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The Tour of Mont Blanc (TMB): Equipment

Clothes, Gear, and Consumables

September 1, 2020

hiker feeding horses
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This blog post is part of a series.

Our goal was to not exceed a total weight of ten kilograms for the backpack. With the water, we both reached between 11 kg and 13 kg. You’ll have to make decisions. We went with a 50+10 liters backpack. We already had them, and the size ended up being perfect for the stuff we packed.

If you’re doing only six days walking (half of the TMB), which seems like the usual plan for families with kids, you can probably fit everything in a 35 liters backpack.

If you’re all about speed and don’t care much about wearing a limited number of clothes, or having an umbrella, or bigger camera, or sleeping bag, it’s definitely possible to go lightweight.


Here’s the list of clothes I am bringing on the trek. You’ll find the weight of each item(s) that will be in my pack.

ItemWeight (kg)
Waterproof Hiking Boots0.45
Thick Socks (7)0.46
Waterproof Jacket or Poncho0.17
Warm Fleece0.43
T-Shirts (6)0.85
Hiking Pants (1)0.54
Hiking Belt0.10
Trail Running Shorts (3)0.50
Warm Baselayer (1)0.20
Warm Midlayer (1)0.28
Technical Underwear (5)0.33
Warm Long Sleeve Shirt for Evenings (1)0.18
Long Sleeve Shirt for Evenings (1)0.18
Warm Bottoms for Evenings (1)0.16
Winter Hat0.10
Winter Gloves0.05

The total weight on my back will be a little lower than the sum above, though, because I am wearing clothes every day. In retrospect, I believe I could have skipped the pair of pants (I prefer to wear shorts even in bad weather) and one or two t-shirts (and wash the one I had during the walk).


As for gear, here’s the list. Again, you’ll find the weight of each item(s).

ItemWeight (kg)
Trekking Poles (pair)0.53
Sunglasses (with protective case)0.13
Water Bag (and 2 litres water)2.17
Whistle (Metal)0.03
Knife with Whistle0.06
Extra Batteries (7)0.09
Power Bank0.38
Camping Pillow0.19
Sleep Mask0.05
Sleeping Bag Liner0.14
Sleeping Bag0.67
Backpack Rain Cover0.13
Organising Packs
ID Card or Passport, Swiss B Permit-
Wallet with Enough Cash and Credit/Debit Cards0.12
Insurance Card (and Rega for Swizterland)-
Guide Book0.36
Micro Fiber Towel

Note that the trekking poles or watch, for example, should be in use, and not stowed in or out of the backpack. Water level will decrease during the day. Absolute backpack weight is therefore lower.


I consider consumables items that will at one point be empty and will need to be refilled, excluding items that are part of the first aid kit (see below).

ItemWeight (kg)
Suncream (30+)0.24
Emergency Food0.25
Hand Sanitiser0.50
Shower Gel and Shampoo, Soap
Anti-Chafe Balm0.07
Masks (for COVID-19)

I am trying to go for smaller sizes here to lower the weight. I expect to be able to buy more en route if needed, for example in Courmayeur.

First Aid Kit

More important than the First Aid Kit is actual first aid training. I highly recommend taking first aid lessons at your workplace or with an accredited organization such as the Red Cross or the Samaritains (in Switzerland). Make sure you are insured for evacuation, always check the weather forecast before leaving in the morning, and don’t take unnecessary risks. Mountains are unforgiving.

Don’t forget to have emergency phone numbers in your phone or in your mind. In case you don’t, you can always remember 112, it’s the European emergency line. There are also apps for your phone that will send your (exact) satellite location. Each country has its own but it should work across borders. For Switzerland, check the Rega.