Welcome to the first installment of our blog on what to wear on tour. We’re going to be talking about how to make sure you have a great time, and what to wear so that you look good while doing it. You might be thinking, “It’s just a tour—how hard can it be?” But we’re here to tell you that the wrong clothes could ruin your trip. The wrong clothes can make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, or they could even ruin your chances of getting in with the band. Either way, if you want to look great while rocking out in every city across America, then listen up!
What to Wear on Tour
As a tour guide, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in front of your guests. It’s important that you look professional and put-together, but also that you feel comfortable. Here are a few tips on what to wear on tour:\
1) Keep it simple. You’ll be moving around a lot, and the last thing you want is something complicated that could get snagged on something or come undone. A simple dark pair of pants with a tucked-in shirt will do just fine for day tours; for night tours, consider going with a dressier look instead—you can always throw on some flats if there’s any walking involved!
2) Don’t forget your hat! You don’t have to wear an actual hat (though if you do, props!), but make sure you have something on top of your head to keep the sun off while driving and to keep your hair out of your face while doing outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking.
You’re about to go on tour. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your car, on stage, or in the studio—all of which are new environments for you. If you can, it would be great if you could bring some things with you that will make those experiences more comfortable.
We know that a lot of artists are still new to touring, so we thought we’d put together this guide to help you prepare for your upcoming tour!
When you’re on tour, it’s important to look your best. A lot of people are going to be watching you, and they will judge you based on what they see. That’s why it’s important that you find a way to make yourself stand out from everyone else.
One of the best ways to do this is by wearing a suit that has some unique details about it.
If you’re on a guided tour, it’s absolutely okay to be a little casual. You don’t need to be impressive, though you should aim for comfort and self-confidence. Comfortable shoes are a must, though maybe choose something nicer than your rattiest pair of sneakers.
A college tour is one of the best opportunities you have to learn about what a campus is really like. Reading promotional material, or even student blogs, isn’t the same as seeing and experiencing it for yourself, but, like any other aspect of applying to college, you need to make sure you’re prepared for a college visit—and that means wearing the right outfit!
Most of the time, dressing for a college tour is a casual affair. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the best way to go about it—comfort and classiness are key.
This guide will walk you through the best way to dress for many different college visit scenarios. A bit of planning will help you have the best possible experience, as well as prepare you for interviews, auditions, and just exploring your dream campus. Read on to find out how!
What to Wear to a College Visit
One of the biggest things to keep in mind when considering what to wear to a college visit is that, in most cases, a college tour is for you to see the college, not for the college to see you.
For the most part, you can dress casually. But there are special considerations if you won’t just be touring the college, so keep that in mind as you’re planning your outfit.
What to Wear on a College Visit If You’re Just Walking Around Campus on Your Own
If you’re not on a guided tour and are just checking out the campus, you can wear pretty much whatever you want, within reason. It might look weird if you’re strolling through campus in a suit—whether three-piece or bathing—but if you’re just there as a visitor, you’re on your own.
What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re on a Guided Tour
If you’re on a guided tour, it’s absolutely okay to be a little casual. You don’t need to be impressive, though you should aim for comfort and self-confidence.
Comfortable shoes are a must, though maybe choose something nicer than your rattiest pair of sneakers. Whatever shoes you wear should be broken in so you don’t have to deal with pinching and blisters midway through the day. If your feet are hurting, you’re less likely to be paying attention to the tour!
Jeans are fine, as are t-shirts, but be wary of anything with a slogan or image that might be offensive. Even if a curse word or scantily clad person doesn’t bother you, it’s probably not the right fit for your first impression!
You don’t have to dress fancy, but do put in a little bit of effort. Present your best self—the self you’d want people to see as you venture off to college.
body_meetingIf you’ll be meeting with a professor, feel free to dress your outfit up a bit.
What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re Meeting With a Professor
Many students take advantage of being on campus to schedule appointments with advisers or professors in their field of study. If you’ve chosen to do so, it’s a smart idea to dress it up a little bit. Dress clothes are unnecessary, but do dress a little nicer than you would for just a tour.
