The Char dham trip put us (me and my girls) in a rare shopping excitement. When south indians need to go to the north, that too to the himalayas, they have a lot to think about! We have never experienced the kind of winters seen by our north bound brothers.
Our itinerary included Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, before proceeding to the peaks. The gear required seemed too varied for us.
Google told us that Delhi, Haridwar would be hot hot hot in may. But it also warned us that Yamunotri and other peaks would be kind of cold.
We could not actually gauge, how cold it would actually be.
Me and daughters took out our rarely used woollen wear from the closets to take stock. We found that we had some regular, light sweaters. No caps, gloves, or rain-resistant jackets. And definitely no trekking gear of any sort.
Hence the shopping frenzy! 😀
Since our trip was going to be for 10 nights and 11 days, we needed enough undergarments, enough tops (both warm and light) and equal number of pants for each one of us. I decided not to take any sarees with me. It would not go with the trek theme going on, right?
We put all our gear in a heap, and found that it occupied a whole lot of space! We needed some more luggage than we had. So more shopping for travel gear now.
Anyway, putting all the gear inside proved to be a task for great thinkers! Then I discovered Marie Kondo. Do you not know who she is? She is a Japanese consultant who has taught the world how to pack for travel, how to stack a cupboard. She has so many ideas for ideal ways of packing and storing that it was eye opening for me. It proved to be a boon for our trip too.
Here is a video of one of her amazing videos about how to pack:
I anticipated and packed a few things that really came in handy in our trip
- A long nylon rope to put wet clothes on to dry. There were lot of opportunities for bathing. Obviously our clothes would get wet and so had to be dried before moving on to the next destination. This came in very handy in every place we went to.
- Extra bags of different sizes that could be folded when empty. This also came in very handy during the trip. They were used for used clothes, trekking shoes that became muddy etc etc.
- I also kept small handbag, tiny backbacks, and a fanny pack just in case they would be needed. And yes, they came in handy too.
- I also packed ankle wraps, knee pads, crape bandages, pain alleviating oil. I thought they may come in handy just in case anyone of us might feel pain in the mountains. None of us were used to those heights
- I packed in extra shawls, and scarfs just in case, and boy did they come in use!
- And of course, medications of all kinds!
All this made it into our luggage!
Well, you can’t pack light for a long trip for a group of 8 people!