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Kit List suitable for Alpine Hutting Trip (summer)

Rucksack – 35 to 55 litres[1] plus waterproof liner[2]
Silk liner[3] for use in cabins
Lightweight Cagoule and Overtrousers[4]
Small roll of sticky tape for carrying out minor repairs[5]
Lightweight Fleece[6]
Balaclava or warm hat[8]
Walking Socks (2 pairs)[10]
Underwear (2)[11]
Wicking shirts (2)[12]
Thin trousers / Shorts[13]
Walking-poles (optional)[15]
Gaiters (optional)[17]
Trainers or sandals for evenings or for road sections[18]
Water Bottle[19]
Food for snacks[20]
Special teas etc and other special requirements[21]
Camera / Film / spare batteries for camera / Tripod[23]
Pen / Notebook / Book to read (optional) / Toilet roll
Clock / watch
Glasses / contact lenses / Glasses case[25] / Cloth Cleaner (all optional)
Sunglasses / Suntan cream / lip salve[26]
Boot Wax if necessary[27]
Toothbrush / Toothpaste/Dental floss / Shampoo/Soap / Razor*/ Comb[28]  Travel Towel[29]
Lux Flakes[30] or similar to dunk sweaty underwear
Cash / Tickets / Passport / Wallet[31] / Timetables / other papers / Addresses for postcards / This List / Keys[32]
I-pod and headphones/Kindle[33]
Medicines and any known first aid requirements, eg Nurofen if you get an occasional headache, and plasters if you are prone to blisters
Earplugs – for noisy dormitories
*- not in hand luggage

Additional items for leader, and optional items:
Maps and Guides [34]
Map case [35]
Stove [36]
Pan [37]
J Cloth / Knife* / Spoon / butty bags and assorted plastic bags
Compass / Whistle
First aid kit – Elastoplast, Compeed / Nurofen / Imodium / Savlon / Wipes / Needle + thread (I’ll be carrying all this and more)
Can Opener [38] / penknife*

* - not in hand luggage

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[1] I will be using a Lowe-Alpine Nano 50:60 Hyperlite sack as I’ll be carrying some of Sue’s gear.  You can manage with a 35 litre sac if ruthless with what you take.  Sue will have a bum bag.

[2] Recommend use of a new proprietary liner, such as a 40 litre Exped liner, each year.  I’ve never used a rucksack cover for backpacking – but many people do use them, if doing so you still need a liner inside the rucksack.

[3] A silk or cotton liner as an essential item for use in mountain huts.  It should include a pillow case, but if not you can use a fleece as a pillow case.  You do NOT need a sleeping bag as the huts provide blankets.

[4] I recommend Berghaus Paclite smock and trousers.  They cost about £200 but weigh a total of 500g.  But they tear easily so need to be looked after.  Mine have currently worn out and need replacing so I’ll be using slightly heavier RAB waterproofs.

[5] Gaffer tape around water bottle or walking pole.

[6] Not the very lightest, as it can get cold.  Sue uses a RAB Vapour-rise pertex jacket, whilst I use a lighter Polartec smock.

[7] Weight not really a problem if you wear it all the time like I do.  I use a Tilly Hat – expensive, but replaced FOC when they wear out.  But headwear is a matter for personal preference.

[8] The sunhat may not be adequate on its own in bad weather.  A headband will keep ears warm.  I recommend taking a silk balaclava or something similarly light and warm.  A buff may suffice.

[9] Lightweight gloves should be sufficient, but take heavier ones or additional waterproof over-mitts if you have a tendency to suffer from cold hands.  I don’t recommend Sealskins waterproof gloves for multi-day walks as they don’t dry out overnight.

[10] If you use more than one pair of socks in your boots, try reducing to one pair – it’s much more comfortable.  If this leaves too much space in your boot, go to a specialist shop and get them to fit a new footbed for you.  If your feet tend to sweat a lot you may decide you need a third pair.  I use a pair of quality (Smart Wool is good) ankle length hiking socks and a pair of waterproof SealSkins Mid Light Merino socks.  The latter are brilliant for wet days as your feet stay dry even if the boots leak.  I find I can go up to 5 days between washes, but the SealSkins are quite hard to dry.

[11] Use ‘technical’ briefs/knickers.  Rohan’s Cool Briefs are excellent.  Take 2 pairs and wash one every night when you arrive at the hut/hotel/etc.  It will dry overnight.

