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essential things need to be carry while riding to leh ladakh

*Full Face Helmet with Clear Visor*: A good quality full face helmet with clear visor is the minimum a rider should have, as it will not only protect your head, but also your face in case of a fall and also protects the rider from cold winds while riding.

*UV sunglasses*: As mentioned earlier, UV rays at high altitude can be quite damaging and this holds true for eyes as well. So having decent quality UV sunglasses (Fastrack ones are available for as little as Rs.800) is quite essential.

*Gloves*: While a good quality riding glove like Cramster Tundra is recommended for a trip to Ladakh, it isn’t extremely essential. Also it is better to buy a normal insulated gloves than to buy those cheap riding gloves eg. Probiker/fake Alpinestars available on Ebay and at helmet shops, which neither offer protection in case of a fall, nor protect you from the elements. While leather gloves offer decent protection, most of the cheap ones let in a lot of air.

 *Riding Jacket*: Though not extremely essential, however good quality riding jacket will not only protect you in case of a fall, but also from the elements. Buying a mesh riding jacket with detachable waterproof and warm liner eg. Cramster Breezer/DSG Jackets will not only ensure that you can wear it while riding in Ladakh, but also for local rides in the summers of India. If you can’t buy a riding jacket, get a wind and water resistant insulated jacket (easily available at most camping stores) Leather jackets while offering decent protection, often let in air and don’t withstand rain all that well. If you are unable to find a water resistant jacket, get a normal one and a rain coat which is large enough to go over your jacket.

 *Riding pants*: Once again, not extremely essential, but if you can buy one, it would not only protect you in case of a fall but also from the elements. Also it offers far superior protection than knee guards could ever hope to and at the same time, reduces the need to carry multiple jeans/pants. If not riding pants, then make sure you get a rain suit lower, it will not only protect you from rain/dirt, but also from the cold winds, which are responsible for most of the coldness.

*Shoes*: While riding shoes is a great option and recommended. However if not available, then at least buy army boots or better yet, trekking boots with ankle protection e.g. Forclaz 500, which offer protection from the element and also give somewhat protection to the feet in case of a fall. Do not wear sports shoe, as these offer little if any protection in case of a fall and will likely let in enough air and water to make your feet go numb. The best advice to wear Rs.400/- Gumboots with thermal socks inside. Saved us from everything while riding in Ladakh.

*Sunscreen lotion*: UV rays at high altitude can be quite damaging to the skin, even during the harshest of winter, so don’t forget to carry a good quality sunscreen lotion e.g. Lotus Herbal with rating of SPF30 or higher.

*Lip balm*: Dry and cold weather will make your lips dry, which can get quite painful due to cracking and skin coming off, so make sure to carry a lip balm or Vaseline.

 *Water*: Make sure you are drinking at least 4-5 liters of water each day to stay hydrated.

 *Chocolates, biscuits and nuts*: Carrying couple of chocolates, a pack of biscuits and few hundred grams of almonds, raisins and cashews is a good idea, as these provide instant energy and easy snack and doesn’t take up too much space.

*Jeans/pants*: If you have a riding pant, carry 1 pair of jeans or pant. If you do not have a riding pant, carry at least two spare pairs.

*Shirts/t-shirts/sweatshirt*: carry at least 2-3 spare shirts/t-shirt along with a sweatshirt (if you have one).

 *Sweater*: Sweater can not only be worn while riding to add another layer of insulation, but it can also be worn in the hotel or while out in the town. Of course you can skip it, if you have a good quality riding jacket with warm liner.

*Cap*: Buy a warm cap which you can wear while roaming at high altitude passes where cold winds can lead to headaches. A warm monkey cap will cost Rs. 150 or less and takes up little space and at the same time offers protection to head, forehead, ears and even neck.

*Warm inners*: In case you do not have a good riding jacket and pant, carry a pair of warm inners (upper and lower) from the likes of Neva. These will provide quite a bit of warmth and in case of your legs, will likely be the only warm layer.

*Underwear/vests*: Carry at least 4-5 pairs of underwear and inner vests.

*Socks*: Carry at least 5-6 pairs of socks, thick cotton ones if you have warm and insulated boots and couple of woolen ones if in case your shoes let in air.

*Handkerchief/towels*: carry at least 4-5 handkerchiefs, a small hand towel and also a large one if you aren’t comfortable using towels provided by the hotel.

*Slippers*: Not really essential, but it is a good idea to carry these for usage in hotel or while loitering around town on foot.

*Driving License*: I think it goes without saying, carrying original motorcycle driving license is essential and legally required. IDP (International Driving Permit).

*List of important contacts*: Phones can run out of battery, go bad or can be lost. So make sure to carry a hardcopy containing phone numbers of essential contacts.

*Chargers for all the gadgets, cameras and mobile*

*Spare camera batteries*: Carry at least one spare set of batteries required by your camera, since in a cold environment, batteries can die quickly. In Himachal Pradesh (at Manali) Pre-paid / post paid number will work however at Leh only post paid number will work.

*Battery bank*: If you are an avid smart phone user and planning to log your route, then make sure you are carrying car charger or a power bank with at least 10,000mAH capacity to keep your mobile phone running throughout the day.

*Enough memory cards to last you the entire trip*: Doesn’t matters if you are carrying a laptop or planning to burn CDs/DVDs at Leh, carry enough memory cards to cover your entire shooting duration in Ladakh. If needed, borrow from friends but don’t depend on laptop HDDs or worse still, virus infested cyber café computers to copy and save your photographs!

*Torch*:Not really needed if your mobile phone has one, but if in case it doesn’t, carry a small LED one.

*Money*:While my recommendation would be to carry enough cash, to avoid wasting time withdrawing cash, it may not be possible for everyone.