Backpackers to-do-list for Chadar Frozen River Trek


Are you planning on a thrilling adventure this winter? Have you heard about the frozen river trek? If not, this blog is for you.


What is Frozen River Trek?

Chadar Trek is renowned as a frozen river trek in the Ladakh region of India. It is a popular winter trek amongst the trekking buffs where the beguiling beauty of the surrounding forces you to fall in love with it. The real excitement starts when the temperature of the region begins dropping beyond -30 degrees in winters.


Overview of the Chadar Frozen River Trek –

Altitude – 11,123 feet high

Best Time – January & February

Difficulty – Extremely difficult

Expected temperature – Daytime (15 to 20 degrees) and Night-time (-25 to -35 degrees)

Total distance – 105 km

So, now when you’ve got a brief on the Chadar trekking adventure, here’s how you should pack your bag –


Footwear –

To accomplish any trek with ease, you must pick the right footwear. As Chadar frozen river trek is of arduous nature, trekking shoes, gumboots, and open toe slippers are a pre-requisite.

Trekking shoes – it should have insulation on its outer surface and carved out of waterproof material.

Gum Boots – Gumboots are required when you are wading through the water currents.

Open Toe Slippers – A right pair of free toe slippers will ease your night movement at the campsite.

Clothing essentials – Although you will be trekking in low temperatures, you need to pack light and smart. As far as possible, sweaters will only put on more weight to your luggage. Fleece jackets are good alternatives as they are one step ahead in terms of insulation. Other clothing essentials are inclusive of synthetic track pants, body thermals, down jackets, raincoat, warm pants, full sleeve collar T-shirts, and windcheater.

Toiletries – You do not need to carry toiletries in bulk. Instead, simply pack them in small volumes so that you do not add any unnecessary weight to your backpack. Amongst toiletries, you require a small toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, cold cream, and sunscreen lotion with an optimum SPF.

Both sunscreen and cold cream are an essential part of your skincare regime at the Chadar frozen river trek. They impart hydration and moisturizing effect to your dermal layers so that you maintain a soft and supple skin throughout your adventure.


Warmers – Even if you are going for a Leh Ladakh Trip, woolen gloves, synthetic waterproof gloves, woollen caps, woollen socks, woollen stole, or balaclava are all essential warmers for you. As the Zanskar Valley witnesses nail-biting cold, the only way to shield yourself is a layer of clothing. When you wear multi-layered clothing, it traps the air in between the layers. It insulates you from the external climatic conditions.


What to wear in the daytime?

As a base layer, you should first wear propylene-based inners with a characteristic moisture-wicking property. On top of it comes your thermal insulators, which have got its own property to absorb sweat secreted by your oil glands. Finally, you need to put on a fleece jacket over it.

 What to wear at night?

During night, you need to put on two more fleece layers and a down jacket. Choose your uppermost fleece layer material such that it helps you to keep rain, wind, and snow away.


Personal medical kit –

Your personal medical kit should contain all your essential medications besides your First Aid Kit. Crepe bandages, medicines for cough, cold, and flu, sprays, and other general stuff to treat open injuries must be a part of your personal medicinal kit.

Trekking essentials –

Tent torch – this is a must accessory while moving between tents or campsites at night.

Head torch  a head torch is a trekker friendly device as electricity won’t be 24/7 be available for you.

Thermos – If you carry your regular water bottles with no insulation, water inside it will freeze as soon as it comes in contact with the surrounding temperature. Thus, thermos are insulated containers that maintain the liquid state of water, even in the chilling temperatures.

Hot water bags – Hot water bags are your companions for good night’s sleep.

Hiking poles – You will need this to trek as the Chadar frozen river trek is known for its difficulty.


So, what are you waiting for? Grab hold of this opportunity and start your New Year with a penguin walk on a frozen sheet of ice.



Where I stayed / started


Have you done this? What can you add to this jrrny?

Related Posts