If you have trekked in mountains with rucksack on your back, you know the struggle of keeping the weight to minimum, yet having all the necessary stuff. Having done a 7 days trek in Kashmir and basic mountaineering course, here are few things that I learned to keep in mind while packing for mountains.
Bag cover A must to have if you are traveling in rainy season. It’s better to pack all your stuff in a big polythene sheet before putting it inside rucksack.
Poncho/umbrella Again can’t do without in rainy/snowy season. If you go for poncho, make sure it’s of good quality. Umbrella may appear uncomfortable at first glance but it helps better than poncho if you can walk with it. Choose as per your convenience.
Water Bottle Keep a 650 ml or 1 l bottle as per your need. Alhough water is available in mountains from rivers and streams, it’s better to know your route beforehand and decide accordingly. Some people prefer water bag with sipping pipe since unlike water bottle you don’t need to take it out of rucksack for use.
Sunglasses If you’re going to glacier or high altitude ice areas, keep one or more sunglasses unless you want to suffer from snow blindness for few days.
Sunscreen/buff Personally I rely on buff far more than sunscreen to protect my face from sun. It also saves my face from cold. Some people find it difficult to breathe through buff. You can use masks with openings around nose. Use sunscreen on any exposed area.
Gloves A good pair of gloves to keep your hands warm. Make sure the size fits you well. It’s better to have water proof gloves if you’re expecting rain or ice.
Long socks Help protect against snow, leeches etc.
Foot powder Smelly and sweaty feet is a common condition when traveling long in mountains.
Blister tape No matter how good one’s shoes are, one should always be prepared for blisters.
Wet wipes To save your ass, literally. Keep enough.
Vaseline Good to use on any chaffed area or otherwise too.
Torch Electricity is a luxury in mountains. I prefer head torch since it keeps my hands free. Remember to keep extra batteries as per your need.
Polythene zippers Good to keep things like mobile, money and daily dose of dry fruits.
Toiletries in small sizes.
P.S. I’d keep adding more to the list.