Chadar Trek Essentials: Complete List of Things to Carry for Trek

Next, to your stamina and endurance, the things you carry along will be your best ally on Chadar Trek. Considered you have tied up your laces well for this ultimate winter trek, are you even in the right shoes?

Deal of the Day:
 Adventurous Experience of Chadar Trek in Ladakh

Giving you more thrills you’ve asked for, this is a dream excursion for the adventure junkies. Forming a 105 Km thick ice trail over the furious Zanskar River during the winters, the Chadar Trek is an exhilarating, challenging, and toughest winter trek in India.

Start the packing for this bone-chilling experience with the underlying slogan - ‘Pack Smart’ and you’ll have it all well. Keeping in mind even the slightest confusion of what to keep and what not, stated below are all the essentials that would make you well-equipped for this unmatched grandeur.

What to carry for Chadar Trek?

6865 Ratings
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  • 9D/8N
  • Leh
  • 9D/8N
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₹24,500 ₹19,500

About Chadar Frozen River Trek :

Ladakh is the home to numerous natural wonders, but the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land is the Chadar Trek. The trek is all about persistence & survival – of learning to survive in the harsh terrains at sub-zero temperatures, interacting with the locals & understanding their way of living, especially in one of the most inhabitable regions in the world, while you trek across a dramatic gorge with frozen waterfalls on the frozen trail of Zanskar spanned out like a “Chadar” it acts as a mirror for the sky!

The primal thrill of sleeping in caves, musing over blazing bonfires in freezing temperatures with most definitely the ever-present sense of danger, yet surviving it all – makes it the “Do before you die” journey!

Chadar Trek Quick Facts:

  • Chadar River Trek Duration: 9D/8N
  • Chadar Trek Distance:  62 km
  • Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
  • Difficulty Level: Difficult 
  • Chadar Trek Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -15 to -25 degrees (during the night)
  • Chadar Trek Best Time: Early January - Early February.
  • Start and End Point of the Trek: Guest House in Leh.
  • Nearest Airport: Leh airport. (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport)
  • Last ATM: Leh Market and Airport.

How to Reach Leh :

The easiest way to travel to Leh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) located in Leh. This airport is connected with many international airports in India like Delhi. It also receives flights from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh, and other common destinations in India.

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Chadar Trek Clothing Essentials

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To embrace the negative temperature of the piercing Himalayan winters, you must ensure that none of your skin is exposed to the chilling winds to feast. Do not let stress beads gather over your brows as we have commemorated the most basic clothing essentials for the plain-dwelling, budding adventure junkies.

Are you acquainted with the concept of layering? Layering is a strategy of wearing clothes one above the other so as to curate a heat-retaining system. Keeping in mind the insulating properties of air, the idea behind layering is to trap and keep the body heat intact within the layers.

For surviving the ultracold Chadar Trek, you must assure that you have four-five layers of clothing all through the journey. Taking up right from the head to the toes of clothing, let’s get started!

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Upper Body

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Headcover: As per studies, 60% heat of the body is lost from the head, so, it is necessary to cover the head properly to let no heat escape.

Exposing only the eyes and mouth, a balaclava ensures that your face is protected completely.

Make sure you wrap a muffler around your neck and feel the warmth against your neck.

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Lower Body

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Tights: The closest layer to the skin, just as the upper body innerwear you must ensure that they are breathable and do not soak sweat. You would not like to invite any fungal infection or irritation during the trek.

Wool fleece: The second layer will provide you with enough warmth so that you can survive the negative temperatures.

Waterproof/ winter cheater pants: During the Chadar trek, there will be moments when you walk through water. In such scenarios, your winter cheater pants will be a boon for you as they will not let water seep in and dry quickly even if they get wet.

Quick-dry socks: Make sure you keep 6 pairs of quick-dry socks so as to change whenever they get wet.

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Footwear Essentials

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Trekking shoes: Trekking shoes give you the right grip and help you climb the rocky and muddy areas. You must ensure that your shoes fit you right because they are the ones who can make you trip or break it!

Gum boots: You cannot think of going for the Chadar Trek without gum boots. Covering up to the knees, these save your shoes and socks from getting wet. You can also add microspikes to make your penguin walk easy.

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Toiletries Essentials

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Though maintaining hygiene during the Chadar Trek is a daunting task but with the right things in hand you can accomplish it easily.

Brush/ Toothpaste: The most necessary yet the most missed out essential out of the list! Make sure you carry only the required quantity of toothpaste along.

Tissue papers: Away from the luxury of running taps and toilet seats, there are only dry washrooms placed in the campsites in Chadar. Make sure you carry tissues to maintain your hygiene.

Sunscreen: The chilling winds and the direct rays of the Sun make it essential to apply sunscreen at least twice a day for the protection of your skin.

Moisturiser & Lip Balm: Chapped lips and dry skin are common in winters. Keep moisturiser and lip balm handy to keep your skin hydrated against the harsh negative temperatures.

