Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List: What You Need to Bring

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.

Price Range: from $70 to $140

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.

Price Range: from $8 to $55

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 $25 to $120

Buy on AmazonDescription: Waterproof shell with hood
It will likely rain at some point while you’re hiking the TMB. Shells don’t take up much room. It will save you in rain, hail or even snow storm.

Price Range: from$35 to $170

Buy on AmazonDescription: Waterproof pants
Remember, rain is a high possibility at some point during your TMB. I only wore mine one day but was glad to have them.

Price Range: from $26 to $130

Buy on AmazonDescription: 2 pairs of Convertible hiking pants
Look for the kind that zip off into shorts. This saves you from having to bring both pants and shorts.

Price Range: from $20 to $160

Buy on AmazonDescription: Thermal leggings
You’ll want to bring these if you’re hiking the TMB in June or September. It might get chilli.

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 $15 to $65
Buy on AmazonDescription: Light gloves
If you’re going in July and August, light gloves are fine but if you’re going in June or Sep, then bring warmer ones as well.

Price Range: from $10 to $55

Buy on AmazonDescription: Neckwarmer
This is one of my favourite pieces of gear and takes up almost no space.

Price Range: from $8 to $16
Buy on AmazonDescription: Warm hat
Or a toque as us Canadians call it 🙂

Price Range: from $8 to $35
Buy on AmazonDescription: Dry Bag
For your electronics and passport.

Price Range: from $8 to 45

Hiking Gear You Need for the TMB

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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 $70 to $450

Buy on AmazonDescription: 35-45L Backpack
The size you choose will depend on how much you pack. Look for one that comes with a built-in rain cover.

Price Range: from $50 to $400
Buy on AmazonDescription: Gaiters
Very useful in case of rain or walking through deep snow banks. Plus they  keep tiny rocks from getting in your boots.

Price Range: from $30 to $100quick dry underwear
Buy on AmazonDescription: 3 pairs of quick dry underwear
They save a lot of space by not having to bring so many pairs.

Price Range: from $10 to $50day-hiking pack list - sports braBuy on AmazonDescription: Sports bra
You should also take a regular bra for hanging out at the hut. You don’t want to have to put on a sweaty bra after showering, yuck.

Price Range: from $10 to $150Sun Cap
Buy on AmazonDescription: Baseball/sun cap
You definitely don’t want to get sunstroke while hiking so bring some kind of hat that will protect you from the sun.

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 $13 to $60
Buy on AmazonDescription: Comfortable pair of casual pants
You’ll wear these after hiking and having dinner in the refuges.

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

Buy on AmazonDescription: 4 liters of water
Some days you may only need 3 litres, and on most days there will be a refuge en route where you can fill up your water bottle.

Price Range: from $10 to $65Buy on AmazonDescription: Electrolyte tablets
These are very helpful near the end of the day when you’re ready to power out, but still have more hiking to do.

Price Range: from $10 to $50

Miscellaneous Stuff to Pack for the TMB


Buy on AmazonDescription: Compeed blister cushions
These are THE best blister treatment I’ve ever found.

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 $5 to $15
Buy on AmazonDescription: Quick-dry towel
Most refuges don’t provide towels, so you need one you can dry off with after a shower, and use to dry your face.

Price Range: from $10 to $60
Buy on AmazonDescription: Tour of Mont Blanc
Complete two-way trekking guide. You won’t need this or the map below if you choose to do our TMB Tour.

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 $8 to $25
Buy on AmazonDescription: Mini first aid kit
You probably don’t need a full-size First Aid Kit. I use a mini one like this one and it has the basics.

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.

Price Range: from $5 to $10
Buy on AmazonDescription: Toiletries
You need a proper place to keep your toiletries so they don ruin everything else if they spill.

Price Range: from $15 to $55

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 $8 to $100biodegradable laundry soap sheets

Buy on Amazon Description: Washing detergent
Make sure it is biodegradable so that you contaminate the least possible.

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.

Documents

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

iphone

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.garmin gps tracker

Buy on AmazonDescription: Garmin
My husband bought one of these when we did the Tour du Mont Blanc. Track your route and progress.

