Hut Trip Essentials

Here's my current list of Hut Trip Essentials (in no particular order):

Music: First of all, music while you are hiking is essential! I have tried just about every type of music player, and have found that the itunes shuffle performs the best for two reasons: First, it is incredibly small, and easily attaches to your gear. And second, the battery life on the shuffle is incredible. Most importantly, it handles cold weather to a much better degree than any other device I've used. On my Four night adventures, I always have tunes. The Nano has the worst battery performance of any device. I often see my hiking partners holding the nano in their hands trying to get it warm, or simply give up on music and do the grind up the mountain with no music. THe one drawback to the shuffle is that you don't have much control on what you are listening to, but I just load it up with a carefully selected set of songs, all of which I'd love to listen to on the trial. My personal Favorite hiking song is "Sitting in Limbo" performed by the Jerry Garcia Band.

Skin Wax: It's hard enough to climb up a mountain with a backpack. It's literally hell when you have snow buildup on your skins. It is an easily avoidable miserable experience simply by using skin wax. This is especially true when doing Spring Hut Trips. I prefer to use Black Diamond's Glop Stop, and can attest to it's performance.

Backpack with Built in Water Reservoir: On my hike from tenth Mountain hut to Uncle Bud's hut, we used a 70oz camel back. About 5 miles into the hike, both me and my partner ran out of water! Unfortunately our camel backs weren't large enough to handle the water capacity that we needed. When I am hiking, I prefer a nice tight backpack with as little as possible clanging around the outside. The importance of this is when you are in trees, especially on a decent. The more things that are able to snag a tree, the more likely you will end up on the ground. The most energy you will waste on a hike is getting up from a fall. I personally use an Arc'teryx Bora 80. It has proven to be perfect for a four night hut trip. Also, it allows for a very large 100oz Water Reservoir. Another Brand of Backpack that I have seen on my hut trips is the Osprey Line

GPS Unit: Although it is no substitute for a map, or diligent research before your trip, the GPS is incredibly valuable in giving a second opinion on your decisions. Also, if you download the coordinates available here, you will be able to load them into your GPS and be sure that you are going in the right direction. No reason to add extra mileage and elevation to your hike by geting lost! I personally use the Garmin GPS Units, and I find them incredibly handy.