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Crossing the Alps: A Packing List

We’ve already written an article about crossing the Alps, but before you embark on the trip, you should read through this packing list. A trip like this must be well planned. An important part of planning is going through a packing list like this one, so you’ll have everything you need with you when you go.

Your individual needs will alter your final list, but we’ll provide you with the necessities to get you started.

We understand wanting to just throw a few things into your backpack and set out on your trip. However, when it comes to big challenges like crossing the Alps, you must invest more time and energy into your planning.

This article will first explain everything you need to consider before starting your trip. After that, we’ll provide a packing list and some advice regarding luggage. You could be on the road for a few days or even weeks depending on the route you take. Crossing the Alps is already tough, so don’t make it more laborious with a heavy backpack. Lastly, we’ll give you a few tips on how you can equip yourself sustainably.

What To Consider

Crossing the Alps is not easy. Never underestimate these mountains. They are a force of nature. Sudden weather changes can cause difficulties, and it can get dangerous. It is critical that you choose the right travel time for your trip to minimize the risk of accidents. However, there can be sudden and extreme situations even in the best hiking months. Therefore, invest enough time while creating your personal packing list so you’re prepared for anything.

We recommend that you prepare for specific conditions in the Alps when packing. It’s not a normal hike, so packing lists for standard hiking trips will not be enough, although they can still provide some helpful guidelines.

Furthermore, there are many trails across the Alps. Depending on your route, you will face different conditions. That is why you have to inform yourself about your exact route, so you know exactly what you’ll need along the way.

A Packing List for Crossing the Alps

This is our packing list for crossing the Alps. You’ll carry some of these items on your body and some in a backpack. Remember, this list is for guidance only! You have to decide yourself whether you need more items or less.


  • Backpack (25-40 liters)
  • Rain cover for the backpack OR backpack liner (this only protects its contents)
  • Clothing
  • Hiking boots
  • One pair of light shoes
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Three pairs of underpants
  • Fleece sweater
  • Three T-shirts
  • Outdoor pants (that can be zipped off) OR one short + one long pair of pants
  • One pair of rain trousers
  • Light jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Hat
  • Sun hat / cap / cloth
  • Neck gaiter
  • Gloves
  • Pajamas / thermal leggings
  • Swimwear

For sleeping

  • Sleeping bag
  • Bedroll


  • Camera + battery(s) + charging cable + camera bag + SD card + tripod (if you want to take pictures)
  • Cell phone + charger
  • Power bank
  • Outdoor clock with alarm function
  • Headlamp
  • Flashlight + batteries


  • Dishes: bowl / plate / mountain mug + spoon + knife
  • Snacks: nuts, bars, etc. + water + tea bags
  • Food supplement: magnesium, electrolyte, and calcium tablets
  • Water filtration system
  • Lunchbox


  • Toothbrush + toothpaste (we recommend toothbrush tablets)
  • Unwound toilet paper
  • Menstrual products if needed
  • Tissues (we recommend reusable handkerchiefs)
  • Small comb for the hair + hair tie
  • Shampoo (we recommend solid shampoo)
  • Bar of soap
  • Deodorant
  • Detergent (try homemade detergent made from washing soda, baking soda and curd soap)
  • Microfiber towel


  • Hiking maps, hiking guides
  • GPS device
  • Compass
  • Binoculars


  • Purse + money + insurance card + credit card + EC card + Alpine Club ID card if any
  • Perhaps glacier glasses, climbing iron, gaiters
  • Waterproof plastic bags
  • Earplugs
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit

Packing Light

Travel with lightweight and small items when possible. Every ounce matters! Make sure everything can be stored in your backpack and the total weight isn’t too heavy. It should be light enough to allow you to hike for many hours a day without causing extreme fatigue or soreness.

Sustainable Hiking Equipment

Hiking enthusiasts usually pay attention to the functionality, weight, and size of their items. However, one thing is often ignored: sustainability. Many materials are difficult or impossible to recycle. Furthermore, clothes and other hiking items can be produced under environmentally damaging conditions.

There are products available that help conserve resources and are produced from sustainable materials. Considering the consequences of climate change, we must all take responsibility for our actions. This includes hikers and backpackers.

It may seem expensive to shop sustainably, but when customers like you purchase sustainable products, producers start to make more of them, which lowers the prices over time.

Secondhand shopping is another way to be more sustainable, and it’s a cheaper alternative. There are lots of people who sell secondhand hiking for significantly less money than new items on platforms like eBay. This is a great opportunity to get well-preserved and inexpensive equipment sustainably!


We hope we were able to give you a good overview of a packing list for crossing the Alps. Pay attention to the functionality, size, and weight of your equipment, since crossing the Alps is exhausting and dangerous.

When buying new hiking equipment, make sure that it is made from sustainable materials. However, if this is too expensive, or if the selection is too small, you can buy items secondhand.


  • Don’t underestimate the Alps, travel at the right time, and be prepared for sudden weather changes.
  • Crossing the Alps is not a usual hike. Prepare appropriately.

Your preparations for this trip don’t end with a packing list. Read our article on long distance hiking to get ready and inspired. Good luck on your journey!

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