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Clothing to pack for GAS in mid June

Hi all,
I have been reading the trip reports and posts for the GAS tour. I am confused as to how to pack. I am an experienced traveler and packer, but a lot of the descriptions mention cold weather in Switzerland. Unfortunately, none of the reports I found were in June. Can anyone advise me on whether to pack cold weather gear for this tour? I'd welcome any other tips as well. Thanks!!

Lori

Posted by
170 posts

I would try not to overthink the comments of cold weather in Switzerland. I was there last June. We had only 1/2 day of rain, sunshine and warm temperatures for 10 days. I am a very light packer. I packed the same clothes that I have worn in many countries, usually traveling in Sept/Oct. I wear Eddie Bauer Travex pants that were plenty warm. The only extra thing I packed was a light weight down jacket that was never used (thinking that I would need it at higher elevations).
I just layer another lightweight jacket with my raincoat. I always take a thin pair of gloves and bought a stocking cap for a souvenir. You may want to check out the weather forecast before you leave.

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you, Debbie! You seem to pack warmer clothes than I do.

Posted by
1926 posts

Hi. First of all, it's a wonderful tour and you will probably experience weather at every end of the spectrum. We took it mid-June a few years ago. Snow, rain and pretty darn cool while hiking around our "home base" Murren, tons of rain and very cool in Munich, lovely sunshine and warm in Trier, Baden-Baden, cool/cloudy in Salzberg and fairly nice in Hallstatt and Vienna. A true mix of Mother Nature's best efforts and every second of it most enjoyable! All that said, I recommend you plan to dress in layers and take (at least) two pairs of shoes. Maybe a fleece and rain jacket, hat & gloves if you are easily chilled. There's just no guarantee what you might find on the June GAS tour but again, you will have a wonderful time no matter what you might run into!

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you Andi!

I really appreciate the detailed answer. I see that I need to pack a little warmer than I thought.

Lori

Posted by
1171 posts

I went on the tour late May. The weather was high variable. We had passing showers on a few days but then it would clear up and warm up. Our full day in Murren it was cool in the morning up at the top of the Schilthorn. I wore a light jacket and a rain jacket over that. It was quite comfortable but I'm generally pretty warm. By the afternoon i was down to a tshirt for the valley walk. When we got to Vienna it was warm enough that I left the window open to get to sleep. So I would suggest that you think in terms of layering so you can adjust on the fly. IMHO a rain shell works better than an umbrella. Umbrellas turn into a pain when the wind kicks up.

Have fun, it's a great trip.

Posted by
174 posts

Hi Lori, we took the tour last July, and were in Murren around the middle of the month. Unfortunately we were stuck with pretty much lousy weather all 3 nights, with only a few brief periods of sun or partly cloudy skies. I would say the daytime temps were about in the 40s or low 50s; rain was common and frequent. Thing is, the Alps make their own weather so it could be totally sunny in the morning then change a few hours later.

You'll definitely want a sweater and a lightweight, waterproof jacket for Murren, plus an umbrella. My wife dressed in layers. It was obviously more chilly walking around in the early morning or late at night. I also packed a beanie.

If weather is bad on your free day, your guide may well take you into Interlaken as an option. It may be rainy, but not terribly cold. If you're hiking or going higher up in elevation, you'll obviously want to dress accordingly for that. Trummelbach Falls, regardless of the weather, is basically inside a cave and its very wet, so you'll want to dress warm and in a jacket in there.

We just posted our scrapbook. It's got more indepth info on our time in Murren plus packing lists, but let me know if you have any other questions. It's a great tour, you'll love it!

http://traveloneurope2016.weebly.com/

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you so much, Justin!! I really appreciate you including the temperatures while you were there. I am so glad I asked. I clearly erred on the side of expecting it to be much warmer! I live in South Florida, so the clothes for different climates can be confusing. I think I will pack a rain jacket, a thin insulated jacket and my umbrella that has a strap to hang from my back. I need to figure out about those layers everyone is talking about. Thank you so much. All info is greatly appreciated.
Lori

Posted by
280 posts

We took this tour in September. Layering for me up in Switzerland started with a long sleeve shirt, then a pullover merino sweater. I topped that with a lightweight jacket and if necessary a waterproof rain jacket. One thing that is a necessity is a water proof rain jacket. Make sure it is water proof, not water resistant. I use a jacket with an adjustable hood instead of an umbrella. (Then your hands are free.) We bought good rain jackets (not inexpensive) that are vented under the arms. It blocks the wind, but isn't clammy feeling if it's hot. We had tour members with rain resistant jackets that were soaked to the skin and ended up buying a better jacket in Switzerland, where everything is outrageosly expensive. You also need shoes that are waterproof. It's not fun to walk around with wet feet. This tour is awesome!

