Basics

  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water (3 litres; please use reusable water bottles 🙏🏽)
  • Electrolyte salts
  • Food (fruits and nuts)
  • Handkerchief
  • Tissue paper napkins
  • Headlamp/torch
  • Mini first aid kit

Rainy weather

  • Plastic bag (to store electronics during rain)
  • Rainwear

If you wish to swim in a water body

  • Swimming trunks
  • Ear plugs
  • Towel

Luxury

  • Extra t-shirt
  • Rock climbing helmet

Cold Himalayan weather

  • Muffler
  • Skull cap
  • Extra layers

Notes

  1. Water with salts is essential in (sub)tropical Indian weather, even in the mountains. You'll easily go through 3 litres in the hot tropics. 2 liters for half a day. 4 for a full day out. If you don't wish to carry so much, just keep some in your vehicle or hide it near the starting point. For electrolytes the simplest thing is plain salt. ORS, Fast and Up are great too.
  2. Headlamp is for if and when it gets dark. You might not plan to stay out in the dark, but getting lost in the dark is not fun. Prefer a headlamp over a torch, it keeps your hands free. Decent, affordable headlamps are available locally.
  3. Clothing: In general, prefer full-length trousers over shorts, because there's a lot of thorny vegetation around here.
  4. Footwear: Use either of these. Low ankle hiking shoes or trail running shoes. Running shoes with good friction are fine too, but not ideal. Most running shoes have a soft fabric upper which don't protect against the small poky grass seeds and thorns. These poky things can get very annoying in late/post monsoon months around Bangalore. The fabric upper on most running shoes are also not very durable on the rocky trails here. In the Himalayas it's better to use high-ankle boots.
  5. Helmets/hats: I find my climbing helmet useful for protecting my bald head when pushing through dense thorny bushes. Usually not necessarily in the Himalayas, though. Trekking hats or cricket hats are great in the harsh sun around Bangalore. Baseball caps are fine too.