We have done all the hard work for you, and come up with the ultimate list of what to take on your next mototour
So you are heading for the Himalayas! What do you need to bring?
Packing for a motocycle trip can be tricky. You don't want to end up as the person that has way too much luggage, and spends the trip lugging it to and from the accommodation.
You also don't want to be in camp in the middle of the HImalayas, late at night, wishing you had packed a back up battery for you phone (or worse, the parcetemol).
You will have the back up van following with your gear. A duffle bag is a good size for all your gear. Suitcases with wheels are a lot less practical than a carry bag, motorcycle roll top bag or backpack.
The van may sometimes get stuck behind, so a day pack for your bike to keep the stuff you need on tour is helpful.
Here is our ultimate packing list
Motorcycle helmet (you can’t ride with us without one of these). Suggest you pack in your main luggage as some security at airports won’t let you take it on the plane
Good quality motogear. Whatever makes you comfortable, suggest you bring layers as at the high altitudes it can get cold, and then you can shed as you get warmer. Motorcycle trousers with knee protection, jacket (leather can get a little hot in the summer months)
Layers of thermals - particularly when the days riding covers both high altitude in snow covered peaks, and warm, summers heat in the lowlands. Bringing one mid layer with you is also a good idea for when its particularly chilly.
Neck sock (aka neck gaiter), both to keep warm and to keep the sun off your neck
Off road touring boots, waterproof are good. Wear them at least once before you come to make sure they fit and are comfortable
Wet weather gear (if your moto gear isn't waterproof)
Summer and winter riding gloves (you will need both)
Camelback if you like. The van will have drinks and snacks for along the way. A self-cleaning water bottle can be handy.
Day pack - the van can sometimes get stuck behind, so good to keep the essentials with you
Documents and Money
Paper copies of the essentials - Its always handy to carry a copy of the essentials on that old fashioned thing called paper. You may lose your phone, or its battery charge may go at a crucial time, so a back up can be good
Your passport with at least 6 months before expiry
Current Indian visa
International drivers license
Copy of your travel insurance, including cover for mototouring on the size bike you will riding
Cash/travel cards/credit cards - You may not always have access to ATMS on the trip (at Sarchu there is no mobile or WIFI so def no ATM), and even then, they can be a little bit like slot machines and pay out infrequently. We suggest you get some Indian rupee when you arrive in India, and then carry a few credit/travel cards
If you are using credit cards linked to your bank account back home, it is a good idea to let them know you will be travelling in India before you leave, so they don't block your account when they see Indian charges coming through.
Electrical adaptor/chargers for India
Backup travel batteries can come in handy
Camera (your phone will do a good job). Just remember that the van may not always be with us if you are bringing a bulky camera.
Go Pro or equivalent - if you use them
Phone – its possible to get sim cards in India, if you are going to get one of these, try to arrange before the tour starts. There is wifi along the way, but like the electricity, it can be sporadic. Don’t count on either.
Clothes for the when you aren't on the bike - Jeans/pants, t shirts, shorts, thermals, maybe a warm jacket like a puffer for the cold nights. Thermal socks, normal socks, underwear, beanie, hiking boots, pair of thongs (flip flops), hat, swimming costume (just in case you fancy a chilly morning dip in Pangong Tso)
Toiletries including spf chapstick, sunscreen, bepanthen or vaseline
Any personal medicines, and always a good idea to pack Imodium, parcetamol, bandaids (plasters) and antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, nasal spray, flu tablets and anything else you think you may need. We do bring a medical kit with us, but good to bring some essentials.
Small pack of wet wipes
Bits and Pieces
Hot water bottle (you will thank me)
A sense of humour, spirit of adventure and easy-going nature will make your tour a lot more enjoyable. This is India, there are many wonderful lessons in patience to be found here.