Polished shoes are a good choice, but you still want them to be comfortable. If they’re going to pinch as you walk around campus, you may want to go more casual with a nice boat shoe, loafer, or boot. Whatever you choose, be sure that your shoes are broken in.
Dark, nice jeans are appropriate for a meeting with a professor. You could also opt for corduroys or khakis—whatever is going to make you feel most comfortable and confident.
A meeting with a professor is more professional than a tour, but not as professional as a college interview. Instead of a t-shirt, go for something a little classier—a button-up shirt or blouse is always a good choice. You don’t need to reach for a blazer, but if it makes you feel good, do it!
Most importantly, come prepared with questions and a good attitude. This is your chance to find out more about the school you want to attend, and that’s going to matter far more than looking like a model.
body_interview-2Your college interview outfit should have you looking and feeling something like this.
What to Wear to a College Visit If You Have an Interview
Business casual is your go-to for dressing for a college interview. You want to look both confident and professional, so spend a little more time on choosing your shirt and pants than you might for just a guided tour or meeting with a professor.
If you’re walking around campus as well as doing an interview, however, you’re going to want to be sure your shoes are going to hold up to lots of walking as well as looking sharp. Loafers may be a better choice than a dress shoe, unless you’re absolutely certain you’ve broken in the dress shoes and they’re still going to be comfortable after an hour or two.
Opt for a skirt, khakis, corduroy pants, or similar, paired with a button-up shirt or blouse. Dresses are fine, provided you cover your shoulders with a sweater or blazer. Keep your skirt length to around your knees (especially if you’re walking around!), but don’t worry about pantyhose or tights if they’re not comfortable or seasonally appropriate.
Choose an outfit that’s right for the season and climate. Layer your clothes if you’re touring in the fall or winter so you’ll be presentable during your interview, but stay warm enough outside. In the spring and summer, wear light, breathable fabrics so you’re not overheating outside—you don’t want to show up for your interview all red-faced and sweaty.
If you’re doing an interview on top of taking a tour, consider bringing a change of clothes. You want to be at your best during the interview, so changing into a fresh set of clothes might be your best option, if possible. If not, see if you can schedule your interview for before the tour—that way, you’re not already tired and disheveled from a day of wandering.
body_auditionIf you’re auditioning during your tour, you might consider tweaking your outfit as appropriate.
What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re Auditioning
Business casual is a good baseline, but, depending on what you’re auditioning for, you might make some additional tweaks to your clothes.
For example, what would a professional musician wear? How about an actor attending an audition? What would you wear to a gallery opening (though don’t get too fancy!)? Don’t overdo it, but do base your outfit choice on what makes sense for your field.
Comfortable shoes are still an absolute must, as you may be standing during your audition as well as walking around campus.
Choose an outfit that suits the weather—don’t wear a sweater for a summer campus tour in California—or add layers that you can remove when you’re done auditioning so you don’t overheat. The reverse is true, as well; bring a warm coat and gloves if necessary.
If walking around in your audition outfit will be too uncomfortable, consider bringing a change of clothes. Though you may have to carry a change of clothes, it’s far better to be comfortable and confident for your interview, and simply comfortable for the tour!
How to Pick What to Wear on a College Tour
What outfit you should wear depends in part on what you’re doing. Unless you’ll be doing an interview or audition, don’t rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe.
Try on lots of combinations and try to find what makes you feel good about yourself as well as comfortable. Again, you’re going to be focused on learning more about the campus, not on impressing your guide. Put in effort, but don’t overdo it.
It can’t be overstated: you’re going to be walking a lot, so wear comfortable, broken-in shoes.
Bring a bag, whether it’s a nice messenger bag or a clean, classy backpack. You’re going to be given lots of information, pamphlets, and so on, and having a place to put it will make walking around much easier. A bag can also hold a water bottle, snacks, and a notebook, which you can use to write down questions and notes you might have while touring.
Don’t worry too much about your outfit. You’ll be part of a group—unless you’re interviewing or auditioning, your main concern should be what you’re going to learn from the visit. Look clean and confident and you’ll have everything you need.
