What to Bring?


travel light

The Mont Blanc is the crown jewel of the Alps! As you embark on this awe-inspiring journey, surrounded by towering peaks, pristine glaciers, and Alpine beauty, it's essential to be well-prepared for the unique challenges and wonders that await you.

I'll share some insights and recommendations on how to pack light but wisely. In this guide, we will delve into the must-have essentials. From clothing and footwear to safety gear, we've got you covered.
Let's turn your dream of conquering Mont Blanc into a reality, one well-packed backpack at a time!


Your adventure naturally begins with a critical choice: the right backpack. Opting for a pack in the range of 25 to 35 liters strikes the perfect balance between carrying capacity and maneuverability. This size allows you to stow all the essentials without burdening yourself with unnecessary weight.

In the unpredictable Alpine weather, consider a pack equipped with water-resistant materials and rain cover. This precaution ensures that your gear remains dry. One standout recommendation for a reliable backpack in this category is the Lowe Alpine Eclipse or Airzone Trek 35.  


Pack your clothes light but wisely. Consider a minimalist approach to clothing. Every day provides the option of handwashing and quick-drying along the trail. The ingenious trick of tying a shirt, underwear, or pants to your backpack while walking allows them to dry naturally in the Alpine breeze. July blesses the region with mostly sunny weather. Also consider that the trail also provides opportunities to buy clothing when/if needed. The key trick is to utilize layers to adapt to climate/temperature changes.

Here's a checklist for your clothing essentials:

Bring two or three light/breezy T-shirt. You can also consider running/hiking shirts. You can also consider a tank top, but as you are wearing a backpack, consider how they press on the bare shoulders.

Waterproof and Windproof Jacket:
A reliable light jacket designed to withstand both rain and wind is a non-negotiable. Look for lightweight and compact options that can be easily packed when not in use.

Quick-Dry Short Pants:
Opt for pants crafted from materials that are light, dry quickly and provide flexibility and comfort throughout your trek. Consider for example, Inov-8 Race Elite 6" Trail Short or Jack Wolfskin Prelight Chill. Find one that makes for the right fit.

In my previous TMB hikes, I did not use my long hiking pants. That said, it does cool down high up and in the evening. Bringing a convertible option can be a good idea (but check the weight)!
Consider for example the Mammut Hiking Zip Off Pants.

The mountain air, crisp and fresh, will cover your cologne, and if nature calls, with a scent a bit too strong, fear not, you're not alone :D

With the opportunity for regular handwashing, a few pairs of quick-dry underwear will suffice for your journey. Occasional shopping options will present themselves if a dire need for clothing arises.


Picking your shoes may be the biggest conundrum. For most of the trail you are threading easy paths (albeit often steep). Given the intensity of the hike and summer temperatures, I personally prefer lighter trail shoes such as Brooks Cascadia 17 (GTX) or Caldera 7.

Alternatively, you can consider more sturdy hiking boots (such as Meindl shoes) that support the ankles for steeper descents and rockier, snow-covered parts.

Shoes are very personal. Consider visiting an outdoor running/hiking shoe store and let an expert consult you.

You may also want to bring flip-flops or something to wear during the stay at the refuge and hotels.
I brought the TEVA hurricane verge during my last trip, which I occasionally wore during the hike to give my shoes time to dry and my feet time to air. The downside is bringing extra volume and weight.

In all cases, make sure your feet are already accustomed to the footwear before you start your hike.

Hiking Socks:
Invest in light moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry and blister-free during the long days on the trail. Due to long walking and high temperatures, your feet and toes can get very HOT. So consider bringing enough socks that are light and breeze such as Ayacucho Ultra Light Crew Hiking Socks.

Blister Prevention:
Before embarking on your daily trek, apply a light coating of foot cream or powder to your feet (Care Plus First Aid Foot Kit). This provides a protective layer, reducing friction and minimizing the risk of blisters during long walks. Sprinkle a little talcum or foot powder into your shoes, socks, and directly onto your feet. This not only helps absorb excess moisture but also reduces friction, keeping your feet comfortable throughout the day.

