Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
So you’ve got your backcountry skis, boots, and bindings ready to go, plus a beacon, shovel, probe, partner, and plan? Great start, but an overnight trip to a backcountry cabin requires just a bit more gear to guarantee a great trip. If you’ve locked in your reservation, this is the gear we recommend to make sure you have the best backcountry getaway of the season.
Gregory Packs Targhee 45 Backpack
Yes, every backcountry skier needs a backpack, but overnight missions require certain design elements to make things function properly, including plenty of space for a sleeping bag, food, booze, and other things you don’t need on a day tour. At the same time, a pack for an extended trip needs a thoughtfully designed compression system to make the backpack usable for day tours from the hut, where you can leave things behind. The compression system on the Gregory Targhee 45L is perfect for loads big and small, and there are plenty of external straps and loops to haul everything you need to and from the cabin with ease. Add in Cordura fabric in critical places, dual ski-carry configurations, and anodized aluminum hardware that stays strong under pressure, and the Gregory Targhee 45L is, quite simply, phenomenally designed, well built, and worth every penny. [$210, BUY NOW]
Thermarest Vesper 32 Sleeping Bag
Most backcountry cabins are designed to be warm. And, if you stock the fireplace properly before bed, it’ll likely get hotter than expected in the middle of the night. Which is why—as long as we’re sure the hut has a heating system—this sleeping bag is just the ticket for a comfortable night’s sleep. The Thermarest Vesper 32 is sort of like a 900-fill Nikwax hydrophobic down blanket that’s optimized to keep your feet warm, but can function as a proper burrito wrap as well. Weighing in at only 15 ounces and packing down to the size of a one-liter water bottle, the Thermarest Vesper 32 is sure to become a staple of every future hut trip and car camping trip. When combined with dry sleepwear (see below), the Thermarest Vesper 32 gave one tester the best night of hut sleep he’s ever had. [$320-340, BUY NOW]
Note: If you’re headed to a very remote cabin that lacks electricity or a wood stove, we recommend a sleeping bag rated for colder temperatures.
Sealine BlockerLight Compression Cinch Sacks
Keeping things organized on a hut trip is critical, and thanks to these awesome stuff sacks, easier than ever. We used one Sealine BlockerLight Compression Cinch Sack for food, one for clothes, and one for rubbish on a recent trip to the Sisters Cabin near Breckenridge, Colo. Each sack lived happily at the hut when we were out during the day, and made packing up a breeze when it was time to head back to the car. Available in 2.5 L, 5 L, 10 L, and 20 L sizes and made out of splash-proof silicone with a polyurethane coat, these bad boys are just the ticket to keep things tight on your next hut trip and beyond. [$15-22, sealinegear.com]
Related: Sisters Act
Coast FL75R Headlamp
Whether you’re starting late from the trailhead, taking a night lap above the cabin, or just need a reliable headlamp in case of emergency, the Coast FL75R headlamp is a tried-and-true option that can suit every need. The rechargeable battery can last for up to 11 hours on the low setting, or for over 2 hours if running on the whopping 530 lumen high-beam mode. The rechargeable battery can be swapped for 3 AAA batteries in a pinch as well. [$87, BUY NOW]
Body Glide Outdoor
Whether it’s chafing from long days in the skin track, new boots (or bad socks) that lead to blisters, or just a general desire for comfort, Body Glide’s Outdoor anti-chafing stick ensures comfort anywhere there might be friction on a hut trip. The best part is that Body Glide’s vegan-approved formula is less oily than most sunscreens, meaning you won’t notice it when it’s on. If you get used to using it and forget it on a hut trip, however, you’ll definitely notice something is missing. [From $8, bodyglide.com]
There might be no better trick in the book than busting out a thermos of tea at the top of a skin track, but then the teabag gets in the way later on (if you find yourself in this situation, pack out the used bag). Cusa Tea has solved the teabag dilemma with its great-tasting instant tea. Made from real tea leaves, all you have to do is dissolve a packet in hot or cold water and you can be a skin track hero. Available in black, green, chai, oolong, and now herbal options in a variety of flavors, you might never use a teabag again. Our favorite is the peach green tea. [$10 for 10 packets; BUY NOW]
There is something about being in a cabin tucked deep in the mountains that makes whiskey taste great. And, if you’re drinking a good whiskey with a reasonable price tag, the flavor becomes phenomenal. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of TINCUP whiskey, bottled in Colorado and named after a ghost mining town in the mountains above Crested Butte. It’s ideal to bring on a hut trip as it’s delicious when sipped neat, goes well in many types of tea (Hot Toddy, anyone?), and the bottle is designed to prevent rolling when on its side. Better yet, TINCUP is an official partner with Protect Our Winters, which means you’re helping the environment with every bottle you drink. [$25 for 750ml, tincupwhiskey.com]
Sole x United By Blue Jasper Wool Eco Chukka
These warm little numbers are ideal cabin shoes. The upper is made from warm Australian merino wool and United By Blue’s BisionShield bison insulation, while the footbed is made from Sole’s ReCORK recycled cork. Throw in a rubber outsole and Polygiene odor control, and there’s a good chance you’ll wear these shoes around your house in between hut trips all winter long. [Available in February 2020, yoursole.com]
Saxx Sleepwalker Pant and Shirt Sleepwear
I can already hear you asking, “Why would you bring PJs on a hut trip?” Well, for one reason, after long days exploring the backcountry, your baselayers are full of sweaty funk, and dirty clothes are colder than clean clothes. Another reason? Getting into warm, dry, and soft pajamas and slipping under a down blanket is as good as it gets when you’re miles from civilization. The Sleepwalker kit is made from the pillowy soft Modal fabric, and the pant includes the brand’s signature BallPark pouch to keep support levels high. Try it once and you’ll never go on a hut trip without PJs ever again. [Pant: $65, Shirt: $38; saxxunderwear.com]