Price Range: from $80 to $500

Buy on AmazonDescription: Card Game.
You may have time to relax when you arrive at the hut each day. Bring a card game or other game that doesn’t take up much space. Pictured is one of my favourites.

Price Range: from $10 to $25massage balls

Buy on AmazonDescription: Massage Ball
I highly recommend bringing a small one that you can use on your feet, aching shoulders, and legs. It doesn’t take up much room and feels soooo good.

Price Range: from $5 to $25muscle soreness cream

Buy on AmazonDescription: Muscle-soreness relief cream
You might need them after each day of hiking.

Price Range: from $8 to $25eyemask with earplugs

Buy on AmazonDescription: Eye mask and ear plugs.
While it’s lights out fairly early in the dormitory rooms, there’s usually at least one person snoring.

Price Range: from $9 to $30[vc_btn title=”CHECK OUT OUR SELF-GUIDED TOUR DU MONT BLANC TREKS” color=”green” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fmonkeysandmountains.com%2Ftours%2Ftour-du-mont-blanc-self-guided-tour%2F||target:%20_blank|”]

Make sure to check out my list of top gifts for hikers that will fit any budget.

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.

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48 thoughts on “Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List: What You Need to Bring”

  1. This mountain trek is a beautiful but grueling one … these items will see a novice hiker through this experience with a decent amount of comfort. Great list!

      • Hi Laurel , Awesome detailed explanation about TMB. We are Planning to do TMB this year (Camping). Can you please shed some light on Camping? Is it possible ?feasible?

        • @Samir – Thank you! Yes, it’s possible to camp, but you can’t pre-book. From what I understand it can be difficult to get a spot, so try to arrive early in the day. It may also be possible to shower or have dinner at the refuges, if they have room, but you have to inquire individually at each one. Unfortunately, I don’t have more info on camping, as we stayed in the refuges.

  2. Thank you for this helpful list! When you say ‘bring enough cash’.. how much is enough? I’m doing the 11 day version. ~S

    • Hi Shell, Glad that you found it useful. If you haven’t paid for your accommodations yet, you’ll need to bring enough to cover that as most places don’t accept credit/debit cards. In addition, if you want a packed lunch or to eat at one of the huts en route that’s ~ €8 to €12 a day. We also brought all our snacks with us. I’d also bring another €200 – 300 or so on top of that as a contingency fund. I.e. we didn’t like the look of one hostel so we ended up booking a private dorm room instead.

      Hope that helps. Enjoy your trip!

  3. Hi Laurel , Awesome detailed explanation about TMB. We are Planning to do TMB this year (Camping). Can you please shed some light on Camping? Is it possible ?feasible?

    • Hi Samir, I did TMB on mountain bike in self autonomie in 4 days. We were camping ” wild”. As soon as you put your tente up quite late and quite hiden and you fold it up soon you will be ok to do it too. Of course you must clean the place up but I am sûre you would!!!

    • Hi Cecilia, I was able to get everything into a 45-litre backpack, and then carried my lunchpack and flip flops on the outside of my backpack. My husband had more stuff, and had a 60-litre backpack, which still had space left in it.

  4. This is great information – thank you. I am leaving for my hike in 28 days. Do you know of a site where you are able to plan day by day, stop by stop to know the distances and elevations? I found one, however it isn’t in English. Thanks of your help.

  5. Hi
    Wondering if you could tell me how you carried your passport and other important documents? Did you keep them in your backpack or on you at all times? If carried on your body, what did you use, a neck lanyard, etc? Will be hiking Tour du Mont Blanc at the end of the month and am beyond excited!!
    Thanks for your response and packing list.
    Lori

    • @Lori I kept them in my backpack and either my husband or I stayed with it the entire time. I brought a small bag with my wallet, passport, etc. with me to dinner since I didn’t want to leave it in the shared rooms. Best of luck and let me know how your trip goes! I loved the TMB!

    • @Eran, correct, you don’t need a sleeping bag, BUT you do need a sleeping bag liner. You’ll sleep in that, cover the pillow with it, and then use the hut blankets over your sleeping bag liner.

