Having spent the better part of this year curating our route and gear list for our hike across the Tour Du Mont Blanc, below you’ll find a collection of items – from clothing, to gear, to must-pack snacks – that not only made our adventure more productive and efficient, but manageable and enjoyable. I’d like to quickly note that not one of these items was ‘sponsored’ – Andrew and I researched our bums off, making sure our packs were truly what we needed them to be, and are only sharing what really ‘worked’ for us. Whether you’re planning on the Tour Du Mont Blanc or are looking for ideas for your next weekend jaunt, this list will have value. From our packs to yours, x
Women’s Hiking Apparel + Gear
Being and keeping comfortable over the course of 100 kilometers, was wholly possible because of well fitting boots, cozy socks, and skillful layering. I welcomed each morning with a lighter long sleeve (to keep on throughout the day to prevent sunburn), warm, but breathable jacket, and a packable rain coat, each of which could easily peel off and be stored as the sun got stronger. Having started our hike with a much larger pack, I ended up purchasing a smaller, lighter option mid-way, one that didn’t put as much stress on my neck and lower back. Though more compact, this lightweight backpack was a perfect size for holding about two days worth of necessities – my camera, unworn layers, water, charger, Leatherman, and snacks. Andrew and I both also hiked with poles, essential for summiting and descending uneven terrain, and had headlamps handy, for wearing during the evenings in our tent and as ‘just in cases,’ should the sun set before our hike did.
Hiking Snacks: For Parent & Baby
Though wonderfully remote, especially at the higher elevations, the Tour Du Mont Blanc periodically weaves its way through villages and refuges, allowing opportunity to refill water, snag fresh baguette, unpasteurized goat cheese, cold beer, and warm evening meals. Additionally, Andrew and I supplemented with calorie dense and minimally processed snack and meal replacements, namely granola bars and almond butter. Perfect for smearing onto said fresh baguette, we came ready with ziplock bags and would prepare almond butter sandwiches on a nightly basis, to have ready and waiting should hunger strike. Our very favorite bars for Poe were Larabar’s blueberry bar and Perfect Bar’s vegan almond coconut option, both on the ‘softer side’ and naturally sweetened with dates. It’s important to note that Perfect Bar can only be kept unrefrigerated for 7 days – knowing how much Poe (and we!) loved them, we packed exactly enough. Andrew and I munched our way through Perfect Bar’s peanut butter coconut bars and Larabar’s peanut butter chocolate chip bars for unprocessed and quick energy, finding Pro Bar to be the best option when we were on the ‘very hungry’ side – each one nearly 400 calories.
Family Friendly Camping Gear
Knowing we’d have to hike with and carry our tent – and our sleeping bag, pad, and footprint – Andrew and I opted to keep our gear as minimal and light as possible. Our 1.5 pound two-person tent, though snug, fit all three of us comfortably, and was (dare I say!) cozy, especially with our two-person sleeping bag and warm jackets. Luckily, we didn’t end up needing either, but we hiked with toilet paper and a first aid kit. We did use a significant amount of bandaids; blisters are a real thing.
Hiking Essentials: For Baby
With Poe along for the adventure, Andrew’s pack doubled as a baby carrier, not only holding a significant amount of our daily necessities, from our tent to his and Poe’s clothing, but Poe. Having tried on a number of options, Andrew and Poe were both most comfortable with Osprey’s Poco AG Plus Child Carrier. This carrier came with a built in sunshade and also had an attachable rain cover, so Poe could see and engage with our hike, nap comfortably, and keep well protected from the elements. 10 months old and about 20 pounds, this pack is meant to grow with baby to child, so we can have it for hikes and years to come. With varying temperatures, we always kept sunscreen and his fleece bunting handy, as well as two days worth of diapers at a time (with the majority of our of gear on our backs, we did opt to have Poe’s diapers sent ahead to each of our pre-determined stops. Carrying 2 weeks worth of diapers wasn’t possible). We also kept a little journal close, to write Poe notes and cognitions that he could look back on and keep tight throughout his life.