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Complete Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List

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 (rifugio, hütte) 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, you always have to show your passport when you check-in to a mountain hut. 

Get Hiking Insurance

For peace of mind on the trail, make sure you have hiking travel insurance. When you have World Nomads insurance, you’ll get emergency medical insurance, emergency medical transportation, gear protection (in case of theft, loss, or damage) and trip protection (in case of cancellation). 

Learn more about hiking insurance here.

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Complete Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List

Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List Overview

  • Hut to Hut Hiking Gear 
  • Multi-Day Hiking Clothing
  • Hiking Accessories
  • Overnight Mountain Hut Essentials 
  • Sun Protection 
  • Hiking Camera
Epic hut to hut hiking trails:

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Hut to Hut Hiking Gear

Hut to Hut Hiking Gear

 

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 backpack organized is by using 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 the end of 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/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/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 (Sabrina) 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 at the huts. If the water isn’t potable, you’ll be able to purchase water from the mountain hut.

Multi-Day Hiking Clothing - Trekking Clothing for Hut to Hut Hikes

Multi-Day Hiking Clothing

Quick-Dry Base Layer

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

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. I’ve been wearing the Eddie Bauer StormDown Vest for years.

Insulating Mid Layer (e.g. Fleece)

When it’s crisp (especially in the morning), it’s essential to have a mid-layer to keep you warm on the trail. Kati wears a full-zip fleece. I wear a very lightweight quick-dry jacket.

Rain Jacket

There’s always a chance of rain in the Alps. We’ve hiked hours and hours in rain during some of our treks. It’s essential to always carry a proper rain jacket. Kati’s North Face Venture Rain Jacket has proven durable and effective over the last few years.

Hooded Puffer Jacket

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

Merino Wool Hiking Socks

Merino wool hiking socks are essential to your comfort. Icebreaker makes the best hiking socks out there. Their socks have lifetime warranty.

Make sure your hiking socks are snug. They shouldn’t be too big, or you’ll get blisters. I wear a women’s 6 – 6 ½ shoe (37) and now I purchase kids socks size 31-34. Since wearing kid socks, I’ve had zero blisters, or discomfort.

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.

Hut to Hut Hiking Packing List

Hiking Accessories

Buff

Buffs are great for a number of reasons. Buffs are helpful in keeping hair out of your face. They are also necessary in protecting your ears in windy conditions.

Beanie

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

Gloves

Pack gloves if you’re hiking in fall, or half finger climbing gloves, if you’re going to be tacking via ferratas (secured climbing routes).

Hut to Hut (Rifugio to Rifugio) Hiking Packing List

Essentials for Overnighting in Mountain Huts

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.

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. 

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
  • champstick with SPF
  • nail clippers
  • deodorant
  • bandaids

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 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 various other noises.

Kindle

When you go on a hut to hut hike, you’ll have some down time, 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.

Hut to hut Hiking Packing List

Sun Protection for Hiking

Cat 4 Polarized Sunglasses

It’s critical to buy Cat 4 polarized 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.

Hut to hut Hiking Packing List

Best Camera for Hiking

Sony Alpha a6000

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 Sony Vario-Tessar 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS ZEISS for sharper, higher-quality photos. For portrait photography, we bought the Sony 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens.

And our favorite investment of late is this wide-angle zoom lens Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS.

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.

Hut to Hut Hiking Gear - Trekking in the Alps
@moonhoneytravelers
  • Sunrise in the Karwendel Mountains.

The weather forecast predicted early afternoon thunderstorms, so we woke up extra early and started hiking at 5:30 am. Seeing the sunrise as we crested the Mandlscharte was like entering heaven.

After a long and difficult 9-hour stage, we arrived at @solsteinhaus in rain. Luckily, the thunder never came.

The highlight of this incredible day was meeting @clarazijlstra and @jaqi_sta - two brilliant and talented women who radiate passion and warmth! Hope to see you both again! 💛💛💛
  • Italian Dolomites Tip:

Skip Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) and Lago di Sorapiss and hike to Lago di Coldai instead for a crowd-free alpine lake experience.
  • The 6-stage Karwendel High Trail was one of the highlights of our summer. This hut-to-hut hiking trail traverses part of the Karwendel Mountain Range in Tirol, Austria.

Tips for hiking the Karwendel Höhenweg:

- Make reservations for huts 3-5 months in advance.

- Hike the trail east to west. It’s more common to hike in the other direction, but we think the trail unfolds more beautifully if you hike east to west.

- Hike to Speckkarspitze peak on Day 2 and Kleine Stempeljochspitze peak on Day 3.

- Bring climbing gloves for securely and comfortably grasping steel cables.

We’ll be publishing a Karwendel High Trail Trekking guide next week. Let us know if you have any questions about the route.
  • Kati and I decided to hop over the border to explore the Pala Group for a few days and we’re so grateful and overjoyed to be here.

This magnificent range has something for everyone: easy valley walks to alpine pastures, grueling peak climbs, via ferratas, and so much more. The Alta Via 2 traverses the range as well, which is making us miss our dear friends @susielambie and @jored7 who we met while hiking the AV1 last year.
  • On top of Slovenia. 

@feelslovenia @triglav.national.park
  • Eagle Walk Stage 22, Lechtal Alps, Austria.

The trail starts out gently, descending loamy terrain across grassy slopes.

After several water crossings, the grueling ascent to Grießlscharte commences. 

The hike up Langkar cirque is relentless and unforgiving! It feels like it’ll never end.

Luckily, the final stretch is semi-vertical and secured with cables, delivering you hastily to the Scharte.

As soon as we reached the ridge, we howled at the wind, feeling strong AF.

This trek was unforgettable! We hope more international hikers will discover the beauty and remoteness of the Lechtal Alps.