What to pack for the Alta Via 1 (or any other trek in the Alps)

Backpacks somewhere on the Alta Via 1

Packing for the Alta Via 1 isn’t much different from packing for any other Alpine trek. Here is an equipment list including what I took on a six day trip along the AV1 last August.


The basics

  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Walking shorts
  • 2 Short sleeve base layer t-shirts
  • Long sleeve base layer t-shirt
  • Long sleeve fleece top
  • Leggings
  • Underwear

Against the elements

  • Waterproof trousers
  • Rain jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • Cap

‘Evening dress’

  • Sandals (also useful as an emergency backup should your boots be out of service)
  • PJs/ clothes to wear in the hut

See also: The complete beginner’s guide to staying in an Alpine hut


The big things

  • Backpack 35 – 45 liters max
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Walking Poles
  • Via ferrata kit: harness, via ferrata carabiners, helmet (optional as both via ferrata are avoidable)

See also: What is a via ferrata aka Klettersteig?

Personal items

  • Sunglasses
  • Towel
  • Wash bag
  • Face cloth (for those huts without showers)
  • Ear plugs (priceless against snoring dorm mates)


  • Maps & guide
  • Pen knife
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Thermal blanket
  • Insurance card

See also: 6 essential pieces of kit for a hut to hut trek in the Alps


  • 2 Water bottles (1l + 0.7l)
  • Water purification tablets (tap water at huts is often not drinkable)
  • Lunches and snacks (if you don’t want to buy your lunch packs from the huts along the way)

Nice to haves

  • Camera & film (yes, I still use film)
  • Chargers
  • European adaptor
  • Swimsuit (came in handy on Day 2)

I know this packing list probably isn’t the lightest, with a couple of non-essential items, but all in all wasn’t too much of a trouble to carry for a week.

While this is what I took on the Alta Via 1 last year, this list should be a good gear guide for any summer haute route style trek in the Alps. The contents of my bag were very similar when I did the Tour des Combins.

Are you getting ready for the AV1 or a different trek? What are you packing and what would you suggest not taking with you? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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  1. Chauntelle McAlhany · · Reply

    Hi- What kind of food did you pack for your lunches? Also, were the lunches at the huts decent? Thanks!

    1. Hi Chauntelle!

      Thanks for stopping by! I usually carry some rye bread, cheese, salami, dried fruit, apples and for the first couple of days peppers. These things tend to keep well in warm weather.

      You can buy lunch packs at most huts. I’ve actually never done that, but they tend to include bread, butter, cheese and sometimes salami. I find them a little bit light. They will be tasty though. The food is generally very good at all Italian huts.

      Have fun hiking the AV1!


  2. Beau Guidry · · Reply

    From everything I’ve read, the trail seems to be very well marked… but are there signs for the rifugios (as not all of them appear to be on the main trail)?
    Thanks, Beau

    1. Hi Beau,
      The trail is indeed well marked. Even the rifugios that are not directly on the trail are generally marked. Nevertheless, I would still recommend taking a map with you.
      Enjoy the hike!

    2. Beau Guidry · · Reply

      Is it possible to supplement the maps with cell phone gps/google maps or there is just no signal (or maybe it’s spotty). Thanks so much for the replies, this is really helping my planning.

      1. I wouldn’t rely on google maps. They don’t tend to include much topographical information. If you have other good topographical maps on your phone then a phone gps could be enough … as long as it doesn’t rely on the internet. There will definitely be blind spots along the way. I might be a bit old school, but I would never go without a map. You could try openmaps.eu. You might be able to print topographical maps of just the sections you’ll need for the AV1. Rather than trying to hunt down three different maps.

  3. hatzav wolff · · Reply

    Hi Marketa,

    We are going for a 6-days hike in the Alta via 1,
    Afterwards we will have some more time in Italy,
    Is there some arrangement we could deposite out extra staff befores starting the trek and getting it at Belluno?


    1. Hi Wolff!

      Thanks for the comment. I solved the same conundrum by sending a parcel with some additional stuff to my second destination in Italy. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a better solution. The only thing I would suggest is to travel to Belluno first, leave your additional things in a locker at the train station and then travel up to Dobbiaco.

      Good luck with the trip planning and enjoy the hike!


      1. Hatzav Wolff · ·

        Hi Marketa,
        Thanks for the quick reply.
        I’m sure we will have great time, hoping to get good weather 🙂


  4. Helen · · Reply

    Just back from 6 days on AV1 where we followed your footsteps! Really found your blogs on “A forcella a day keeps the doctor away” and “What to pack for the Alta Via 1” very very helpful. Thanks a million.

    1. Hi Helen,

      Glad to hear my posts were useful! Sounds like you had a great time too.


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