After a day of traversing the diverse terrains of Mont Blanc, treat your feet to a refreshing wash with cold water. Avoid using soap as it can strip the skin of its natural oils. Cold water helps soothe and rejuvenate, preparing your feet for the next day's journey.

Prioritize proactive measures to prevent blisters by covering sensitive areas with blister plasters. Strategic placement on areas prone to friction—such as heels, toes, and sides of the feet—can significantly reduce the likelihood of painful blisters.


Rain and Sun Protection:
Shield yourself from the Alpine sun with a light and breezy hat or cap and quality UV sunglasses.
Also bring reliable sunscreen, and don't forget your lips – they deserve UV protection too!
A lip balm with SPF will keep your pout as vibrant as the surrounding vistas.

For wet conditions, bring a few plastic (garbage) bags or a poncho. Also bring a rain cover for your backpack. Plastic bags are also needed to store wet and dirty clothing.

The refuges will provide us with a mattress, a pillow, and a duvet, but you will need to bring a cover/sleeve (cocoon) for the sleeping bag and pillow. 

For a good night's rest, make sure to bring good earplugs. Snoring is very common at high altitudes and we will be spending nights in dormitories. Consider malleable earplugs such as Ohropax.

Physically demanding days can also negatively affect your sleep. You may also consider sleeping medication or other sleep-inducing supplements. 

”A man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”
- Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

You don’t want to waste too much volume on towels, so consider bringing a microfiber travel towel.

Personal Hygiene:
The Mont Blanc is all the charm we need. Bring a bare minimum of personal hygiene items – a toothbrush, and toothpaste keep you feeling minty fresh (for a brief moment that is). And hey, sharing toothpaste might just be the bonding experience your travel buddy never knew they needed.

First Aid:
Arm yourself with a hiker first aid kit that includes blister treatment. Align your kit with fellow hikers to avoid overstacking aid supplies. At basecamp we ensure that every hiker at least brings the bare essentials (such as a bandage, bandaids, paracetamol, and blister treatment).

Also bring paracetamol and ibruprofin.

When the sun bids adieu and the mountains embrace the night, you will need a headlamp or flashlight. Don't forget those extra batteries – the last thing you want is to be caught in the dark stumbling up and down a mountain range.

Portable Charger:
Keep your smart devices alive with a charger. Ensuring your devices are charged is essential.
That also means we have a rule to limit the non-essential use of devices to a minimum and that we always hike with someone who has a charged phone.


Trekking Poles:
The TMB is going to be terrible rough on the knees. Trekking Poles are therefore a welcome support.
You will also require them when going through snowtrails.

Consider the Black Diamond Distance FLZ. These are light, easy to use and tuck away.

Knee braces:
Knee braces also provides welcome support, especially on steep and long descends. This extra support you can help you push through last few kilometers.


You must be able to carry water capacity of at least 2 liters. A bladderbag is highly recommended. You can tuck this in your backpack, which is better for the distribution of weight and you can sip easilly without stopping to keep a steady pace. Choose one that fits seamlessly into your backpack.

I do not recommend drinking water from the streams because they are generally not safe. If you decide to do so regardless at your own risk, please use water purification tablets or a filtering system when doing so.

Trail Mix:
Fuel yourself with a cache of trail mix, energy bars, and supplements. Tuck them into accessible pockets to recharge whenever the mountains call for an energy boost. These snacks are your power-ups. Intense treks can take a toll on your electrolyte levels.

Pack some electrolyte supplements (ORS) to replenish what the mountains may whisk away, keeping you at your peak performance.

On the TMB there is a rule you must carry your own waste with you. Most refuges do not have options for you to dump your waste. Only in the occasional village will you have the option to dump your waste. That means you must also carry a plastic bag to carry out your waste.

You will need to carry your Passport/ID, and any necessary permits (depending on your country of origin). Also, bring your travel and health insurance information. Each hiker must have their emergency contact information on their body. Ideally, you also have vital medical information on your body, such as your blood type and information about medical conditions.

The mountain lodges generally do not accept (credit) cards. As you venture into places without connectivity, you may need to rely on a good old cash to resupply. Consider an emergency fund in cash for unexpected gear repairs, transportation, and emergency overnight stays if something goes awry.

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