This Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List contains everything you need for your Tour du Mont Blanc hike.
It can also be intimidating knowing what to pack for a long distance trek – especially when you’re carrying everything yourself!
It inspires awe every day as you circumnavigate Mont Blanc, the second highest mountain in Europe. If you’re planning a trip, you’ll definitely want to check out Tour du Mont Blanc: How to Plan for this Epic Adventure and the 7-day, 9-day and 10-day TMB Self-Guided and Guided Tours that we offer!
This packing list will also work for our 7 and 10-day self-guided Dolomites treks.
The TMB was my first real long distance hike. I had only a vague idea of what to pack since most of my other hiking trips were day hikes or just an overnight backcountry camping trip.
When I first laid everything out on my bed and tried to stuff it in my backpack. A third of it didn’t fit. The next attempt, I managed to get it closed, but just barely.
After strapping it up and staggering a few steps, and realized that if I was having a hard time making it across my bedroom, I had no chance of making it 160km across mountain passes every day.
So I reduced again.
Reflecting on my TMB afterwards I probably overpacked a tiny bit. But was overall happy with my packing list. I’ve modified this packing list to reflect what you actually need.
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How to Use this Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List:
This TMB Packing List assumes that you will be staying in refuges, and taking between 7 – 12 days to do the hike, as I did when I hiked the TMB. If you plan to sleep in a tent, of course, you would need camping gear. You’d also need to decide whether you would be cooking your own food or eating at a nearby refuge.
It also assumes that you will be carrying your own backpack. You’ll need a 60-L backpack. If you pack really light you can get away with a 45-litre backpack, which I used.
If you don’t want to carry your own backpack, then I highly recommend doing one of our self-guided tours. We can organize luggage transfer for you so that you just have to carry your day backpack. If you’re having your luggage transferred daily, a 35-L backpack is fine.
Clothing to Pack for the TMB
Buy on AmazonDescription: Smartwool top
It repels odour. And you can actually wear it multiple days without washing it and it really doesn’t smell, wicks away moisture and dries quickly. It’s also really soft on the skin.
Buy on amazonDescription: 2 Quick-dry moisture-wicking shirts
Only 2 is enough if they are long sleeved with the option to roll the sleeves up, otherwise, bring 2 short-sleeve and 1 long-sleeve shirt.
Buy on AmazonDescription: Lightweight fleece with hood
This should be another warm layer. Make sure to choose one that’s lightweight and warm. It is your mid-layer. I bring one on every single hike – even if it’s hot outside.
Price Range: from $8 to $72
Buy on AmazonDescription: 3 pairs of moisture-wicking hiking socks
Socks are one item you don’t want to cheap out on. A good pair of socks will help prevent blisters by wicking the moisture away. They’ll also help regulate your foot temperature.
Price Range: from $8 to 45
Hiking Gear You Need for the TMB
Buy on AmazonDescription: Anti-shock & retractable hiking poles
To reduce the pressure off your lower body. Buy the retractable kind so that you can carry them on your backpack when you’re not using them.
Price Range: from $20 to $95
Buy on AmazonDescription: Hiking boots
Choose an ankle-height pair that is waterproof or water resistant. VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to break them in before you start the Tour du Mont Blanc. You don’t want to be in constant agony because of blisters.
Price Range: from $10 to $90
After Hiking Clothing You Need for Hanging Out in the TMB Refuges
Buy on AmazonDescription: Hut shoes
Many huts do not allow regular shoes in certain areas. Bring a pair of hut shoes, spa shoes, or slippers to wear indoors. Some, but not all huts will provide these.
Price Range: from $15 to $75Buy on AmazonDescription: Nightshirt or something to sleep in
You may be sharing a room with others. Even if you have your own private room, you will be sharing a bathroom, so bring something that covers everything. I.e. leave the negligee at home.
Price Range: from $15 to $50
Buy on AmazonDescription: ALPS Mountaineering MicroFiber Rectangle Sleeping Bag Liner
The refuges provide blankets and a pillow. A sleeping bag liner serves as a barrier between you and the blankets. Bring this even if you’re staying in private rooms since some but not all accommodations provide linens.
Price Range: from $12 to $55
Food and Snacks to Pack for the TMB
Nutritious Snacks that don’t squish easily. Nuts and dried fruit are good choices. Crackers and wafers get crushed easy and chocolate melts. If you crave something sweet, then gummy bears are a better choice than chocolate since they don’t melt. If you have any food allergies, like me, I’m Celiac so can’t eat any gluten, then bring a few extra snacks in case the refuges aren’t able to accommodate your allergy or forget, as happened to me on a couple of occasions.
Note: Breakfast and dinner are both served in the refuge. You have the option to purchase a to-go lunch from them which is what we did. The other option is to bring more food or plan to stop at one of the refuges en route for lunch. If you choose the last option, prepare to do more route planning so that you don’t end up eating lunch at 10:00 am or 4:00 pm.
Staying Hydrated on the TMB
Price Range: from $10 to $50
Miscellaneous Stuff to Pack for the TMB
Price Range: from $5 to $17
Buy on AmazonDescription: Plastic bags
Yes, you’ve got to carry that toilet paper out. You can’t leave it. Yes, it’s stinky and gross, but do it anyway. Hence the plastic bags.
Price Range: from $12 to $45
Buy on AmazonDescription: Universal Travel Adapter
You’ll need an adapter that works in Europe and that has multiple outlets. Outlets are in short supply in the huts and this one allows you to charge multiple devices at the same time.
Price Range: from $7 to $20
Description: Toilet paper
If you’ve ever been without toilet paper while hiking, you’ll understand why you should always bring a roll with you.
Buy on AmazonDescription: Headlamp with extra batteries.
I always carry a headlamp in my backpack. Two years ago, my husband and I did a short 3 hour hike, which turned into a 7 hour hike because we got lost. Thankfully we found our way with our headlamps. I actually end up using mine a few times each year.
Price Range: from $5 to $20Travel Insurance
Money on the TMB
Most refuges do not accept credit cards and there are only cash machines in the towns. Of which you will not be in every day if you stay in refuges. Be sure to bring enough cash with you. You can expect to pay €12 – €15 for a packed lunch from the huts. You’ll also need money for drinks at your hut. And for tranfers, if you want to take a lift or a bus to shorten your hike. Budget ~€30 to €50 for this. Plus it’s a good idea to bring extra cash as a contingency.
In Europe, it’s required by law that you carry identification with you. If you’re a European citizen identification will do. If you’re not European, you must carry your passport with you.
Optional Items to Pack for the TMB
Buy on AmazonDescription: iPhone
This is for taking photos. I rarely hike with my DSLR because it’s so bulky and heavy. The new smartphones take really great photos. I also use the GPS function. You can also use it to download hiking apps.
Price Range: $900Book to read. I recommend bringing both a Kindle Fire HD – pre-loaded and a small paper one. Plugins are in short supply in refuges and you may not be able to charge all your devices every night.
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That’s your complete Tour du Mont Blanc packing list. Happy packing!
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links meaning that if you buy something I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I’ve included recommendations for specific products after receiving multiple emails asking for product recommendations.