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Eating pasta and enjoying art aren’t the only fun things to do in Italy. For an outdoors adventure, many come to Italy to hike the Dolomites. Hiking with the wrong gear can ruin a trip, so check out our packing list for hiking the Dolomites before heading out on your trek!
Dolomites Hiking Packing List
Hidden all the way in the north of Italy, many avid hikers and climbers make their way to the Dolomites every year. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the collection of nine mountain ranges is most famous for its glassy green lake with the backdrop of the Dolomite peaks.
Day-trippers make their way here to see the lake and enjoy day hikes. The Dolomites has its pick of flat hikes, as well as more strenuous uphill hikes and several overnight hikes.
Dubbed the mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, the Dolomites is the perfect playground for anyone who wants to disconnect and spend several days in nature. Tourists stay in the local rifugios, which are hostel-style guesthouses in the mountains.
You can choose one of the several overnight hikes, known as Alta Via, which run through the mountains and are scaled according to your expertise level. If climbing is more your style, each of the eight Alta Via have a certain level of ‘Via Ferratas,’ which are iron paths in the mountain that require climbing experience.
Beginner to moderately experienced hikes can try Alta Via 1, which is the most popular Alta Via. Alta Via 2 and up are a lot more challenging, have several Via Ferratas, and would require additional research and skill.
Here’s some tips on what to wear in Italy!
Dolomites Travel Essentials
Your comfort level during the hike will depend on the hiking backpack you choose. Depending on the time you spend in the mountains, the bigger your pack will be.
Whether you’re going on a day hike or on an overnight hike, choose quality over style when picking your gear. Since mountainous areas tend to have unexpected turns in weather all year round, you need high quality gear.
Read this guide on how to choose the best travel backpack!
Dolomites Clothing Style
Choosing your hiking outfit is mostly based on the warmth you need depending on the time of the year. Most hikers swear by Merino wool for lightweight t-shirts, thermal layers, and much more. It breaths like no other fabric and never smells.
Here is a list of essential hiking pieces you should be packing:
- 1 pair of comfortable hiking trousers, length depending on the season
- 1 pair of light shorts for lounging and hanging around the rifugios
- Thermal layers (long sleeved top and long trousers) for colder days and nights
- A long-sleeved jumper with hood
- A lightweight down jacket
- A rain and windproof jacket and rain-proof pants
- A scarf
- 2-3 t-shirts or less if you want to go light weight
- The amount of underwear you’re comfortable with and 1-2 sport bras
- A hat
- Depending on the weather: wool hat and gloves
Here’s the best thermal underwear for women!
Dolomites Travel Shoes
The only footwear option for the Dolomites is sturdy, high quality hiking boots. Depending on how much climbing you are intending to do, packing your climbing shoes may be necessary as well. Another essential is a pair of comfortable pair of lightweight shoes that you can wear after a long day of hiking.
Often forgotten are hiking socks, packing the right socks will make a massive difference for comfort. Wear toe socks or tape up each toe if you easily blister.
Find out how to choose hiking boots!
Dolomites Travel Accessories
Along with your clothing and shoes, you’ll need to pack a few travel accessories:
- Bikini or swimsuit
- Climbing gear if you are planning to participate in many of the Via Ferrata’s: climbing shoes, ropes, climbing helmet, etc.
- Camera gear: phone, camera and lenses, tripods, Go-Pro, spare batteries, etc.
- Overnight camping gear if you’re not staying in the rifugios
- A torch
- A day-pack
- A water bottle
Follow our ultimate guide to creating the perfect travel toiletries list and master the art of packing!
For more ideas on what to wear in Italy, please read this 10 Step Italy Packing Guide!
What will you be packing for hiking in the Dolomites? Share in the comments!
Visit these guides for packing information for specific destinations in Italy:
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