If you’ve ever been winter camping, then you’re all-too-familiar with the crushing heft of an expedition pack. But carrying a load for a hut trip is far less weighty—that is, unless you’re on 30-rack duty. Hut essentials vary depending on location, approach method and amenities offered, so check in with the operation for a final packing list (and consult your partners for their thoughts on appropriate sauna attire). Regardless, these necessities should keep you covered.Beacon, shovel, probe, snow saw: Bring your avalanche essentials and pack a few extra batteries just in case your buddy didn’t put new ones in his beacon yet this season. Include a snow saw in your kit, too, especially if your trip is self-guided and into an unfamiliar setting.
Pack: Choose a pack with a capacity around 40 liters. You want something that is suitable for hauling all your gear into the lodge yet cinches down so it’s still comfortable when not stuffed to the gills with a sleeping bag and that handle of Jack.
Layers: Don’t be the person wearing the same socks day in, day out. It’s a hut trip, not an epic, so bring a change of base layers and a few pairs of extra socks. A cotton t-shirt for evenings or sleeping in is always a comfortable call.
Yurt Booties: Down booties, Crocs, whatever. Your dogs will appreciate it (especially during a midnight sprint to the privy).
Repair Kit: Include the day-touring essentials and beef up as necessary based on how many days you’ll be out. Consider bringing supplies for binding or boot repair, unless you’re game to split wood while your friends shred.
Topo Maps: Many shelters have maps, but bring your own to have on-hand for the approach, or for day tours away from the hut.
Small First-Aid Kit: Don’t forget the moleskin!
Après Wear: Pack that tutu, Hawaiian shirt or cowboy hat. Nobody ever said après is restricted to the frontcountry.
Sleeping Bag: Most huts and yurts have some sort of heat source. But your sleeping bag’s rating should depend on how many times you’re willing to stoke the fire during the night. We recommend something in the 15° range.
Music: When it hits, you feel no pain—even after a day of 10-grand in the skintrack. Bring along the iPod and some small speakers. Your friends will thank you when the dance party starts.
Booze: Thirty rack, Bota Box or Snow-Machine Juice. That’s five parts Allen’s Coffee Brandy to three parts peppermint schnapps (best swigged from a blue plastic flask).