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Complete Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List

Hiking hut to hut is one of the most incredible experiences you can have in the Alps. However, your enjoyment is very much tied to how prepared you are and how much weight you’re carrying on your back.

We’ve learned the hard way how poor gear impacts a multi-day hiking trip. We want to help you be as prepared as possible, so you don’t make the same mistakes as we did (e.g. low-grade hiking boots, travel pack instead of hiking pack).

Below, you’ll find our personal hut to hut packing list for multi-day trekking in the Alps. In addition to gear and overnight hut (Hütte, Rifugio, Koča, Cabane, Cappana, Refuge) essentials, remember to always bring enough cash for mountain hut expenses. Most mountain huts we’ve visited do not accept credit cards. 

Also, remember to pack your passport. In Slovenia and often in Italy, you always have to show your passport when you check into a mountain hut.

Leutkircher Hütte, Lechtal Alps, Austria

Hut to Hut Hiking Gear

Osprey Kestrel 38 Hut to Hut Hiking Backpack, Lechtal Alps, Austria

Hiking Backpack

The Osprey Kyte 36 (for women) and the Osprey Kestrel 38 (for men) are the best hut-to-hut hiking backpacks on the market.

The weight is distributed perfectly. You’ll never feel like the pack is weighing you down, or working against you. If you need a bit more room, you can also buy the Osprey Kyte 46 (for women) and the Osprey Kestrel 48 (for men). 

You’ll feel confident tackling secured passages and assisted climbing routes as well. When I (Sabrina) switched to the Osprey Kyte 36, it made hiking long distances so much easier and more enjoyable. Also, these Osprey packs come with a rain cover, which is very easy to access in a hurry.


Packing Cubes

The easiest way to keep your trekking backpack organized is by using Eagle Creek packing cubes.


Trekking Poles

Hiking poles are very helpful in stabilizing descents when you have extra weight on your back. They also are super helpful for water and snowfield crossings. In the Alps, you’ll likely encounter snow until July.

We both use these Black Diamond trail poles and love them. Black Diamond makes women-specific hiking poles as well, but we opted for the unisex poles, because of their high ratings. 

Tip: Opt for poles with lever locks (flick lock mechanism), as opposed to twisting locks. They’re more durable.


Grade B or B/C Hiking Boots

You need a high-cut boot with Gore-Tex waterproofing and robust construction when hiking in rocky, high-alpine terrain.

We recommend wearing a sturdy pair of hiking boots, preferably grade B or B/C like the women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (what Kati and I wear), or the men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX.

I also love the Grade A/B Hanwag Tatra Light Lady GTX, which is an excellent boot for day hiking, but not robust enough for hiking with a heavier pack.


Hydration

Depending on your preference, pack either a reusable water bottle, or a water bladder. We always refill our water bottles in the mountain huts. If the water isn’t potable, you’ll be able to purchase water at each hut. 


Multi-Day Hiking Clothing

Lechtal Alps hut to hut hike, Austria

Quick-Dry, or Merino Base Layer

You need quick-dry base layers that are lightweight and wick away sweat. Never wear cotton when hiking in the alps. We typically pack 3 base layers for a trek: 2 short-sleeve shirts and 1 long-sleeve shirt. Quick-dry shirts are also easier to wash.

Update | We’re increasingly hiking in merino wool. The biggest advantage of merino wool is that it doesn’t smell, even after several days of consecutive use. So, it’s ideal for multi-day hikes. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t dry as quickly. If we take a longer break (e.g. lunch), I absolutely have to change my shirt, or else I’m just sitting in cold sweat.

Our preferred short-sleeve shirt: Arc’teryx Lana Crew Neck Shirt SS – Women’s / Men’s

Our preferred long-sleeve shirt: Icebreaker Merino Standard 175 Half Zip – Women’s / Men’s


Insulating Mid Layer

Hiking Vest

A hiking vest is an essential garment for hiking hut to hut in the alps. It keeps your core warm on the trail, whether you’re hiking in windy conditions, or at high elevations.

We love the Columbia Powder Lite Vest – Women’s / Men’s.

Merino Wool Jacket

When it’s crisp (especially in the morning), it’s essential to have a mid-layer zip-up jacket to keep you warm on the trail.

We love this merino jacket: Icebreaker Quantum III Long-Sleeve Zip Jacket – Women’s / Icebreaker Quantum III Long-Sleeve Zip Jacket – Men’s. We each own three. I recommend buying a darker color, because the light-color jackets stain more easily. 

Alternatively, you can pack a full-zip fleece.


Rain Jacket

There’s always a chance of rain in the Alps. We have hiked for hours and hours in the rain during some of our treks. It’s essential to always carry a proper rain jacket.

We recommend the Gore-Tex Marmot Knife Edge Jacket – Women’s / Men’s


Hooded Puffer Jacket

Pack a lightweight puffer jacket for insulation and extra warmth both on the trail and in the mountain huts.

We recommend the Mammut Broad Peak IN Hooded Jacket – Women’s / Men’s


Merino Wool Hiking Socks

We recommend wearing Merino wool hiking socks.

Currently, our favorite sock is this Smartwool womens Performance Hike Full Cushion Crew / Smartwool Men Performance Hike Full Cushion Crew.

Make sure your hiking socks are snug. They shouldn’t be too big, or you’ll get blisters.


Hiking Pants

The Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants are the best hiking pants for women. We both own two pairs and have been wearing them continuously for years. We love their flexibility and ability to shed water. Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants are also breathable and extremely comfortable in all types of weather.

