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What to pack for the Tour du Mont Blanc

Out of all of the long-distance walks in Europe, the Tour du Mont Blanc is undoubtedly the most popular. And once you start trekking it, it's not hard to see why. With outstanding views that'll have you feeling like you're on top of the world, this walk, while it might be beautiful, isn't for the faint-hearted.

Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc will take you several days, so it's paramount that you pack the right gear. If you don't know where to start, we've put together a list of all the essentials you'll need to make your trek stress-free. 

Clothing

Wet weather clothing 

No matter the time of year, you should always be prepared for light showers or unexpected heavier rainfall. This means you should be packing water-resistant clothing such as pants, jackets, and other wet weather gear. 

Layers 

Ensure you have clothing that can be easily put on or taken off during your trek in the event of unpredictable weather. Wearing multiple layers also allows you to keep warm in the mornings and then cool off later in the day when the sun comes out. Think neck warmers, thermal clothing, a fleece and gloves. 

Hat 

Sunstroke isn't something you want to deal with on a trek, so sun protection is a must. Instead of a baseball cap, try a hat that's more of a sun cap with flaps to protect your neck and head. 

Other essentials 

Hiking shoes

Before you even think about attempting the Tour du Mont Blanc, make sure you have comfortable, worn-in hiking shoes. And no, we're not talking about new hiking shoes. If you have bought new shoes for the trip, make sure you wear them multiple times before you go as you don't want to develop blisters on day one. 

Backpack 

You simply cannot attempt the Tour du Mont Blanc without a sufficient backpack. While the bag itself needs to be lightweight, it also needs to be big enough to fit all of your daily essentials such as a first aid kit, a reusable drink bottle, retractable hiking poles, and various snacks for the trek.

Mini first aid kit

Since the Tour du Mont Blanc takes you over sometimes challenging terrain, being prepared for the most common ailments is super important. Whether you've got a blister from the hiking shoes you thought were going to be comfortable and need a band-aid or you've woken up with a headache, packing a mini first aid kit that's small enough to carry in your backpack is a great idea. 

Reusable drink bottle 

This one's a no-brainer. Tour du Mont Blanc is physically demanding and you'll need to make sure you're fully hydrated before attempting to trek for several hours. There are a few stops along the way where you can fill up your reusable bottle. 

Sunscreen

Regardless of the season, you should always pack sunscreen and apply it daily before you head out. The last thing you'll want is sunburn during your long-distance trek! While it might seem like you don't need it in winter, the UV rays can still be high (even if the weather is overcast). 

Retractable hiking poles 

Since you'll walk for multiple hours every day, your lower body may need a helping hand. To take the pressure off your legs, consider packing a pair of retractable and shock-resistant hiking poles. You can carry them with you in your backpack when you don't need them but can whip them out when you're feeling a bit tired. 

The nice-to-haves 

Visitor guide/trek notes

If you're travelling with us, your Intrepid leader will already be clued up on where to go and how best to hike the mountain. However, if you want to be extra prepared then packing trekking notes or a Mont Blanc visitors guide with you is worthwhile. This will just give you extra information on what to expect, weather conditions you could encounter, and any warnings to heed. 

Head torch 

If you have room in your bag, a head torch can come in handy, especially for early morning starts, evening walks outside your lodge to see the stars, or during low visibility due to weather conditions. 

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