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Walkers Haute Route - What to Bring

Be Prepared for Your haute Route adventure

Footwear needs to be supportive and with a good grip as the terrain can be variable, rocky, steep and loose. Sometimes we encounter loose ground, or scree type terrain and it is not uncommon to be walking through snow and heavy rain even during the summer. Boots are recommended, but there are currently some very good summer walking shoes available, which can be more comfortable on hot summer days. Trainers are definitely not recommended as paths can be uneven and having ankle support is beneficial.

A Goretex (or similar) jacket and trousers are essential. Waterproofs are essential and need to be lightweight and breathable and they need to be carried at all times even with a good forecast. Bring a range of warm layers for all conditions, with gloves and a warm hat as conditions can change rapidly.

Warm clothing is another requisite. We suggest to use a layering system so you can easily regulate your body temperature whilst ascending or descending. A thermal, wicking base layer is recommended for comfort and ease of laundering. Take a look at our kit list to help you pack for your trek. If you require any additional information please get in touch.

You will need walking poles. All your equipment should be suitable for walking on rugged paths at high altitude where the conditions can be extremely variable from hour to hour, even during the summer months. In one day on the Walkers Haute Route you can experience extremes of weather ranging from hot sunny conditions to heavy rain and snow, so you do need to be prepared.

You can take a look at our kit list to help you pack for your trek and if you require any additional information please get in touch.



Short sleeve: Lightweight, breathable base layer made out of a synthetic fabric that can be washed and dried quickly.

Long sleeve: Long sleeve merino wool layer is a great idea for use as an extra layer if needed over a t-shirt. It is also useful to wear in the evenings.


Fleece or merino wool mid layer to go on top of the base layer this will give you a bit of warmth early mornings, on cooler days or when descending.

This could be with or without a hood, make sure it’s lightweight and packs down small.


Shorts: The majority of the time trekking shorts would be the best option for those warm summer days in the mountains.

Trousers: Lightweight walking trousers are a good idea to wear if it is cold, or during the evenings. Another possibility would be trekking trousers that are adapatable & have zip off legs so they can be worn as shorts.


There are many lightweight insulated layers available these days, this could be filled with down or synthetic material. Synthetic filled jackets tent to retain their thermal properties better if they get damp so we would recommend this option. This ultra-warm lightweight layer weighs no more than a fleece jumper and packs down even smaller! Great for cooler days, when taking a break or for refuge nights.


This is the most essential bit of kit there should be no compromise here! Gortex (or similar) lightweight waterproof jacket with a good hood and rain pants that will pack-down small. It is essential that both layers are carried every day as the weather can change rapidly in the Alps. They will protect you from top to toe on the foulest of wet weather days and also can be worn to give extra warmth from a harsh wind.


Good sturdy walking boots that offer support to the ankle or trekking shoes if you are confident on difficult terrain. They don’t have to be leather as these days you can buy ight-weight fabric alternatives that dry quickely. Makes sure they have a good sole Vibram or similar. If you are purchasing new boots make sure they are comfortable and worn in beforehand. Blisters could ruin your trek!!


Sun hat as the sun can be fairly intense at high altitude, neck protection is also recommended.

Warm hat, gloves and a scalf or buff are essential if you experience cold weather.

Hopefully the weather will be kind and the hats and gloves will stay at the bottom of the rucksack for the duration of your trek!


It is important to get your nutrition right, as you will be burning lots of calories each day, food can be purchased from local supermarkets & bakeries when staying in villages or from the refuges if ordered on arrival for the following day. It is essential you carry enough water with you so you don’t get dehydrated during the day. On some days it may be possible replenish your water at certain places but this is not always the case.


Day sack: A small sack will be required when opting for a baggage transfer. Approximately 20 litre, the bag must be large enough to carry warm and waterproof layers, essential kit, food and drink. You will need a rucksack liner to keep the contents dry and waterproof.

Multi-day sack: If you do not opt for the bag transfer service then a larger rucksack will be needed of approx. 28 - 35 litre. Rucksack liner will also be needed.


When staying in the mountain refuges you will need a few extra items as bag transfer would not be available in the remote locations. You will need travel towel, toiletries, head torch, ear plugs and a sleeping bag liner.

The majority of the time you will be staying in good quality hotels therefore it is easy to wash and dry kit through before the next day. Hotels will provide towels and soap.


  • Map, route cards, compass, altimeter if self guided
  • Sunglasses
  • Basic medical kit including blister plasters, sunscreen & lip salve
  • Essential medication
  • Trekking insurance
  • Money (cash and credit cards)
  • Passport and travel documents


  • Trekking poles, very useful to help on the ascents and save knees on the descent
  • Camera
  • iPod
  • Pocket knife
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Travel adapter
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Sleeping sheet, travel towel, head torch & ear plugs for mountain huts
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