Gear Kits

The Ultimate Gear Guide for Backcountry Hut Trips

Backcountry skiing to an isolated cabin high in the mountains is one of the most incredible experiences you can have. Make sure you have the right gear to travel safely and enjoy your time there!

Curated by Jason Hatfield

While hut tripping can require more planning and special gear than backpacking, it's quickly become one of my favorite winter and spring adventures. Most ski huts come with wood stoves, propane burners, cookware, sleeping pads, books, games, and an endless supply of meltable water. After a backpacking season of sleeping in tents, the thought of staying in a remote cabin almost sounds like undeserved luxury! A decent amount of gear is still required though, and over the course of a dozen plus hut trips I've come up with the equipment that works best for me while ensuring an exciting adventure. As with a lot of ski gear, the equipment that best fits you might be slightly different.

Most huts will get pretty warm after a few hours of fueling the wood stove and generating body heat. Don't worry about bringing a big winter bag as something like this one will keep you comfy throughout the night.

I love this jacket because it's designed to breath and has lots of pockets for camera batteries, phone, etc. Only the hood and shoulders are waterproof with the rest of the material and vents designed to help you shed heat on the uphill.

These pants are even better than the jacket with large hip to knee vents and built-in power-strap compatible gaiters.

I love down booties for hut trips for not only relaxing around the hut, but the occasional quick foray into the snow to catch sunrise or sunset. The taller cuffs on these help keep out snow when post-holing to a photo location.

I selected these skis not only because they're a great all-around backcountry ski, but they work phenomenally in the powder are really lightweight too. Where they aren't so great? Ice and crusty hard pack.

Being a photographer, weight is always important in my gear decisions. I'm already carrying many pounds more than most of my friends. When these skins came on the market I was intrigued by not only their lighter design but the fact they can't absorb water like most skins. They're not great in super steep icy terrain, but they excel in almost all conditions found on hut trips!

Since I only have one backcountry ski setup, I wanted bindings that were a good compromise between weight and downhill power. These newer bindings from Marker lock in your heel like a traditional binding but still use a tech-toe binding for the front.

Boots are such a personal choice based on foot shape and I tried on quite a few until I settled on these. I really like the adjustability of the bindings, and how lightweight they are for their stiffness.

Any beacon and the knowledge how to use it is better than none! I selected this one because it has one of the best antennas and works with an optional dog beacon for other backcountry travels with my furry friend.

Here's an area where I definitely went a little heavy when a lot of people go light. Why you might ask? I wanted a shovel that's designed to be used a lot, and most lightweight backcountry shovels start to break down after a season of heavy use. I use to shovel my car out of snowy parking lots, create benches and caves, and to dig out spots for photos. After a couple seasons it still looks practically new.

This is a solid and reliable probe that's a good bang for your buck.

Most helmets are only designed to take one hit and you have to replace them. I use the helmet for the resort and backcountry because it's dual-density foam can take a beating and not reduce it's ability to protect you.

Well designed and maintained leather gloves are the best choice when it comes to backcountry skiing. These ones from Free the Powder have all the right reinforcements and a price much better than the big names.

Some winter trips I basically live in these. They keep me toasty but breath well, and their natural resistance to funk makes everyone happy :).

Black Diamond just keeps improving this amazing headlamp with a brighter beam, longer battery life, and other tweaks. The current model has a red and green low-light LED, with a main light output of 250 lumens!

I love plantain chips and they're calorie dense. You can make your own or pick them up in bulk at natural grocery stores.

This is some of the best tasting jerky I've found and I especially like their Pale Ale flavor for winter trips. (disclaimer: Perky Jerky is one of my sponsors, but I would eat it either way).

With a wood burning stove and cold high-elevation weather, you'll definitely be feeling parched on hut trips. I try to down one of these with each meal to stay hydrated.

Most times I bring food to cook, but when I want a tasty and quick meal, Good to Go makes the best stuff. The spice in their Thai Curry is strong but delicious!

Stranahan's Whiskey

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A Denver whiskey company known for it's more drinkable blend, I love to steep mine in a little cinnamon and bring up a flask to share around the fire. It tastes leagues better than fireball and is the perfect sipping liquor for a snowy adventure.

I shot with a Sony a7R II but that's going to be overkill for most people. The a6500 has lightning fast auto-focus and speed for shooting skiers as well as 4k video. The Sony App store has some pretty cool features too including an app that will setup time-lapse shoots.

Any puzzle will do for relaxing around the hut, but these custom one's from Liberty Puzzle in Boulder are the best quality you're going to find.

I use GaiaGPS for all my adventures and route planning. Using it on a trip this year allowed me to follow my planned path safely in a white-out up to Fowler-Hilliard Hut.