03 Aug 20
What to pack for a European Alps hike
Generally speaking, you should pack as lightly as possible and we recommend keeping the weight under 12kg for your main luggage. Because of limited space available in the vehicle for luggage transfers you should only bring essential items on the trip. If you need to bring a bag for extra items/clothing this can be left back in Chamonix or Calalzo.
Your main luggage is transported daily for you throughout the trip, so you carry only a daypack during the day.
Suitcases are not recommended for this trip. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack or duffel, as you will need to carry this each night up stairs in your accommodation.
You will also need a good hiking day pack when out walking to carry clothing and personal effects such as a camera, sunscreen, water, snacks, blister kit.
- Travel insurance, air ticket
- Credit card & spending money
- Blister kit, rehydration salts and any personal medication your use
- Alarm clock and LED head torch
- Water bottles or Camel Back system (2-3 litres recommended)
- Sunscreen, hat and high UV sunglasses
- Comfortable hiking daypack (30L+) with padded shoulder support & waist straps
- Waterproof bags for pack rain protection while walking (garbage bags are fine)
- Well worn in hiking boots with good ankle support
- 3 pairs of walking socks
- 3 T-shirts (lightweight quick drying tech fabric) or long sleeved trekking shirts – no cotton
- 1 pair of shorts and at least one lightweight trousers (for walking in avoid wearing jeans!)
- Thermals for sleeping
- Warm fleece, sweater, hat, gloves (cold evenings & passes)
- Waterproof, breathable jacket & over trousers (Goretex or similar) – This is a must, the weather can change rapidly in the alps and even in the middle of summer.
- Spare pair of flip flops/trainers for inside refuges or if boots are wet – After a long day trekking it’s great to get your feet out of closed shoes and let them breathe
- Broad brimmed sunhat
- Walking poles (highly recommended) – Good for balance & taking the weight off your knees on descents. Can also be hired in Chamonix for €5 a day.
Expect temperatures of up to 20-30°C at lower altitudes. At night temperature can fall below 10°C. Being in high mountains, you should prepare for all weather conditions. Higher altitudes will always be cool and if cloud sets in, it can be cold and damp. It is not unusual for snow to be on the passes into summer after a cold spring, your local guide will advise of track and weather conditions.
- Spare batteries for camera
- Reading & writing material
- Knee brace – not essential but useful for injury
- Hand sanitiser
- Miniatures of your usual toiletries
- Snacks – though these can be purchased locally
- Swiss army knife
- Mobile & charger
- Padlock for bag
- European plug adapter
The right gear can make any trip just that bit more enjoyable.