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

Enjoying the view in Grabuenden

Even if your bag is full, you need to squeeze in these six things …

So you are packing for a trek in the Alps? You have most probably thought of the big things to take with you (if not checkout this list). You’ve got your boots, your backpack and your waterproofs, but what about all the other bits and bobs that could come in handy? Here are the six pieces of kit you should definitely not leave without. It is the small things in life …

1. Headlamp

One of my favourite little bits of kit.

One of my favourite little bits of kit.

A headlamp is key to successfully navigating both the physical environs of a hut as well as it’s etiquette. One of those huts you’ll be staying at might not have electric lights or could have an outhouse separated from the hut by pitch black darkness at night. It will most definitely have some serious mountaineers in your dorm that will be in bed by 9pm to get up at 3am to storm that summit looming just behind the hut. They will not appreciate you turning the light on at midnight when you’re ready to go to bed.

A compact dorm at Chamanna Grialetsch. Multiply by four and you have the whole dorm

Multiply by four and you have the whole dorm.

2. Earplugs

… are priceless and maybe should even be the no. 1 item on this list. You will be sharing dorms with other people. At least one of them will always be a snorer.

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

3. Facecloth

Trekking from a hut to hut in the Alps, you will probably come across at least one hut with some fairly basic ablutions. Such as:

a frozen water fountain

A little bit of frost in the bathroom at Cabane d’Arpitetta

Need I say any more …

4. Water purification tablets

Not all huts in the Alps are supplied with drinking water. You can always buy drinking water at a hut to restock, so water purification tablets are not a must per se, but they are very nice to have to save on the cost, or for emergency re-supplies on a hot day.

Plaster tape

The humble tape is up for nearly any job.

5. Tape

I always like to take some simple plaster tape on trips with me. It can be used for so many things. I have fixed bandages, mended torn shorts and fixed soles falling off hiking boots with this light weight, multi-purpose marvel.

6. Swiss knife

Speaking of universal tools. You just have to have one of these with you, but you probably already knew that.

There are so many uses for a swiss knife!

Just think of the possibilities a pen knife provides

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  1. Susan McArdell · · Reply

    I am going to be hiking the AV1 in early Sept. Going with a group for 4 days then the rest solo. Is it necessary to take maps or is the trail well marked?

    1. Hi Susan!

      The trail is generally very well marked – at least from Lago di Braise to Listolade, which I’ve walked. Only Sentiero Flaibani was a bit tricky.

      However, I would always carry a map with me. You never know. You might make a mistake and walk off the trail, the weather might suddenly turn bad, or you might slip and sprain your ankle. All of which might need a change of route or at least a very good understanding of how much there is still to walk that day. A map will be indispensable in these situations.


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