Heading to the Dolomites for a hut-to-hut hiking vacation? Be ready for anything out there, whether it’s a summer snowstorm, a sprained ankle, or a strudel overdose. Wherever the trail takes you, here’s a handy Dolomites hiking packing list to help you travel with confidence.
A couple of general packing tips for Dolomites hiking trips:
- This list is designed for hut-to-hut treks in the summer months. You may need some additional warm clothing if you’re trekking at the beginning or end of the season.
- The Dolomites can be rainy, so come prepared. Bring a pack cover, or line your pack with a plastic trash compactor bag to keep your clothes and sleep sack dry.
- Quick-drying clothing will be a lifesaver on this trip, because it allows you to carry fewer outfits. Remember, you will need to hand wash everything, and there are no clothes dryers. So you really need clothing that can dry overnight in somewhat humid conditions.
- If you’re traveling ultra light, shampoo is your friend. It’s designed to cut through grease (ahem, hair grease). So make it do triple duty as a body wash and laundry detergent.
- Buy toiletries in travel or sample sizes to comply with TSA requirements. Most Italian hotels (and even some mountain huts) offer complementary conditioning shampoo, soap, and body wash, so you may be able to supply yourself as you go.
- Technical routes (mountaineering, via ferrata) require additional gear. I’ve included via ferrata gear as optional items at the end of this list. To prepare for a technical trip, check out my mountaineering packing list.
Can I transfer some of my luggage between huts?
When hiking in the Dolomites, you have the option to carry all your gear from hut to hut with you. Or you can arrange luggage transfers through a local travel company like FUNActive tours.
Having a transfer means you can carry less in your pack each day. But it also limits your flexibility to take side trips or stop early for the day if you get tired.
If you will be transferring some luggage, it’s best to bring an additional lightweight duffle for your extra gear. Note that your duffle may end up traveling on ski lifts, ATVs, etc., and could get wet if it rains. To keep things dry, line your luggage with a plastic trash compactor bag.
Additional Dolomites resources at Miss Adventure Pants
- Blog Post: How to Plan an Amazing Dolomites Hiking Vacation in Italy
- Blog Post: A 14-Day Dolomites Hiking Itinerary (Alta Vias 1, 3 and 4, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lake Sorapiss)
- See my recommendations page for my favorite gear and online outdoor retailers.
- Check out my adventure travel insurance page for tips on covering your trip
Your complete Dolomites hiking vacation packing list
I’ve included a few shopping suggestions where applicable. To instantly download a printable copy of this list, use the form below to subscribe to Miss Adventure Pants.
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- Hiking backpack with rain cover – Your pack size will depend on how much gear you are carrying. If you don’t have a rain cover, use a trash compactor bag to line the inside.
- Hiking boots – Lightweight summer boots work fine. Low-cut boots are appropriate if you have sturdy ankles.
- Trekking poles
- Headlamp/extra batteries
- Water bottles or hydration system (2-liter capacity)
- Trail maps – Tabacco and Freytag & Berndt make high-quality Dolomites hiking maps that can be ordered from outside Italy.
- Umbrella (optional)
- Rain jacket – Lightweight and non-technical is fine. I highly recommend Marmot’s Precip line for travel. It’s super lightweight and breathable — and also very affordable.
- Insulated jacket – Can be a fleece or puffy.
- Long-sleeve hiking shirt
- Short-sleeve hiking shirt (2-3)
- Sports bras (2)
- Quick dry travel underwear (1-2) – I highly recommend the ExOfficio Give-n-Go line. They’re fast-drying and super comfy. For more tips and and an in-depth ExOfficio review, check out my blog post on travel underwear.
- Light long underwear bottoms or running tights – Great to wear under your pants or shorts on cool days.
- Hiking pants (1-2)
- Rain pants – Lightweight and non-technical is fine. I highly recommend Marmot’s Precip line for travel. It’s super lightweight and breathable — and also very affordable.
