I have always struggled with packing, sometimes I over-pack but most of the times I under-pack. In both the situations I have faced some challenging situations, so I thought of writing about what to pack or not-to-pack for a trip. As I am going to North-Eastern part of India this June, I am taking suggestions from fellow blogger Dipanwita Chakraborty to make a list of things one must carry.
Dipanwita Chakraborty is a solo traveller and a coffee lover who finds pleasure in chasing untamed roads and veiled cultures. She is a sucker for good conversation, good food and good books. You can find her at:
Blogs at- Dipanwiita.com | Tweets @Dipanwiita | Instagrammer @shoestringsonthemove
India – It can never be one go-to destination. It is one of the most astounding and sublime places where one finds the confluence of the old and the new at its alluring best. Exploring India is a constant work-in-progress feat. While there are variations in culture, food, language, history and architecture at every 100 miles, there also is a likeness of simplicity and warmth among its people.
The one part of India that still remains least talked about with minimum explored terrains is the North-Eastern region, the famous 7 sister states. However, Northeast India has lately been on everyone’s to-visit-list.
So, here she brings to you 10 most important things to pack for your North-East India trip based on her experiences.
Since the Northeastern states fall under prohibited areas and quite often experience insurgency, it is vital to carry valid ID proofs. Entry into Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and few places in Sikkim need permits. Do carry adequate copies of ID and address proofs along with few passport size photographs.
When in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, it is recommended to carry warm clothes around the year. The weather in rest of the North-Eastern states is pretty much same as in plains. Winters being very cold, thermal wear, fleece jackets and heavy down jackets are musts. You may consider having 4- 5 layers of clothing. Good quality woollen socks should keep your feet warm. Avoid your heels and opt for good walking shoes. The place demands exploration on feet and heels might be a bit unease.
Carry innerwear in adequate numbers. Female travellers may consider carrying panty-liners to avoid washing innerwear as low temperatures would not allow the clothes to dry. Also, do carry tampons or sanitary pads along.
3. RAIN GEAR
Carry a windcheater or compact umbrella or poncho since some parts of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh receives unexpected rains.
4. MEDICAL KIT
Given the remote locations of places in the North-East, it is advisable to carry a basic medical kit with you since most of the places would not have a medical store.
Due to long distances between two destinations, and road conditions on the mountains, your drive can go for longer than the stipulated time. Hence, it is recommended to carry dry fruits, packed food or snacks for on-the-road munching.
Not all places you visit around the North-Eastern states will have working ATMs. So it is recommended that you carry not much, but sufficient cash until you find an ATM since card transaction facilities are not available at all places. Even hotels accept only cash.
7. ADVENTURE KIT
If you are an adventure junkie, then North-East India offers great terrains to satiate the adventurer in you. Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya offer many places for hiking and camping.
Carry your tent, torches, sleeping bag and trekking shoes.
There are frequent power cuts in many regions and hence power banks and torches with extra batteries are recommended. Photography enthusiasts should carry extra batteries and sufficient memory cards for their camera. There are many bird sighting areas and hence I would recommend a binocular to be added to your list.
9. EMERGENCY CONTACTS
Last but not the least, it is advisable to carry a set of emergency contact numbers and names written on a piece of paper in your wallet or a pouch for the sake of safety.
Due to the presence of numerous tribes and variations in their cultures, it would be wise to carry a guide book to know more about the region you are visiting. This shall help to understand their food habits and culture best.
That`s some good travel advice from Dipanwita, so finally I managed to compile a list of things I am going to carry to NE for my 3 weeks trip.
- 45 LT Quechua Backpack
- Medicine kit
- Water bottle
- Powerbank/phone charger/point and shoot camera
- Trekking shoes
- 3 set of clothes
- 3 set of undergarments
- 1 jacket
- Snacks to munch
- 1 Shawl
- 1 book
- Travel journal
- 2 set of night clothes
- Specs/Contact lens/sunglass
- Travel Neck Pillow
Minimalist Packing Goals:
- Be rational – It`s a good idea to pack things that you will use normally and not what you might wear/use `if` the situation arises. Keep in mind where you are going, what kind of transportation you will be using and what suits the weather.
- Ditch the unnecessary things – You can avoid carrying shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothpaste etc. as most Hotels will provide you with these basic things. If you are backpacking then carrying things like jewellery, bulky towels, camera lens, extra toiletries are a total waste of space and energy.
- Use all the space you have – roll your clothes, put socks inside your shoes, use small refill cosmetic bottles for shampoo/conditioner/body wash/face wash etc.
- Focus on comfort – Instead of carrying clothes which are fashionable, go for comfortable attire.