Experience your hut to hut hiking adventure in the Dolomites with a pleasantly light pack for your eco adventure.
Minimalist Alta Via 1 Packing List
This is my minimalist travel guide for the Alta Via 1 trail, including your kids. I designed this after hiking the AV1 with my 11 year old daughter first and then the following year guiding a group of friends and family ages 11- 60 from 4 countries.
It includes what you need to walk on the best multi day hiking trail in Europe with breathtaking views and some intermittently changing weather.
The Alta Via 1 can only be hiked through hut to hut hiking and that means you actually don’t need to carry very much, which really let’s you experience the magic of the mountains without having to rough it.
My hope is that this guide will help you be able to pack your things in 15 minutes into a backpack, feel safe and prepared, and know you have what you need to enjoy the magic Nature, wildlife, scenery and FOOD of the Dolomites!
Alta Via 1 Packing List : Clothing and Equipment
🧦 Clothing: Alta Via 1 Hut to Hut Packing List
- 1 Lightweight, quick drying pants or convertible pants.
- 2 lightweight, quick drying t-shirts (1 extra in case of soaking rain)
- 2-3 pairs of good hiking socks We love this brand bc they will replace damaged socks for free.
- 2 pairs thin socks to prevent blisters by wearing under hiking socks
- 1 pair cozy socks for night
- 1 lightweight fleece or wicking technical fabric warm layer
- 1 pack away lightweight waterproof jacket
- 1 pack away lightweight thermal jacket (We didn’t need to use this when walking, but I found it very comforting to have it in the mountain huts once it cooled down in the evenings)
- Lightweight leggings and t-shirt to wear in the huts in the evenings.
- Undies for entire trip – Sports bra, evening bra
- Sun hat This Patagonia hat keeps me cool and protected.
- Sunscreen That fits in the plane carryon
- Cat 4 Polarized Sunglasses (don’t skimp on eye protection it’s bright white limestone)
- 1 pair of good ,quality walking boots (low or medium top)
- 1 pair of slides for wearing in the huts – Boots ARE NOT ALLOWED inside restaurant/bedroom area
📚 Equipment: Alta Via 1 Hut to Hut Packing List
Guide book in your language – This CICCERONE ALTA VIA 1 GUIDE is enough to get by safely. I bought the paper Tabbacco maps and they weren’t very useful.
- Quality backpack: Not so big. 38L for men, 36L for women, 18L for kids is all that’s needed.
- Waterproof cover for pack
- Walking poles – Game Changer, esp with older knees!
- Head and Neck Warmer It gets chilly at night.
- 3 litre water reservoir plus a canteen or two
- A few non perishable snacks
- First aid kit including safety whistle, athletic tape, scissors, bandaids, neosporin, NSAIDs
- Limited toiletries – Good Moisturizer, small tube of toothpaste, toothbrush, small bottle of shampoo, hairbrush, chapstick
- Phone/chargers/adapters to 220V Italian plug
- Travel documents in waterproof ziplock or drybag
- Credit cards. Most places accept but some euros in reserve for tips
- Kindle for reading and planning
If you chose dorm level accommodations vs private rooms you’ll need this also:
Caveat: People with very fair skin or high risk skin cancer
You’ll want to bring a UV thin long sleeve shirt to hike during the sunny daytimes. It gets hot ascending through Forcella del Lago Notch, so quick dry works best to dissipate the heat but still provide better sun protection than merely sunscreen alone.
Caveat: Chronically cold people
During the downhills or rest stops at yummy mountain cafes for a steaming cup of hot chocolate topped with the freshest whipped cream you can imagine you may consider bringing a knit hat for your ears, a neck gator, soft hand gloves, thin leggings to wear under your hiking pants and a long sleeve quick dry shirt.
Take the Bare Minimum for Hiking Hut to Hut in the Dolomites
However, For 80% of us the bare minimum is plenty and a light pack is greatly appreciated. We’ve never needed more than a quality rainjacket and thin technical warm long sleeve layer for sitting on the decks at night playing games or watching the stars.