Sanitizer: The thought of dipping fingers in the freezing water brings chills down the spine. Packing along a sanitizer would definitely bring you in a win-win situation -  clean hands without water.

Pantyliners or Tampons: Even if you’re just over with your periods, it is advisable to carry pantyliners, tampons, or pads as the high altitudes trigger your hormones sometimes. It is better to keep them handy to be prepared for the situation. Assure that they are disposed off responsibly.

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Trek Equipments

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Trekking poles: Though carrying trekking poles is not mandatory, it eases the pressure on the joints making the descend a little easier.

Sleeping bags: If you rent a sleeping bag, then do make sure you buy a fresh sleep liner for the inner layer. The inner helps keeping you warm and also including the hygiene issues.

Rucksack: A well fitted 6L - 9L rucksack bag will be enough for the Chadar Trek. Check the straps and grip over your shoulder while buying.

Day pack: You will need a small day pack to keep a set of clothes and snacks while you wander around.

Medicines: This trek is not easy at all. It is necessary to keep few medicines handy because bruises, cuts, and mountain sickness is very common. Make sure you carry general medicines for headaches,  the common cold, and upset stomach and Diamox for AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) after proper medical advice.

Remember to carry pain-relieving gels and antiseptic ointments for cuts and bruises. It is also advisable to keep ORS handy, in order to regain energy if you ever fall short.

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Electronics: Carry at least two power banks and a lot of batteries for your camera so that you can capture the moments without any problem.

Headlight: Counting as one of the obvious things to carry, make sure you do not forget it in haste.

Pee funnel: An essential for women, it helps to maintain hygiene as well.

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What not to carry for Chadar Trek?


Contact Lenses

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Avoid taking contact lenses as it is difficult to maintain lens hygiene at the extreme subzero temperatures, leading to chances of infection. You certainly don’t want that to happen! Also the lens solution freezes due to extremely low temperatures on Chadar Trek.

You can use  spectacles underneath the UV protected sunglasses used to protect you from snow blindness. 
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Plastic Bottles

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The Zanskar river freezes due to the extreme temperature drop ranging from -10 to -30 degree Celsius. You definitely cannot expect the water in your plastic water bottle to stay in its regular state in such weather conditions. 

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Heavy Sweater

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Let’s not increase an extra kilo for those cute looking hefty sweaters and stick to the body-warming liners and jackets.

These bulky sweaters take up a lot of space in your runsack and work against the concept of layering. Why not keep them for the post Chadar Trek celebration party!
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Alcohol should not even be the last thing in your backpack. It brings down the temperature of your body, giving you the wrong impression of the warmth due to the increased rate of adrenaline.

Make sure you do not fall into the myth pit as the consequences include dehydration and hypothermia. It could cost you the enthralling trek experience and maybe your life!

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Exclude the uncomfortable denims from you clothing to enrich the enthralling experience in your comfortable quick-dry trousers.

Denims are heavy, require longer duration to get dry, and make you feel uneasy anyway. Feeling uneasy because of the clothes is the last thing you should experience!

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Wet Wipes

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With everything freezing around, your frozen wet wipes will definitely not be something that you will use during the Chadar Trek.

