How much does a Chadar Trek cost?

I did my Chadar trek in 2018 and based on my experience; I will share how much money is needed for the chadar trek.

I will answer in two parts.

In Part 1, I will answer How much money is needed.

In Part 2, I will share how to reduce the cost of chadar trek using some hacks.

PART 1

  1. Chadar Trek Package: Rs 20,000

A chadar trek package is available for around Rs 20,000 from different organizers. In this package, your stay will be arranged in a guest house. If you fancy higher-end hotels, the cost will go higher. My advice is to stay in a guest house with minimum facilities and get accustomed to the winter conditions of Ladakh.

2. Other Mandatory Fees: 5,000

The Medical, Wildlife Permit fees, Insurance & ALTOA NOC are mandatory and will total Rs 5,000. This is to be paid to the Ladakh administration as per the new regulations from 2019. Here is a split-up of the cost:

DescriptionAmount (INR)
Total5000
Medical200
Insurance and Rescue2000
Wildlife Permit2000
ALTOA NOC800

3. Travel:

a. Flights – Rs 4,000 – 12,000 return

A flight from Delhi to Leh is available for Rs 2000 to 3000 one-way if booked in advance. With a connecting flight to Delhi, you can reach from your city for Rs 5,000- 6,000/-

b. Transport from Leh Airport to the guest house – Rs 1000

Guesthouses and hotels are in Leh city. A prepaid taxi to your guesthouse will cost your Rs 500 one way. Prepaid taxi is readily available at Leh Airport just outside the arrival gate.guest houses and hotels are in Leh city. A prepaid taxi to your guesthouse will cost your Rs 500 one way. Pre-Paid taxi is easily available at Leh Airport just outside the arrival gate.

c. Transport from the guest house to the trek starting point near chilling. Nil

This cost is included in the package.

4. Stay: Nil

Stay at the guest house is included in the Chadar Trek Package

5. Meals: 600-800 per day in Leh

Meals in Leh are NOT included in the trek package. There are few restaurants and dhabas along the market road in Leh which are open in winter. They serve quick and delicious food. If you stick to your aloo paratha or maybe biryani or curd rice with soups as starters, it will cost you Rs 600-800 per day.

6. BackPack offloading (optional): Rs 2500

If you wish to opt for this service, it will cost you Rs 500 per day. It is recommended to carry your backpack but if you wish to offload it, talk to y our organizer before the start of the Trek. Remember, you can always keep your extra luggage at the guest and need not carry everything with you. You will be wearing most of the gears during the Trek so your backpack will not weigh much. All guest houses have a facility to keep your extra luggage. I carried my bag on my own.

7. Gear – The mother of all expenditures

I am sharing the budget cost for all the gear purchases. Buying the higher end gear is your discretion and better but not compulsory.

All the budget gears, I am recommending are entirely usable for the chadar trek.

To lower your cost of purchases, I recommend you visit two stores for your gear purchases. One is Decathlon, and the other is the Local Army canteen shop in Leh Market.

Here are the gears recommended to purchase from Decathlon for their excellent quality and low price:

Chadar Trek Kit Checklist
Item DescriptionAmount (INR)
BackPack 60 Liters3000
Down Jacket2000
Trekking Shoes2000
Fleece jacket800
Rain Pant700
Fleece pant600
Gloves-Fleece 100
Rain Jacket900
Balaclava Cap200
SunGlasses300
Trekking Pole600
Headlamp300
Chadar Trek Shop Leh Market

Here are the gears recommended to purchase from Army Canteen shop for there their excellent quality and low price

Item DescriptionAmount (INR)
Woolen Socks (4 Pairs recommended)60 for a Pair
Gumboot500
Milton ThermoFlask Bottle 500ml 600
Gloves waterproof250
Thermal Suite (Top & Pant)800

This list should give you a decent idea of how to budget your purchases for the chadar trek.

PART 2

I get a lot of queries from my friends who are beginners to know how they can reduce their expenditure on chadar trek. I also noticed that many of them tend to spend an awful lot when it isn’t required at all!

Here are some hacks that might work for you if you are a beginner.

1. Plan in advance. There’s nothing more crucial than this. If you’re planning for Chadar trek in January or February, then start planning a few months in advance. With every day that you waste, the flight price is only going to increase and will overshoot your budget. Most of the gears that you purchase are usable again and are an investment for high altitude treks, but the extra flight price you pay is a waste. As a thumb rule, your flight tickets should never exceed your trek fee. So planning early is vital.

2. Food during your trip

a. Eat basic food at dhabas while at Leh. There are always dhabas and small restaurants that serve you with quick and delicious food. Avoid anything extravagant like spicy foods and non-veg dishes. It will not only burn a hole through your pocket but likely to cause a stomach upset.

b. Better yet, carry your own food. It is most advisable to bring food for the first three days of stay at Leh. Theplas with jam and chutneys, Other snacks, even sandwiches or, chapati rolls, that can last a day, or maybe two. Since you are traveling to cold conditions, none of the food will be spoilt. Carry your own food as much as possible!

c. Have light meals and share with fellow trekkers. Instead of buying a whole meal for yourself, you could share it will fellow trekkers. At Leh restaurants, I have found the portion size too large for one person. This way, you can reduce the cost of meals.

3. Beg, borrow or s̶t̶e̶a̶l̶ your trekking gear. Your first approach should be to borrow gear, especially the costly items like a down jacket or windproof (rain) jacket. I borrowed my friend’s windproof jacket for three treks, including chadar trek before buying my own. Even thermals, rain pants, backpack, and torches can be borrowed.

With trekking becoming popular, more and more people now own gear, and it is lying mostly unused. It won’t be hard to find someone willing to lend these gears to you.

Ask your friends or send out a question on your family Whatsapp group! You’ll never know who might be able to help!

4. Do not go for high-end models unless your trek 3-4 times in a year. If you are going for a branded pair of shoes or down jacket, don’t go for the high-end models. Even the lower-end models will give you similar performance.

5. Share your Toiletries & Medicines. If you’re traveling in a group, share your toilet kits and medical kits. You could carry, say, one kit for every five people.

DO NOT depend on finding gear on rent for Chadar trek from Leh. Very few gear shops are open in Leh in winter and it is tough to find rental equipment in January and February months.

One important thing is to find a good local chadar trek organizer from Leh and book your Chadar trek directly with them.

I did my Chadar Trek with Altitude Adventure India and I was very happy with the experience.

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