Here you go! Our complete packing list with gear to bring for a stay in a typical Swiss mountain hut. This list is slightly different than the ‘standard’ hiking packing list you find in our article ‘Hitting the trails for beginners’. Our packing list for a few days of trekking through the mountains contains only 11 essential items. They will keep your backpack (or even a daypack) light and small. This way you don’t need to cut your toothbrush to go ultralight ;-)
- Mini toiletries
They help travelling light. Mini deodorants, shower gels, toothpastes can be shared.
- Fast-dry towel
Is compact for your backpack, extremely light and dries three times better than a standard cotton towel.
Also available in mini sizes.
- Sunglasses and cap
To protect you from the sun. Never underestimate the sun up in the mountains. Not even on cloudy days.
- Photo camera
It’s beautiful up in the mountains and nothing captures this beauty that better than a ‘normal’ camera. You could use a camera clip to wear it on the chest side of your backpack.
- Walking poles
Helped us keeping our balance during the hike to the hut. On steep parts you can pull yourself up and lean on them when walking downhill. Not to mention we really needed them to cross some ice patches.
- Hiking shoes or trail shoes
Although we did see some hikers on sneakers. (Definitely not recommended.)
- Set of clean and warm clothes to wear in the hut
It will make your stay more comfortable and with thermal clothing you will enjoy watching the sunset way more.
- Head torch
Most mountain huts offer only mixed dorms with bunk beds. Some hikers go to bed super early (to leave in the middle of the night) and with a head torch you don’t have to switch on the dormitory light while your roomies are already fast asleep.
- Ear plugs
As in every dorm, there is a chance you might have to share the room with a snorer…
Most mountain huts are equipped with duvets and pillows, so you don’t need to carry a sleeping bag. However, in many cases they don’t wash the bedding frequently. (Because of difficult water supplies up there.) In the Swiss Glecksteinhütte which we visited in the Summer of 2019, they wash the bedding only 3 times per season! It is therefore essential to sleep in a sleeping bag liner for your own – and the next persons hygiene.
Pro tip: Check the weather forecast before you start your hike. The weather in the mountains can change quickly. Make sure you have the right clothing for your trip. We like to carry our tiny and light Patagonia Houdini rain jacket on trips like this.