I’ve pulled hoodies from my daughter’s bags and left them in the car multiple times and they were grateful for a light pack, despite their very strong desire to wear hoodies. Do all tweens love hoodies?
If in doubt, don’t bring it.
You’ll probably want some extra room in your backpack anyways, just in case your kids want you to feel important by carrying some of their stuff or you want to buy a souvenir t-shirt from one of the mountain huts.
Dolomites Alta Via 1 Packing List
No heavy backpack.
No dehydrated food.
No sleeping on the ground.
Walk through world famous Cinqui Torri and over emerald Alpine Meadows.
The Alta Via 1 trek multi day hiking tour in the Italian Dolomites located near Venice will be an experience of a lifetime you can share with family. World war 1 history, via ferratas, and world class food.
Best Time for Alta Via 1 Hike
Hut to Hut Hiking : Mid June – Mid September
The best part of the Dolomites hiking season runs mid-June through mid-September where there is little to no snow left near the trail and rain storms pass quickly.
That way we only need to bring one set of “hiking clothes” and one set of “dinner” clothes and almost everyone wears the same set each day. Pro tip: don’t try to wash your undies or socks, they won’t get dry in time.
While hut to hut hiking, you’ll carry your clothing and water in your backpack each day on the Alta Via 1 Dolomites trail.
You’ll be able to traverse north to south on the same trails WW1 soldiers, refugees, and alpinsts throughout the centuries have used to cross these amazing mountains and avoid carrying tents, cooking equipment, and survival gear by staying in the high elevation huts.
It’s really an excellent beginning multi day long distance hut to hut hike for beginners in the Alps. We love that it’s especially tasty each night at the incredible huts.
No Special Equipment for Alta Via 1 Dolomiti
So whether you’re smiling in the 72 degree sun or warming up your hands during a chilly summer rain storm, a summer hike on the Alta Via 1 (AV1) doesn’t require special equipment and is not especially technical.
There are options to make it more adventurous, taxing and gritty– but the main route is considered level 1 or 2 out of 3 and great for family hiking.
Especially families that love good food served at each Hütte or Rifugio.
Downloadable Alta Via 1 Hut to Hut Packing List
AV1 Trail Guide
Here’s the ultimate guide to planning the Alta Via 1 Hike.
Transportation to Trail
If you don’t want to rent a car, the Cortina Express Bus goes from the airport to the Cortina d’Ampezzo central bus station and takes only 2 hours and 10 minutes and costs 20 euros. This website has prices, timetables and you can book your tickets ahead of time.
If you want to take away all the stress, book an English-speaking van to take you to the heart of Cortina directly from the airpo
Where to Stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo Before and After The Trail
You’ll likely want to stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo prior to embarking on the Alta Via 1 or other hikes in the Dolomites. Here’s my favorite places to stay with family.
Cristallo : a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. 5-star luxury hotel in the Dolomites, get treated like a movie star with unparalleled wellness amenities, views, nightly live piano and tasty food. We stayed here AFTER the hike to really soak in the luxury wellness as a treat.
Hotel Alaska. We liked staying here because it’s right in the heart of the town, it’s comfortable and has gorgeous views.
Hotel De La Poste. The night before the hike is just all about sleep, not the amenities and this hotel has great breakfast included. These rooms book out quickly so plan 6-9 months ahead with your bookings.
Transportation to Cortina d’Ampezzo
The closest airport is Venice Marco Polo international airport. If you want to rent a car make sure you have an international driver’s license. This can be picked up at your local AAA office in the USA.
The best site to book your car is at Discover Cars, they offer competitive rates and search multiple companies. Gas and tolls in Italy are not cheap so you’ll want to get a good rental rate. Also, many cars are standard so if you don’t drive a stick you’ll have to expressly request an automatic.
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.
I hope you enjoyed this Alta Via 1 Packing List article.