Things to pack for a himachal trip will extremely useful for those planning to visit this beautiful Indian state. Popular scenic tourist resorts, pristine villages, beautiful hiking trails, surreal winter experience, eccentric culture are some of the reasons why people throng to Himachal.
As someone has spent a long time in the pristine valleys of Himachal, I am curating this super useful list things to pack for Himachal to help a first time traveler.
Things to Pack For A Himachal Trip
Packing appropriately is one of the most important when planning a trip to Himachal. So here is a comprehensive packing list for Himachal based on travels and experience.
Clothes to Pack for Himachal
Here is a super handy list of clothes to pack for your trip to Himachal. By the way, here is a detailed blog on what to pack for winter trip to Himachal. I am sure this will be quite helpful to the first timers.
Trek Pant/ Trousers/ Baggy trousers
I personally would never advice to pack jeans or denims for a trip to Himachal or mountains in general. Jeans are not very breathable and are not comfortable if you are out on an exploration trip or a hike.
So I personally wear only trek pants or trousers. They are very breathable and I can hike and explore without any trouble. I would advise you do the same and carry 2-3 trousers or trek pants or baggy trousers or even woolen pants.
Shorts can be worn during the summers and monsoon. But apart from that, all the places of interest in Himachal remain cold throughout the year. So wearing them might not be advisable.
Shirts/ T shirts/ Tops/ Dresses/ Indian wear
Men can choose from shirts or tshirts as per their liking while women have a lot more options in terms of Shirts, tshirts, tops, dresses and Indian wear.
Of course, as per the cold weather you will have to add warm layers to your attire which I’ll talk about in the next section. Dresses might not be a viable when its too cold like spring or winter or even Autumn for that matter.
Indian wear like saree also might not be a comfortable to wear in Himachal if you are out on an exploration trip or hiking.
Warm Clothes To Pack For Himachal Trip
Most of the places of interests in Himachal are brutally cold for at 4-5 months. Some are cold throughout the year. So packing appropriate warm clothes as per the season is of utmost importance.
Mid hills of Himachal is where most of the tourist places of are Himachal are perched at. Places like Manali, Kasol, Shimla, Jibhi, Dalhousie, Mcleodganj are at an altitude between 1500-2000 m. And the temperatures remain cold almost throughout the year except for Summer and monsoon months.
High altitude valleys like Spiti, Lahaul, parts of Kinnaur, Pangi valley etc are brutally cold barring the summer months. By the way, here is a super handy list of things to pack for trip to Spiti valley.
Thermals are sort of a must if you are visiting Himachal in peak winters, early spring and late Autumn. I always make it a point to carry them no matter where I am going or which season I am visiting.
You can definitely get away without them during summers but there is no harm in carrying them. They might come in handy any time. Weather in the mountains is very fickle.
No matter which season or which place you are visiting in Himachal, you should make sure that you carry at least one of above.
Depending on the season and the place you are visiting, you will have to carry more layers. I personally used this fleece layer from Decathlon along with other layers and it did it protect me from cold during my winter trip to Kinnaur and Barot.
Carrying a decent winter jacket is of utmost importance which can withstand negative temperatures.
Depending on the season and the place you are visiting, you might not need it, but weather in the hills is capricious. So carrying a good winter jacket is kind of essential no matter what the season and the place you are visiting.
I’ll always make it a point to carry my quechua winter jacket whenever I am traveling to Himachal and has helped me bare the cold winters in Kinnaur and Barot valley.
Woolen Cap/ Gloves/ Socks
Woolen cap, socks, gloves will protect you from cold especially during the winters. You might get away with not wearing them in Summers.
But my advise would be to carry not matter what season or place you are visiting carrying them before hand would help you protect from cold.
If you are looking to buy super warm Lahauli woolen socks, gloves with beautiful designs, check out Lalen a super cool initiative by Yuthok homestay to sell high quality handmade products from high himalayas and in turn supporting the artisans and keeping alive age-old products.
I personally have used the Lahauli Woolen socks and they are indeed very warm and have a cool design. They really helped me get through the cold winters of Kinnaur, Chota Bhangal, Chuhar Valley.
Footwear To Carry On Himachal Trip
Footwear is one of the aspect of packing for a trip to Himachal. You must carry appropriate footwear due to himachal having a difficult terrain.
So here is a list of footwear to carry for your trip to Himachal. By the way, here is a detailed blog on clothes to pack for hill stations in Summers. I hope this helps you guys.
Flip-Flops or sandals usually come in very handy while moving around the property or short walks around the property. So do make sure that you carry them on the trip to Himachal
If you are out on a short day hike or an exploration or sightseeing trip, then normal shoes should suffice.
But lets say you are going on a long day-hike or are going to hike in snow or are going for a multi-day trek in Himachal, you must carry shoes trekking or hiking shoes.
For short day hikes I am usually able to manage with these basic hiking shoes from quechua which are not even hiking shoes.
If you are going on a multi-day trek or will be hiking in snow, then in my opinion carrying hiking shoes is a must. Normal or causual shoes do not have the grip and quality to endure the Himalayan trails.
