What clothes should you carry for your Ladakh Trip


Ladakh is a high altitude region, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. The region is a cold desert and it experiences chilly weather throughout the year. Those who travel to Ladakh mostly carry a lot of luggage with innumerable bags and end up dragging unnecessary baggage with them. It is important to pack the clothes smartly so that you do need not to carry countless bags.

This is one of the coldest and remotest parts of the country due to which you will have to pack for the winter-like clothes, no matter in which season you are visiting. It is also very important to wear proper clothes otherwise you will get sick and not be able to enjoy the vacations. It is important to carry the right types of clothes for the Ladakh trip.

If you wish to indulge in adventure activities in Leh Ladakh like trekking, hiking, and river rafting then make sure you carry extra warm clothes. Take a look at the detailed guide of packing tips for Ladakh and gather information so that you will not face any kind of trouble during the journey.

Here is a complete Ladakh guide for what to pack, what to wear in Ladakh in different seasons, what you should wear while traveling by car, flight, and bike.

What clothes to wear in Ladakh

The temperature in Ladakh fluctuates from one location to another and also with the hour of the day. Days are warm while the nights are extremely cold throughout the year. The packing for the right type of clothes is really troublesome if you are planning a tour to Ladakh. Most of the tourism in Ladakh happens in the summer season when the weather remains comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The highways from Manali and Srinagar remain closed during the winter season due to the heavy snowfall and blockage at the high altitude mountain passes. So, summer is also considered the best time to visit Ladakh. In every season, you have to pack different types of clothes due to a major variation in the temperature.

Take a look at the detailed information about the clothes to wear in Ladakh:

What clothes to carry in Ladakh in summer season

The summer season in Ladakh starts in April and lasts till July. In most parts of Ladakh, the weather remains warm during the daytime and cold during the night. The temperature varies from 5 C to 20 C in this season. At high altitude regions like Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri, the temperature even dips below zero at night. During the day, you can walk in a t-shirt and trousers while you will need a jacket the moment the sun goes down. In this season, you do not need heavy woolen so it is better to carry layers of light woolens. Here is the list of clothes you should carry in the summer season during the Ladakh trip:

  • Cotton t-shirts
  • Jeans/ Trouser
  • Thermals
  • Light woolens
  • A windproof jacket

What clothes to carry in Ladakh in Winter season 

From November to March, Ladakh experiences the winter season and the temperature ranges between -5 C to 10 C this season. If you are taking a trip to Ladakh in winters then you have to face sub-zero temperature. Prepare yourself for extreme winters and pack your clothes accordingly. You need to carry a lot of thermals and heavy woolens. Sunglasses and sunscreen are essential to save yourself from sunburn. In these months, the days also remain cold along with the nights. It is important to keep yourself warm. So, carry proper clothes if you are planning to visit Ladakh in the winter.

  • Thermals
  • Sweatshirts
  • Pullover
  • Woolen lowers
  • A windproof jacket
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Insulated socks
  • Balaclava or woolen monkey cap
  • Woolen gloves and muffler

What clothes to carry in ladakh in Monsoon season

Ladakh is a rain shadow region and renowned as the cold desert. It either does not rain here at all or rains very little. However, in recent times due to global warming, the region started receiving rain. The monsoon season starts in July and lasts till September. The temperature ranges between 10 C to 25 C in this season. The weather remains pleasant during the daytime and you might require a windproof jacket in the evening as the temperature dips and winds start to blow. Also, do not carry any heavy clothes and opt for the light summer ones. Look for a jacket that is waterproof as well. The trick will again be to pack clothes in layers but opt for stuff that is either water-resistant or will not take too long to dry. It is important to carry an umbrella in this season. The list of important clothes you should carry in the monsoon season for the Ladakh trip are:

  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Windcheater
  • Sweatshirts
  • Thermals
  • Woolen lowers
  • Windproof jacket
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Insulated socks
  • Muffler
  • Balaclava or woolen monkey cap
  • Waterproof gloves

