Question: Hello! I'm of f to walk Alta Via 1 on June 25th. My question is a big one - what gear do I need?
Answer: Hi there,
The name is Gear, Richard 'Continental Walking' Gear. There's a
tendency for Brits to get slightly outfaced by alpine treks simply
because the mountains are bigger and higher, but the good news is that
you probably own most of the kit you'll need already if you're a
regular hill walker.
I'd try to keep things lightweight as far as you can. Because camping
is forbidden on the Alta Via 1 route â€“ there are refuges all along it â€“
you won't need overnight kit, so you can forget about tents and mats,
sleeping bags and cooking kit as you'll be sleeping in a real bed.
Don't forget your toothbrush though.
For footwear, I'd look at either trail shoes or lightweight walking
boots, take a couple of pairs of socks so you can alternate â€“ wash and
dry one pair, wear the other â€“ lightweight trousers possibly
convertibles and shorts. Upper body, I'd take a couple of baselayer
tops â€“ merino wool is great for repeated wearing as it doesn't pong â€“ a
lightweight fleece and possibly a light Primaloft, or similar top.
Alternatively a light windshell over the fleece. Add a fleece beanie
and some light gloves for extremity protection.
A light waterproof shell jacket and, if you like, trousers to cope with
rain are a must. Finally, think about hut wear. I'd always carry a set
of dry clothes in a waterproof bag for the evening. Possibly just a set
That's pretty much it on the clothing front. As far as equipment goes,
pretty much what you'd carry on a UK summer mountain walk â€“ sun cream,
torch, whistle, navigation kit, a light first aid kit, some snacks,
which you can buy en route, water bottle or hydration pack, camera and
so on. Duct tape is always a good move for repairs. Trekking poles if
you use them.
Finally, you should easily be able to stow all that in a pack no bigger
than, say, 40 litres.
One last thought, the route doesn't include any via ferrata sections,
but there are some in the area which could be options. If you want to
do those, you'll also need a harness and a via ferrata safety kit to
attach yourself to the cables and other metalwork.
Simple really. Don't get hung up on the kit, think UK summer and have