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Hiking Berchestgaden - What to wear

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Jul 1st, 2013, 06:21 PM
  #1
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Hiking Berchestgaden - What to wear

Preparing to pack for my family's hut to hut hiking trip at the end of July.

Kuhroint Hutte
Watzmannhaus
Schaertenalm Hutte
Blaueishutte
Berchestgaden

We have four kids (ages 5,6,7,9) and can count on the two older kids to carry packs with a total of four pounds. We've been "training" around town (Key West, Florida), hiking around the island and increasing the amount of weight in their packs.

Because my husband and I will be carrying most everything (35-45 pounds each), I want to keep what we take to a minimum.

I know I need to pack rain wear (coat and pants), a warm fleece and hat, hut shoes. What I don't know is do we wear pants or shorts? What will the weather be like at the end of July? We have sleep sacks, but do we need pajamas, or do we just sleep in our clothes?

Does anyone have their packing list that they could share? Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 07:49 PM
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What? No dirndls? No lederhosen? No cute cap with feather?
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Jul 1st, 2013, 08:16 PM
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... and whatever you do... don't mention the war! LOL
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Thanks for that. Does anyone have some real advice?
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Jul 6th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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As my nickname suggests, I know the area a bit, though I live in Munich.
I'm not familiar with US-measures, but if 35 american pounds are similar to 35 european pounds - that sounds like a lot!
I think, more than 30 pounds are really too much if you go to the mountains (and that would include tent, food, water).
Sleep sacks aren't sleeping bags, right? You don't need those, but I guess you know that.
Don't take any cotton garments with you, only functional wear (including underwear).
2 items of underwear (I'd bring light long johns, too), socks and t-shirts per person are enough.
Functional wear dries quickly, so you can wash the used one on arrival in the hut.
Every hut has a special room for drying clothes.
You need shorts and also a pair of long pants, many people use zip-off outdoor pants, I prefer 2 seperate pairs of trousers.
Then, as you said, you need a warm fleece jacket and some rain protection, fleece cap and gloves.
I wouldn't bring waterproof trousers, just jackets.
Honestly, I'd rather take small and light umbrellas, since, when hiking, you really sweat a lot in gore-tex hard-shell jackets and often, an umbrella is just more comfortable.
And after approx. 45 min of rain, every gore-tex jacket has given up anyway, at least in my experience.
Personally, I hardly take waterproof clothes on my hikes, but only bring a windproof softshell and an umbrella.
I personally use hard-shells only in winter, and only in heavy snow.
I would skip pyjamas.
Only one toothpaste for your group
Only one deodorant
only one piece of soap/shower gel (those small hotel bottles come in handy)
I think, it is handier to put your stuff into several plastic bags to protect it from rain than to use the backpack rainprotectors. Or you use those waterproof vacuum bags, that reduce the size of clothes to a minimum, like this one: http://www.outdoorspezial.de/nordisk...it-ventil.html
(You pack them, then sit on them to squeeze the air out the valve and close them)
You don't really need to bring hut shoes, in the shoe room of the huts there are usually plenty of slippers you can use (I haven't been to all of these huts, but definitely in Watzmannhaus)
Flip-flops would be an option, though.
Bring Ear-Plugs! There are always people who snore!
Waterbottles - in the limestone alpes, there is no water on the way, take 1 liter per person with you.
a small First Aid Kit
mobile phone; telephonenumber of the Bergwacht (mountain rescue) is 112
Headlights are great, particularly when sleeping in a dorm.
Functional towels, small ones.
No books.
A good map (best map issued by the German Alpine Club/Deutscher Alpenverein)
http://www.dav-shop.de/category.aspx...dQb2HV0kdEsQ--
Can't think of anything else at the moment.
Ah - weather: July is a good month to do that, but this year's summer's been miserable so far, rain, rain, rain and also a lot of snow in the mountains. You never know.
It's a great place, you'll have plenty of fun and it'll be awesome for the kids.
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Jul 6th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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This finger toothbrush might reduce weight by another 15 grams ;-):
http://www.dooyoo.de/outdoor-zubehoe...zahnbuerste-1/
Don't bring one of those fancy outdoor wash bags like this: http://shop.jack-wolfskin.de/waschsa...check-one-size
They're just a waste of space and weight (and money). Use a simple plastic bag instead.
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Jul 7th, 2013, 08:03 PM
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Watzmann- Thank you so much for the USEFUL advice. It is greatly appreciated. We're doing a trial pack this week and think we'll go with the umbrellas. Do you know if we can rent helmets in Berchestgaden? And if so, the approximate cost? We're debating whether to bring our own, or just rent. We have harnesses. Thanks so much!
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Jul 7th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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Watzmann- Also, do we need poles? We hiked the Swiss Alps last summer and didn't need them. Thanks!
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Jul 7th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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If you really need poles (and helmets) will depend on what trails you plan to use.. steep descends, loose gravel, etc.
Helmets should only be needed for real climbing.

