Hut Trips: Tips

November 2013

There’s a lot you need to know before setting off on a backcountry adventure, and we couldn’t fit it all into November’s “Out of Bounds” story, which delves into the backcountry hut experience. Some tips from our writers: 

  • Always, always make an early start for hike-in hut trips. Even when we don’t think we should have to, we do it anyway, and it’s saved our butts many times. We’ve always made it to the hut, never had to turn around or bivvy outside overnight, simply because of that one rule.
  • Turns out, living at 5,280 feet doesn’t exactly prepare you for vigorous activity at 11,200 feet. You have to drink tons of water. As newbies, we didn’t fully respect the power of elevation. When you’re sleeping at 11,000 feet, you’ll feel it, even if you’re supposedly “used to altitude.” If you’ve dried yourself out with a sweaty hike then spend the evening drinking wine not water, you could end up projectile puking all night from altitude illness (as my hubby did one year).
  • Bring boxed wine and Starbucks VIA instant coffee. Trust us.
  • Instead of bringing liquid eggs (yuck), simply crack eggs into ziplock bags and pack those in your bag. Lightweight and ready to cook!
  • A merino wool top is the ideal hut-skiing base layer: It’s warm and comfortable while skiing, wicks moisture away from your skin, and, best of all, doesn’t stink after a couple of days of skiing, sleeping, and hanging around the hut.
  • Always remove skins from your skis and bring them inside the hut at night to dry.
  • deflated road bike inner tube is useful for many repairs, including telemark ski bindings, busted pack straps, etc. 

Pictured: The view from Eiseman Hut

Follow associate editor Daliah Singer on Twitter at @daliahsinger.