Hi Elliott and everyone,
It’s great to see some questions popping up here–we’re all getting excited about what’s ahead!
I wanted to address Elliott’s 3 questions.
1) Cosmetics/toiletries: Anything that you need, you can find in Ladakh. For me personally, I will bring travel sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, a bottle of sunscreen, and a small tube of toothpaste and a little bit of body lotion (the dry air can be a little tough on the skin!). That is it. If I run out of anything, I just buy new stuff there. All the things that we commonly use are available in Ladakh too, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to find something unless you are really picky about having a particular brand.
2) You are certainly right that checking our trekking bags can be a little hard on them. I got something called a “pack duffel” years ago and it has been a godsend! Buying something that is specifically intended for backpacks works of course, but any big duffel large enough to hold your backpack will do. REI makes one: https://www.rei.com/product/118870/rei-co-op-pack-duffel-bag. I would recommend the largest size they offer, as a great additional benefit is that at the end of the course, you can just shove in anything that doesn’t fit in your backpack into the duffel and still have just one piece of checked luggage. We also end up storing our extra stuff that we don’t need while we’re hiking, and the duffels work really well for that purpose too. I have used mine countless times over the years, so hopefully it would be of use to you in the future too.
3) You are welcome to listen to music on your cell phone on the flight from Newark to Delhi. I’ll collect the phones when we land in Delhi for those who want to listen to music on the flight. The phones will not be returned until we are at the airport in India for our return flight.
Keep the questions coming!
Christy, Uttara, & Aditya