Ten of the Best


Like many hiking expeditions, a multi-day Alpine trek requires a range of outdoor clothing to combat the changing elements; a tent, sleeping bag and stove for camping; and a comfortable rucksack for lugging all of this about (not to mention a keen sense of direction). However, if you plan to make use of the gites dotted throughout the mountains, you can discount much of the camping gear. Here are some of Paul's equipment recommendations

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(1) INSULATED JACKET

Patagonia Women's Ultralight down shirt

225 [pounds sterling]/150 GRAMS

Filled with 800-fill-power goose down and covered in a water-repellent ripstop fabric, this ultralight shirt is ideal for pulling on during chilly rest breaks or after dinner in your gite. A men's version is also available

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(2) SLEEPING BAG

PHD Minim Ultra

200 [pounds sterling]/345 GRAMS

Reducing the weight of your sleeping bag is an easy way to minimise the load on your shoulders. Filled with 900-fill-power down, this boxed-wall-construction bag has no cold spots. If you're camping rather than using gites, you might prefer the warmer Minim 400

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(3) WINDPROOF JACKET

Montane Lite-Speed

65 [pounds sterling]/175 GRAMS

I carry a highly breathable, windproof jacket in addition to a waterproof and breathable cagoule for the times when the wind blows without any rain. Made from durable Pertex nylon, the Lite-Speed is equipped with a hood and a Napoleon pocket

(4) WATER PUBLICATION

Chlorine dioxide tablets

10 [pounds sterling]/40 GRAMS

It's normally straightforward to obtain drinking water in the Alps. But if you have to refill your bottles from a questionable source on a hot day, these tablets will help to prevent your trek from being derailed by a stomach bug. Also available in liquid form

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(5) SLEEPING MAT

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir

125 [pounds sterling]/550 GRAMS

(LARGE SIZE)

The NeoAir is devoid of any heat-retaining foam insulation, relying instead on a reflective barrier to help keep you warm. This results in a light design that compresses to the size of a one-litre bottle. …

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