Packing for a trip can be a nightmare, especially for people who tend to overpack or aren’t experienced trekkers! We never know if we’re to make the token attempt to pack light, or whether we really want to bring a nice shirt just in case. However, putting together a packing list is highly situational because different hiking trips require different gear!
Luckily, we’ve already put one together for you on our resources page!
But you might still wonder, what are the things that we definitely should be putting on our kit list, and what are things that we can maybe leave at home? Adventure Abroad has put together a packing list of essential items for your next Tour du Mont Blanc trek.
Hiking 170 kilometers of mountains are definitely going to take you through some very varied and unpredictable weather conditions. From snowy mountaintops to unexpected rain, you’re going to want some way of keeping warm. Insulating layers are an easy way to achieve this. If you don’t want to wear layers beneath your clothes, a jacket or hoodie with warm lining should suffice. Bonus points if your outerwear has both a warm lining and is waterproof!
Waterproof hiking boots
You’d think bringing along hiking boots is a bit of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t realize how important it is to have proper hiking boots! You’re going to want to make sure they’re waterproof among other things. For more information, you can check out our guide on how to choose a hiking boot featuring our very own founder and CEO Tom Allwright!
We at Adventure Abroad highly recommend bringing some walking poles! They’re not absolutely necessary, but they are really handy to have on your trip. They help relieve pressure on your knees when ascending steeper slopes by offsetting some of the force needed to climb, and they’re great for keeping your balance on downhill slopes. We’re all about safety and comfort!
Utilizing quick-dry clothing is always a great idea when going hiking. Not only is it great for when you unexpectedly get drenched during surprise rainshowers on the trail, but it’s also a great way to save space when packing. Using quick-dry clothing allows you to pack less clothing, because you can easily launder them in your hotel room and leave them to dry overnight. Make way for souvenirs!
Moisture–wicking clothes are a definite must-have! Moisture-wicking fabrics are made from a specialized type of polyester, which absorbs very little moisture compared to fabrics like cotton. They draw moisture from your body and push it outwards toward the exterior of the fabric, keeping you drier compared to most other fabrics. Moisture-wicking clothes are often used for sport and workout clothing, so you can get them in the form of shirts, shorts, leggings, socks, and even hoodies.
Rain may or may not be on the itinerary (hopefully not!), but it’s always better to be well-prepared. Keeping dry is vital to a safe and comfortable hike! A lightweight waterproof jacket should suffice, but you can also bring along waterproof pants or a rain poncho if you prefer. A waterproof backpack cover is also crucial in keeping all your trail essentials safe and dry.
Trekking backpacks are an absolute must, with an emphasis on trekking! It’s important to ensure that the backpack you’re using is specifically designed for trekking/camping. Which backpack size to get will ultimately depend on you, as long as you’re getting a trekking backpack. Not only are they made to be sturdy and hold greater weights than most backpacks, they are also designed to be comfortable even with heavy loads. Unlike regular backpacks, hiking backpacks have reinforced padded straps that don’t cut off circulation even if they’re already super heavy!
This one is pretty simple! Having an umbrella stored in an outer pocket of your backpack can sometimes be a faster solution than digging through your backpack for your waterproof outerwear of choice. Rain along the TMB trail can appear very suddenly, so an umbrella is a good solution in a pinch!
Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
You may encounter snow along portions of the Tour du Mont Blanc, especially if you’re trekking in late June or early July. The melting snow can reflect light and can be quite blinding and painful to the eyes, which is where having a pair of sunglasses can come in handy! You’re also going to be hiking for hours under the sun, which can be terrible for your skin if you don’t bring along sunscreen and a hat. Trust us, you definitely don’t want to be dealing with sunburn during your hike!
Once you’ve got all the essentials down, how you fill the rest of your luggage space is up to you! You can leave space to bring souvenirs (a wheel of cheese, perhaps?) or throw in a few little luxuries you can’t do without. But if you’re really a hopeless overpacker, don’t worry! Adventure Abroad’s tour arrangements include up to 15kg of luggage transportation, so you can bring only the essentials when you hike, and then come home to your hotel room with all your stuff already waiting for you.
Make sure you check our specific trek packing lists for TMB!