Hut to hut hiking can be a fun alternative to tent camping. It can provide you with the same adventure but with the convenience and comfort of cabin camping. In this article, you’ll be learning what hut to hut hiking is, a few examples of some hut to hut trails, and the advantages of this type of hiking.
So, what is hut to hut hiking? Hut to hut hiking is using strategically placed huts on mountain trails where you can comfortably sleep when you’re doing a strenuous hike or trek. These are small lodges that can typically fit 10 to 50 hikers providing a roof, bed, flushable toilet, and a stove. In some cases, they can also be much more minimalist and only provide shelter with no extra amenities.
Advantages of Hut to Hut Hiking
A great advantage of the hut to hut hiking over the long-distance trails is the amount of equipment that you will carry behind your back. With a place to stay and eat, there is no need to carry a tent, sleeping bag, or food and cooking utensils. All the things that you will need are your clothes, rain gear, water, and snacks during the day.
Another great advantage of staying at a hut provides safe emergency shelter for backcountry travelers stranded by poor weather conditions or injuries. You will also have a great hot meal when you decide to do a hut to hut hike. No need to worry about cooking on a fire that takes ages to start. Having to stay at a hut gives you hot and cold shower as well as a toilet that flushes.
The material things are not the only thing that is great about hut to hut hike. You will get to meet a lot of different people and have great conversations with them when staying in a hut. It is also great to hear different adventures from different people. That’s not all that is great about staying at a hut is that it reduces the potential for human or wildlife conflicts by separating people, food, and wastes from wildlife.
Huts also allow environmental damages to be minimized by controlling human use. Another great thing about the huts is that it prevents fossil fuels by providing a more efficient, centralized cooking, water purification, and lighting systems. It lets you enjoy nature without having to go through a lot of process in making yourself comfortable.
Challenges of Hut to Hut Hiking
There are many advantages to hut to hut hiking but there are also challenges that you may face along the way. One of the main challenges is overbooking. If you do not plan your hike right and it is the peak season on the trail, then you might have trouble reserving a hut for yourself.
Another disadvantage is if you are not comfortable using materials that have been used by other people. As we all know there are a lot of people that rent huts over time. One more disadvantage is using the bathroom with a lot of people in your way. It may uncomfortable to some when doing their thing in the bathroom.
Also, not all of us spend the same amount of time in the bathroom. There are some people who only spend a few minutes while another can spend an hour or more when they are in the bathroom. It is like living with your siblings again in the same roof. Another disadvantage is it may take a while for you to reach one hut during your hike.
Some hikes take three hours to reach and another may take longer. If you want to take a rest or use the bathroom, you have no choice but to use whatever nature has to offer. Though there may be some disadvantage when doing a hut to hut hiking, it is still a great way to enjoy your time on the trail.
Examples of Popular Hut to Hut Hiking Trails
There are a lot of places where you can enjoy a hut to hut hike. Here is a list of best places that you will love to hike.
The Swiss Alps
Spaced in every couple of miles along the trails of the Swiss Alps are huts that are often large restaurants with a dormitory style sleeping rooms on the second floor.
The best way to plan a hut to hut hike in the Alps is to schedule your trip a day or two early. This gives you a chance to communicate with other hikers who just came through the trail and learn about the latest conditions. Conditions can be unpredictable, even at the best of times.
If you decide to schedule your hike during the summer in Switzerland, you might want to consider the number of people that hike. The huts can be filled very quickly, and you should consider bringing your own tent. Summer is such an amazing time to hike in Switzerland, so you really should plan ahead of time if you choose this season to hike.
The Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire
In your own pace, conquer the seven peaks in the White Mountains as you hike as high as more than 6,000 feet. You can stay at any of the eight Appalachian Mountain Club huts in the range, which are located either above trees, near amazing lakes, or alongside waterfalls.
Each hut offers wooden bunks and delicious food such as portions of pasta and stews. When the weather is great and clear, you will get a beautiful view of the national forest, the Atlantic Ocean, and even Canada.
Italy rifugio or mountain huts are mostly owned by Club Alpino Italiano and run by families. The Dolomites has a beautiful mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, with 18 peaks above 9,800 feet. There is a wonder in the vertical walls, sheer cliffs, and a high density of narrow and deep valleys. It is interlaced by series of well-appointed mountain huts or rifugio which makes perfect for rest stops.
Rifugios are sturdy and well-built mountain lodges that are made of stone and wood. These were mostly built in the last century. They are well located in the highest mountain and gives them a charm and unmatched beauty that few hotels can compete.
The rifugios accommodations are basic with a variety of comfort and often shared bunkhouses. There is hot food that will welcome you when you enter the rifugios. There’s no Wi-Fi available which can help you unplug from the world.
Hiking is the best way to connect with nature. This is also a way to release any stress or worries that you may have. Not only it will help you mentally, but it can also help you physically.
Hut to Hut Hiking Vs. Tent Hiking
When it comes to hut to hut hiking, this is probably the more comfortable than tent hiking. The number one difference between the two is the number of things that you need to carry during your hike. When you choose to rent a hut during your hike your food, shower, and bathroom are all covered.
Tent hiking, on the other hand, you can just stop where ever you want and set up your tent. While hut to hut, you would need to hike for a few hours before you can reach a hut where you can rest. If you choose to tent hike, it is more personal since you can stay by yourself inside the tent. When renting a hut, you would need to share a couple of bed and bathroom with a lot of people.
One advantage of hut to hut hiking is that you would get to mingle with a lot of people. You would get the chance to talk with different personalities and characteristic. When you’re tent hiking, it is more on a personal level where you can talk to the people that you came with. It is a more serene scene where you get to spend intimate time with the people you care about.
There’s a lot of difference between the two but it is always the time that you spend on your trail is what’s important. Enjoy what nature has to offer and the fulfilling feeling that you have accomplished when you reach the end of your trail.
When is the best to book a hut to hut hike?
It is nice to know your options when booking a hut during your hike. It is almost the same as booking your hotel stay on a certain vacation. If it is peak season on the trail that you have chosen we would suggest booking a hut at least two weeks prior to your hike. This way you can avoid the troubles of being overbooked. If it is a calmer season, you can simply book your hut on the spot or simply walk in.
Are walking sticks helpful?
Yes, walking sticks are helpful when it comes to trekking. This helps you move around terrain quicker, provide additional support, and reduces the amount of effort required. This allows you to achieve more during your walks. When used correctly, you can increase your pace, which has additional health benefits.
You can expect an increase in heart rate and oxygen uptake without feeling like you are expending a vast amount of energy. Walking poles also offer increased support and stability on unfamiliar ground and uneven surfaces.
Also read: Are Trekking Poles Worth It?
To summarize, hut to hut hiking is a more convenient way to go when you are planning your hiking adventure. These are huts that are strategically placed on the trails where you can stay in. It is almost like a hostel for hikers and you can have a more comfortable stay during your hike. No need to worry about where you can use the bathroom as well as taking a shower. This will help you enjoy your amazing hike adventure!
Similar to hut-to-hut hiking, in Nepal you can go teahouse trekking: Can You Trek in Nepal Without a Guide?