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The monsoon season is officially here! As travellers, we know better than to travel without preparing for it.
We have been in various situations in the rainy weathers across the North-East of India. From hosting 250+ campers in Ziro during the slushy, slippery, wet season to being in day-long treks when our clothes end up feeling heavy and moist as we slowly accept that it is unreasonable to wait for the sun or an inkling of dryness to come our way.
At the same time, we know we should be doing ourselves a major disservice if we do not witness Meghalaya in its monsoon grandeur. The season between April to September is a time of unpredictable weather with bouts of heavy rainfall (Meghalaya is, after all, a region that receives the highest rainfall in the WORLD! Know why). But it is also a time when the land of clouds transforms into a lush, green paradise, with magnificent rain-fed waterfalls, misty mountains and valleys, and beautiful landscapes as far as the eye can see. In fact, it’s during the monsoon season that the true essence of this state is revealed, with its vibrant flora and fauna coming alive in the rainy weather.
The rains, let’s face it, should not deter you from exploring and experiencing the beauty of Meghalaya. To make the most of your trip to Meghalaya during the monsoon season, it’s essential to be well-prepared and pack accordingly. Here’s where we come in: we’ve put together a comprehensive packing list to ensure that you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. From ponchos to clothing to footwear, we’ve got you covered. So, pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience the magic of Meghalaya during the monsoon season:
LIST OF ESSENTIALS FOR TRAVELLERS VISITING MEGHALAYA DURING THE MONSOONS:
1. Raincoat or Poncho:
Meghalaya experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. A raincoat or poncho is a must-have item when traveling to Meghalaya during the rainy season. They provide full coverage to protect your body and clothes from the rain.
Meghalaya is known for its traditional rain shields called ‘knup’ made from local bamboo that have been in use in the region for generations. You can get a ‘knup’ for yourself from the local markets. Know more in our blog
2. Waterproof Backpack:
It’s essential to carry a waterproof backpack to protect your belongings, including your electronic devices, from getting wet.
3. Insect Repellent:
Ah, the monsoon season in Meghalaya – a time of refreshing rains, lush greenery, and…bugs. Meghalaya is known for its rich biodiversity, and you’ll find a lot of insects during the monsoon season. And you don’t want to end up being a meal for the mosquitoes, ticks, and leeches that come out to play during the monsoon season. If you are not too fond of creepy crawlies, it’s wise to carry an insect repellent or other protective gear. Invest in a good quality insect repellent that contains DEET, and don’t forget to reapply it every few hours
4. Waterproof Hiking / Trekking Shoes:
Meghalaya is famous for its natural beauty, and there are many trekking trails in the state. Carrying a pair of comfortable and sturdy trekking shoes is necessary to navigate through the slippery trails during the monsoon season as they provide good grip and traction on slippery and muddy terrain. Invest in a high-quality, (preferably) waterproof footwear (do not forget the socks!) that can withstand the rain, mud, and whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw your way.
5. Quick dry Clothing:
A set of quick dry clothing can be a life saver in Meghalaya. We have been in countless situations when we see a beautiful waterfall or stream we want to jump right in but are not prepared for it. Now we know better! Quick dry fabrics helps to move the moisture away from your skin so you don’t fall ill. They also help in packing lighter by not depending on a second set of clothes in case your first pair gets wet!
6. Warm Clothes:
Warm clothes are just as important as quick dry clothing. Even though it’s monsoon season, the temperature in Meghalaya can drop, especially in the evenings. It’s recommended to carry warm layers like a light jacket, sweater or thermals (if you are prone to feeling cold WAY before others around you!) to keep yourself warm, dry and comfortable.
7. Water Bottles:
Carrying water bottles is essential to stay hydrated during the monsoon season. Make sure to carry a refillable bottle to reduce plastic waste.
8. Medicines and First Aid Kit:
In case of an emergency, it’s wise to carry a first aid kit and necessary medicines like painkillers, antiseptic cream, and anti-allergic tablets. Don’t forget about your personal medicines – make sure to carry enough to last you throughout your trip. Like we say: safety first, adventure second!
9. Power Bank:
When you’re out trekking or sightseeing all day, finding a charging outlet can be a real struggle. Monsoons also mean more frequent power outages in the region. Carrying a power bank is essential to keep your electronic devices charged, especially if you’re travelling to remote areas where there might not be any electricity. And we know for certain that you’re going to want to snap plenty of photos and videos to capture all the stunning scenery and experiences around you!
Travelers should carry cash instead of relying solely on digital payments during monsoons because heavy rainfall can disrupt digital payment services like online banking or mobile payment systems. Power outages and network disruptions can also make it difficult to access ATMs or use credit cards. Having cash on hand will ensure that travelers can still make payments even if digital payment options are not available.
1. Silica Gel Packs:
High moisture levels and water is an area of concern, especially for photographers or travellers who always have a camera on them during their trips. Make sure you carry packets of silica gels for your electronics, bags or just anywhere to help you keep your items moisture-free.
2. Clothes Line or just….rope:
Better to have them handy than be in the middle of the trip wishing for one! They take up very little space and are extremely useful if you simply want to put it up inside your homestay to dry your clothes.
3. Games - of your choice:
Cards, small board games, your singing voice and/or other hidden talents – all come in handy if you get easily bored and want to stay entertained rather than complain and wait for the skies to clear! If you are joining us on our Set Departures [link] what better way to bond with travellers you’ve just met?
4. A strange one but….Newspapers:
Trust us when we say that newspapers can change your trip! Want to quickly pack wet shoes or clothes? Newspapers. Want to sit on public benches or chairs still wet by the rain? Newspapers. Stuff a couple of them into your bag for emergencies and you won’t regret it. It is more convenient than having to look for plastic bags (which we advise against) in the middle of your trip.
In conclusion, travelling to Meghalaya during the monsoon season can be a memorable experience if you carry the necessary items mentioned above. Come prepared, stay protected and we will handle the rest!