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"the experience was awesome. The whole thing organized by Thrillophilia was great. Our tour operator Jigmet sir and the whole crew were 1 no. SHAMAAASS. Julley.
11 July 2019
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
We had a wonderful experience with Thrillophilia Out tour was Leh-Ladakh 6N7D, which includes Leh Sightseen, Nubra Valley Overnight Stay, Pangong Overnight Night. 1. First of all you should know that Thrillophilia doesn't have its own Travel Team. Thrillophilia actually linked up with several local Travel Agency. Once your Tour is booked Thrillophilia tagged one local Travel Agency for your Tour and that particular travel agency will take care of your entire tour. Our travel manager is Lobzang Tseldon. She is very helpful and you will not face any problem in your entire tour. 1. Hotel provided in Leh: Ladakh Heights. The hotel was very good,neat and clean.It is a new hotel so you don't found any pics in the internet. But lobzang will send you the pics of the Hotel. There is a canteen within the hotel where you will be having complimentary breakfast and dinner. Non Vegetarian please let Lobzang know that you want non-veg items as well.they generally prepare veg items only.but on request they will provide you omlette in breakfast and chicken/mutton in dinner. So if anyone wants to book Thrillophilia please ask Thrillophilia to tag you to the travel agency that offers non veg items too. The Hotel Ladakh Heights is a bit far from the main city but don't worry Lobzang will provide you car for visit to Leh market whenever required and she will not charge you for that. You will get a beautiful view from this hotel but if you want to stay near the main city you will not get any view from the hotel. 2. The stay at Nubra Valley was awesome. They have Royal Camp in Nubhra and it's is a nature-friendly camp. You will love it, I can guarantee you. 3. They stay at Pangong was okay. You can understand that at that altitude you will not get the camp provided at Pangong was good for 1 night stay. Overall my experience with Thrillophilia was very good. We enjoyed a lot. Thanks a lot to Lobzang Tseldon for the wonderful arrangements of our tour.
"Trip was really awesome. I feel everyone should consider this trip at least once in their lifetime. My eyes were never tired of looking around at such beautiful and scenic views. I would like to extend my special thanks to Tour leader Mr. Jigmet Tandar. He is highly trained professional. The way he lead the tour made us have more fun. Thanks to the whole crew Jigmet, Stanzin, Wangyal, Kaushal, Tundoop. Made a lot of new friends. One suggestion to Thrillophilia team: Since this is not just any casual trip that anyone can go through please consider keeping a screening process for people who opt for it. This is one of the most extreme adventures where your body and mind will go through a lot of challenges, one can successfully complete this trip only if they are determined and well prepared."
03 June 2019
An exhilarating life-changing experience. If you are able bodied, a biking lover, a landscape / scenery admirer and a crazy adventure seeker, this is a must try for life. Our group of bikers were fun-loving yet very responsible riders. We became friends on the very first day and all of us enjoyed every moment, giving mutual respect at every instance, having each other's backs at every dangerous turn. Even elderly couples in the group made amazing memories with all the young folks! The Ladakhi food, the heritage site visits, the campfire dancing, the photos, the market shopping, the music, the hikes, the snow, even the adorable mountain dogs, furry yaks and double-hump camels, every-bit was amazing. The road team was extraordinary, specially Tani (captain) and Shashi (bike repairman). They were very friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable and also helpful at every step. We had a truck carrying our luggage all along, running behind us all through the roads, making sure no one is left behind. Jigmet has a lot of local connections, so you will be well taken care of at camps and hotels (even Jain food, on request).
24 October 2020
I had a wonderful trip with Thrillophilia. Hotel provided in Leh was clean and good. All sightseeing places covered as per itinerary. The camping stay at Nubra Valley and near Pangong lake was awesome. We enjoyed a lot and overall experience was great.
The Sham Valley Trek was one of the most enjoyable treks I have undertaken in the last few years, and all the credit goes to Thrillophilia. The booking experience was extremely smooth and I would highly recommend this company for all your travels in the valley.
17 November 2019
It was an awesome experience. Completed the tour in July 2019. We had booked for 8 persons on Thrillophilia. The facilities were good, Tani-the tour guide, was superb. Amazing tour, to say the least. I have penned down my entire experience of Ladakh bike tour on my blog. Sharing the link here.
17 November 2019
When we made the booking for 6-days trip to Ladakh via Thrillophilia, we had a lot of questions in our mind on how it's going to turn out, especially on whether it's a suitable honeymoon destination even for those who love a bit of adventure. That is primarily because the reviews of Ladakh were a bit scary. Almost all of the people who wrote reviews had a lot of things to warn you about- the extreme climate, sudden decrease in Oxygen levels, deserted/uninhabited places where it's difficult to get some help from anyone in case of any issues and so on. And there were some people who wrote bad reviews about Thrillophilia for some negative experiences they had to endure from the operators. But it was reassuring to see how Thrillophilia answered all the reviews, even the negative ones. They clarified how they assign tour operators based on customer reviews and in case of any negative experiences from the operators, there is not much Thrillophilia can help with apart from not assigning those operators anymore. As we were getting immediate response from Amit on all our queries on a timely basis, we decided to book the package. Cutting to the chase, we were contacted by the operator(Thupstan) the day before our arrival and he ensured that there was a taxi to pick us up on time. The tour guides and the driver of the backup vehicle he assigned for our group were so experienced that all we had to do was to keep riding until they ask us to stop. The halts were all well planned that we didn't have to worry about anything. And they were so approachable in case of any issues. And whenever we rode for a long time, they would come and inspect each bike and fixed any issues immediately. They were always willing to go the extra mile to make us comfortable. Let me quote an instance here - The driver of the backup vehicle had an issue with Blood Oxygen level when we reached Pangong. We had enough stock of Oxygen cylinders in the backup vehicle. But he didn't consider using it and hence took one of the bikes and rode to where he could find a pharmacy to get an Oxygen cylinder for himself. When one of us asked him on why he didn't use one of the cylinders that we had carried, he told us that the cylinders are just for our use and himself or any of the guides won't use that. Such was the concern they had for everyone in the group. In case anyone reading this still has a question regarding whether it's a suitable place for couples, the answer is YES. The accommodation they provide is suitable for couples as well. Even the tents are nice and safe. I could go on like this and I never thought this review is going to be this long when I started writing it. As others have mentioned in the reviews, it's such a beautiful destination and the experience is awesome. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Ladakh, go ahead and embark on this beautiful journey with Thrillophilia. I'm sure that you won't regret it.
"it was a very well organized trip,the hotel was very good,the tent in nubra was lovely and the food was good too..overall a good experience "

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