into before heading to the most exciting journey of your life.

The essential biker’s guide to Ladakh:

Renting a bike in the Ladakh region is easy. You can get a bike on rent for INR 1200 to 1500 per day at the Fort Road area of Leh having lots of stores giving Bullets and Royal Enfields on rent. A common scare about hiring a bike is that during peak season there are chances of unavailability of bikes for renting purpose. While this is very much true, to combat this a lot of travelers try to book bikes online or over the phone, something that one shouldn’t do. You should always check the rate of the bikes at least 3-4 shops after asking around some locals and select the best out of the lot only after taking a test ride.

Rejection and Selection Criteria

Never take a bike that throws white smoke, also get the air filter checked, if its dirty get it changed. Check self-start and battery, if it is giving problems then reject it, the clutch plate should be working properly, so check carefully. Never go for a bike whose chain makes a lot of noise, you will not appreciate a broken chain in the middle of nowhere on the way to Nubra.

Essentials you need to carry on a bike trip

Clutch Plates – Bike trip to LehLadakh demands new clutch plates. Doesn’t matter how new old they are when you are driving on world’s most challenging and dangerous road, you need new clutch plates.

Drive Chains- Drive Chains suffer the most during a road trip as rigorous as Ladakh. One must carry spare chain set in case you need one on top of Khardungla Pass. Tool Kit- Continuously convey an extra toolbox or request that from your leaseholder give you one. A toolbox comes extremely helpful, doesn’t make a difference what excursion you are on. As it’s been said, a join in time spares nine, you can conquer little issues when going by Ladakh, with a standard toolbox.

Spare Spark Plug- Due to lack of oxygen on high altitude, spark plug faces damages and gets burned. It is always advisable to carry spare spark plugs to overcome this issue.

Clothes to carry when road tripping to Leh

From November to March, you must pack heavy woolens and prepare for extreme temperatures.  In Ladakh, it is best to dress in layers since the majority of coldness is due to wind chill and temperatures can change rapidly depending on the place, time and weather. Hence dressing in layers will allow you to add/subtract layers as and when needed. So make sure apart from your regular clothes, a sweater, gloves, cap (protect head and ears from cold winds), warm inners (especially if you are traveling in off season) and if possible, air/water resistant jacket.

Must-have for trekking

Packing a Rucksack is indeed a very important aspect of any trip or trek. On the Himalayas, it is mandatory that a backpacker/trekker must have essential and mandatory items, yet light enough to move comfortably.

The treks on the different parts of the Himalayas stretch from short and medium to extended long duration. Shorter duration trek backpacking is easier but medium to long duration are need to be packed carefully. Higher the duration of the trek, higher the importance.For serious trekkers, there is no way other than to pack his/her Rucksack with attention to ensure own safety. The catch is to pack light with all the necessary and safety items with you.The items you should carry are rucksack, trekking shoes, sleeping bag and also a warm jacket.

Must-have for First Aid:

Medicines are a must to carry if you suffer from mountain sickness. Diamox tablets are available in 250 mg potency, a half tab in the morning and a half in the evening will serve well, to verify that none of you are allergic to it. Taking a test dose a few days before the trip, and where medical help is available, is advisable. Also, carry at least 5 ORS or ORS- L Tetra packs to keep you hydrated. There are Diamox tablets for altitude sickness also.

Some other essentials are riding pants, knee guards, gloves etc.

Must-have for a Camera Bag:

Carry your camera along with its bag, charger and the cable also carry a pair of batteries and a camera cleaning kit. You can carry a tripod and filter if you’re a professional. An extra memory card might also come in handy. But, if you’re really looking to pack light then there are many smartphone brands with devices that sport a great camera and perfect sturdy design that won’t cost a fortune. Some brands like Panasonic India Smartphones (Eluga Ray 700), Oppo R15 pro, Samsung Galaxy are the best in the business that will help you capture beautiful memories.

So don’t wait, this season is the best to be at the mesmerizing lands of Ladakh.