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Tips for packing on Sept. GAS Tour?

What suggestions do you have for packing for the Rick Steve's Germany, Austria & Switzerland? Dress for cold in the Alps? Bring a coat? Is a light jacket and a sweater or vest enough? Is it ever warm on this trip in Sept? Should I bother with sandals? What shoes do you suggest for hiking, etc.? What NOT to bother with? What do you wish you would have brought?

Posted by
3746 posts

When we did this tour, I brought Merrill shoes with a good sole as my main shoe. I brought a Columbia fleece jacket and layers, so when it was colder, I would be warm enough. I always pack the long-sleeve microfiber 32 degree Heat - takes no room (available at Costco) and that with a pair of grocery store tights are great for a base layer if it’s cold. (We’ve been in Switzerland when it was cold on a different trip.). I’ve even worn that top with a scarf and black pants with or without a cardigan when I wanted to look nicer. I also brought a pair of the thinnest cheap gloves.

I bring washable dresses on most of my trips to Europe, but for the GAS tour, I mostly wore long pants or capris.

The sandal I like a lot is the Keen Rose sandal. Sometimes it’s the only shoe I wear.

One thing I would do differently is pack more granola or protein bars. Switzerland is expensive, and it’s nice to have something handy when we’re hiking.

Posted by
5881 posts

We did this tour in September and it was a bit cool and rainy in Germany, and warm (shorts and t-shirt warm) in Switzerland and Vienna. Unpredictable and you just have to be prepared and flexible. A rain jacket is a must wherever you go, and in the mountains the temperature can drop a lot in a hurry. The hiking in Mürren is as much or little as you want, but you dont need to pack hiking shoes just to walk many of the easy, well-groomed trails for those two days. If you're planning a lot of hiking this different, but Merrell Moabs are a good compromise. Nothing special to take: you can buy just about anything you might need anywhere over there, if it turns cold. Just keep checking the weather forecasts online for each of those places, right up to the time you're headed for the airport.

Posted by
901 posts

Took this tour back when weather patterns seemed a little more predictable, but we were there in September and relied on layers. Shirts short and long sleeve, wool sweater(s), LL Bean anorak-type packable jacket, raincoat, umbrella, scarf. I would bring a pair of gloves and knit hat just in case. Good pair of shoes or low hikers but as mentioned, heavy duty hiking boots are not necessary. I would not bring a coat (not sure where you’re from and what “coat” means to you in terms of weight and warmth), but coats take up a lot of space when layering can get you similar results. Have a great trip!

Posted by
96 posts

Depends on 'when' in September. I did the GAS tour in late Sept/early Oct and it was cool and rainy most of the time. Dressed in layers...fleece zip up jacket and long LL Bean (thin) down coat, plus wore a combo of All Birds sneakers (washable wool), Merrells calf height boots for rain (they were technically snow boots, but I didn't know), and of course, I brought an umbrella. Yes, it's very chilly up in the mtns of Switzerland. Be sure to bring a knit hat and gloves if you're going in the same timeframe. I also brought wool socks from Costco--they are fabulous!!

Recommend Scotch Guarding anything that will be exposed to the elements.

Posted by
1237 posts

When I'm in the Alps, I always have a packable light down jacket that can be jammed into a small pouch, and raincoat. If your raincoat is waist-length, I'd bring rain pants, so you can hike on days with light rain [and have added warmth]. The peaks might be in the clouds, but the lower areas are still beautiful in the drizzle.
Safe travels!

Posted by
8 posts

As others has stated, layers are a great idea. Sandals aren't really necessary, though I frequently use slides as my hotel shoes/slippers to give my feet a rest from my daytime shoes. Quick dry fabrics are a great idea, a rain shell and mid-weight sweater or fleece, light gloves, hat, scarf and waterproof shoes are also recommended.