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Packing for India in Dec/Jan
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Benjamin Brillat

Locale: Northeast USA
Packing for India in Dec/Jan on 11/19/2012 23:04:57 MST Print View

Hi All-

I'm going to be visiting India in December/January with my wife, for sightseeing primarily but we are planning to get out off the beaten track as well, although no more than overnight. The problem is, we'll be as far North as New Delhi and as far South as Kochi, very different climates. So.. any suggestions on what to pack for this trip? I'm bringing just my REI Flash 62 pack.

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
Re"Packing for India in Dec/Jan" on 11/20/2012 09:24:55 MST Print View


Aaah, India. We love it there. First thing for you is to check out

We carried light layers and small packs are much easier on the trains and busses.

Not much trekking in the middle of India. Off the beaten track you can check out;

Khajuraho near Varanasi.

Mamallapuram near Chennai.

We also liked Hampi (the Joshua Tree of India), and for beaches we liked Kudle and Om beaches at Gokarna.

So much to see and do, I don't know where to start. Feel free to ask specific questions, but I think all you want to know is at Indiamike.

We got one way tickets to Leh, and had full camping gear, so our trekking style was backpacking the popular routes on our own. After trekking North India and the Khumbu in Nepal, we shipped/sold our trekking gear in Kathmandu, and traveled very light.


John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
"Packing for India in Dec/Jan" on 11/20/2012 12:57:33 MST Print View

Take a daypack with the necessities, and travel light. You can get everything you need except shoes sometimes, in India. I lived out of a backpack in India for a year, going lighter every week until I had a basic kit.
December/ January is hot down south and there are great mountains for hiking through tea plantations, try Utti.
The Himalayas will be too cold to go too high. Kullu Valley can be chilled and wild.
Best time of year for Goa too. Stick to the north, Arambol.
I'm jealous. Have a great trip!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Shots and water treatment on 11/20/2012 14:54:02 MST Print View

Be SURE to get all the shots you even THINK you may need and put them on your WHO card fopr teh record.

Carry both a SteriPen and Katadyn chlorine dioxide tabs and a good prefilter like #1 paper coffee filters.

Carry some hand sanitizer and use it liberally and often.

And have a great trip. We want photos when you return!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Shots and water treatment on 11/20/2012 16:10:24 MST Print View

"Be SURE to get all the shots you even THINK you may need and put them on your WHO card fopr teh record.

Carry both a SteriPen and Katadyn chlorine dioxide tabs and a good prefilter like #1 paper coffee filters.

Carry some hand sanitizer and use it liberally and often."

To which I would add Permethrin for your clothes, lots of DEET, and a good mosquito net. India has a lot of Dengue Fever, and there is no vaccine for it. Find out as much as you can about where it is currently a concern, and prepare accordingly if you will be trekking/travelling in those areas. If you contract it, you will be in for a very rough time. An ounce of prevention.....

Have a great trip!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Shots and water treatment on 11/20/2012 17:00:24 MST Print View

On my husband's last visit to India (for work) 2 years ago, he met with a "travel nurse" and had 6 shots at once, plus an oral booster for Polio + was given a set of antibiotics in case he developed any internal distress - mostly based on where he was traveling (what part of India).

Partly this was due to his work requirements, partly due to me being pregnant, they didn't want him to be a carrier and bring anything home.

If you want cheap advice? Just be wary of what you eat and drink. He was careful as always.

And prepare for a sore butt. His flight home was 24 hours. The other thing is depending on where you are flying out of, prepare for very invasive searches. He was searched TWICE at the airport in India due to recent bombings and then searched again in Paris, then again in Germany.

The funny thing is my husband has said that of all his traveling around the world, India wasn't bad, as long as you closed your eyes while they drove. And the planes were nowhere as scary as the beaters to get into Romania.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Packing for India in Dec/Jan on 11/22/2012 23:07:38 MST Print View

For each of you:

1. Clothing

o Two outfits (shirt, pants, undies, socks) -- one on you and one in your pack. Mix and match mean 4 different outfits.
o One wind shell - preferably with hood
o One insulation jacket (high fill-power down = max. warmth and min. weight/bulk)
o One umbrella
o COMFY walking shoes in solid colors (eg black or brown) good for long walks and presentable in the better restaurants
o Lightweight flip flops for beach and hotel wear (Old Navy sells them light and cheap)

Double check, but I don't believe Delhi is cold enough to warrant gloves or true winter gear

2 Toiletry kit - for 2 months, nothing bigger than 2-oz. sizes.

3. First Aid kit - Bear in mind India is VERY civilized and pharmacies stock EVERYTHING -- so just bring enough stuff to tie you over for 2-3 days -- and replenish locally. Exception - prescription drugs that you need - bring plenty of those.

4. Misc. stuff - pen, small pad, documents, debit and credit cards, emergency cash (US$), camera, batteries, AND Steripen Traveler or Adventurer.

All the above should fit very nicely in a 28L day pack. So you've got two day packs serving as your main packs -- and the two of you can use one for day time sightseeing.

I've traveled with my beloved Steripen all around the world in various trips over the last four years -- treating water in Bangladesh, Haiti, as well as 'cleaner' places. NEVER ONCE got sick. Saved a bundle on bottled water. Bring a wide-mouth Nalgene water bottle (20 or 24oz).

Hope this helps.

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
RE; Packing for India in Dec/Jan on 11/23/2012 10:40:03 MST Print View

+1 to what Ben said so well.

Many rooms had nets, and the ones that didn't, had hooks for the India style net. Got one in a side shop for about 300rs.

Even Indians use a small chain and luggage lock for sleeper trains. The chains and locks sold on the street were mostly junk. I found a metal shop and had two 1 meter thin steel cables with swaged ends made for cheap. Used our TSA combo locks with them. No keys to lose.

I tied our luggage to the bus roof tops. Pack covers or the big grain bags help protect stuff. Expect your packs to get walked on.

We used Aqua Mira drops and Kleen kanteens. Will use Steripen with tabs for backup next time. Also carried a Gigapower stove, small pot, 2 cups and spoons for tea making and sanitizing. A small plate and serrated knife for fresh fruit was great to have as well. We found a plate made a better cutting board, as it contained the juices better. All these things,save the stove, were bought on the streets. Many mountaineers in India, canisters are available in sport shops in the big cities. Mostly Kovea 250g size.

India does not recycle much, so we carried rechargeable batteries, and brought home things like our used Bic lighters and used toothbrushes for recycling here.

Hope this helps. stephan

Benjamin Brillat

Locale: Northeast USA
Coldest day in Delhi in 44 years! on 01/27/2013 19:19:07 MST Print View

The trip to India went great.... absolutely amazing adventures. However, we did end up under-packing: the weather in India was unusually cold. In fact, Delhi had the coldest day they've had in 44 years while we were there:

We were ok except in the morning it would have been nice to have something a bit thicker - it stayed cold until nearly 11AM each day due to the smog. We brought basically what would be our "fall clothes" at home in New England, so a midweight fleece and long sleeve shirts. My wife bought a handmade cashmere wool scarf for next to nothing which kept her quite comfortable.

Thanks for the tips!