Temperatures can change rapidly depending on the place, time and weather, hence dressing in layers is advised. It will allow you to add/subtract layers as and when needed. Apart from your regular clothes, also carry sweater, gloves, cap, scarf (to protect head and ears from cold winds) and warm inners.
Carry Diamox if you aren’t allergic to sulfur drugs as it helps reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. Additionally, carry general medicines for headache, fever, stomach ache, cold and cough syrup. Also prescribed medicines you are on.
Sunscreen lotion: UV rays at high altitude can be quite damaging to the skin, even during the harshest of winter, so don’t forget to carry a good quality sunscreen lotion
UV sunglasses: Having decent quality UV sunglasses is quite essential since mountain passes have a lot of snow cover and sunlight reflecting from the snow can be even harsher.
Lip balm: Dry and cold weather will make your lips dry, which can get quite painful due to cracking and skin coming off, so make sure to carry a lip balm or Vaseline.
Mustard oil: Mustard oil can be used for lubricating insides of nostrils, which can become quite dry and painful due to dry and cold winds.
Do keep other essentials like soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, towel, toilet paper and face wash as well for emergencies.
Water is the most essential thing in high altitudes, since dehydration can further complicate health issues at such a high altitude. So make sure you are carrying at least couple of liter of water per person all the time and drinking at regular intervals. We always advice to keep a big water bottle with you and keep refilling it. Avoid buying small mineral water bottles in hills and help reduce the plastic waste.
Glucose: Carrying water mixed with Glucon C/D is a good idea while traveling at high altitude, as it provides instant energy on the move, when your appetite is likely to be reduced due to AMS and at the same time, doesn’t act as a diuretic, like most caffeinated energy drinks. Carry couple of small packs with you, which you can mix in water, at the beginning of the day.
Energy bars, chocolates, biscuits and nuts: Carrying chocolates, biscuits and dry fruits is a good idea, as these provide instant energy and easy snack and don’t take up too much space. Those who love spicy food, make sure to carry pickle or sauce, since Spiti food is a bit bland.
It is essential to carry at least one government issued identity card and couple of photocopies of it, since it is needed at certain places to register at the check post. You should also carry your medical insurance card (if you have one) and print out of list of important contacts (useful in case your mobile phone stops working).
Carry enough cash you need, to avoid wasting time withdrawing cash. There are very limited ATMs beyond Shimla.
Spare camera batteries – Carry at least one spare set of batteries required for your camera, since in cold environment, batteries can die quickly. Battery bank – If you are an avid smart phone user then make sure you are carrying car charger or a power bank with at least 4000-5000mAH capacity to keep your mobile phone running throughout the day. Enough memory cards to last you the entire trip.