• What do I put in my rucksack?

    Piani Eterni - Roberto De Pellegrin

Where do I start?

A rucksack and walking boots are the two most important things.

Your rucksack needs to be comfortable. It needs to provide ventilation to your back and spread the weight across your shoulders.

As for your boots, it’s important they are lightweight but also waterproof (Gore-Tex) when it comes to negotiating streams and snow. But most of all, the sole needs a good grip and the capacity to absorb impact.

  • 30/35
    rucksack capacity in litres
  • 10/15
    maximum weight in kg
  • 3/4
    water available in litres

Clothing

 

When you’re on a trek the rule of 3 works well: one t-shirt and trousers set currently in use, one clean set in your rucksack and, after your first day, a washed set that’s drying. The most important rule is that you leave at home everything you don’t need – mainly to spare your back and knees!

  • CAP AND GLOVES: even in the middle of August, when you’re in the mountains at an altitude of 2900 metres, a low-pressure front can take you by surprise with snow and freezing wind
  • WATERPROOF/WINDPROOF/SOFTSHELL JACKET: lightweight – always keep it handy in case you need protection from the weather. Don’t pack it at the bottom of your rucksack!
  • LONG TROUSERS: they’ll protect you both from the cold and the ticks that live in the long grass.
  • TECHNICAL SHIRT: quick drying and lightweight
  • JUMPER / SWEATSHIRT: handy for chillier evenings in the mountain hut
  • WATERPROOF / WINDPROOF / SOFTSHELL JACKET: a waterproof poncho or jacket that really keeps out the rain is essential to get you through the inevitable summer storms
  • 3 PAIRS OF UNDERWEAR:knickers/underpants and socks…the rule of 3 applies to these too!
  • CAP/BUFF:for when the sun gets really hot
  • MICROFIBRE TOWEL: lightweight and quick drying
  • TOILETRIES: only the absolute essentials – one soap for clothes and body to save space

Equipment

 

This all depends on the sort of Alta Via trek you’re planning. If you want to do it almost independently, then you’ll need to pack cooking gear and foodstuffs.

Wild camping or putting up tents is not permitted anywhere inside the National Park.

You will have to request permission. Only a few mountain huts are set up with Ferrino tents to accommodate guests when the hut is already full.

  • SWISS ARMY KNIFE: never be without it
  • LIGHTER: a fire can sort out many emergency situations
  • DUCT TAPE: it can repair anything and it’s waterproof! Usually a piece of duct tape wrapped round a lighter can be enough. No need to bring the whole roll
  • SLEEPING BAG LINER: mountain huts insist on their use
  • WARM SLEEPING BAG: if you plan to use a bivouac and want to be sure you’ll be warm throughout the night
  • TELESCOPIC HIKING POLES: useful for reducing the load on your lower limbs
  • FIRST AID KIT: one of these costs so little, weighs almost nothing but may be absolutely essential
  • THERMAL BLANKET: this also costs very little, is lightweight and keeps you warm in an emergency
  • SUNGLASSES AND SUNSCREEN: most important at the start of the season when there’s still snow on the ground
  • WATERPROOF BAGS: bin bags work well and can be useful over your boots when crossing unexpected fords
  • USB/SOLAR BATTERY CHARGER: in case of an emergency it will help you turn your device back on
  • WHISTLE: this often comes attached to your rucksack. It may help you be heard when your voice has gone
  • HEAD TORCH: always keep one in your rucksack along with a spare battery

Can I sleep in a tent?

Wild camping and bivouacking are forbidden within the National Park, but it is possible to use the tents provided by the mountain huts when they have run out of beds.

These tents, along with sleeping bag kits, have been donated to some of the mountain huts along the route by FERRINO Outdoor. They will be used for accommodation when the mountain hut is full.

Maps

 

Never go out into the mountains without a map. The entire Alta Via Dolomiti Bellunesi route is shown on one Tabacco map, which is printed on the front and back of the paper. This map details the whole of the National Park.

It can be bought at mountain huts and in stationery shops at the start of the trek, or it can be purchased online.

GPS & APP

 

New technologies can be a great help in following the trail where it’s less obvious. Most apps will work when your device is in airplane mode, so extending battery life while still indicating your location on the map.

TabaccoMapp, is a paid app and provides maps for €2.99 each. To cover the entire Alta Via route, you’ll need 6 of them.

GeoResQ is a geo-positioning and distress-call forwarding service. It is aimed for all mountain visitors and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

There are many free and paid apps to choose from that are designed for both Android and iOS devices. You can download the maps to use offline or even upload the GPS tracks, which are available from our website.

Tick repellent

 

The Alps have been experiencing a veritable tick explosion over the last few years. And the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park has not escaped them.

To protect yourself, we suggest you use anti-tick spray and carry a pair of tweezers to promptly remove any that manage to attach themselves.

Harnesses & climbing gear

 

There are no assisted trails or via ferratas (“iron trails” or fixed-rope routes) along the Alta Via route.
There are a few metres of fixed rope that make climbing the rocks easier in only two sections – stages 2 and 5. However, for section 5, we do not recommend that trekkers with vertigo cross it relying on the protection of a harness, because most of the trail is exposed and difficult, not just the assisted section.

It’s a different matter if you plan to include the Schiara range of mountains in your hike. A number of trails in this area feature via ferratas that will soon be featured on this website.