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Hiking gear in the Alps

London, England...
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Hiking gear in the Alps

Hey Everyone,

To give some background info, I'm a fit college student who is relatively experienced in hiking/outdoors (Eagle Scout), but I've done most of my hiking in moderate/warm climates around Southwest US.

I am planning on hiking around the Bavarian Alps in early December and am going to be based in Mittenwald. I'm looking into day hikes around Zugspitze, Partnach Gorge, and Wank Mountain. The only experience I've had with cold weather hiking has been in the Colorado Rockies, but that was in late Spring. I just wanted to run past my gear with everyone and see if I need to consider packing heavier, warmer, or more weatherproof clothing.

Hiking Gear:

Wind-proof (water-resistant) gloves

Beanie

Scarf

Wool Socks

Cotton Socks

High-top hiking boots (http://tinyurl.com/l7z7h3r)

Long-sleeve thermal top (http://tinyurl.com/nuvp2mv)

Lightweight thermal vest (http://tinyurl.com/lotocnv)

Thin waterproof snowboarding jacket

Long-sleeve fleece pullover

Long-johns (http://tinyurl.com/ouyf9ps)

Blue Jeans

----------------

Looking over this list now, the only things I can see that are missing are waterproof trousers and snow-shoes? (If snow-shoes are necessary, would there be any stores around Munich that I could rent them at?)

Thanks!

14 replies to this topic
Dublin, Ireland
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for Austria
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1. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

yes, you can rent snow shoes from ski shops. however, as you are not accustomed to cold weather hiking, I would advise you against doing anything like that in winter. if you do go, make sure that someone knows where you are going and bring a radio or mobile with you. you wont last too long if something happens.

jeans would not be the best as they absorbe too much moisture. ski salopettes would be far more advisable. also bring some hand warming packs with you too. and thin snowboarding jacket????/ are you sure that you really are prepared for the possible weather? mamma mia!

Mannheim, Germany
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for Zurich, Mannheim
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2. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

>I am planning on hiking around the Bavarian Alps in early December

You cannot hike in the mountains in December. It is not about being cold, but all trails are hidden under the snow. Getting up a slope through a meter of virgin snow is not the experience you are after.

Agree about the clothes: strictly no jeans. Gore-Tex or similar trousers would be OK but avoid any heavy linen clothes, they get full of moisture and cannot dry out fast enough.

Edited: 30 October 2013, 13:33
Frankfurt, Germany
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3. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

When you are not used to winter conditions in the Alpes, don't go hiking on your own.

Jeans are completely inappropriate and you also need something to stop snow getting into your boots, I don't know the English word ...

Snowboarding Jacket???

You better do some apres-ski-partying down in the valley.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
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4. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

Gaiters

www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/gaiters.html

s

Columbia, Missouri
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5. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

Well I know nothing about hiking or hiking in the Alps. But here is what I learned in my 2 days in Mittenwald.

1. If you don’t have a pair of aluminum walking sticks…..you will stick out like a sore thumb!! I think me, my wife and MAYBE one other person in Mittenwald didn’t have walking sticks. The pressure to have walking sticks was almost unbearable! If we would have been there 1 more day, we would both have a pair….and maybe a spare set just strapped to the backpack.

2. You must, MUST get a rain cover for your backpack!! I’m not sure why they don’t just make their backpacks waterproof to begin with. But I saw them stone a tourist that had a backpack with no rain cover. It was probably for his own good. I saw him the next day, he was beat up pretty bad, but had a cover on his pack, so he was doing pretty good. He gave me the “thumbs up”. So be warned.

3. Jeans in Mittenwald instantly mean you’re a tourist that doesn’t know what he is doing, or how to dress. Get a pair of the performance walking pants. Make sure they are black. And I can’t stress this enough……MAKE SURE they have zip off legs!

4. If you rent a car…..you have 2 options:

a. A Mercedes Station Wagon.

b. A BMW Station Wagon.

I think (b.) is preferred, and it must be blue or black. There are no other cars in Mittenwald.

I’m just kidding of course. We loved Mittenwald and the people and can’t wait to return for a visit. BUT 1 thru 4 are true HAHA. Wait and see. It’s a fantastic place.

Oh, and seriously, at the train station in Mittenwald there is a really nice bike shop that might have some of the things you need. Also there is a couple stores in town that sell this kind of stuff.

And in case you didn’t know, “Jack Wolfskin” is their North Face. But I find it MUCH better and actually more practical than North Face. It’s at least the same price and maybe a little more. But much better stuff. Look it up on line before you go. We always buy some Jack Wolfskin when we are over there. It’s nowhere here in the US that I know of.

It sounds like you will be in Munich before Mittenwald, so check out the Jack Wolfskin stores there first. I don’t think there is an actual Jack Wolfskin store in Mittenwald (or my wife would have told me), but I think there is a store that sells some of its stuff.

Go luck, you will LOVE Mittenwald.

Edited: 30 October 2013, 14:09
Munich, Germany
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6. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

Can do winter hikes in skiing villages at lower altitudes (through the woods). They often have prepared trails. I'm sure Mittenwald has some of those. We are not talking heavy duty hiking, but those trails make for some beautiful walks, especially when there is snow around. Also think about the short days: at 16:00 PM it starts getting dark...

Frankfurt, Germany
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7. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

How true!

Wearing Jack Wolfskin you will immediately blend in with the locals, but don't spoil it by driving a Mercedes, you might be mistaken for a "Saupreiss" and end up as human sacrifice in some crevasse. BMW is the car to go for in Bavaria.

Concerning rain covers for backpacks, they are often included when you buy a backpack and therefor get used. It's quite handy when you don't have to dry your soaked backpack in the evening.

Using trekking sticks you knees will suffer less from walking downhill over a long period of time and they give security on uneven ground.

Munich, Germany
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8. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

...here is the link about winterhikes around Mittenwald:

www.mittenwald-ferienzeit.de/winterwandern

In German, but ask at the Tourist Centre in Mittnewald, and I'm sure they can help you.

Hiking on your own is unadviseable because of Avalanche-danger

Mannheim, Germany
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9. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

Cardinal 5: it is all true in summer/autumn, but attempting to hike in winter is a completely different beast.

Frankfurt, Germany
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10. Re: Hiking gear in the Alps

I second that, Altamiro!

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