Which clothes to carry for Ladakh Bike Trip

Ladakh is a paradise for avid travelers and it is a dream destination for bikers. Every biker wishes to visit here once in a lifetime to explore the unparalleled beauty and have a unique experience. It is important to wear proper clothes and gear to enjoy the road trip otherwise you can face difficulties while traveling. Ladakh is accessible by road from May to October and the region experiences comfortable weather in these months. In this season, you need not bring heavy woolens and also, riding the bike is also not easy while wearing heavy clothes. If you are traveling by bike then you need to pack differently so that you can ride without hustle. For your bike trip, pack your regular cotton clothes and pairs of jeans, lower, track pants, or trousers. Wear them with inners, warmers, or thermals and a heavy windproof jacket. Carry a heavy jacket that is warm, waterproof, and windproof. When the cold is severe, it is also important to protect the neck portion as well using a full Balaclava or muffler. You can also buy bike gears for the Ladakh bike trip and the list is here:
  • Jacket with inner elbow guard
  • Pants with inner knee guards
  • Riding Boots
  • Biking Gloves
  • Riding Goggles

Which clothes to carry for Ladakh by car

While traveling to Ladakh by car, you can wear the clothes you are most comfortable with and carry a few woolens. Always consider the weather conditions while packing for the Ladakh trip. It is very important to keep yourself warm as it reduces the chances of getting hit by Acute Mountain Sickness or cold. Always protect yourself from cold winds. Keep the warm clothes handy in the car as the temperature dips while approaching the high altitude regions and after sunset. It is important to carry clothes in layers as they help in adjusting the fluctuating temperature throughout the day. While driving the car, do not switch on the heater as it increases the chances of altitude sickness. It is advisable to keep the windows down and allow the air to circulate. Some of the clothes you should pack during the Ladakh trip while traveling by car are:

  • Fleece
  • T-shirts or sweatshirts
  • Jeans, lowers, or track pants
  • Warm socks for winters
  • Thermals
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Heavy jacket in winter
  • Cardigan, pullover, and a light jacket in summers
  • Balaclava and Cap
  • Muffler and gloves

Clothes for a Ladakh Trip by Flight

If you are traveling to Ladakh by flight then wear cotton clothes and keep a light jacket handy as the weather remains cold throughout the year in Ladakh and you need warm clothes once you land at the airport. Pack cotton clothes and light jackets if you are traveling in summer. However, if you are traveling in winters then carry heavy woolens and clothes in layers such as thermals, sweatshirts, and warmers. In Ladakh, you will have to rent a motorcycle or a taxi to travel, so pack accordingly. Always make sure that you have to keep yourself warm to save yourself from Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) and getting ill.

What kind of shoes to wear in Ladakh

While traveling to Ladakh, we need to choose shoes carefully as wearing comfortable shoes is essential. They can save you from blisters and injuries, which are the last thing you want when you are traveling. The choice of shoes for Ladakh depends on the type of activities you wish to engage in. Here are the different type of shoes, which you can carry according to your requirement:

Sports Shoes or Sneakers – They are comfortable walking shoes, which you need throughout the trip. These are the best for those who are traveling in a car or taxi.

Gum Boots or Waterproof Boots – These are the essentials for the bike riders as they can save your feet from getting wet every time you will cross the stream. 

Trekking Shoes – They are different from sports shoes. If you are looking forward to indulging in trekking or hiking then you must carry trekking shoes as they provide good traction on rough, steep, slippery, and muddy terrains.

Winter Shoes – They provide good insulation and keep feet warm. If you are planning a trip in winter then furry shoes or winter shoes are a must.

Gloves for Ladakh

Carry both a light pair of gloves and a heavy thicker one. In summers, light pair of gloves will do and in winters, you can wear woolen gloves followed by light pair of gloves. You are planning to ride a motorcycle then carry windproof gloves. If you are traveling by car then woolen gloves will be the best.

Travelling Tips for Ladakh

  • Carry layers of clothing as temperature varies throughout the day.
  • Carry light clothes in summers and heavy woolens in winters. Also, you can wear light woolens into layers that can work for you in unpredictable weather.
  • Carry comfortable clothes. Also, do not wear too tight and uncomfortable clothes.
  • Always keep your woolens or jackets handy. As the weather in Ladakh changes very frequently.
  • Wear full sleeves clothes, a cap, and sunscreen to save yourself from sunburn as the sun is quite harsh in Ladakh.
  • Carry a few pairs of warm woolen socks if you are riding a motorcycle so that you change in case they get wet during the water crossings. Make sure you will keep a muffler and balaclava handy.
  • Sunglasses are a must for winters as the glare of the sun on the snow can be quite harsh for the eyes.

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