A Comprehensive Checklist for a Trip to the Outdoors
Any trip to the outdoors requires the right amount of preparation. This means not only physical preparation vis-a-vis endurance training, but also the right gear and equipment to carry with you on your trip. While adventure tour companies like Red Chilli Adventure provide most of the equipment for a camping or rafting trip like tents, mattresses, life-jackets etc., you have to carry a few essential items when you go trekking in the Himalayas. An effective way to pack for a multi-day adventure trip to the outdoors is to categorize the list of essentials into a few main heads. Here, we’ve compiled a pretty comprehensive checklist of things you may need on an adventure camping trip.
Do your homework
A thumb rule of a camping trip or any tour for that matter is to read up on the place you’re about to visit to get an idea about its weather, topography, altitude and accessibility. Knowing what kind of weather to expect helps you pack accordingly. For example, a trip to the mountains in summer may not require a lot of rain-proof clothing since the chances of precipitation are low. However, a trip around the monsoon season or even winter which receives occasional showers, will require ample wind and rain-proof gear. Similarly, knowing the altitudes you will be trekking up to will determine whether you need to pack special high-altitude accessories like pens. Regular pens from the plains contain air at high pressure. When these are brought up to high-altitude places which have low air pressure, the air inside the pen forces out the ink causing a leak. Specially designed pens for high-altitude places are carried by trekkers and campers on such trips.
The Checklist of Things to Carry for Camping and Trekking
The first header under your checklist for camping essentials is Clothes and Footwear. It is crucial to be properly clothed for multi-day adventure trips to the outdoors. This is especially true for high-altitude treks to the mountains that have widely fluctuating morning and night time temperatures varying between 25 degrees to -10 degrees Celsius. The must-haves on your list of clothes and footwear are:
- Woollen/ thermal undergarments
- Long trousers
- Long shirts
- Windproof/ rainproof jacket
- Woollen socks
- Woollen caps
- Hiking gloves
- Hiking caps
- All-weather trekking shoes
In addition to these essentials, you should pack some weather/ altitude specific gear depending on where you’re going. This includes feather-down jackets for extreme cold weather conditions, snow gloves for any treks through snow and special waterproof snow-trekking boots among others. Snow boots are specially designed to offer advanced traction and better adherence while trekking across wintry terrain.
It’s important to invest in good quality sportswear to ensure durability under challenging weather conditions. Quechua and Decathlon are among the trusted brands for outdoor sports gear. Both brands are readily available online and will last you a long time.
- Backpacks: One of the first things you need on an outdoor trip is a weatherproof backpack. Trekking backpacks should ideally be lightweight and water resistant. If you’re planning on carrying a camera, it is important to carry a backpack or rucksack that has a special compartment for storing cameras to avoid any damage. If you’re expecting rain on your trip, then a rain cover for your backpack is a good addition to your packing list. Rain covers offer additional protection to your bag and its contents and are usually suited for bags between 20 and 30 litres.
- Water bottles: Hiking flasks are essential items in every trekker’s backpack. These plastic or steel containers usually fit 0.5 to 0.6 litres of liquid. Trekkers often carry their hiking flasks in specially designed isothermal covers that preserve the temperature of the liquid. These lightweight covers are reasonably priced and readily available online.
- Flashlight with spare batteries: Flashlights are a must-have accessory for any trip outdoors. It’s important to keep your torch handy especially after sundown along with spare batteries in case the ones in use get drained.
- Sunglasses: Special hiking sunglasses with UV filter lenses are essential to protect your eyes in high-altitudes. Regular sunglasses don’t provide as much coverage as these specially designed shades which are useful in low pressure areas that receive unfiltered UV rays causing skin burns and retinal damage.
- Portable charger: For those who need to be connected to their devices, a portable charger or power bank is necessary. However, having a charged phone doesn’t guarantee connectivity, especially in higher altitudes where mobile towers are few.
- Sleeping bags: At Red Chilli Adventure, we provide down sleeping bags on request at an additional cost of Rs. 100 per day. However, you can also carry your own. Just make sure that it is made for temperatures between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius. Some important information to know about sleeping bags is that they emanate no heat of their own but instead retain your body heat. Using a sleeping bag sheet, made of a material like silk or fleece helps keep you warm inside.
