An obsessed packer’s Sar Pass (Himalayan Expedition) Checklist

To read about my Sar Pass Trek experience, click here.

This list has almost everything you will need there. The challenge is in curbing the weight of your bag and keeping it less than 6kgs. After researching on the net for days, I put all the checklists I found together, and segregated them into kits. Each kit was packed in zip lock covers. For clothes and warmers I had the Quechua Waterproof Pouches  (Such a blessing it was). Ideally if you are a group of 3 or more people, you can share the weight each one has to carry. Also, every gram counts, so pick up the smallest pack size of all the items mentioned below. Some of these items we did not take with us, some we took and never used. Ideally if you have a simple backpack, then your bag should not weigh more than 4 kilos and if you have one of those backpacks that give you a good back support, then it should not be more than 6 kilos.

Kit 1 – Warmers

Jacket – A waterproof jacket

Fleece – Quechua fleece – Its light weight and it keeps you very warm

Thermal wear – For someone with very low resistance to cold(like me) carry 2 pairs. You get good soft ones in Jockey

Gloves – Leather. Buy one more pair at Kasol – The wool used there is perfect for that weather

Muffler – Must must have this multi-purpose piece of cloth. It helps you in many ways. Protects your neck, covers your ears, head, nose..

Neck Warmer – I bought this too from Decathlon. Spent Rs. 199 on it and used it every single day

Skull Cap –  A good warm one. You can replace the neck warmer and skull-cap with a balaclava if you like

Ear Band – If it gets too windy. I used mine in the night and at Nagaru

Kit 2 – Clothes

Track Pants – Invest in 2 good quick dry tracks. Take it for granted that they will get wet and you have to live in just 2 pairs for 7 days.

T-Shirts – Wear 1, Carry 2.

Socks – 4-5 pairs. Keep one pair of thermal socks just for the tent. Use this once you are ready to sleep and keep then dry throughout.

Innerwear – 6-7 pairs

Towel – 1

Rainsheet – This is if your jacket is not waterproof. Mine worked very well throughout.

Poncho for you and your rugsack – You get these at Kasol for Rs. 50

Kit 3 – Lunch Time Kit

Lunch Box –  A Tupperware box would work just fine

Spoon

Mug – They give you Chai, Soup all the time. Make sure you carry a good container that you can easily wash

Kit 3 – Toiletries

Toothpaste – Smallest size available

Toothbrush, Paper Soap, Wet Tissues(A must), Toilet paper

Kit 4 – Vanity Kit – Not so vain 🙂

A Good All-Purpose cream – I had carried basic moisturizer but a girl in our tent had carried Himalaya Nourishing Skin Cream which helped a lot when I came back with bad sun burns

Sunscreen – It may make sense to visit a dermatologist and figure out the best sunscreen for UV Rays at 14000 ft. I still have a dual-tone skin thanks to the horrible burns

Lip Balm – Carry an intensive care lip-balm. I use Himalaya Strawberry Shine Lip Balm. But I think the regular petroleum jelly would work better.

Talcom Powder – Use this in your shoes to prevent them from smelling

Wet Wipes – Life saver these are. Because of cold climate, we hardly went out to wash our faces. Wet Wipes was all we had to clean our faces and it helped like how!

Headband – This one is for girls. You can forget about having good hair days as you will not be showering for 10 days. A headband can at least camouflage the bad hair(for people like me) a little.

Kit 5 – Trek Gear

Hunter Shoes – I love mine. You get these in Army Stores in Bangalore(Russel Market) and they cost you Rs. 375. Make sure you buy an in sole immediately from a cobbler nearby as the ones that are provided by the store is very flimsy. You also get these at Kasol.

Head Torch – You will need this almost every day at the camp

Water Bottles/Water Bladder – You should be able to fill 2 litres of water

Shades and Cap

Camera – It would make sense to have a sling pouch for your camera if you have a point and shoot.

Flip Flops – Not really a trek gear, but keep one pair to wear when you reach camp sites. There is a lot of moving around you have to do at the camp and your shoes would be wet. So flip flops is a must even if they advice you against it at the base camp.

