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Packing for an adventure is one of the most exciting things there is. Nothing says “it’s finally happening” like packing everything you need into a backpack or suitcase and zipping it closed. 

But let’s be honest for a minute, it can also be really stressful! There is so much to remember to bring, and add elopement details, vows and rings to that and there is a lot of responsibility to get it right. 

I’ve written this blog to give you an idea of the things I recommend couples to pack, and a few comments on what to look out for. I hope it will be the perfect companion as you’re planning for your elopement wedding, as well as to use as a checklist when you are ready to start packing. 

Packing for a Summer Hiking Elopement

The number one thing to think about is clothing it can reach 35 degrees (°C) in alpine valleys in the summer so thin shirts that cover your arms and shoulders are a good idea. Also sun cream: you burn faster at altitude so even a short amount of time in the sun can result in a lobster look on your elopement day. But the weather can still be really changeable, even in summer you’ll want to pack plenty of layers and waterproofs.

Aside from clothes, depending on the route, you might need special equipment you need for the hike, like a headlamp, helmet or a via ferrata set. But you’ll know this when you’re planning your route.

And of course, you’ll need an adequately sized and comfortable backpack to fit everything in. It’s a good idea to test out your backpack before your trip, that way you won’t spend your elopement suffering from unexpected backache. I also recommend that once you’ve got all your things together, pack them into your pack at home and test the weight. You may find that you end up stripping down and leaving some non-essential items out when you have to wear the backpack for more 10 minutes.

Packing for a single day hiking elopement

No matter whether it’s only a short or a longer day hike, there are a few essentials that you’ll need to have with you for a single day hiking elopement.

Even though this might be your wedding day, you should pack like you are going on a day hike – by which I mean packing the essentials for a day in the mountains:

Plus anything extra you may need specifically for your elopement, such as:

  • Small makeup bag with things for touch-ups / hair brush / clips etc
  • Your wedding clothes rolled carefully into a dry bag/plastic liner if you are not hiking in them
  • Vow books, rings
  • Bouquet or flowers (optional)
  • Picnic items (optional)
  • Headlamp if it’s a sunrise or sunset hike

Packing for a multi day hiking elopement

When it comes to multi-day elopements it’s even more likely that your packing list will depend on your route and where you are staying. If you’re basing yourself somewhere and hiking from there each day you’ll need similar gear to single day elopements. If you’re planning a hut-to-hut hike there will be some extra things to take into consideration:

When it comes to overnights in a mountain hut, while it is nice to have a fresh change of clothes, everything you pack you have to carry with you up and down the mountain in most cases. I’ve personally switched to merino as I can wear the same shirt for 2 days without it smelling too bad. In my experience, it’s better to wear the same clothes 2 days in a row and just be prepared to “rough it” a little, than over-pack with spare clothes but be miserable and not enjoy the hike because your backpack is too heavy.

Packing for a Winter Elopement 

The most important thing to remember when choosing gear and clothing for a winter elopement is that it needs to keep you warm and safe. Temperatures in Austria can drop down to -15°C and often feels even colder with a wind-chill. 

Having lots of layers is important, including layers that you can wear under your wedding wear, or put on over the top if the weather needs it. You’ll also want to try and wear sweat wicking materials as base layers as they will keep you much warmer. 

Footwear is also essential to keeping safe (and having a great time) whilst you are out in the mountains. Trails can often get compacted snow and ice over them and whilst snowshoes, or crampons are needed for some locations, I would recommend stable shoes like hiking boots with a tread to all of my couples. 

Winter elopement packing list

Whether you are getting ready to hit the slopes on ski’s and a board, or head out on an epic snowshoeing adventure there are a few things you’ll definitely want to bring with you:

Additional Items to bring snowshoeing:

  • A well fitting backpack is especially important. Having your hands free to use poles can really help your balance, especially if you’ve also got a wedding dress to be aware of.
  • Snow Shoes (with good waterproof hiking boots)
  • Trekking poles (You’ll usually be given these when you hire snow shoes, but you can also bring you’re own, especially if you have poles with snow baskets.)
  • Map & phone
  • GPS Navigation/GPS Watch (optional)

Additional Items to bring skiing/snowboarding:

General packing list items you don’t want to forget

Outside of your active gear and hiking boots there are a few essentials that you’ll want to make sure you’ve packed and got with you. Whether it’s the personalised details that you have made ready for the day, or the travel documents you need to get you there.

Elopement Details to remember 

  • Vow books 
  • Gifts for each other 
  • Cards and letters from family and friends 
  • Any signs or decorations 
  • Your rings 

If you’re looking for tips and advice on elopement details and where to buy them I’ve written a blog post with some of my favourite recommendations.

Legal things to remember

  • Tickets, travel money (lots of mountain huts only accept cash), passport visa documents 
  • Travel details and tickets 
  • Holiday/accommodation/ski hire details
  • Insurance details
  • Relevant documents if you are having a legal ceremony whilst you are away.

I hope this blog has helped you to find all the kit you need and get ready for your epic elopement wedding. Let me know if there’s anything else you think I should add to the list.

And if you’re getting ready for an elopement with me I can’t wait to see you there!

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