If you stick to regular hiking, I cannot remember ever seeing any people wearing helmets. You should be able to rent them, though, at least at places where you can rent (mountain) bikes, as for that kind of activity you would always wear a helmet. I have no clue about costs but if you have your own and want helmets I would always take my own if only for the fact that I'd know how well they fit my head.

Re. weight pls follow Watzmann's advice and downsize.
Anything more than 10-15 kgs will be uncomfortable.
First Aid Kit should include some "first aid" for sore feet and blisters (probably the most common "injury", but which can be really painful).
The only item where I would beg to differ are umbrellas. I would find them too unpractical. Though I must admit that I have never tried it.

Otherwise, mountain hiking around Berchtesgaden will not differ any from hiking in Switzerland. Trails are well marked, and that is also a very popular region to hike.

Weather is looking much better now, by the way
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Jul 8th, 2013, 04:54 AM
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We are planning on taking the kids up to the little hut up hill from the Watzmannhutte and take turns walking a shirt distance across the peak. For this section of our hike, we will need helmets. Just didn't know if there was a shop in town where we could rent them or if we needed to bring our own. As our trip begins in Venice and ends in Cologne, I'd prefer not to carry helmets! Thanks.
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Jul 8th, 2013, 02:33 PM
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I don't think you need helmets if you plan to ascent the first sort of peak of watzmann, the hocheck with its small biwak box (this one: http://singer74.de/watzmann/tag%202/2_6.jpg). There's no danger of falling rocks there, too flat (it is steep and rocky of course, but you don't need helmets, really).
It looks wild on the picture, but the wild part starts only directly after the biwak hut, before that, it is without danger of falling rocks or something. It is a steep ascent, you need your hands from time to time, but in good weather, it is not dangerous. If you went further - it gets more difficult at once (picture).
With a 5-year-old, I wouldn't go any further than Hocheck, honestly, because you can't do it safely, you can't use a via-ferrata set all the time (as I said, the Watzmann crossing is not a via ferrata, only short parts are equipped with iron ropes and ladders, most parts are completely "unspoiled", from Hocheck to Mittelspitze, it is nothing for "first-timers".
The umbrella thing - I never thought of it myself and would have considered it as awkward until I saw our mountain guide doing this, when we did some peaks in the Bernina ridge.
Poles are a good idea, particularly with your heavy rucksacks it helps a lot (->knees).
There might be poles for rent in sport shops in Berchtesgaden, I'd call the tourist office for info (http://www.berchtesgadener-land.com/...informationen/), you can rent poles in winter for cross-country skiing at almost any shop in the alps, so maybe they rent trekking poles in the summer - give it a try. Don't bother calling and talking only english - it'll work out just fine..
Also, unless you want to do a true via ferrata, you really won't need harnesses. Even the crossing of the watzmann isn't a true via ferrata (only some stretches are "ironed"), most people go without harness (and without helmets, since you're always on top of everything). I don't know, what route exactly you're planning to do, but for the normal hiking route linking your huts, you neither need helmets nor harnesses.
Cowboy is right: blisters can ruin everything. Best brand for blister band-aids: http://www.compeed.com, not cheap, but they work. Available at any pharmacy in germany.
Also, a strong pain reliever would be a good idea to bring along (Ibuprofene 800 or similar).
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