What to Wear on Tour De Mont Blanc
The Tour de Mont Blanc is a legendary bike race that takes place in the heart of the French Alps. The course is over 200 kilometers long, and includes some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. Participants must be in good physical condition, as well as highly skilled cyclists.
The Tour de Mont Blanc is one of those rare events where you can wear whatever you want. But if you’re planning on doing it this year, here are some tips on what to wear!
Tour de Mont Blanc is a challenging hike that takes you through the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. The route starts in Chamonix, France and ends at the Italian city of Courmayeur.
The Tour de Mont Blanc is one of the most popular hiking trails in Europe. It has been a bucket list item for many hikers because of its unique location and breathtaking views.
Tour de Mont Blanc is a cycling race that takes place in the Alps. During the race, cyclists climb over 8,000 meters of elevation.
The route is divided into five stages: Champex-Lac (begins in Switzerland), Orsieres-Megeve (ends in France), Saint-Gervais-les-Bains-Chamonix (ends in France), Annecy-Semnoz (begins in France), and Le Grand-Bornand (begins in France).
The Tour de Mont Blanc is one of the most difficult races in the world, with only 20% of riders able to finish it.
- Good three-season walking boots (worn in)
- Comfortable shoes to walk around town in the evening.
- Light slip-on shoes for indoors in refuges.
- 3 x Pairs of good quality walking socks.
- 3 x Base layer tops – ideally thermal, and Merino Wool is a good choice.
- 1 or 2 x warm mid-layer tops.
PACKING LIST FOR THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC
A multi-day hike through three countries, high in the Alps can be a daunting prospect for those who love an organised suitcase! This advice and the packing list below should hopefully help you avoid panic packing an unnecessarily heavy bag and have you adventuring happy (and with everything you need).
Good walking boots are an absolute must. Don’t attempt to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc in anything other than a good pair of walking boots. For a summer season hike, we suggest three-season walking boots with good ankle support. If you are buying new boots, head to a good outdoor retailer who will give you advice, and make sure you gradually wear them in on shorter and varied terrain walks before starting the trail.
Take a comfortable pair of shoes for evenings in the towns too, and if you are staying in the refuges some slip-on light sandals or trainers can be useful for indoor evening shoes too.
Side note: Socks!
There is no point spending money on boots and then not using the right socks. Wearing one pair of good quality walking socks is ideal, and take a minimum of two pairs on your trip and preferably three (you can hand-wash at your accommodations). Bridgedale are a brand we love, and opting for a merino wool sock is a great way to keep the feet warm, dry, and able to breathe. We also have some tips for avoiding blisters on the blog.
Good three-season walking boots (worn in)
Comfortable shoes to walk around town in the evening
Light slip-on shoes for indoors in refuges
3 x Pairs of good quality walking socks
3 x Base layer tops – ideally thermal, and Merino Wool is a good choice.
1 or 2 x warm mid-layer tops
1 or 2 pairs of walking trousers. Zip-off options are great. No jeans.
1 or 2 pairs of shorts (if you don’t have zip-off trousers)
1 x warm hat, 1 x lighter hat or cap (to protect from the sun)
Waterproof and breathable jacket eg. Gore-Tex
Waterproof and breathable trousers eg. Gore-Tex
1 x extra warm layer. A natural or synthetic down jacket or vest is easy to pack away, light to carry during the day, and perfect for keeping the chill at bay when you stop to rest or in the evening.
“Buff”, snood, or neck gaiter
Casual clothes & footwear for evenings. Remember you won’t need much as you’ll only be wearing it for a short time.
Nightwear and underwear (a set of under-tights or “long johns” can be useful for under the trousers on colder days)
Rucksack to carry daily + waterproof cover or liner bag. A chest strap and waist strap are essential to help to distribute the weight and improve walking stability. The size will depend on whether you have booked luggage transfer. Do not be tempted to take too big a bag, as you will likely over-fill it!
Larger rucksack (if you have booked luggage transfer)
Towel for showering in refuges, if you will be staying in mountain huts/refuges
Water bottle or camelback
Sunglasses & sun cream (an SPF lip balm is ideal too)
Walking poles a personal choice, but we recommend them on the Tour du Mont Blanc
Cash & Cards (Euros and Swiss Francs)
Sleeping sheets for refuges. Available in outdoor stores. Blankets and pillows are provided but this sheet is a light sheet/sleeping bag which will cover the blankets and pillows.