  6. You mentioned you could suggest a great tour operator who will do the bookings and also have luggage transferred each day.I would greatly appreciate if you can email me the details.
    Thanks

  7. Hi,
    Thank you for such a great list and so much useful information! We are planning on doing the hike with some friends Sept 2017. I would love to have your tour operator’s information as well. We were planning on doing the route on our own, but your recommendation of getting the extra help for booking is very intriguing.

    Thanks again!

    • @Erika – So glad that you found it useful. Here’s the link to the self-guided tours. After having done the TMB by ourselves, I’ve since booked all my treks as self-guided tours. I love the freedom without the hassle, making reservations and extensive planning.

  8. Hi,
    Just reading your blog as we do some Boxing Day travel reading for a TMB holiday in 2017. We’re not sure whether to book ourselves or use a tour operator so would be interested to know what coatings your tour operator is suggesting for 2017 so we can make a decision on that.
    Enjoyed your blog !
    Anna

  9. AWESOME LIST!
    Me and my wife are starting to plan for our trip now. I would love to bring my Drone but Realistically how many times were you able to charge a device along the route? I would hate to run out of battery and it just becomes a huge paper weight on my back.

    Thanks In advance
    Dennis

    • @Dennis – Glad it was useful. I charged my phone every day but there was often only one charger in a room, so you have to share it, i.e. you can probably get a couple of hours of charging but not a full night. It’s also challenging if you need to charge multiple devices so it’s a good idea to bring an adaptor that allows you to charge more than one device. Enjoy your trek!

  10. Hey, great list! How much did everything weight in total? I’m trying to go lightweight and camping for the full 11 day trip but I’m not sure if it’s possible

    • @Jess – I didn’t weigh it, but if you’re also going camping it’s definitely possible to do so and there’s a few places along the way that you could stock up on food that would keep your pack lighter. Enjoy!

  11. Laurel, im planning our trip for july of this year. we would like to do a self guided tour. would you pass along your recommendation for a reputable company. Thanks, your packing list is so complete and helpful !!!!

  12. @laurel this has been simple. easy, and clean list. Helped to answer many of my questions. I am very experience hiker. Most of my hikes, I end up sleeping in a tent because there are no humans around. I was surprised to learn that there are actual huts that one can sleep in on this route. Do you have a list of huts that you highly recommend? If so, should I book in advance? I am going during the first two weeks of August. I will be travel with one other trekker.

    Best,

  13. Hello! Thank you for the helpful article. I have been researching this trek for months when I decided to go, and I’m leaving​ in two days! I am looking to purchase the trail directions that are provided by self tour company, not the entire booking service. Is that a possiblity? I’m just a touch worried about getting lost in the wilderness by myself! Also, because I am by myself, I plan to cover more country and complete the tour in six days. Please message me!

    • @Shelly – Great to hear that you’re doing the TMB. It’s a fantastic tour. We only provide the detailed day-day instructions to clients who book the self-guided tour. I’d recommend a good map, and bringing a mobile phone. Best of luck.

  14. Hi Laurel,
    I also have celiac and want to do this trip with my husband. How difficult was it to find food you could eat at the refuges? How much did you have to bring with you? Any guidance in this regard would be much appreciated! Thanks so much,
    Lauren

    • @Lauren – You need to notify the refuges in advance otherwise it will be much more difficult. (Our tour company does this when we make the reservation). Even with doing so, there were 2 times I only got a salad for dinner which wasn’t exactly filling after hiking all day. For the packed lunches, they don’t have gluten-free bread so I often got 4 apples as a lunch. I’d bring extra protein bars/snacks as a backup. Hope that helps.

  15. Hi Laurel! This is a wonderful site and your packing list is very helpful. I have one additional item that is a must-have for women. I purchased a pStyle and it is a game-changer. I no longer have to practically undress, feel exposed to insects and tickley grass or brush or wait painfully for the next legitimate bathroom. I can now stand up to pee! I never hike or bike without it!

    Betsy

    • @Betsy – thank you for kind words and recommendation. I haven’t tried a pStyle but am curious to try it now. Thanks for the recommendation.

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