Never-to-take things on a Chadar Trek

How does a trekker start packing for the Chadar Trek? Make a list of ‘Things-to-take’ and begin by ticking it off in full fervor. But in the race of filling-in the backpack with ‘must-take’ things, they skip the ‘Never to take’ list.

Surprised? Don’t be. Just browse through the list below and you’ll be surprised at how the most obvious things are a no-no at this unique trek on the Frozen Zanskar River.

1-Contact Lenses:

Avoid contact lenses while on the Chadar Trekany trek for that matter. Since you’re living outdoors, practicing lens hygiene during an expedition proves difficult. In the subzero temperatures, the lens solution is likely to freeze. During the day, wearing contact lenses can make your eyes more sensitive to glare and at night, removing contact lenses can present a logistical problem in the mountaineering setting.

2-Cotton Gear :

Cotton is a favorite all over. But it’s best to avoid it at the trek. You’ll be walking on a frozen river, which at some places will be flowing. When cotton gets wet, it ceases to insulate because all the air pockets in the fabric fill up with water. Additionally, when you hike, you perspire. Any cotton clothing touching your skin will absorb your sweat like a sponge and fail as an insulating fabric.

Importantly, there’s no one to impress in a remote mountain pass, so forget fashion and make sure your gear is sturdy enough to withstand the changeable mountain weather. There is no reason to invest in all the ‘latest’ outdoor gear, provided your trekking gear is in good shape.

3-Home-size Toiletries:

At the Chadar Trek, you need the sunscreen, moisturizers etc. But you need not carry home-packs. Using travel size toiletries will help eliminate bulk and weight. (We’re extremely proud of you for bagging that humongous bottle for a few pennies at the sale. Clap Clap!  But avoid showing off the trophy)

4-Wet Wipes:

Once again, remember, you’ll be in sub-zero temperatures. The (small quantity) of water on the wipes freezes and makes it unsuitable for use at the Chadar Trek. Go for dry tissues.

5-Plastic Water Bottles:

If the massive Zanskar can freeze, so can the water in your bottle. Avoid plastic water bottles. Pick a thermos flask (of travel size please) to keep the water from freezing.

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