Published on March 2, 2021
Mountains in summer - What to put and plan in your suitcase?
Do you always forget something when you go on vacation? Have you decided to go to the mountains this summer and you don't know what to pack in your suitcase? Don't panic, we'll tell you everything you need to know for a great stay in the heights.
Choosing the mountains in the summer means offering yourself a wide range of activities and benefiting from optimal sunshine while enjoying a privileged setting far from the crowds and the sometimes stifling heat that can be found on the plains.
The weather at altitude is surprising and can change rapidly. It is not uncommon for a few flakes to fall one day (between 2000 and 2300m) to give way to a radiant sun the next day. Yes, you read correctly... Snow in summer! It is therefore essential to anticipate the different scenarios to be ready in all circumstances and not to refuse anything.
So, for a successful stay, don't hesitate to take summery and light outfits, but above all, double up with warm and comfortable outfits for the less clement days. To make your life easier, we have concocted a check-list to help you get away from it all and make the most of your stay in the mountain pastures.
The essentials for your suitcase
Let's start with the basics of summer to refocus on the specific mountains!
- A swimsuit to enjoy the relaxation area of your accommodation and refresh yourself in the lakes, waterfalls and potential water activities,
- A beach towel, especially for those who enjoy white-water thrills and swimming,
- Shorts and T-shirts,
- A pair of flip-flops,
- A cap or a hat: it is truly the accessory not to be forgotten. A sunstroke can happen and very quickly, especially during a prolonged effort in the sun (prefer colors to black).
- A suitable pair of glasses (high protection is recommended because of the intense reverberation),
- A waterproof windbreaker to protect you from the wind and possible showers, especially at heights where you may be more exposed. It is not uncommon, after a great effort and a break at altitude, that you feel cooler, especially in the late afternoon. Temperatures can be around 30° as soon as the sun is out but the clouds quickly bring coolness,
- A pair of walking shoes,
- Sneakers for indoor sports or on flat surfaces,
- A fleece jacket,
- Warm clothing (pants, long-sleeved tops),
- A comforter,
- Outdoor hat and gloves for those who wish to venture near the glaciers,
- High protection sunscreen - even if you want to come back with a nice tan and full of vitamin D, it is important to protect your skin from sun damage (IP30-50) because sunburns are not forgiving near the peaks,
- The camera to make nice pictures and holiday memories.
Always keep a jacket handy, especially in the evening when temperatures may drop slightly (nights have the advantage of being cool)). This way, if you decide to go for a drink or simply take a walk to digest a good meal from the corner, you won't suffer from the cold.
The hiker's kit
For those who want to take on the steep paths or simply wander from one lake to another, packing your bag is an essential component to a successful day, whatever the weather.
- A backpack with comfortable straps (waist/chest) so you can move around freely,
- Hiking boots preferably with high and notched uppers to avoid slipping and to have a good grip on the foot,
- Comfortable clothing - It is now very easy to find technical materials adapted to sport (moisture wicking, quick drying, ease of movement),
- A cap/hat (hats cover more of the neck)
- Sunglasses (see specifics above),
- Spare socks - handy if you have to cross a watercourse and get wet by accident. There are now special socks available for hiking and trail walking that provide excellent foot support and prevent chafing,
- Accessories: a telephone (with a solar charger for long expeditions), hiking poles (not compulsory but recommended as they help a lot on the way up and down to keep balance and stability), a towel (to dry oneself if necessary), a bottle or two of water (beware of the risk of dehydration in the high mountains), a headlamp or flashlight (if you are still on the paths at nightfall), a set of bandages for possible blisters, energy bar type snacks, cash (to be able to order in some shelters that do not take the credit card).
You are ready to set off on an adventure and discover the treasures of our magnificent valleys!