Head torch and batteries (spare batteries too)
Pocket knife or cutlery can be useful for picnics
Waterproof storage bags in various sizes can be useful. Zip-loc freezer bags are ideal. Store your phone/food/anything else you need to stay dry. Also these are perfect for taking waste away with you (you should never leave any waste on the trails).
Energy bars/snacks – 2 per day
Toiletries (don’t forget your toothbrush!)
Small first aid kit: Inc wound dressings, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic cream, crepe bandages, triangular bandages (you can buy excellent pre-prepared first aid kits with all you might need from outdoor stores or drugstores)
Antiseptic gel or wipes
A little washing detergent for handwashing clothes
Electrical socket adapter
Phone and charger
Ensure you have downloaded your online maps and route guidance from the Macs Adventure app, and have all other maps/documentation with you.
Following the Covid-19 Pandemic, please ensure you have suitable face-masks. Guidance on this may change, please keep an eye on local advice for any destination you travel to and always follow the latest safety advice.
One of the most important factors in preparing for the TMB is considering in detail your Tour du Mont Blanc packing list. With a recommended pack weight of no more than 10kg, trust me every ounce matters. Lightweight has never been so literal. Packing the essentials is crucial – anything else could well be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Of course many Tour du Mont Blanc hikers choose to ferry bigger bags along the route with luggage transfer companies, of which there are many. So for those of you where minimal packing is just not feasible, luggage transfers will be your knight in shining armour and in this case your Tour du Mont Blanc packing list might be a little more luxurious than the norm. Note though that not all refuges, understandably on this high altitude terrain, are accessible to vehicles – so there will always be days when your day pack is all you will have access to for a couple of days. Another factor is cost. Luggage transfers ain’t cheap.
Our Tour du Mont Blanc packing list includes trekking kit, refuge essentials, safety inclusions and first aid requirements. Many of the items on are our packing list, most serious hiker will already own. However, we’d serious urge you to consider upgrading any existing kit to more lightweight versions to lighten your load on your TMB – don’t underestimate the elevation gain on the Tour du Mont Blanc. It’s serious. When you’re hiking your second 1000m col in one day, you’ll be wishing you hadn’t brought along that newly released novel from your favourite author!
Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List
I’ll say this again, just in case you didn’t get it the first time. Your packing list for the Tour du Mont Blanc needs to be restricted to the absolute minimum. Just essentials. Unless you’re intending to arrange luggage transfers, you’ll be carrying all your kit on your back.
Every single step.
NO DAY PACK SHOULD BE OVER 10KG WHEN TREKKING THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC
With an average of 7-9 hours on the trail each day combined with serious daily elevation gain (the whole TMB trail is 1km higher than Everest!) anything superfluous is going to become dead weight.
You need to be strict.
Don’t underestimate how much even 1kg will add to your pack weight. I packed three times, pairing down repeatedly until the barebones of the essentials lay before me. It’s not easy! And I still definitely took more than I wished I had once I was on the trail.
The photo above is all of our gear and equipment for three of us (2 adults, 1 child) for hiking half the Tour du Mont Blanc in July.
Below I’ve detailed what essential items you’ll absolutely need to take with you on your Tour du Mont Blanc hike, as well as a complete packing list below. There are a few items that you may not have thought of.
The right gear
There’s no such thing as bad weather right. Only bad gear.
My first advice is to get the right gear. The Tour du Mont Blanc is challenging enough without being ill equipped and poor quality outerwear and kit will be enough to break you. Invest wisely in the main piece of kit. Numbers 1 and 2 being footwear and backpack.
Children will need to carry their own (smaller) backpacks. Make sure kids have proper backpacks with comfortable straps, not the plastic ones which don’t have the all important chest and hip straps.
If you’re buying a new backpack specifically for your TMB adventure, make sure you test it out beforehand. It’s a good idea to train with all the kit you’ll be using on the trek, so my advice is to buy your backpack at least 3 months before so you can wear it during your training hikes. It will soften and become more comfortable over time and you’ll know your way round it well before you embark on the TMB.
If you are buying a new backpack, look for one with an in-built rain cover. It will save you having to buy a separate one or having to take thick black bin liners to cover your pack in the event of rain on the trail. We can’t recommend Osprey backpacks enough.
hiking back pack
Layering is vital to staying comfortable on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Layering brings versatility so you can easily adapt your clothing to changing weather conditions on the route. You need to be insulated, ventilated and have wet weather protection – all with minimum weight!
Choose synthetic quick drying fabrics over cotton. These will wick away sweat and will dry faster should you get wet, plus they’re much lighter.
RELAXING IN THE REFUGES
Make sure you take a change of clothes dedicated to refuge only use. You won’t want to put back on a sweaty, damp top or use one of your fresh technical hiking tees. Once you’ve reached the refuge, you’ll want to shower and change pronto. A great tip is to use a pair of thermals to relax and sleep in. That way they’ll be in your bag should you hit cold, wet weather and need to quickly layer up.
You’ll need a good waterproof jacket and trousers, as well as a fleece that packs down well. Pack 1-2 pairs of hiking shorts (I’d recommend 1 pair of shorts & 1 pair of zip off hiking trousers) and 2-3 technical hiking t-shirts.
A good quality waterproof, breathable, windproof jacket is worth it’s weight in gold …. if it’s lightweight. I favour Arcteryx but yes they cost the earth! Anything gortex is going to keep you dry.
Make sure it’s lightweight – the temperatures on the Tour du Mont Blanc can hit 30 degrees even in the high mountains so it might well just be buried in your backpack the entire time, unless your summiting one of the cols and then you might need it as it tends to get chilly. However, bad weather can sweep through the mountains quickly. In the summer the weather system change in the afternoons with storms quickly brewing. It’s best to always set off early and try to get to your refuge early to mid afternoon to avoid the storms.
Other seasoned TMB hikers swear by packing a lightweight collapsible umbrella or a hiking poncho also works well if the weather forecast is looking dubious for some of your hike. Decathlon do cheap ones that work well.
Never scrimp on socks. Your feet are key to the TMB.
Prepare them. Protect them.
Buy good quality wool blend socks and pack enough to enable you to have a clean, dry pair everyday. Obviously if you’re doing the whole trek, you’ll need to wash some along the way, but make sure you have at least 4-5 pairs of socks. Keeping feet dry and warm is pivotal in preventing blisters. Something you want to avoid at all costs!
We’ve also recently discovered the amazing 1000 mile sock range. This brand are big into anti-blister technology and their ingenious double sock system is perfect for long distance treks. Double-layer socks can prevent blisters by reducing friction and wicking away moisture. The inner sock stays with the foot whilst the outer foot moves with the shoe to eliminate friction with the skin.
Tour du Mont Blanc footwear
(i) Hiking Boots
You will need good quality hiking boots to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc. Don’t even think about doing it in trainers, although some on the trail swear by trail running shoes which are built for impact, however still run the risk of ankle injury.
Boots should have good ankle support, a sturdy vibram like sole and be waterproof.
I’ve trekked this trail in my trusty Danner hiking boots (read my review here) which are good for warm weather hiking, although not massively waterproof. I was lucky and the weather was kind to us during our TMB trek, however I could have been slopping around with wet feet if the weather hadn’t played ball.
I’ve also worn a pair Salomon hiking boots which were super lightweight and waterproof which I can highly recommend. Read my review here.
Invest in a good pair of hiking boots for your children too. I know it’s costly. Kids are costly full stop right. And boy those small feet just keep growing. But seriously for the Tour du Mont Blanc your kids will need comfortable, well supported and broken in boots. Make sure they are well worn in before setting off – your dream of trekking through the Alps with your family will certainly become a nightmare if not. Comfortable footwear is a must. Try picking up kids hiking boots in the sales at the end of summer or after Christmas six months before doing the trek. Remember to size up one size.