- Hiking socks – I’m totally in love with Darn Tough’s Micro Crew line. They’re comfy, dry pretty fast, and come with a lifetime guarantee. (Yes, guaranteed socks.)
- Flip flops or crocs – Hiking boots usually aren’t allowed in the rifugio dormitories, so bring something lightweight that you can slip on over your socks
- Insulated gloves
- Liner gloves
- Warm hat
- Sun hat
- Sleepwear – You will probably be sleeping in dorms some nights, so pajamas should be appropriate for strangers and mixed company.
- Sleep Sack – These are required for Italian Alpine Club huts and recommended for all huts. I really liked this one by Blue Water, which is soft and very roomy for us side sleepers.
- Ear plugs
- First aid kit – For directions on building your own, check out my blog post on DIY First Aid Kits.
- Toilet paper
- Travel towel
- Comb and hairbrush
- Hair ties
- Eyeglasses, contacts, solution – Bring an extra pair of glasses or contacts in case one gets lost.
- Tampons, pads, cup
- Favorite hiking snacks – (optional, you can also buy some great ones in Italy)
- Pen, paper, journal (optional)
- Playing cards, games (optional)
- Italy travel guide (optional)
- Clothesline and clothespins (optional) – Here’s a clever, lightweight clothesline by Sea to Summit that doesn’t require pins
- Electrolyte tablets or powder (optional) – I love this performance powder by Nuun for the perfect blend of electrolytes and carbs during exercise. Plus it makes water taste so good! The one-serving packets are super convenient for travel.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
- Bug spray or wipes
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Laundry detergent – This Sea to Summit Trek and Travel Laundry Wash gets clothes clean and smells great too.
- Sunscreen – 30 SPF or higher
- Lip balm with SPF
- Wet wipes
- Razor, shaving cream
- Hand sanitizer
- Moisturizing skin cream (optional)
- Lightweight duffle bag – Essential if you plan to shuttle some of your luggage between huts.
- Stuff sacks
- Luggage tags
- Luggage locks (optional) – Provides a bit of extra security in dorms.
Electronics and Camera
- Phone, cord
- Battery charger, cord – Many rifugios (mountain huts) have very few electical sockets, so having your own power source comes in handy.
- Camera batteries, charger
- Lens cloth
- USB plug adapter
- Electric socket adapter – more info here, you can also purchase this in Italy
- Personal locator beacon (optional) – I’m a big fan of the SPOT Gen3. It’s simple, compact, and works worldwide. For a full review and setup instructions, check out my blog post, How to Get SPOT Out of the Box and Into the Wild.
- Portable tripod (optional)
- Selfie stick (optional)
- Camera remote (optional)
Wallet and Documents
- Cash – Even if you plan to use your ATM card, it’s good to have some cash you can change in a pinch.
- Credit and ATM cards – Bring at least 2 cards that can withdraw cash or give advances.
- Travel insurance policy – For more info on the benefits of travel insurance, visit my adventure travel insurance page.
- Copies of your passport – Hotels and rifugios (huts) generally make copies of your passport when you check in. Having your own copies on hand can speed up the process. It also means you can keep your passport with you at all times. Copies also make it easier to replace a lost or stolen passport.
- Emergency phone numbers – For an emergency anywhere in Italy, dial 113 (police) or 118 (ambulance and mountain rescue). It’s also good to write down the numbers of your travel insurance, credit cards, and friends and family at home.
- Flight itineraries and boarding passes – Print out a copy of plane and train tickets in the event you lose your phone.
For Around Town
- Lightweight travel backpack
- 1 non-hiking outfit
- Non-hiking shoes or sandals (optional)
- Makeup (optional)
- Inexpensive jewelry (optional)
For Via Ferratas (Optional)
- Via ferrata rig
- Carabiners (1-2)
So there you have it. A complete Dolomites hiking packing list for your next Italy vacation.
Did I miss anything? Comment below, and I’ll add your suggestions to the next update.
Originally published Oct. 22, 2018.