These pants also feature an elastic waist (no belt necessary) and elastic ankles. That means you can stretch the pants over your hiking boots, thus preventing rocks and debris from getting into your boots.

Unfortunately, Macpac gear isn’t easy to find outside of New Zealand. If you’re based in Europe, we recommend the Dynafit Transalper 2 Light Dynastretch Pants. Here’s the men’s version: Dynafit Men Transalper 2 Light Dynastretch Pants.

These breathable hiking pants are fantastic. They allow for maximum flexibility and have elastic ankles.


Hiking Accessories 

Hiking Gear, Hut to Hut Hike in the Alps

Headband

Headbands are great for hiking in windy conditions. My favorite headband is the Vaude Cassons Headband


Beanie

Pack a beanie for extra warmth when hiking in high altitudes.


Half Finger Climbing Gloves

Climbing gloves help you grip steel cables safely and securely.

They also protect your palms when you scramble up steep, rocky terrain. We pack our black diamond gloves with us on every trek.

These gloves are necessary for any hikes that entail lengthy secured passages and/or via ferrata climbing. 


Essentials for Overnighting in Mountain Huts

Memminger Hütte, Lechtal Alps, Austria

Sleeping Bag Liner

Mountain huts in the Alps generally provide sheets, blankets, and pillows, but you need to bring a sleeping bag liner for hygienic purposes.

We use the lightweight Sea to Summit Silk-Cotton Blend Travel and Sleeping Bag Liner.

More options: Yen’s Mulberry Silk Sleeping Bag Liner and Cocoon Cotton TravelSheet


Waterproof Slippers

After a day of hiking, it’s so enjoyable to finally take off your boots and slip on a pair of crocs. We recommend bringing slippers you can also shower in.

We used to bring flip flops, but they aren’t as practical. We often shower, change into our overnight hut clothes, and then wander outside to enjoy the view wearing our crocs – which is safer and more comfortable than flip flops. 


Microfiber Travel Towel

Opt for a thin, microfiber towel that dries quickly. Many mountain huts in the Alps have showers, which you can pay for (usually 3-4 EUR for 2-3 minutes). 


Cosmetics and First Aid Supplies

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Floss

Shampoo and conditioner

Soap

Chapstick with SPF like Aquaphor Lip Repair Lip Balm with Sunscreen

Nail clippers

Deodorant

First Aid Kit

Emergency Blanket like Emergency Bivy Sack


Fleece

It’s always good to have a fleece with you for added warmth in mountain huts. Fleece sweaters are lightweight and dry quickly.


Leggings and Sleeping Shirt

Pack something comfortable you can change into after a day of hiking. You’ll need a single pair of comfortable leggings, or pants you can eat dinner in, relax in and sleep in.

Like the leggings, you need a single long-sleeve shirt you can relax in, sleep in, and eat in.


Earplugs

Mountain huts aren’t hotels. You’ll either be sleeping in a dormitory-style room (Lager), or you’ll hear fellow hikers in other rooms. Bring earplugs to block out snoring and other noises.


Kindle

When you go on a hut to hut hike, you’ll have some downtime, especially before and after dinner. We highly recommend packing your e-reader to keep yourself entertained throughout the trek.

The Kindle Paperwhite is super lightweight and doesn’t take up very much space. It’s far more ideal than paper books because you can have access to several books without worrying about the weight.


Sun Protection for Hiking

Württembergerhaus, Lechtal Alps Hut to Hut Hiking Trail, Austria

Cat 4 Sunglasses

It’s critical to buy Cat 4 sunglasses like the Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses, or Julbo Montebianco 2 Mountain Sunglasses that wrap around your head.

Cat 4 sunglasses provide a high level of protection from visible and UV light. That’s critical for high alpine hiking and trekking, as these glasses let less light in.


Sun Lotion with Zinc Oxide

We use Neutrogena’s Zinc Oxide Sun Lotion for our hiking adventures.


Sun Hat

Always pack a hat. Even if you hate hats, pack one. It’s cheaper than treating sun-damaged skin.


Best Camera for Multi-Day Hiking

Unterer Seewiese, Lechtal Alps, Austria

Sony Alpha a6000 or a6400

We did a lot of research before investing in a camera. We wanted a powerful camera that’s also lightweight and easy to hike with. We chose the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera, which we’re head-over-heels in love with. It’s a great entry-level camera with an attractive price point. If you buy it on Amazon, it comes with the 16-50 mm and 55-210 mm Power Zoom Lenses.

After 2 years of using our kit lens, we finally upgraded our gear. We replaced our kit lens with the Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD for sharper, higher-quality photos. Our favorite investment is this wide-angle zoom lens Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS.

Update | We’re currently using the Sony Alpha a6400 camera body.


Peak Design Camera Clip

Why didn’t we buy these sooner??? This camera clip is a godsend and the only practical way to comfortably and safely hike with a camera.

You adhere one part of the clip to your hiking backpack strap and the other part to your camera. That means no neck pain and no swinging camera. I was really skeptical at first, but now I’m a huge fan of the peak design camera clip


Camera Bag

We use this small camera bag to keep our camera safe and protected while hiking hut to hut. We also have this larger camera bag, which is useful if you’re carrying more lenses, but it’s bulky and takes up a lot of room.


Camera Cleaning Kit

Because our camera gets really dusty on the trail, we carry this small cleaning kit with us.



Keep Reading about Hut to Hut Hiking & the Alps

Europe:

Austria:

Italy:

Slovenia:

Switzerland:

Liechtenstein:


Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati