Hut hiking From hut to hut

Athletenmeeting 2019 Romina Neumaier

Muddy shoes, noise in the middle of the night or hiking poles that have been knocked over: when overnighting in huts, there are a number of blunders that many hiking novices seem to commit with gusto. To ensure that your first overnight stay in a hut does not turn into a fiasco, outdoor footwear manu­facturer LOWA has compiled a few essential tips on hut etiquette.


Preparation for the activity Meticulous packing

You should plan the packing of your rucksack just like you would plan any hiking tour. That applies in particular to tours lasting several days and involving overnight stays in one or more huts. In this regard there is some basic kit that you should always have with you.

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    Hut liner
    This is a must for overnighting in a hut. In contrast to a normal sleeping bag, it is consid­erably thinner and lighter. Its primary purpose is that of hygiene and not keeping you warm. Various layers help you achieve the snug warmth you require: Climb into your hut liner, cover yourself with hut dormitory blankets and there you go!

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    Thick socks/slippers
    Wet, dirty or simply bad-smelling hiking boots should not be worn inside a hut. So, take them off, put them to dry or air in the appro­priate room or space in the hut, and slip into the thick socks or slippers that you have brought with you.

  • money_clipping

    Huts are not hotels and generally only accept cash. Depending on how long your tour is, you should definitely bring enough cash with you.

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    Rubbish bags
    Your rubbish remains your respons­ibility – no matter where you are. So, take rubbish bags with you and carry your own rubbish back down into the valley.

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    Ear plugs and head lamp
    You encounter a wide range of people in a hut dormitory – snorers, early risers and people who get up frequently during the night. In order not to be woken by the snorers, ear plugs are recom­mended. If you are in one of the other two categories, a head lamp is a good idea, because tripping over rucksacks or other people during the night does not go down too well.


“Forgetting your sleeping bag is not such a bad thing. Most huts will rent you one for a small fee.”

Arthur | LOWA Manager Service Department

Image photo with the MAURIA GTX Ws, Bildauswahl Herbst 2018

Preparation for the activity Reserve a place to sleep – and turn up, too

Mobile phones and e-mail have made a lot of things easier – even hut access. Never­theless, don’t forget that huts are not hotels and that places to sleep there are limited. In addition, a quarter of the slots can’t be reserved owing to a compromise between the huts and the Deutscher Alpenverein. So, if you’re planning to overnight at one or more huts during a tour, please be fair to others and turn up – or inform the host in good time that you are cancelling. This may keep the host from having to turn away somebody else.

Image photo with the INNOX EVO GTX QC JUNIOR,

“Being a member of the Alpine Asso­ciation will pay off here – overnight stays cost consid­erably less.”

Steffi, a daily travel mate

Bildauswahl Herbst 2018

On the go Be quiet at night

Basically, the night-time quiet rule is the same in huts as in town: the quiet period is from 10 pm to 6 am, and overnighters should adhere to it. Whether this rule is applied very strictly or less strictly depends on the category of hut you are staying in, which in turn is based on the altitude at which the hut is located. Anybody who has to set off on a climb before 6 am should notify the host in advance. And it should be self-evident: when you are departing, leave in such a way that you don’t wake the whole hut.

Bildauswahl Sarntaler Hufeisen Alix von Melle

“If you have to set off very early in the morning, you should completely pack your rucksack on the previous evening and place it outside your sleeping quarters.”

Alix von Melle | LOWA PRO Team

Wanderszene am Monte Veneretta, Sizilien, Italien.

On the go Entry in the hut’s guest book

As soon as you wish to overnight in a hut, you must register your details in the relevant hut guest book. It is a good idea to state your destination and a mobile phone number. This is not just for senti­mental reasons. Prac­tically speaking, if something happens to you, a rescue team will be able to find you much more easily.


“The hut book is usually found in the entrance, together with a map of the region and the latest weather forecasts.”

Arthur | LOWA Manager Service Department

Hochjochhospiz, Oetztaler Aöpen, Tirol, Oesterreich.

On the go Observe the smoking ban!

Funda­mentally smoking is abso­lutely prohibited in all huts. The reason is obvious: if a hut catches fire, no fire brigade could reach it quickly.

Hochtour Hochwilde Klettern Schalfkogel lena obergurgl

On the go Please observe policies governing food and alcohol!

Every hut is obliged to serve at least one hot meal between 12 noon and 8 pm. In most cases you can consume food you bring with you in the designated areas. Just ask your host beforehand. The exception is alcohol: it may not be consumed anywhere, even if you bring it with you.

Tipps für Gassigeher im Herbst

On the go Please observe hut policies regarding dogs!

Hiking with a 4-legged friend is becoming increasingly popular. Yet each hut decides for itself whether it allows dogs. Dogs are never permitted in the dorm­itories.