(ii) Flip flops or refuge slippers
One of the rules in the refuges is that hiking boots are kept in the boot room or allocated area. This is regardless of whether they are muddy or not. The refuge provides indoor shoes for hikers to where inside the refuge. These are normally crocs and they provide a variety of sizes.
If you don’t wish to use the inside shoes the refuge will provide then bring with you something suitable which will be lightweight & comfortable, for example flip flops or light shoes. I’m never too fussed about wearing the crocs, even if they have been used by lots of people (I’d rather save weight in my back) but my 65 year old mother baulked at the idea & brought along a pair of soft shoes.
tmb trekking poles
Trekking poles are essential for the Tour du Mont Blanc. Don’t even think about setting off without any. The extreme elevation gain and loss along the route is severe. Hiking poles will be your friend trust me.
The extra weight trekking poles offset from your knees and leg muscles is significant. Studies suggest that you can save up to 25% of energy using hiking poles. Who knows if that’s true. What is true is that people generally love or hate them.
When you have a heavy back pack on, trekking poles definitely help you keep your balance on uneven terrain, and having two extra anchor points is extremely helpful crossing streams or to keep your balance on a slippery patch of remaining snow (called névé) on the trail.
It’s also proven that using hiking poles prevents hand swelling. The position of poles (keeping your hands above the heart) and the action of using the poles keep your arms moving constantly thus reducing swelling.
Collapsible hiking poles are the best for long distance trekking. They pack up nice and small & can be strapped onto your backpack when not in use. Using poles constantly can be annoying when you want to take a photo or eat a snack whilst walking for instance.
Which hiking poles would we recommend? Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles are excellent quality, super durable and really lightweight. The Black Diamond Distance Z poles are made from aluminium so are a bit more hardy (& less expensive) than their carbon equivalent the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z. I used Black Diamond Pro Trail trekking poles You can read my review here.
I would definitely recommend the Black Diamond First Strike trekking poles for children. Don’t buy them the expensive ones above. I bought a pair for my daughter locally in Chamonix (but you can buy them at a fraction of the cost on Amazon, see link above). These are brilliant value (compared to the price of adult poles!) and she loved them. They are lightweight (431g) aluminium poles with comfortable hand grips, very durable (very important with kids who thwack anything) and available in lengths 66-100cm. My daughter really felt the part on our TMB adventure with her new poles and I’m confident that it’s partly due to them that she managed to make it around the trail!
Better to be safe than sorry, particularly if you’re hiking the TMB trail in June or July. Hiking crampons were a must for us trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc mid July. It might seem slightly over the top but trust me, it’s not.
Crampons are lightweight, so won’t add too much weight to your pack and will give you confidence, along with your trekking poles, to cross slippery patches of snow left from winter on the high mountain cols which can be fatal from a simple slip.
We bought Grivel Ran Crampons which worked a treat. They were easy to pop on over your hiking boot with wide rubber and velcro straps that secure the crampons nicely to your boot. We would highly recommend them. Buy the small pair for kids (my daughter was a UK size 4 & the small was an okay fit for her).
Sleeping Bag Liner
sleeping bag liner for TMB refuges
In all the mountain huts on the Tour du Mont Blanc trail, sleeping bag liners are mandatory. Either take your own or you can normally rent one for around €3 a night (check when you book).
Each refuge bed comes with a mattress (& sheet), a duvet and a pillow case with cover, however the linen will not have been washed since the last trekker so a sleeping bag liner is essential and warning, you will not be allowed to stay without one.
I always prefer to take my own and have a RAB silk sleeping bag liner (expensive but worth it – it’s so light you don’t even know you’re carrying it, plus silk is so comfortable to sleep in).
Read my review of RAB’s silk sleeping bag liner here.
It’s worth noting that cotton sleeping bag liners, whilst cheaper, are considerably heavier and so, particularly for the Tour du Mont Blanc, I would HIGHLY advise you to buy a silk liner. Anything to streamline your trek as much as possible. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later!
tent tour du mont blanc
If you are camping along the Tour du Mont Blanc trail, you’re going to be needing obviously some extra kit. Choose your tent with care. It needs to be as lightweight as you can afford. Remember you’ll be carrying it for 8-10 hours a day! Choose a good quality tent that will be robust enough to withstand any bad weather.
