The long distance hiking trail from munich to venice is not as well known as for example the E5, and it’s much more demanding. The highest point of the trails is at nearly 3000m and even in august and september, there is usually snow and storms can always surprise you in that altitude, so waterproof and technical clothing is essential. Moreover, if you want to do the traditional route a via ferrata is but one of the challenges.
But if you have some basic understanding of mountaineering and some experience with long distance hiking, there’s no excuses! It’s a beautiful trail, passing some of the most beautiful places in the alps, challanging but rewarding with breathtaking views, diverse landscapes and many unique lodges with great food!
The trail is 550km and about 22.000 altimeters, going through Bavaria, austria, South Tyrol and Italy from the Marienplatz in Munich to the Piazza San Marco in Venice. That should take you about 30 days. I used a german guide, published by “Rother”, but I am not sure there’s a guide in English. But you can find GPS tracks online, so if you have a GPS, you should be fine.
If you want to do the trail and haven’t done any long distance hiking trails before you should be ready to drop quite a few bucks on equipment! There are a few essentials you will need, like a waterproof, breathable jacket and a good backpack. For me, priority number one is always function, than weight. So if you have the money, really focus on lightness. I managed to do the trail with a backpack that weighed about 4 kg (base weight, without water and food) and saw people that had backpacks as heavy as 20kg! If you want to enjoy the trail and don’t want to make rest days every week, shedding weight is key. This could mean some sacrifices, you might have to leave some things at home, but ultimately, the trip will be so much more relaxed and enjoyable!
So here’s a list of the essentials, that I had with me on the trail:
- Backpack, about 35l (depending on the load, the heavier you pack, the heavier the backpack has to be (more cushion,…), but it shouldn’t weigh more than 1kg)
- Waterproof Stuffbag, if your Backpack isn’t waterproof
- Trekking Boots, above all: comfortable, wear them in before, I prefer full leather boots, e.g. the HanWag Tatra or Yukon, I didn’t get a single blister over the whole trek with these!
- Guide, GPS, Mobile, Headlamp, Chargers, First Aid Kit, Sunglasses, ID, Alpine Club Card, Money, Ziplock Bags to put it in
- Waterbottles, 3×1 Liter, I use Platypus, they are very light and foldable when empty
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste (Travelsize), Bodywash (Travelsize), Traveltowel, Sunscreen (Travelsize), Painkillers, Ziplock Bag to put it in
- Rain Jacket (Gore-Tex or something alike, waterproof and breathable, I prefer Gore Tex Active because it’s light, breathable and still pretty durable, but Paclite is also fine, best option would be the Arcteryx Alpha FL Jacket)
- Zip-off pants or shorts and long pants
- 2 Baselayers, preferably Merino, because it doesn’t smell
- 3 Underpants, Merino obligatory
- 2 Pairs of socks, preferably Merino
- Insulation Layer, down or synthetic down, e.g. Primaloft One
- Hat, Cap, against sun and cold
- Light gloves against the cold
- Buff, multipurpose
- Second pair of shoes, light, I love Vibram Fivefingers (e.g. TrekSport)
- Trekking Poles, preferably foldable and light, I used the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Pole
- Vest (e.g. Softshell), Protection against the wind, comfortable, light
- Rain Pants
- Camera (if your Mobile isn’t enogh)
- You can rent the equipment you need for the via ferrata in the lodge before, if you don’t want to do that: Helmet, Harness, Via Ferrata Set