Bali Pass Expedition 2014 Equipment
The things you need
This equipment list is based on experience from many previous expeditions to Garhwal Himalaya. You are going to need all things on the list except those marked *, which are optional.
You may also need some additional things which are not on the list but which you have a personal need for. Remember that in Himalaya there is always the risk of experiencing extended periods of bad weather; then you will need a set of dry "in-door" clothes and something to keep you busy inside the tent.

Cold and warm
The temperature is usually between 5 and 30 degrees; during the day the sun can be very intense but the night temperature may drop down to sub-zero occassionally. It even happens that there is snow at base camp.

 
 
 

Rucksack or pack bag

Should preferably take your complete equipment, that is 55 - 80 litres volume depending on how much you are bringing. You don't necessarily have to put your things in a rucksack; the porter will anyway most probably dump your rucksack in a gunny sack which he will carry on his back with the help of some pieces of rope! So you can use any type of sturdy, preferably waterproof, bag.

Day pack sack

About 20 - 40 litres depending on how much you want to carry yourself (see below).

Wind- and rain proofs

Goretex or similar material is good, but even simpler materials are usually OK.

Umbrella

Indispensable to protect from rain during trekking and at camps. Cheap umbrellas can be bought in Delhi.

Trekking shoes/boots

Should be water proof and stable, and the sole should have good friction. In order to avoid serious blisters you have to use them for a while before the trek.

Ski poles

Make trekking in rough and steep terrain much easier. The telescopic ones are most practical.

Camp shoes

One pair of light sneakers and a pair of sandals. Both types can be easily and cheaply bought in Delhi. Sneakers can also be used for less serious parts of the trek, but consider the risk of getting blisters if you buy them in Delhi immediately before the trek.

Socks

Several pairs; both wool and cotton.

Sun hat

The sun radiation can be very intense and you easily get sunburn at the high altitude. Be particularly careful to protect your nose, ear lobes and lips.

Woollen cap and mitts/gloves

Needed when it gets cold and at high altitude. Warm gloves can substitute the mitts.

Shorts

Nice to wear when weather is nice; they should not be too short if you want to use them also in towns and villages.

T-shirt(s)

A couple.

Pants/cotton

For normal wear at lower levels, advisable to have two pairs since they get easily dirty.

* Pants/thick

Fleece or woollen. Nice to put on when it gets cold at camps or when at higher altitude.

Shirt with long sleeves

A couple. Can be bought cheap in Delhi.

Sweater

Fleece, fibre pile or similar.

Jacket

Down is definitely nice when it gets cold, but absolutely not necessary. A normal, simple but warm jacket is usually enough.

Underwear

The normal underpants and long johns (not cotton). "Double" synthetic set is perfect.

Bathing clothes

For walk-in, hot springs and camps. A must for ladies who wish to take a bath when there are people around.

Towel

Medium size.

Sleeping bag

Good bag = good sleep. The sleeping bag will be one of your dearest belongings during the expedition and you will have to keep it dry at all cost. Make sure you bring a water proof cover to put it in. The bag should be good for temperatures down to zero, but it is recommended to have some margin against the manufacturer's temperature marking. You don't have to have a down bag, a good synthetic one is good enough.

Sleeping mat

Good sleeping mat = good sleep. If you can afford it you can go for a Thermarest, but a good karrimat will do.

Eating utensils

Plate (deep), cup, spoon, fork. There will be common eating utensils available at camps, but you might prefer to use your own.

Knife

The Swiss Army type is the best; should have a tin opener and scissors.

Water bottle

Should take 0.5 - 1 litre. Preferably plastic. The water bottle is a very important piece of equipment which should always be carried easily available during trekking. Dehydration is a common cause of exhaustion at high altitude; try to get used to taking a sip of water every now and then while walking, even when you are not thirsty.

Lamp

Preferably a head lamp, but an ordinary one will do. Bring spare batteries and bulbs. Remember always to carry a lamp when trekking or when you leave camp; you can never be sure to reach camp in daylight!

Sun glasses

Glacier goggles which attaches to the face and give good UV protection will be necessary at the pass crossing. For the trek and stay at camps it is enough with ordinary ones with proper UV protection.

Sun screen

High sun screen factor is necessary, at least 15. Lips are particularly exposed and you should therefore bring a high factor sun stick.

Water purification tablets

Could also be liquid (iodine). As long as we are close to habitations it is wise to purify our drinking water; when we get to higher camps water will be OK.

Toilet articles

The usual stuff.

Sewing utensils

Needle and thread, buttons, extra pieces of Goretex cloth etc.

* First aid/medical kit

Pressure compress, band aids, plaster, gauze, head-ache pills etc. Good to keep in your own day-pack if something happens on the way. The plaster is good for avoiding blisters; if you feel the slightest skin irritation on your foot while walking, stop directly and put on a piece of plaster, the time it takes to do it is always time well spent.

Plastic bags

A couple of garbage-bag type ones, and a few smaller ones. Good for keeping things dry and in order in your tent.

Lighters/matches

A couple of ordinary plastic lighters, and match boxes.

* Writing material

Paper, pens, covers. We will buy stamps in Delhi before leaving, and it will be possible to dispatch letters at various stages of our trip.

* Camera

If you buy a new camera before the expedition (or if you repair your old one), remember to test it before the trek to make sure it works. UV filter is recommended. Photography is sometimes sensitive since we are close to the Chinese border; taking photos of bridges and military camps is strictly prohibited. Remember to bring spare battery cells.

* Smartphone, games, playing cards, books, positive attitude etc

For rainy camp days; there might be quite a few if we are unlucky.

 
 
Clothing
Some general comments on clothes. You won't have to run around and buy a lot of fancy new stuff; what you got for normal outdoor activities in Europe will probably do. Most clothes of normal type (shirts etc) can be bought very cheap in Delhi, often the same Benetton and H&M things we buy in Europe. But if you need to buy clothes in Delhi, make sure you got sufficient time to do that. A few words about materials. Cotton is good for keeping you cool in hot climate, but it dries very slowly and becomes terribly cold when wet. It is therefore wise to avoid having a T-shirt next to your skin when trekking in cold weather or at high altitude. Wool and synthetics will keep you warm even when wet. Wool dries slowly but synthetics will be dry after a couple of hours in a warm sleeping bag.

Bring a bag of goodies
For most participants, camp food and the food they serve at the "dhabas" (wayside restaurants) becomes a bit boring after some time. It is recommended to bring a substantial bag of goodies from home.

How much can you carry
Porters will be employed to carry common equipment, food etc., as well as most of the personal stuff of each participant. It might be an awkward feeling for a westerner to let somebody else carry his personal things, but before you have adapted to the high altitude you will not have the strength to carry much. You will also loose out on much of the trekking experience if you have to carry a heavy load all the time. One porter load is 25 kg, and that is the maximum weight of personal stuff you should plan to bring along. Normally you will be carrying a day pack with the things you need for the day; camera, lunch, sweater, lamp etc. The porter loads will be available at night camps.

Safe keeping
We will arrange safe keeping in Delhi of things which you don't want to bring on the expedition. For that purpose it is a good idea to bring along a small bag which can be locked. It is convenient also to leave a set of clean clothes behind, you will appreciate that when we return.
You are advised to mark things which can be confused with those belonging to others. This is particularly relevant for umbrellas, which for some mysterious reason have an extraordinary ability to disappear.

Photo copy
You should bring a photo copy of your return air ticket and your passport so we can arrange for the re-confirmation of your return flight bookings.


Åke Nilsson
2013

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