July 11 2024

Putting on your boots and exploring spectacular mountain landscapes is such a rewarding experience, but let’s be honest, it can be a lot harder to pack for a walking holiday than a week by the pool. Finding the right balance between comfort and practicality can pose a bit of a challenge. So, here are our tips of essential items you should consider packing as well as a few recommendations and optional extras for your next walking holiday.
tuscany-hillwalking-holidays-montalcino (3)
tuscany-hillwalking-holidays-montalcino (3)

Your Collett’s Walking Holiday Packing List   

rnYour packing list will depend on your type of walking holiday. However, whether you’re spending a week at one of our centre-based locations, heading on an adventurous hut-to-hut trek high in the Italian Dolomites or venturing on a more leisurely village-to-village walk, these essentials should be on your packing list. 

The Essentials 


Your Day Pack 

This much-needed piece of kit has a few distinct attributes. First, you need to be able to carry it comfortably, i.e. it needs to be small and light enough for you. Second, it should have everything you might need – under normal and emergency circumstances – for your day out in the mountains. Check in with your group to distribute the load and avoid carrying unnecessary items. For example, there is no need for each person to carry their own sunscreen. The size of your day pack depends on the type of walking holiday you’re heading on. If you’re planning on walking for a couple of hours or a whole day, a 10 to 25-litre backpack is ideal.    

Suitable Footwear

Finding the right waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip is the highest priority – especially if you want to avoid sore feet. Consider the particular terrain and climate of your walking holiday destination when picking your boot. Also, we’d recommend wearing in brand-new hiking boots before you head on your holiday.

Dolomites Walking Holiday Colletts 2

Waterproof Jacket & Trousers 

Nothing is worse than getting soggy while walking through a downpour! So, it’s worth investing in a high-quality waterproof and windproof jacket as well as over trousers for your next walking holiday. Make sure they’re waterproof, not just water-resistant! Ideally, they are also insulated and possibly with zips that can be opened for ventilation. 

Reusable Water Bottle 

Staying hydrated is among the most important things during your walking holiday, regardless of the weather. We recommend a durable, insulated, and lightweight bottle with a minimum capacity of 1 litre. Bringing your own reusable bottle also helps to reduce plastic usage and minimise environmental pollution.   

Dolomites Walking Holiday Colletts 2
Dolomites Walking Holiday Colletts 1
Dolomites Walking Holiday Colletts 1

Sunscreen & Sunglasses 

Regardless of the weather or which of our destinations you explore, it’s always best to minimise your UV exposure. Remember that even if the sun isn’t directly shining or it seems to be cooler weather, you can still get sunburned! We recommend selecting a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 20 as well as packing a soothing cream in case of sunburn. Similarly, good-quality UV sunglasses are an absolute must-pack when heading on a walking holiday.   

Mobile phone & Power bank 

We cannot stress the importance of a charged mobile phone enough, especially when heading on our self-guided holidays. You may want to keep your phone off, for battery life and enjoyment reasons, but it is a very useful tool for emergency calling and GPS location.  If you’re walking in a group, we recommend taking tus having your phones on for navigation and distance tracking to avoid running out of battery. Additionally, bringing an extra battery or a small, portable power bank to charge your phone is recommended.  


Collett’s Walk Pack & Digital Maps 

As part of every Collett’s walking holiday, you will receive a detailed Walk Pack with route notes, maps and GPS profiles. You will also get access to digital versions of your maps and route notes (some packs contain GPX files or specific applications for navigation). However, we recommend bringing a hard copy of your Walk Pack, as you may not be able to get a good signal in some areas. 


Your Collett’s Walking Holiday Checklist 

Here’s a summary of all essentials, recommendations & optional extras for your walking holiday:


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket, preferably insulated  
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans “amp; waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Waterproof over trousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat (or sunhat)  
  • Rucksack  
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • Mobile phone  
  • Portable charger / power bank 
  • Watch  
  • UV sunglasses 


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)   
  • Walking poles, useful for descents  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent
  • Sit mat
  • Spare pair of socks
  • Swimming costume
  • Energy snacks: e.g. dried fruit, energy bars
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)

Optional extras

  • Plaster/ blister kit
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
  • Sunglasses
  • Entertainment, e.g. playing cards, a book, etc.
  • Earplugs
  • Cosmetic items (nail scissors, nail file, eye drops, contact lenses, tweezers, lip balm etc.)
  • Mosquito repellent/insect repellent
  • Hand disinfectant
  • Camera
  • Travel wash
  • Travel Documents
  • Valid passport
  • Driving licence
  • EHIC / GHIC card
  • Cash
  • Bank card, credit card
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Vaccination passport
  • Your Collett’s travel documents
  • Collett’s Walk Pack
  • Flight ticket/train ticket

Ready to start planning your next walking holiday?

Your walking holiday doesn’t start with the first step of a boot-clad foot but with the planning and selection of your gear. Keep your destination and the nature of your walking holiday in mind when packing your bag. Pack for individual needs but also consider sharing items among your group where appropriate. If you have any questions about your next walking holiday, please get in touch with us.

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