Walking Boots – As it will be wintery conditions you will need a good leather or waterproof fabric sturdy walking boot with ankle support. A 3 – 4 season boot is recommended. If there is a lot of snow you will be strapping snowshoes on your walking boots. Walking trainers or lightweight summer boots are not suitable. It is possible to hire these if you don’t have them.
2 or 3 pairs of good walking socks.
Snow gaiters – you may have trousers with gaiters or snow cuffs integrated in them but if not a pair of snow gaiters are imperative for keeping the snow out of your boots.
Waterproof jacket - breathable waterproof materials like Goretex are much more comfortable than non-breathable materials which can end up being just as wet inside due to your sweat not escaping!
Waterproof trousers which hopefully you won't need to use but just in case!!
At least three layers - thin thermal layer or t-shirt made of wicking material rather than cotton next to the skin, a mid weight fleece and a thicker fleece. The merino wool thermals are ideal as they don't generate body odors (there are no showers in the winter refuge!)
Extra fleece or sweater to put on during a stop.
Walking Trousers loose enough not to restrict your movement. Jeans are stiff and restrictive for walking; they also get heavy if wet. If you can get trousers designed for outdoor use they tend to be good at wicking away sweat, are flexible and are quick drying if they get wet.
Thermal leggings or tights are good to have for cold days to put on underneath trousers for that extra warmth!
Gloves, hat, neck warmer or ear warmer. It is worth bringing a couple of pairs of gloves, fleecy ones and warmer ski type mitts or gloves and a couple of different weight hats as it is a lot colder in the evening than the day!
Rucksack to carry spare sweater, waterproofs, packed lunch, water bottle, binoculars and other bits and pieces. This also needs to be big enough to carry your sleeping bag, your share of the cooking equipment and food etc for the overnight expedition. A 45 litre sack should be sufficient.
Large plastic bag to put inside your rucksack to keep the contents completely dry. No rucksack is waterproof (too many seams!)
Good sized water flask or a plastic water bottle. A Platypus or similar water system is also very handy.
Walking poles - good for balance on uneven ground and they reduce wear to your knees. Most people in the Alps use them! We can provide these if you don’t have them.
Sleeping bag plus liner – not all the winter cabins have blankets so you are better off having your own sleeping bag. These are possible to hire if you don’t have one.
Basic wash kit - there is no running water in the refuge so toothbrush is probably all you need tot he overnight - however you will appreciate a good shower when you return to civilisation!!.
Emergency food supplies - when you are walking in the mountains you are not likely to pass any shops.
Sun screen - even in winter. The sun is very strong here so we recommend a minimum of factor 25 for the body and 50 for the face
Lip salve with sunscreen - even in winter
Sun glasses - in winter you should make sure they wrap well round your eyes at the sides to protect you from snow glare from the ground
Sun hat or cap
First aid kit - the guide will be carrying a comprehensive first aid kit so just a small one for your own personal needs like blisters is fine.
Camera, spare film or memory card and batteries.
A small sit mat or bit of old camping mat - not essential but good for a bit of comfort when snacking in the mountains!