Most of the refuges have electricity sockets to charge phones etc, however they are highly in demand! We suggest you bring a USB multi socket charger which will enable to you still charge your phone even if all the sockets are being used!
I would also advise bringing a power bank with you. Admittedly they do add to your weight but these handy, pocket sized gadgets will guarantee a fully charged phone which is a safety must on the Tour du Mont Blanc, to be able to track the trail on an off-line app such as Gaia to prevent getting lost, or in the event of an emergency to call mountain rescue.
Don’t forget as you’re trekking into three different countries you’ll need to pack your passport in your backpack. Whilst the borders aren’t controlled officially with border guards on the high mountain cols, you still need to keep it on you.
Make sure your travel insurance covers you for high altitude trekking. For many standard policies hiking is only covered up to 2,000 metres. The highest point on the TMB is on the Col des Fours and Fenêtre d’Arpette alternative routes which both reach an altitude of 2665m. The highest point on the traditional route is 2532m on the Grand Col Ferret.
When seeking insurance you will need to state what elevation you will be hiking up to. In most policies hiking to this kind of altitude will require an additional premium and maybe labelled ‘adventure sports’. If you have an annual travel insurance, call them to find out what you’re covered for – it’s important. Don’t even consider embarking on the TMB without travel insurance!
The Tour du Mont Blanc is not without it’s risks. Some of the trail is precipitous and if snow is on the trail, some areas can be difficult to negotiate with steep falls below. Note: if the thought of this scares you, make sure you hike the TMB in late Summer (end of July and August) when the snow patches (névé) have mostly melted.
Remember, something as simple as a sprained ankle may require you to be lifted out by helicopter. It’s at this point you don’t want to be worrying that your insurance might not cover you! Helicopter rescue is not cheap in the Alps!
For cheap multi-risk sport insurance which includes trekking take a look at Vieux Camper. It’s €25 per person or €70 for a family.
OUR COMPLETE TOUR DU MONT BLANC PACKING LIST
HIKING THE TRAIL
hiking shorts x 1
walking trousers x 1
T-shirts x 3
wool socks x 4-5
fleece (that packs down well)
thermal top & bottoms (can double as pyjamas)
hiking boots (well worn in)
30-35l backpack (or 50-60l if camping)
hiking crampons (if early in season)
gaitors (if bad weather due)
water bottle/camel pac (1.5-2.0l capacity)
rucksack rain cover (if not built in)
snacks/emergency food (biltong, nuts, chocolate, trail bars, real turmac)
FOR THE REFUGES
sleeping attire (thermal top & bottoms)
bed socks (optional luxury)
fleece or down jacket (packs down well)
a change of clothes to relax in (thermal top & bottoms)
flip flops (if don’t want to use the refuge crocs)
sleeping bag liner (recommend silk)
phone charger (USB multi-charger recommended
whistle (for each member of group, including children)
first aid kit (see below)
FIRST AID KIT
gauze & medical tape
scissors & tweezers
Compeed blister plasters
arnica oil (for massaging aching legs & feet)
anti – inflammatories (abrufen)
pain killers (paracetamol/in france doliprane)
rehydration salt sachets (we like dioralyte)
kinesiology tape (to relieve pressure & pain)
lip salve (SPF 50+)
suncream (SPF 50+)
toothbrush & travel sized toothpaste
Any prescription medicine
Foot salve (we like Scholls)
Soap (we like a bar of soap)
Travel size shampoo/conditioner
selection of ziplock bags (to keep things dry)
large durable bin liner (if you need a cheap rain cover)
small binoculars (optional)
small foot massage ball (recommended optional luxury)
packing cubes (to keep organised & reduce volume)
waterproof map case
book or kindle
gaffer tape wrapped around a small pencil (great for preventing blisters if you feel friction
TIP: Packing cubes whilst not essential do make life super easy, particularly when you’re tired arriving at your refuge. Keep one cube just for your refuge stuff (relaxing/sleeping clothes, sleeping bag liner, head torch, eye mask, ear plugs, toiletries) and another for hiking clothes. Packing cubes make organisation in your backpack simple.