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The Pack Yak

Dear Students and Parents,

Packing for such a massive journey as ours is always a challenge, to find the balance in bringing everything you need while avoiding excessive weight. The packing list in the Course Prep Manual (CPM) is an excellent resource to see what is necessary, and you should definitely start there. Beyond what is required in that list, we recommend packing light. In this yak, we want to emphasize a few important required items and suggest a few (entirely optional) additions.

  • It gets cold at night in Ladakh, and even low above-freezing temperatures can feel very cold after a few days of camping. Make sure your sleeping bag will be warm enough (see CPM packing list). Past students suggest that if you know your body runs cold, you might want to bring an extra layer beyond what the packing list says. However, we will have access locally to simple sleeping pads during our trek, so this is one important item in the CPM packing list that you are not required to bring from home.
  • Be sure to read the “IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION” section at the end of the CPM packing list. Conservative dress will be of great importance during this course, especially in Banaras.
  • As noted in the packing list, be sure to bring 2 one-liter water bottles or equivalent.

A few possible additional items:

  • Mini-carabiners come in handy all the time, and you might want to bring one or two small ones
  • A travel-sized instrument, if you play: harmonica, travel guitar, mandolin, ukulele, mouth harp, etc. Everyone loves music! It’s a great way to make friends quickly.

If you have questions about other items, please post them in a yak and we will get back to you. Feel free to share any other suggestions as well!