A woman with a suitcase in front of a mountain landscape

Your journey to the Alps will be conducive to numerous cultural activities and nature discoveries! To fully enjoy and pack well for your vacation in the Alps, we offer you all our tips on the equipment to bring. Whether you come for trekking in the summer, skiing in the winter, exploring the mountains with non-skiing experiences, or visiting our charming towns in spring or autumn, find detailed information on essential clothing and gear for a dream stay!

Summer in the mountains: how to dress? The list of items to pack for your summer vacation in the Alps

When it comes to discovering the Alps in summer, think of nature hikes, water sports on the lakes of Annecy and Bourget, relaxation and strolling in beautiful alpine towns like Chamonix, Annecy, and Chambéry, and magical evenings under the stars!

Depending on the activities you choose for your stay in the Alps, here are some essentials you absolutely must not forget in your luggage:

  • A swimsuit and towel, to enjoy the lakes or the hotel and chalet pools.
  • Shorts, t-shirts, shirts, and/or dresses and skirts to enjoy the beautiful days.
  • Lightweight shoes for city outings and sports/hiking shoes for nature experiences.
  • A cap or hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun at all times.
  • A waterproof jacket for bad weather, and some warm clothes because even though the climate in the Alps is generally warm and sunny, you are not immune to weather changes, summer storms, and a few cool evenings or mornings.
  • Your toiletry bag with your usual essentials.
  • Your electronic devices, such as your camera, charger, and a plug adapter depending on your country of origin.

For more specific sports activities, it is important to bring the appropriate equipment, although most of it can be rented on-site. For example, for mountain biking outings, bring sports shoes, leg guards, and a back protector if you are used to it, a water pouch, a technical t-shirt, shorts, and a windbreaker to slip into your backpack!

To pack for your trekking-themed vacation in the Alps, refer to the next section

A woman hikes on alpine trails, facing a beautiful mountain panorama

Hiking in the Alps: how to dress and what equipment to bring?

The Alps are a hiker's paradise! From observing wildlife to mythical peaks and pristine valleys, the panoramas you will admire will create wonderful memories. Whether for day excursions or embarking on the iconic Tour du Mont-Blanc trail, here is an overview of all the items to pack in your bag before departing for the Alps!

Checklist of essential equipment to pack for an active vacation in the Alps

Whether you're hitting the Alpine trails in summer, spring, or autumn, it is essential to have comfortable and suitable gear for any weather condition.

At 1786, we offer numerous day hikes in the Mont-Blanc massif, the Chartreuse, the Aravis, the Bauges, in the Vanoise National Park, around Alpe d'Huez, Megève, and the Portes du Soleil resorts... As we mentioned, it's truly a trekker's paradise! To fully enjoy your experience with us, here are some must-haves for your suitcase:

  • A backpack with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt.
  • Breathable thermal t-shirts, both long-sleeved and short-sleeved.
  • A fleece jacket.
  • Waterproof, convertible hiking pants.
  • Good hiking boots: high-cut, comfortable, with grippy soles suitable for all terrains, waterproof, and well broken-in.
  • Hiking socks.
  • Sun protection: sunglasses with high UV protection, sunscreen, a cap or hat.
  • A beanie and thin gloves for low temperatures.
  • A waterproof and breathable jacket or a rain poncho that can cover your backpack (otherwise, choose a waterproof cover that fits your pack).
  • Telescopic trekking poles.
  • Water bottles or a hydration pack to carry 2 to 3 liters of water, along with some snacks (cereal bars, dried fruits, etc.).
  • A personal first-aid kit, even though your guide will have essentials. For your well-being, it's important to bring blister plasters and the painkillers you usually take. A disinfectant can also be very useful.

Pack your suitcase for your vacation in the Alps, add all this equipment, and set off on an adventure on the Alpine trails!

What equipment is needed for the Tour du Mont-Blanc?

In addition to the basic items listed in the previous section, such as thermal t-shirts and pants/shorts, a comfortable backpack, hiking boots and socks, trekking poles, sun and wind protection, water bottles, and a fleece jacket, here are some additional essentials for your tailor-made Tour du Mont-Blanc:

  • Lightweight shoes to rest your feet in the evening.
  • If you opt for nights in refuges, it is essential to bring a good sleeping bag or a sleeping liner if blankets are provided.
  • Similarly, in refuges, don't forget your earplugs.
  • A headlamp.
  • An optimized toiletry bag.

For your comfort during this 4, 5, 7, 10, or 12-day trek, we recommend choosing the luggage transport service, so you only need to carry your day essentials. Your main bags will be waiting for you at the refuge or hotel (depending on the itinerary) at the end of each hiking stage.

Two skiers will set off on the descent of the Vallée Blanche, from the Aiguille du Midi to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

How to pack for a winter vacation in the Alps?

Do you prefer to discover the Alps under the snow? To safely hit the slopes of the ski resorts or to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of a winter in the mountains, here are all our tips for packing your suitcase for your vacation in the Alps!

What to pack for skiing?

If you're coming to ski in one of the world's most renowned areas, like the 3 Vallées or Val d’Isère, you're likely already familiar with the essentials for skiing:

  • A technical t-shirt.
  • A fleece jacket or a light down jacket.
  • A waterproof and warm ski jacket and pants.
  • Tights under your pants for extremely cold weather.
  • Gloves or mittens.
  • Thick ski socks.
  • A neck warmer and a beanie.
  • Your ski helmet.
  • Your ski goggles or sunglasses (with high UV protection, essential at high altitude).
  • A lightweight backpack to store your accessories and water.

Don't forget to prepare a small first aid kit with sunscreen, moisturizer, and arnica to prevent muscle soreness!

It is also entirely possible to bring your own skis or snowboard. To facilitate your travel with personal equipment, our private vehicles, driven by professional chauffeurs, are spacious and perfect for transporting all your gear to the resort where you will be spending your vacation.

A person walks on snowshoes in a completely snow-covered alpine landscape

How to gear up for non-skiing activities in the mountains?

Whether for après-ski or non-skiing activities like snowshoeing, igloo building, or other cultural experiences, make sure to have closed, waterproof shoes with small crampons to avoid slipping on the snow. Also, equip yourself with warm clothing: a fleece jacket, waterproof down jacket, gloves, beanie, and tights under your pants... to enjoy your activities comfortably.

The list of items to pack for a mountain stay in spring or autumn

During your stay in the Alps in spring or autumn, explore the beautiful towns of Annecy, Aix-les-Bains, Chamonix, Chambéry, or Geneva through guided or gourmet tours. For your urban explorations, pack light clothing for spring (t-shirt, shirt, skirt, shorts…), but always keep a sweater or fleece handy for the mornings and evenings. The days are generally sunny with pleasant temperatures, but you are not immune to a few rainy days. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof jacket or an umbrella to protect yourself while strolling through the streets.

Spring and autumn are also perfect seasons for outdoor adventures: mountain biking, hiking in the massifs… Prepare the essential gear, as outlined in the previous sections, to fully enjoy your mountain experiences!

Do you have any questions about packing for your vacation in the Alps? Our team is here to advise and guide you, so don't hesitate to contact us! And to go further, also discover all the services we offer with Agence 1786!