I’ll be in India all this week touring around the northern Ganges river with 20 students from HKIS. During the trip we will experience the culture with train trips and market visits. We’ll attempt some adventure with hikes up mountains and rafting trips down the Ganges. Finally, will offer some service to the local inhabitants when we visit both a mountain village school and an orphanage. The trip is diverse, and thus on the trickier side to pack for which has prompted this post: packing for adventure travel.
1. Understand the norms of the host country you are visiting.
It is important to investigate the social and culture expectations of dressing before traveling anywhere. In India there are two areas of a woman that are generally covered with modesty: the chest to shoulder area and the legs. With this in mind, it will be important for me to adhere appropriately. I plan to pack fun patterned pants with loosely flowing shirts.
2. Research the weather.
This is tricky when the days are hot, and the evenings are cool. I combat this dilemma by packing in similar colored layers. So for example, if I want to wear a black top, I pack it in a conservative tank or T-shirt, a long sleeve tee, plus a sweater or sweatshirt. Then, when I get dressed for the day, I layer all three, and with the heat, off comes each layer.
3. Evaluate the activities during the trip.
Our days are very diverse. We have a day touring New Delhi while another day we hike up a mountain. There’s bike riding through a village and an orphanage visit. River rafting on the Ganges will also be an activity for us. With all these activities in mind, packing for the different occasions is important. For the city and service days, I’ll make sure to have the long pants and flowy shirts. For hiking and biking, sports gear will be necessary. Obviously for river rafting I’ll need special shoes and a rash guard–plus warming layers for after the rafting trip. For multiple scenarios, choosing a theme will accommodate my packing best. Hence I’ll be packing clothing that could both take me on a hike or a museum stroll. Cotton airy slacks with multiple layers on top will keep me set. Plus, for the down time at the campfire, I’ll need to pack some cozies as well.
4. Disposable toiletries come in handy.
I’ve lived in India, so from experience I know how dirty and dusty it gets. I plan to have wipes on me at all times. Plus I have special deodorizing ones as well as face wipes. Also, for deodorant, I’ve brought the special wipes for the underarm too–they’re amazing! Basically, I’ll be able to keep clean at all times–even in my tent!
5. Bring something that offers you comfort.
This may seem excessive, but since I’ll be travelling without my family, chances are I might get lonesome for them at times. For this reason I bring something along that offers me an extra comfort. There are two items I’ll bring for this: my cozy fleece cheetah blanket and a sandalwood candle. The candle, I’ll burn down, so there will be no need to bring that back. And the blankie, well it’s just that–the nights can get cold in a tent and having a soft cozy item to snuggle in might help me miss my bedtime with Gigi a little less.
*You might have noticed all the cheetah frames on the images–that’s my blankie that I brought with me to India!