things you must buy for your ladakh road trip

You should buy the following gear if you plan to do a Road Trip to Ladakh.

helmets Empty Rucksack Travelers Ladakh Road Trip
1. Helmets: Buy good quality helmets, you will be in a very tough terrain. If you have a good helmet, then get the visor that will save you from the TAN. Rest of your body will be covered, but unknowingly a lot end up tanning their faces.

The body suits kept us warm at the highest passes
The body suits kept us warm at the highest passes

2. Body Suits: We spent 25,000 INR for these suits and got worth of every penny. They will protect you from heat, sun, rain, wind, cold, and dust along with guarding you against any injuries. Can be purchased in Karol Bagh. Make sure you bargain after choosing the one that you like.
rubber gum boots Empty rucksack Travelers Ladakh road Trip
3. Gum Boots: All other shoes will fail in this trip as some of the water crossings are really high. The rubber boots are the best option for this journey, they tend to get very hot during the day but are a blessing when there is a water crossing and trust me there are plenty of them.  These can be purchased in Manali for about INR 500 in the main Market near the bus stand.

Ropes Empty Rucksack Travelers Ladakh BIke Rental
4. Ropes: You luggage will sway here and there, get good quality ropes and get extra ones. Somehow these ropes have a tendency to get lost. A pack of 12 ropes costs about INR 150 and can be purchased in Karol Bagh or Gopinath Market.
empty rucksack Travelers plastic sheets Ladakh Road Trip

5. Plastic Sheet: Your bags, rucksacks may be water proof but they will get dirty, really dirty and a plastic sheep will keep them in great condition. We were unlucky as there was nonstop rain on the way back from Patnitop to Delhi. The plastic sheets kept all our things dry. Easily available at any hardware store

empty rucksack travelers gloves ladakh road trip

6. Gloves: Get very good quality gloves to save you from the cold. You will cross passes at about 5000meters and it gets really chilly, especially when you have to get up at 4 and start riding. Can be purchased in Capt. Gopinath Market or Manali.
Rain Coats: If you decide against buying body suits as they are expensive, get good quality rain coats. You need to wear them over your woollens.

empty rucksack travelers thermals ladakh road trip

7. Thermals: It can get really cold on the road, so if you haven’t brought the body suits, you need to get an extra pair of thermals. Keep one pair with you at all times irrespective of the body suit.

empty rucksack travelers ladakh road trip medicine kit

8. Medicines Kit: The following medicines are recommended to be carried along with you.  We did not even touch Diamox and found an alternative for it. GARLIC. It worked wonders. Put one clove of garlic in your mouth, when you start for the day. Don’t chew it but keep it in your mouth. It will save you from altitude sickness. Since Garlic is very hot for the body, you may get tiny ulcers in your mouth but that is ok compared to the benefits it gives. Also when you stop along the way, ask for Garlic Soup or Garlic tea. It is quite popular in the area owing to the height and does wonders.

Here is a list of the most popular medicines people carry, please check with your Doctor / Chemist for more suggestions and recommedations.

  • Pain Relief Spray – Volini
  • Pain Relief Cream or Gel
  • Betadine
  • Antiseptic solution like Dettol
  • Pain Killers – Combiflaim
  • Mild Fever  – Crocin
  • Dizziness, Motion Sickness and Vomiting  – Avomine
  • Indigestion, acidity (mild) – Digene , Zinetac for severe problems. Carry some packs on Eno, Pudin Hara for other digestion problems
  • Loose motion – Entroquinol ,  Metrogyl
  • Cold – D-Cold Total
  • J&J Band-Aid Fast Heal Wash proof – different shapes
  • Cotton and Dressing Bandage
  • Blocked and dry nose – Nasivion

suncreen ladakh road trip empty rucksack travelers

9. Sunscreen :   You may think, you are going to a cold desert which you are, but the sun is really strong and you can get the worst of tans in a single day. A lot of foreigners love this but as Indians, we don’t seem to like the TAN. Get the one with an SPF 50 or at least SPF 30 and make sure you use it every day. The technique is to apply it and stay indoors for at least 20 – 25min before heading out. We also carry an umbrella with us, it is the best sunscreen we have ever used.


Still wondering if you should go to Ladakh, here are 9 reasons why you should go to Ladakh this summer
Here are some itineraries you can follow
You don’t need Inner Line Permits for most places in Ladakh, read this for more information
If you are convinced, which we think you are by now, read this for all the information you need to plan you trip to Ladakh
Bike Rentals Explained for your Ladakh Rentals, read here

About Empty Ruck Sack

Empty Rucksack travelers is an attempt to bring together many wonderful stories of career breaks, long term vacations and great travel destinations together at one place. The posts authored by Empty Rucksack Travelers are put together by Vikram and Ishwinder, an Indian couple out on a long term travel to find that perfect place in the world where they may want to stay forever.

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  1. Good tips! I’ve put Ladakh at the backseat for a while. Although I definitely want to visit it, I don’t know when it’s going to be possible. It’s very expensive, right?

  2. A friend told me I needed to read this article, so here I am. I found this to be interesting and well-written. It’s very good.

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