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you Janet! Would you please share the brand and style of the rain jackets that worked so well for you??

Posted by
280 posts

The rain jackets that we used are made by Marmot. We've had ours 8 years. We purchased them from REI, but I've seen some that are very similar in Cabelas. It has zippers under the arms that help with venting. Also, the hood has Velcro at the back to adjust it so it doesn't cover up your eyes. I'm sure there are other brands that are similar, but mine has served me well for two trips to Alaska, as well as Canada, Italy, England and GAS.

Posted by
225 posts

Thanks so much Janet!
We don't have REI down here, but ironically I was planning on visiting their store in PA when I visit my son at college. I will bring your description with me.

Any suggestions on waterproof shoes? I have rain boots, but I'm concerned about the amount of space they will consume in my suitcase.
Lori

Posted by
3458 posts

"Cold weather gear" makes me think of someone going to Antarctica. :-)

When I took the GAS tour I went mid July. The weather was mostly mild and no jacket required unless you were out late in the evening in most places we stayed.

Yes, it was chilly in the Swiss mountains, but only cold enough to require a coat when we went to the top of the snow capped mountains around Murren. Most of the group hiked along a mountain path midday under clear skies and we were wishing we had shorts and light t-shirts on by the end of it.

We got caught in a downpour in Munich that was the leading edge of a cold front. We went from the early morning with hot and dry conditions with people sunbathing in the parks to shivering while sitting in the Hofbrauhaus drinking hot beer. Everyone believed the weather report which called for sunny and warm all day! I ended up buying a $100 fleece at the Hofbrauhaus because I left everything warm back at the hotel (which on our tour was a 90 minute train ride outside the city). The remainder of the tour was comfortably warm.

As far as clothing suggestions, take mainly what you would wear around home. If you would normally wear rain boots on a rainy day, then you probably should take them (I am happy with my boat shoes which I wear everywhere since they are fine even when soaking wet). You are not spending days in the wilderness on this trip. You are in civilized places with stores to buy things at if you really find you need something.

Posted by
280 posts

Bilezmom,
For waterproof shoes I go to Zappos and look for walking or hiking shoes that are listed as waterproof. Usually anything with Gore-Tex is waterproof. My favorite shoes are Merrill hiking shoes or Clarkes Wave trek shoes. (I usually order several different styles and sizes, and then ship back the ones that didn't work. I live in a small town and that is easier than driving to a larger town to try a bunch of shoes on.) I have done a lot of walking and hiking with both of them. This would be your main pair of shoes for your tour. I wore them every day, and would usually only change shoes in the evening to give my feet a break. My second pair of shoes is either a pair of Teva sandals or a lightweight ballerina flat. Must be comfy, because even in the evening you can walk a lot to supper or around the town. I always wear my heaviest / bulkiest shoes on the airplane and the smaller, lighter ones in your suitcase.

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you so much Janet! I will be looking for waterproof shoes with your advice in mind,

Posted by
84 posts

I recommend one set - top & pants- of long underwear. Silk is cooler than synthetic. These create your layers under normal weight clothing. If you're then too warm later in the day, easily peel off outer tops in front of everyone, the underwear top is perfectly modest and normal looking. Remove bottoms quickly in the ladies'. These will roll up very small for packing. You'll probably have to order from LLBean or Vermont Country Store, but both of these have liberal returns, if you don't wear them. Have fun!

Posted by
266 posts

We did the GAS tour in June in 2013, and experienced all kinds of weather. Switzerland was the coldest part, but a light fleece will suffice, and will be enough to go outside when at the Schilthorn to get the pictures. Make sure it will layer under a rain jacket easily (which you WILL need). We wore pants/jeans and shorts. If you bring jeans, remember they are heavy and take forever to dry. Chinos would probably be best. I'd have to say it was more cool weather than warm weather (tepid). I guess it depends on your normal climate. It's similar to the Pacific Northwest. If you decide to go to the spa in Baden Baden you will need a swimsuit. The pools were gorgeous and I would highly recommend it.

