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Solo traveler? Here’s how I got ready for Spiti Valley

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

First time solo traveler and heading to the mountains? Treat your bag as a blank canvas – simply fill it up with essentials you think are worth carrying. You’ll eventually make alterations and discard things which aren’t necessary and carry stuff you most likely will use.

Spiti Valley was finally happening to me! The shadow of fear was still looming large over my head. Mostly due to the fact that I didn’t know where to even start from – as simple a thing as what all to pack! It scared the hell out of me. I started sending a barrage of messages to one of the trip organizers asking random questions almost every other day; to the extent that it was embarrassing to approach them after a few days.

For the very first time, I was about to travel with a bunch of strangers – who by all probability were far more equipped and knowledgeable when it came to road tripping. On the other hand, I was clueless. I decided to get myself a bit more organized and start putting things in place way ahead of time to avoid last minute chaos.

Here are the things that helped me get ready for the trip:

Reading up: This might sound off-putting to many of you but trust me it’s one of the crucial elements of any travel plan. If you’re completely/partially unaware of the place you’re going to visit, spend time reading up about it; watching videos to find out how the terrain is like; what kind of culture or food habits to expect.

Unlike earlier times, finding information online has become a lot easier. Instagram comes handy in so many ways. Things which you’ll not otherwise find on Google search engine, you’ll find them all and more on social media. Make good use of it – even connect with avid travelers if possible and strike a conversation.

Physical fitness: You guys must be laughing at me right now. But I swear by it. Whenever you’re putting yourself out there, out of your usual routine, make sure your stamina is at the right place. While getting fit needs no excuse but a lot of us continue to do so. When you’re preparing for a high-altitude trip that involves a lot of walking or occasional hiking, you must keep up with your physical fitness level.

Make sure to not miss your workouts; jog every day as an additional way to gain that flexibility; be mindful to what you’re consuming in order to keep your system clean; get ample amount of rest, as you won’t be getting too much of that once you hit the road; refill your prescriptions (if any) on time.

Gears: As you move along your planning process, make sure to take a stalk of all the right gears and clothes. If need be pay a visit to your nearest Decathlon outlet – as it keeps all the essential gears for you to pick up. Carry a few extra things but make sure to not carry anything less. If you’ve an extra pair of shoes, it won’t make much of a difference – but carrying one less pair of gloves might put you into trouble where temperature drops to minus 20!

  • Comfortable pair of trekking shoes

  • Bottle to carry water at all times (this will be your best friend)

  • Hand cream/lip balm (second best friend)

  • Thermals (3-4 pairs)

  • Cotton pants

  • Cereal bars for mid-day snacking (it saved my life)

  • Small bag for the shorter day trips

P.S. If you are traveling during at a time when shops and mall are still shut, it's wise to go the e-commerce route - and Myntra may be a good second option for some of the above items.

I am not going to get into the other must-haves – you’ll surely be carrying all your woolens or jackets, etc. Make sure to carry a rucksack (the right size) instead of regular carry-ons – it gets easier to load/unload.

I’d say I did a pretty good job in packing stuff up and even brought back unused clothes. There’s still a long way of learning but I think I’ve made a good start. It’s your turn now!

Good luck!

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