- Multi utility tool kit: So you can take with you everywhere you go, pocket sized Swiss tools comes in quite handy. These tools enable you to perform many tasks with a small package that is accessible from the outside; and every tool locks into place with its own spring and lock for precision.
Personal Medicines and Toiletries
- Sunscreen: We advise trekkers to wear body covering clothes like long pants and shirts on a trekking tour in the mountains. This is to offer protection from the harsh mountain sun. however, a sunscreen is equally important to protect your skin from UV rays and sunburns.
- Mosquito repellents: Protection from mosquitoes and all other bugs and insects is a must for all multi-day adventure trips.
- Medicine: Personal medicines have to be packed with extra care while planning a trip outdoors. The sheer inaccessibility of many of the places when you’re trekking in the mountains means you need to be prepared for all emergencies and carry extra supplies of any prescribed medicine. Also carry small supply of paracetamol, anti-diarrheal, anti inflammatory, antiseptic and first aid medicines.
- Toiletries: While it may not be possible to keep the level of hygiene like you do at home, being outdoors calls for easy to carry - miniature sized toiletries. Hand sanitizer, dental kit, shampoo sachet, wet tissue, dry tissue, nail filer are just a few that you shouldn’t miss.
At Red Chilli Adventure, we provide four-season tents for your accommodation. These durable tents are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and keep you warm and dry. We also provide mattresses and blankets in cold weather.
The Checklist of Things to Carry for River Rafting
A rafting trip on the other hand calls for its own checklist of things to pack. Naturally, your requirements on the river will be different from those for a camping or trekking trip. The best rated adventure tour companies provide all rafting gear like paddles, helmets and life jackets. When you pack your bags for a rafting trip, it is important to pack clothes according to the temperature of the water and not the atmospheric temperature. In warmer months, when the water is tepid, it is advisable to pack:
- T-shirts it’s best to avoid cotton as it sticks to you after getting wet)
- Converse or any other running shoes. It is advisable to avoid sandals as they may slip off in the water.
- Sun hats preferably with a cord
In cooler temperature or on rivers which present a quick succession of rapids, it is advisable to pack:
- Synthetic fleece or woollen clothing
- Long shirts
- Woollen socks
In addition to the clothing, it’s important to carry sunscreen on a rafting trip as sunburn is said to be the most common injury on a rafting trip. It is not recommended to carry expensive cameras on rafting trips. Most rafting tour companies prohibit bringing cameras on the rafts. However, some allow disposable cameras. These waterproof cameras are best for adventure sports like rafting as they take reasonably good pictures and can be disposed at the end of the trip. Waterproof cases are also available for these cameras for added protection.
Being equipped with the right clothing and accessories lets you enjoy your time outdoors in a safe and secure way. Follow our checklist of things to carry on a multi-day adventure trip and you have nothing to worry about. So, pack your bags and get ready for your adventure today!
Note: We can arrange sleeping bag on your request at an additional cost of Rs. 100 per day.
Here's the long list of things to carry so you can check them one final time when you pack your bags for your ultimate adventure trip with Red Chilli Adventure:
- Warm sleeping bag (till 0 degree C or below)
- Woolens/ thermal underwear
- Wind/ rain proof jacket
- Feather down jacket - optional
- Hiking/trekking shoes - important
- Spare sandals - optional
- Camera - optional
- Woolen socks
- Water bottle
- Flash light and spare batteries - important
- Sun shade/ hat with brim/ woolen hat/ gloves
- Sun lotion
- Sunscreen/ sun block
- Vaseline/ lip salve
- Insect repellent
- Personal toiletries - towels/ soap etc.
- Personal medication if any
- Rucksack/ duffel bag to carry your baggage
- Inflatable mattress (optional), we provide foam-mattress
- Small daypack to carry camera, packed lunch, water bottle and wind/ rain jacket on a walk
- Long trousers / long shirts / t-shirts etc.