Important Miscellaneous things to carry for a Himachal Trip
Here is a list of miscellaneous things that will really make your life easy when exploring the pristine valleys of Himachal. I always make it a point to carry them, you should too.
By the way, here is detailed blog on things to pack for a trip to Kasol. I am sure this will be of a great help to you.
With the advent of UPI and digital wallets we tend to carry a lot less cash than we use to previously. Even though internet has reached even the remotest corners of Himachal, I would still recommend you to carry cash or cards.
Especially if you are going to travel to remote valleys of Himachal like Pangi, where there is no proper mobile or internet connectivity yet.
Carrying an ID card like Aadhar card or drivers license is of utmost important these days. Be it hotels, homestays or hostels most of the places of accommodation will ask you for identity card.
The reason being, to keep a record of your stay at their place. So do not forget to carry at least one government ID card.
Day pack is usually one of the most important items that you must carry on your trip to Himachal.
A 10 or 20 litre day pack will come in extremely handy to carry water and food items while you are out on a hike or an exploration trip.
I personally use this 10 litre quechua day pack. I find it very useful during day-hikes and exploration trips.
Instead of buying packaged water, one must carry their own bottle. There is no dearth of pure drinking sources in Himachal.
And you can always refill water from the place of your stay. Or even from water sources like rivulets, or drinking water taps in the villages.
A good quality power bank is quite a useful thing to carry on your trip to Himachal. Although power supply in Himachal has significantly improved, even in the remote regions.
But despite of that, power failures is a common phenomenon in Himachal. Also while out hiking or exploring, having a power bank will ensure that you would never run of battery.
Weather in the mountains is quite whimsical, so carrying a poncho will make sure that you don’t get drenched if it rains or snows.
Sunglasses can really help you tackle the harsh sunlight especially during the winter and autumn months when the days are quite.
They also help you whenever you are surrounded by a lot of snow. It also helps in high-altitude places like Spiti where the sunlight is even harsher.
Toiletries To Carry On Your Himachal Trip
Ensure that you carry all the relevant toiletries on your trip Himachal. Especially if you are going to stay in homestays, hostels and remote areas.
Soaps/ Shampoo/ Body Wash/ Sanitizer
Make sure you carry appropriate toiletries of your choice when packing for a trip to Himachal. In most of the places even the remote villages you might be able to find basic toiletries.
But it is always recommended to carry them of your choice before hand in my opinion and experience. Also unless you are staying in luxury or semi-luxury hotels, you might not find toiletries in the place of your stay.
Tooth Brush/ Tooth paste
Again, you might find Tooth Brush and Tooth paste in Himachal almost everywhere, but again carrying them as per your choice before hand is recommended.
Finding sunscreen and moisturizer would be difficult in Himachal except for the main towns and tourist resorts of Himachal. So I would really advise you to carry sunscreen and moisturizer of your choice.
Usually the sunlight is quite harsh in Himachal and due to cold weather skin could become dry, so it is advisable that you carry sunscreen and moisturizer to avoid tanning and dryness.
Menstrual Hygiene Products
Women planning a trip to please ensure that you carry menstrual hygiene products of your choice before hand especially if you are planning to stay in remote homestays and valleys to avoid emergency situations.
Finding menstrual hygiene products might not be difficult in tourist resorts like Manali, but as you go remote it certainly becomes difficult.
I’ve personally seen a female traveler struggling to get menstrual hygiene products in a remote Lahauli village only to receive help from another female traveler.
Medicines To Pack For Himachal trip
Carrying basic over the counter medicines should be one of the important things for your Himachal packing list. So here is a super useful list of the same. By the way, here is a detailed blog on things to pack for Lahaul.
Medicines you Need to carry for common illnesses
From my experience, I would really advise you to carry common over the counter medicines for certain ailments like headache, common cold, fever etc.
Medicines are hard to get in the remote valleys of Himachal like Lahaul or Spiti. Even though you’ll find them in most of the places in Himachal but carrying before hand will really save of a lot of time and hassle.
Medicines like Parcetamol, Ibuprofen, Tylenol can be carried for fever, headache, body ache. Dolo 650 is one such common over the counter medicine you get in India.
Medicines for Motion sickness and Allergies
In case you suffer from motion sickness while traveling in the mountains, you can carry Avomine with will help you with your motion sickness.
If you have an allergy or cold, you can carry Citrizine or Atarax which are basically anti-histamines.
Your own specific medicines if any
Please make sure that you carry medicines that you might be taking for ailments that you suffering from.
A lot of times, there are chances that you might not find the specific medicine that you need even in the tourist resorts of Himachal.
Medicines for AMS to carry on Himachal trip
If you are visiting high-altitude valleys of Himachal, like Spiti, Lahaul, Pangi etc, you might want to carry medicines for AMS.
Although, acclimatization is the best way to actually mitigate the threat of AMS. But Diamox and Dexamethasone are two common medicines for AMS that you can carry.
Consult your doctor first before taking them. Also, here is a detailed blog on how to tackle AMS in the high altitude valleys.
To conclude, I hope that this comprehensive list of things to carry for Himachal will ease your packing blues.
In case you have any queries on what to pack for a trip to Himachal, you can reach me out in the comments. I’ll be glad to help out. And put your queries to rest.