What to Pack for Bhutan Birding Tour?
Spotting the four-legged winged beauties in the spectacular national parks and forests of Bhutan is a rewarding experience that the tourists should not miss. Hidden and nestled in the foothills and deep valleys of the magnificent Himalayan ranges are a colorful kingdom of birds that are visible to the human eyes with a little bit of preparation.
Although birding for tourists is relatively new in Bhutan, it is becoming popular and the number of locals and tourists going for hikes and bird walks has been steadily increasing. Here are some information and tips on how and what to pack for Bhutan birding tours.
It is important to be packed properly with all the necessary items as you might not be able to buy anything during the tour. The key is to pack light and smart. It is important to take only the items that are necessary.
Well packed tour group for bird watching
Are There Any Principles to Follow While Packing?
It is important to pack light. Carry backpacks that are specifically designed for trekking tours as they have a high capacity with many compartments and are usually waterproof. It is important to be organized and remember what you put where so that you can take them out easily and quickly when you want something. Remember to distribute the load equally in the top and bottom part of the bag equally so that it is easy to carry.
Do not over pack, just carry only the things you need, you will most often you will end up not using some of the things you carry. Carry reusable items so that you don’t have to throw away or litter the places you are trekking in. Make use of all the small compartments in the bag and tighten the compression straps to keep everything in place.
What Do We Need to Pack for Bhutan Birding Tour?
1 ) Valuables & Documents
Except for India, tourists from all other countries are required to get visas for entering the country. Make sure you have the visa permit with you at all times. Passport, an ID like driving license, a copy of your passport must be carried with you at all times. If you are entering regions beyond Paro and Thimpu, you will be required to get a route permit. Another important valuable thing to carry is the credit card. If you are carrying in cash keep it safe. Make sure to carry two cards in case one card doesn’t work or you can’t find the bank or ATM of your choice. You can also carry a guide of birds in Bhutan to identify them quickly and know more about them.
2 ) Bird Watching Gears
You can carry a guide of birds in Bhutan to identify them quickly and know more about them. Binoculars will help you spot the birds easily and see them up close once you hear the call. The most important thing that most bird watching enthusiasts carry is the camera. The telephoto lens gives the best results for bird and wildlife photography. Make sure you carry an extra pair of batteries and memory card so that you don’t miss out on capturing anything. You can charge your batteries in the tea house stops if you are going on a longer hike for a certain amount of money. Bring a rain cover for your camera gear.
Pack as light as you can to save more energy for birding
3 ) Clothing
It is advisable to dress in layers in Bhutan especially while you start a Bhutan trekking or birding tour. But do not make the mistake of overpacking your clothes. Thermal wear and sweater along with a light and thin t-shirt are perfect for trekking. Wear long and comfortable pants. Since Bhutan is a little bit conservative it is preferred if tourists don’t wear shorts and sleeveless tops. Sunglasses, cap, waterproof jacket, full-sleeved shirts, thermal underwear are some of the other clothing to carry.
4 ) Shoes
Get waterproof shoes for a birding tour. Make sure they are suitable for trekking and are used a few times before your trek. So that you are used to the grip of the shoes and do not get shoe bites. Make sure the shoes have appropriate grip for hiking in the uneven trails. Bring an extra pair of shoelaces in case something happens to that one you are using. Have an extra pair of thermal socks as they might get moist or wet. If you are going on hikes that require overnight stay it is best to carry to some floaters or to wear them during evening and night.
5 ) Personal Needs
Insect repellents, sanitizers, wet wipes, sunscreen, umbrella, lip balm, 1-liter water bottle, water purifiers, headlamp or torch, small bags to carry your dirty clothes, scissors, and other toiletries. If any medications required buy plenty of them beforehand as you might not get what you need once you start trekking. Remember that you might not find proper toilet facilities and in most of the places, there are only ‘squatting' type of toilets. Carry toilet paper rolls as they might not be available everywhere. If you are hiking in high attitude areas bring a warm jacket for evenings and nights. Have some nuts, granola bars, and chocolates to snack on as you trek.
How to Pack?
First, lay out all the things you need to pack. See what you would frequently need. Work your way from bottom to top. Keep the things that you do not need during the trek at the bottom of the bag. For example, your evening and nightwear or other items you need for the end of the day.
Pack your extra camera equipment and any other electronics in the middle of the bag along with the socks and other clothing materials. Fill the remaining space with all the other items you are carrying. Make use of all the small compartments in the bag. Keep the jackets and t-shirts you are keeping to layer yourself within the top. You can remove or add layers easily as the temperature changes.
The complex topography of Bhutan with deep valleys and mountains and thick forests, Bhutan is one of the best hotspots for bird watching in Asia. Bird watching is an interesting experience for people who are doing it for the time and experienced watchers. The excitement of hearing a call and spotting the bird and seeing them in their natural habitat is a feeling that you will never get tired of. Trust us when we say you will only want more at the end of the trek.