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you Jeepers!
What a great light-weight solution. I have found them on Amazon. I am feeling relieved now that I don't have to play the "how much warm clothes do I have to pack" game.
Lori

Posted by
225 posts

Julie,
Thank you. I was planning on doing the naked side of Baden Baden. Hope I have the courage ;). I usually bring quick dry pants, but have found that the styles have changed and am now back to figuring out what brand to buy. I do prefer jeans, but you're right about the hard to dry issue.
Lori

Posted by
225 posts

Julie,
Thank you. I was planning on doing the naked side of Baden Baden. Hope I have the courage ;). I usually bring quick dry pants, but have found that the styles have changed and am now back to figuring out what brand to buy. I do prefer jeans, but you're right about the hard to dry issue.
Lori

Posted by
1173 posts

Dear Bilezmom: I read that you are thinking of doing the spa at Baden-Baden. I went on the GAS tour last September and loved it. The tour is amazing and Baden-Baden is a beautiful, weathly small city. Do the spa, I did and it was the best and believe me I was scared to do it too. It was just a great experience. You go on a Monday so it is single sex day so there are no men in any of the rooms you go to. I also did the creme massage and liked that. At the end there is one last room you can go it. I saw photos of the room which is the best room, huge dome ceiling and a huge swimming pool. I did not go in and the girls from the tour did not want to go in that room. The last room is where there are men and women together. We opted out of it and although I would have liked to see that room, I opted not to. But other than that room it was a very nice relaxing experience which I could do once a month!

Don't miss out because when will you get the chance to do that again?

Have a great time!

Posted by
225 posts

Ann,
Thank you so much! I actually didn't think about having other tour members going in with me. 0) So, for the rest of the trip, they'll know what I look like naked! lol -
Thanks for the warning about the last room. Honestly, I think if it's strangers, it would be easier. I'll let you know if I saw the last room. Do people bring in cameras to photograph the rooms?

Posted by
1173 posts

No cameras allowed at all. Plus where are you going to put it, your naked and your in pools of water the whole time and a steam room. So no place for it any way. The rooms are nice, but nothing to photograph. Just that last room with the nice ceiling.

Yes, you may see others naked but my guess is no one is really looking because all of us Americans are worried about what we look like! So I really would not worry about what the other women think. LOL.

It really is wonderful. Go on line, RS has it in his book and you can see what package you want to buy before hand. Do bring a change of underwear and clothes if you want and a little bag because they give you lockers. All safe and they run this well.

Posted by
225 posts

I'll be on the June 13th tour. Seems that no one in my group is much of a forum person. The tour thread I started is painfully quiet 😉

Posted by
225 posts

Thank you to all!

Janet,
I got the Marmot rain jacket with vents when I was in PA. Just right! I know I will have it for years. I bought Merrell waterproof shoes, put an orthotic insert in it and have been walking on a cloud on my daily walks. I know they will be perfect for GAS. I ordered 3 LS cotton modal tshirts and a cardigan from Lands End. Perfect! and they were on clearance!! I'm one month out and I think I have everything I need. Some of it will even be used again next winter when we go skiing at Club Med Samoen Morillion! I wanted to thank you all so much. Without your help I would have been miserable from the cold or rain. Now I am prepared and excited.
Lori

Posted by
280 posts

Dear bilezmom, so glad you found the Marmot rain jacket. I have been using mine on 3 trips to Europe, 2 trips to Alaska and multiple trips to assorted national parks. I need to start hunting for some new Merrell's. I have a trip to England and France in September and need to get some new ones. The ones I wore on the GAS trip 2 years ago have too many miles on them to survive another tour. Don't forget to bring a journal and write down your thoughts on a regular basis. When you get home, you'll be glad you did. Take pictures of your hotels, restaurants, meals and tour mates. Have you received your list of tour mates and hotels? I wish they gave you emails of the other people on your tour, but RS is very serious about respecting people's privacy. If you have any questions about your hotels, the people on this forum will help you. If you have questions about places to do laundry, free time, restaurants or whatever... Just ask.