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Hiking Packing List in the Alps – The Best Definitive List for Solo Travel in Europe

Hiking sure does have its fair share of enjoyable memories and is often a source of memorable ones. But, one must always keep in mind that this activity is also a test of physical and mental endurance. At times, it can test one’s limits, readiness, and willingness to follow through challenging trails. 

A trek through the Alps is definitely not for the light-hearted. Although there are already shorter and more accessible trails for those with lower-skill levels, their skills do not affirm their readiness to go on the trip. 

If you’re eyeing the Tour du Mont Blanc or hiking the Dolomitic Alps, here’s a definitive list of what you need to prepare months before the trek. 

  1. Fitness Preparation 

Trekking any of the alpine trails poses physical challenges. There’s a change in temperature, a gradual lack of oxygen, and the rugged landscape. More popular trails may be more accessible, but the environmental challenges remain the same. But if you want to go on less popular trails among tourists, you need to up your fitness preparation beforehand. 

Even before you start packing for your trip, you need to condition your body first. What’s the use of the irreplaceable landscape if your body gives up before reaching the peak, right? 

Fitness preparation often includes extensive cardio activities, some weight training, and adequate rest. If you’re going on your first hike through the Alps, make sure to ask for suggested physical preparations from those who have undertaken this trek  before.  

  1. Trail & Map

Next on the list is to decide which trail you’ll take and what trekking guide you’ll follow. It’s also important to decide early on if you’ll go on the expedition alone or with a group. These decisions are important to start looking for a map or to contact companies who offer guided walking tours. 

Let’s take Tour du Mont Blanc as an example. With the popularity of this trail, solo travellers in Europe can choose self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc maps if they wish to traverse the path alone. If not, there are also fully guided treks for travellers who want to complete the trail with an expert. 

Curate the experience that you want, especially if you’re going on a trail as beautiful as the Tour du Mont Blanc. 

  1. Adequate Layers 

You need to protect yourself from the weather conditions as you ascend. It’s going to be cold and it’ll be colder as you go on. 

For starters, you need to put on a lot of layers. Layer on long sleeves, fleece jackets, and thinner outer jackets that can also protect you from the rain. Remember these basic pieces when deciding what to bring, and then estimate how many more of each you need to bring as a spare. Base this decision on how long your chosen trail will take and on the projected weather conditions on those days. 

For the bottom half, layers of clothing are still expected. Don’t forget to bring pairs of socks as well. Even better if you have the water-proof ones just in case the snow seeps into your shoes. 

  1. Proper Pair of Shoes  

When you eventually start packing for the trip, make sure that you bring the ideal pair of shoes. You need shoes that will stick into the terrain of the Alps, so you might need to cash out a bit of money to ensure your safety. 

Hiking boots are essential. They protect your feet from the cold, insect bites, and cushion your feet from other strains brought about by long hours of walking. 

  1. Safety Tools 

Solo travel in the Alps mean that you need to take extra precaution for your safety. If an accident occurs, it’s possible that no one else would be nearby to attend to your emergency. 

To avoid drastic circumstances, make sure to bring your trusted safety equipment. Hiking poles are a must to help with stability. A multipurpose pocket knife will also come in handy. Of course, you also need a first aid kit to treat common hiking injuries, such as blisters and sprains. 

You also need to have some light source. A head lamp is great if you want to continue trekking until after dusk. Small and lighter lamps are great source of light and heat when setting up camp. 

  1. Sun Protection

By now, you’d know or even have experienced the dangers of sun damage while trekking a snowy area. As such, it’s essential to bring your complete set of sun protection tools. Here’s a basic list if you’re still putting together your go-to. 

  • Sunglasses 
  • Sunblock for face and body 
  • Sunscreen for added protection 
  • Head gears 
  • Caps 
  • Gloves 

When it comes to sun protection, don’t just focus on protecting your face, make sure that you protect other exposed parts too, such as your arms and hands. 

  1. Food Provisions 

Some Alpine treks take days before completion. The Tour du Mont Blanc, in particular, can be completed within 3 to 13 days depending on your speed. With the strain that comes with the constant movement, it’s equally important to have sufficient food intake to continue on with the journey. 

It’s best to prioritize light weight food that are rich in complex carbohydrates and healthy fats so you can have enough energy throughout the entire hike. Protein-rich food are also equally essential. Be smart with the partitions too. You’ll need to have something to eat until the end. 

Also, remember to bring enough water because you’ll need a lot of it to survive the hike. A general rule that you need to live by is to regularly drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Sometimes, the cool weather tricks your body that you don’t need to stay hydrated. 

  1. Secure Accommodation

Lastly, you need to secure your accommodation, and we don’t mean booking rooms here. We mean packing your trusty sleeping bag that can keep you warm throughout the night. Light weight tents will also be an excellent choice when hiking through the Alps to protect you from moisture. 

Take Away

Be fully prepared to fully enjoy your solo adventure through the Alps. As a solo hiker, there are a lot of things to consider months before your most awaited hike. From physical training down to packing your essentials, you need to cover all the bases to ensure a great experience. 

Be mindful when packing your food, clothes, and other necessities.  It’s always be better to be overprepared than run out. But when it comes to hiking, overpreparation may mean more weight that might slow your progress down. Make smart decisions and use this list as a foundation on what you need to bring and remember. 

Also read: https://technaldo.com/explore-results/

Enjoy your trek! 


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