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Trekking clothing & equipment

We get lots of enquiries from people about what equipment t
hey should consider buying or renting for our trekking courses, both in the UK, Alps, and around the world. This page answers many questions, and is designed as an overview of the style of equipment to consider buying or renting, not a review of each make and model.

- Quick links to the equipment advice pages...

Alpine trekking with huts - What's in your pack each day?
We suggest that for any of our Alpine hut-to-hut treks (e.g. Tour Mont Blanc or Haute Route), you only take a day pack, to carry as little as possible. The majority of clients manage with a small rucksack of 25 - 30 litres capacity. Below is an outline of the essential kit to carry each day. Don't forget that all bedding is provided in huts, and you can leave extra baggage in town whilst out on your trek. A detailed kit list is sent to all those booking, but the list below gives you an idea of how to pack a very lightweight bag for a guided hut-to-hut trek.

Walking boots & gaiters
Insulating layer (e.g. fleece)
Trekking poles
Walking trousers & shorts

Socks & underwear x2

Wicking top x2

Waterproof jacket & trousers
Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat
Gloves & warm hat
Blister & basic 1st aid kit

Sleeping bag liner (optional)
Passport (& visa if required)
Insurance card, cash & card
Small umbrella (optional)
Waterbottle c.1 litre
Travel towel & travelwash (optional)
Toiletries & wipes (minimalist)

Medication (if required)
iPod / book / camera (optional)

Things that you DON'T need to take include; hut shoes (provided), sleeping bag, roll matt, pillow, cutlery, mugs, crockery, stoves & pots, evening wear for hut, cards / games, maps, compass, guidebooks, alarm clocks, ski goggles, balaclava, ear-muffs, scarf, etc. The art of travelling lightweight is easy if using Alpine huts as bedding and food is provided. Think of them as basic mountain hotels, at which you can purchase soft and alcoholic drinks, extra food and packed lunches for each day. Baggage transfers are not required, as you are travelling with a small pack that contains everything for personal use, and most huts are inaccessible by road anyway!
We've produced a handy PDF printable (1 page) hany reference packing sheet, for you to print out when packing for a trip. It also details the group equipment that our leaders usually carry in their packs for group use or for safety (e.g. GPS, emergency shelter, rope etc), so you know that you have packed everything you need but not too much. It's an art to carry exactly what you need for all conditions, and not a gram extra!
Views from the Lac Blanc on the TMB, across to Mont Blanc
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Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.

Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.

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