[12] Again, technical, wicking, material (usually 90% polyester, 10% other stuff) is what you need.  Take one t-shirt and one long sleeved technical t-shirt (mine is North Face).  Icebreaker shirts are also good, but take lightweight ones or you may be too hot.  You should find you wear the short sleeved shirt most of the time, and put the long sleeved one on when you stop every evening   Note that if you get cool in your t-shirt along the trail, and then get too hot after putting on your fleece, putting the long-sleeved t-shirt on over the base layer may be a good compromise.

[13] Convertible trousers may be all you need.  Alternatively, light trousers would be excellent together with shorts of your choice.  Make sure you keep the weight down, though – and if using convertible trousers make sure the zips are of good quality, and treat them with care!

[14] Get a light torch, you’ll probably only need it in the dormitory.  The efficient LEDs mean that the batteries should last the entire trip,

[15] You may not want to use poles all the time, so get light ones if you can.

[16] Use 3-season (or even 4-season) boots.  Trail shoes may not give sufficient ankle support on steep ground.

[17] No real need for gaiters, but if you must bring them, ankle gaiters are sufficient.

[18] Trainers are optional – possibly not needed if you are completely happy with your boots – mountain huts provide slippers for use indoors so you don’t need trainers for that.  But – if you have dodgy knees like me you may find it’s great to be able to walk on easy ground in trainers.  I currently use Saucony Hattori shoes, which are lighter than Crocs.  Best not to bring Crocs, as they may get mixed up with hut shoes.

[19] I find a one litre Sigg bottle adequate, re-filled at every opportunity.  But if in doubt use two litres, or a fully tested hydration system.

[20] You may need 2-3 days’ snacks/lunches, though mountain huts do sell chocolate etc.  Muesli bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc are good – it’s very much down to personal preference.  You won’t need a huge amount and we can buy stuff in Bourg before we set off on Saturday.

[21] Herbal teas are not usually available, so take your own.  Also, having your own tea or coffee can save money as you need only buy hot water in some places.

[22] If you can’t fit all your food into a medium sized lunchbox you probably have more than enough.

[23] Keen photographers can carry huge amounts of gear.  A high quality compact digital camera, with a spare battery or charger if the trip is for longer than a week, should suffice, but everyone is different on this front so take your own counsel.

[24] Binoculars are optional.  I take a cheap, light pair.

[25] Save weight by using a Lifeventure spectacle case.

[26] This sun protection is essential.  Spare sunglasses may be desirable. 

[27] Boot wax is an item from an old list from the days when I wore leather boots for these trips.  I don’t take anything these days, but you may wish to carry something for boot maintenance.

[28] Use a proper toothbrush – no need to cut it down.
A sample size tube of toothpaste should suffice.
A small ‘hotel type’ shampoo container should suffice.

A very small tablet of soap can be made to last (or just use the shampoo – sparingly).

All these toiletries should fit into a small pencil case.  If not, you’ve got too much.

[29] A hand towel is adequate.  The Lifeventure Soft Fibre Trek Towel (Hand towel) only weighs 75g and is much more pleasant (if heavier) than the j-cloths we used to use.

[30] Just a few soap flakes, in a small, well-sealed, plastic container.  Judge how much you will need every night and multiply by the number of days of the trip.

[31] Just bring what you need – one or two credit cards, driving licence can be handy, but not much else.  BMC or Austrian Alpine Club discount card if you have one, insurance details in case of an emergency.  Assume the huts will require cash. Sue and I will have at least €800 each.  Consider photographing important documents like tickets and passports.

[32] Just enough to get into your car or house, not a whole bunch of keys!

[33] Optional.  Kindle is brilliant for reading, but look after it – they easily break.

[34] For GR54, the Cicerone guide ‘Tour of the Oisans’ by Kev Reynolds and map A6.  If you have the map (I think you do), bring it.  I also always take ‘The Alpine Flowers of Britain and Europe ’ – Grey-Wilson and Blamey.

[35] Ortlieb map cases are excellent but darken over time.

[36] [Note – I’ve left the stove and the pan, etc, on the list but won’t be bringing them on the GR54 trip as I’m carrying much of Sue’s gear.] An optional item for those who enjoy alfresco brew-ups is a very light backpacking stove such as the MSR Pocket Rocket.  I have also found the MSR Superfly Auto Start to be excellent, though the auto-starter breaks very easily.

[37] Again, weight is king – I have a Snow Peak Titanium one litre pan and lid that weighs 150g – that’s quite enough.

[38] If you haven’t got one of those small can openers, use your knife, or don’t buy any tins of food.