Kit 6 – Medical

Norflox TZ – MUST HAVE. The water doesn’t suit most people and 70% of people in my group faced issued with their tummy and the only tablet that worked for all of us was Norflox TZ.

Amrutanjan/Vicks- For people with low immunity like me, be ready to face blocked/leaky nose

Crape Band Aid – Twist your ankle/neck or whatever else. Best to keep this handy

Cotton – Nights are more comfortable with some cotton to make the ears warm

Relispray – If you tumble during the Nagaru Sarpass slide, you will need this for sure

Water purifying liquid

Electrol – For a weak day

Band Aid

Kit 7 – Eateries

Dates – I survived on these. There were days when I just did not want to eat food with masala. But because the place is so cold, you HAVE to eat. There is no way you can sleep an empty stomach. On such days dates helped. Also, while climbing when you need that sudden burst of energy, pop in one of this and it will see you through.

Dry Fruits – If you have space for some extra weight.

Kit 8 – Documents

YHAI Membership Card, 2 Photographs, ID Proof, Medical Certificate, Booking Receipt and some cash

Kit 9 – Miscellaneous

Garbage Bags – Keep a few of these. You will need this to pack your wet clothes separately or for some other arbid reason. You get biodegradable ones.

All purpose Fevi Glue

Nail Cutter

Rubber Band

Extra Camera Battery

Extra Memory Card

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31 thoughts on “An obsessed packer’s Sar Pass (Himalayan Expedition) Checklist

  1. Thanks a lot Vachana for the detailed info you have put up, as I am going this may for the trek, your list will stand in good stead for me while packing.

  2. Hi. I am going for SAR pass trek , May 1 slot and I am finding this list very useful. Thanks.
    One question. I am planning to buy water proof gloves and jacket there in Kasol. Will these be available there?

    1. Hi Naveen. I would suggest you pick this up in the city. You will get water proof ponchos for Rs. 100 at Kasol but that’s an important additional layer. Also you get warm woolen gloves at Kasol and not water proof ones.

  3. my suggestion to trekkers-in the base camp use minimum warming cloths, dont put on all those thermal, heavy jackets. let your body get conditioned to the weather. then as you gain altitude, try if you can withstand the weather, if its fine, go without much clothes, only if its required use them. i used thermals+2 tshirts + a jacket only in nagaru camp, where it was below zero temperature. all other camps managed with thermal wear and t shirts

      1. Thanks for the swift reply.
        You mentioned in your blog that you used hunter shoes. Did those withstand the snow(there won’t be much, I feel?) and cold weather?
        I was thinking of buying action trekking shoes or hunter shoes since I don’t want to spend so much money on Quechua shoes which almost covers flight charges.
        Which shoes would you recommend?

  4. Hi Vachana,

    Thanks for the wonderful blog. I am going to sar pass this may 2016. My two concerns were about shoes and backpack. Do you think Hunger shoes is enough for this rigorous trek and which backpack to buy

    1. Hi Santosh. It worked beautifully for me and my friends. So go for it!
      I carried a Quechua which has great back support.. Would recommend that. Have mentioned the same in the post

    1. If you are looking for the hiking sticks, you get them online. But, when you start climbing, the villagers will sell you wooden sticks for Rs.10-20. I loved these because its not an extra burden and you wont really feel too bad if you lose them and it works very well in snow. Most of us bought these at Kasol.

  5. hello vachana !
    i loved the way you have written your blog and the list of essential things that are needed. i had some doubts
    1) i already have a action trekking shoes , should i buy quechua snow boots as a addition ?
    2) should i carry a whole set of rain gear? or just the top part?
    3)do u have any idea where do we good ? good waterproof gloves?

  6. Hi Vachana,

    Thanks for very detailed information. I am going for my first trek, that too sarpass. you mentioned that we need water purifying liquid. I am from secundrabad. where can we get it. any recommendations would be helpful.

      1. Thank you and what camera did you carry. Would a Oneplus 3 phone suffice to get pictures like you posted?

  7. Hey Vachana, thank you so much for the list! Read your blog.. it’s mesmerizing!
    I’m visiting this June and I’m concerned about the layers for upperbody.. A Tshirt + Long sleeve tshirt + Fleece + Thick Jacket would do? Any scope pf removing/adding layers?

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