Equipment

In the Alps, the weather can change quickly, and participants need to be prepared to camp and hike in rain, hail, shine, and maybe even snow!

Below we have compiled a list of compulsory equipment you will need to bring with you, along with some useful, optional extras that you may wish to pack. The golden rule: bring clothes that you can layer to suit the weather – adding more as it gets colder. Clothes with multiples purposes are great.

Remember, all of this will need to be placed into ONE bag that weighs no more than 20kg, and can be easily carried by the participant over rough ground for 1-2kms between the train station and the campsite on arrival. Hiking packs would be most suitable. You will also have 7kg for hand luggage. We recommend using your hiking day-pack as your on-board carry-on and take onboard basic toiletries, a change of clothes and some entertainment for the flight. Make sure you use the full 7kgs.

Compulsory Items

All of these items are essential and compulsory. We want you to be safe, comfortable and well-equipped for all weather and all activities. KISC guides will undertake gear checks before every activity. No gear means no activity – its that simple. Any questions, please contact us.

Item Description
Passport The CMT will store it safely on arrival and returned before departure.
Hiking boots Sturdy, comfortable boots that sit above the ankle are essential. The track from the train to the Centre needs them, as does every hike run by KISC. Trainers or low-cut hiking shoes without high ankle support will not be allowed on hikes. This is a non-negotiable KISC regulation.
Waterproof jacket (and pants) These should be waterproof and breathable. No heavy linings, and they must be strong enough to complete activities in. This means thick ski jackets and plastic ponchos are not appropriate – you need to be dry if it rains on activities.
Suitable camp clothing It could be 13°C or 30°C, so pack for all weather.
Warm Weather - T-shirt & shorts
Cold Weather – Long pants/trousers & jumper, fleece or softshell jacket
- A mix of a couple of each should be fine.
Hiking trousers Comfortable for hiking. Preferably light-weight and quick dry. Jeans are not allowed on hikes.
Thermals A top and a bottom, either polypropylene or wool.
Gloves Fleece/other lightweight gloves for cold weather & glacier crossings.
Beanie Or even a buff if you prefer.
Sun hat / cap Baseball cap or widebrim are both ok.
Sunglasses Protect those eyes from the sun and snow-glare.
Socks Comfortable, minimum 4 pairs. Bring some hiking socks.
Underwear As per personal requirements
Sleeping Bag Down or synthetic, rated to 0 degrees
Sleeping Mat Foam or self-inflating mat. No stetchers.
Torch Head torch or small hand torch
Watch You will need to know the time, and set alarms each morning.
Day Pack A comfortable, sturdy day pack that can carry spare clothes, waterproofs, water, food for two days, and other essentials. Minimum 25-30L capacity, waist-strap preferable. Recommended as your hand luggage for the flight.
Pack Liner / Dry Bags / Pack Cover Keep your gear dry inside your pack (heavy-duty garbage bags also work), and the pack cover on the outside offers added protection.
Water Bottle/s Water bladder (camelbak-style) is also acceptable. Minimum 2 litres total capacity.
Sun cream and insect repellent Enough for personal use.
Personal Medication and Toiletries. Everything you need for two weeks, but keep it lightweight. Toothbrush and paste, soap, deodorant, and personal products. This includes any special medication, epipens or asthma inhalers! Please ensure your medication is listed on your profile via the website.
Scout Uniform Your Scout Shirt and International Scarf. You will need to wear a scarf at all times in the village of Kandersteg – so you may wish to bring additional scarves to trade with other Scouts. No need for uniform trousers.
Thongs / Sandals For wearing in the showers, and at night in mountain huts.
Small Personal First Aid Kit Suitable for minor injuries. KISC and the Contingent has a number of large first aid kits on site, so you don’t need anything big.
Towel Large enough for showering. Quick dry fabric is recommended.
Swimmers Bathers for the pool and alpine lakes.
Casual Shoes Sports trainers are handy, for activities and sight-seeing. Maybe x 2.
Day Pack A comfortable, sturdy day pack that can carry spare clothes, waterproofs, water, food for two days, and other essentials. Minimum 25-30L capacity, waist-strap preferable. Recommended as your hand luggage for the flight.
Pack Liner / Dry Bags / Pack Cover Keep your gear dry inside your pack (heavy-duty garbage bags also work), and the pack cover on the outside offers added protection.

  • Note: We are traveling early in Summer, which means that snow and ice is likely to still be on some of the routes (exciting!). Arms and legs must be covered for these crossings, even in sunshine and good weather. Light-weight long sleeves and long pants (together with the compulsory sunglasses and gloves) would be handy – as well as warm layers if needed.
  • Note: A personal hike tent between you and your buddy will be required and will need to travel with you. More information regarding these arrangements will follow shortly next week.

Optional Items

These are not essential, but are recommended if you have space and should make your life a little easier.

Item Description
Swiss Money It may be useful to have some Swiss Francs for when we land in Switzerland. Spending money of about $10 a day is a good start.While your contingent fee includes camping fees, food, and an activities package, you may wish to take a small amount of spending money with you. Below is a guide to the cost (in Swiss Francs) of some common items:
  • Coffee, Soft Drink, Ice Cream, CHF 2.50
  • Postcard CHF 2.00, Postage to Australia CHF 1.60
  • Souvenirs in the KISC Shop, CHF 2.00 - 30.00
  • Swiss Army Knife, CHF 15.00 - 90.00
Camera Don’t forget batteries / charger!
Mobile Phones For people who own unlocked phones, you can purchase a Swiss sim card. There are limited opportunities to connect to wifi and use Skype/Facebook apps to contact home. Please make sure you check the costs of international roaming (including data) before you leave home so you don’t suffer from bill shock! The Contingent will have dedicated phone numbers for emergency use, and will be contactable 24/7. Should anyone need to contact home for a health or welfare reason, this will be arranged and will not be at the expense of the participant. The Contingent will also be providing regular updates and photos via blog for family and friends following our adventure from home.
Sleeping Bag Liner Used when staying overnight in the mountain hut if you do not want to use the supplied blankets, and also while in the campsite for extra warmth.
Pillow Must be small enough to fit in your bag
Buff / Bandana Should be lightweight material, not thick fleece
Power Adaptor Note there is a difference between Swiss power points and some European adaptors – make sure yours is compatible. Note, there are both two and three pin options available. There will be lockers available for use on the campsite that contain powerpoints for any charging you have to do.
Swap Gear Bring anything Scouting or ‘Aussie’ to trade with other Scouts. Scarves and shirts always go well, and they won’t have seen many Aussie Scouts before!