Our equipment recommendations for trekking in the Alps
Waterproof duffle bag:
To carry your main gear we recommend using a 110-120L duffle bag.
Your main gear will be carried by vehicle transfer .You will need to carry your own daypack. 30-40L is sufficient. We recommend Osprey daypacks.
You will need a 4-season or -20 Deg C sleeping bag and compression sack. We recommend Mountain Hardwear or The North Face sleeping bags.
Trekking poles can reduce the impact on your joints by up to 20%. They are great for going up and down steep Alpine passes! We recommend adjustable Black Diamond trekking poles
Capacity to carry at least 2 litres of water. Wide-mouthed nalgene bottles are required as they are less likely to freeze than bladders. A neoprene cover is advisable to help insulate the bottle at higher elevations
Preferably wide-brimmed for protection, and with a neck cover if you aren't going to be using a neck gaiter
Warm beanie style hat:
Go for a version of beanie that is either knitted or fleeced for extra warmth. Thin enough to fit under your climbing helmet (on the peak climbs)
Neck gaiter or balaclava:
It can get chilly in the evenings. We recommend bringing a neck gaiter or bandana. The most versatile options are made by Buff or Hoo-Rag Headwear
Choose a pair of high UV protection glasses. Julbo are a great mountain sunglass brand but any brand with high UV protection will suffice
You will need a headlamp with good light output for any late night toilet journeys and reading your book at night. Petzl make market-leading and affordable headlamps
Hands and Feet
For daily use we recommend lightweight, fleece or quick drying fabric gloves. Berghaus and The North Face make good lightweight gloves
3-4 pairs of outer socks and 2-3 pairs of liner socks. We also recommend bringing 1 x thick thermal socks for camp or if it's particularly cold. Merino wool is the best material and Bridgedale or Smartwool make good trekking socks
To wear around camp after a day's trek we recommend bringing a pair of training shoes or sandals
Thermal base layer:
2 x thermal base layer, ideally made from merino wool. No cotton. Recommended brand is Icebreaker
Long sleeved shirt:
Go for a light or medium weight, moisture wicking long sleeve shirt (x2). Icebreaker, Berghaus and Under Armour make great breathable trekking shirts.
Fleece or Soft shell jacket:
A mid-weight polartec fleece jacket is ideal. Berghaus, Helly Hansen and The North Face all make great fleeces
Hard shell outer jacket:
A water/windproof hard shell outer jacket to protect you from the elements. Goretex material is best. Recommended brands include The North Face, Arc'teryx, Berghaus and Mountain Hardwear
A good quality and warm down or primaloft jacket is required for the cold nights. Recommended brands include The North Face, Rab, Arc'Teryx and Mountain Hardwear
'Lightweight' or 'silk weight' base layer for your legs. Merino wool is preferable. Recommended brand is Icebreaker
Light or medium weight (x1) trekking trousers. Convertible trousers are an option. Recommended brands include Craghoppers and Columbia
Hard shell trousers:
To protect yourself from the elements you need a good pair of waterproof / windproof hard shell trousers. Ideally Goretex. Mountain Equipment, The North Face and Arc'teryx make good outer trousers
Odds and Sods
Sun and lip screen:
High SPF sunscreen and lip protection balm. SPF 40 or higher
Toothbrush and toothpaste:
Ideally travel size
Wet wipes and hand sanitizer:
Staying clean on any trek can be challenging. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are a huge help
Personal medicines and medical kit:
We recommend bringing Paracetamol and Imodium at a minimum
Pee bottle (optional):
Useful for late night toilet needs when it is freezing outside
For light sleepers. Snoring can be pretty bad and you will need your beauty sleep
Boiled sweets, nuts, energy bars and dried fruit are all a good shout
Only required if your main duffle bag or rucksack is not waterproof. Sturdy rubble sacks will also help to keep your kit dry
Camera and spare batteries:
Unless you are a keen photographer we recommend taking a good quality and lightweight point and shoot camera like the Panasonic Lumix.
Climbing Gear (for peak climbs only)
Insulated heavyweight mittens with safety straps that fit over your liner gloves to provide additional warmth and wind protection. They have to be warm and extremely weather-proof.
If climbing one of our peaks in the Alps then a belay device is recommended for descending fixed lines. Black Diamond or Petzl are top brands in this field.
2 x Locking carabiners such as triple lock or screwgates are necessary along with non-locking carabiners. DMM make high quality products that are tested for impact force regularly.
B3 climbing Boots:
To climb our peaks in the Alps you will need more than just a trekking boot. B3 mountaineering boots are much more rigid and have crampon attachments making them ideal for routes traversing glaciers or ascending snow slopes. Scarpa or La Sportiva make good quality mountaineering boots.
Crampons are an essential piece of kit when travelling across compact snow and ice. Petzl and Grivel make a range of crampons to fit different boots.
Your choice of harness is very much personal preference, although we would recommend comfort and durability over lightweight properties. Black diamond and Petzl make good quality, durable harnesses.
Helmets are quickly evolving and becoming lighter with new technology and materials. It is still important that they will provide you with good protection so we advise getting a helmet with a solid outer shell on the top. Black diamond and Petzl are again the leading companies in manufacturing these products.
As all our peaks are trekking peaks, a mountaineering axe will be the most appropriate for use. Black Diamond and Petzl are good companies to buy these from.
1 x ascender or jumar is needed for ascending fixed lines on our trekking peaks. This will ensure you are always attached to a rope should you have a slip or fall on steep ground. Petzl and Alpidex make simple, easy to use ascenders.
2 x prussiks. These will be used alongside a belay device or ascender as an additional safety feature. This can be created from a loop of cord, however if you wish to purchase a readymade loop, see our recommendation below.
1 x sling is a necessary piece of equipment to use alongside a prussik or ascender. DMM and Petzl make good quality slings.