Novice Giveaway, Five Pieces of Hut Trip Advice
Lessons from the Skinner Hut
- Lib Diamond
When I packed up for college circa forever-ago, my dad gave the car one look and shook his head, “Did I teach you nothing? Never pack more than you can carry, kid.” This was sacrosanct in my family. And excepting that one pre-college mishap, I’ve mostly followed my father’s sage advice. So last weekend, when I did a ten-mile skin to the infamous and aptly named 10th Mountain Division Skinner Hut with everything I needed in a 40 liter pack, here’s what I learned:
1. Your snack game should be strong.
Here’s the deal. Ritz crackers and pop tarts don’t maintain their structural integrity. Pedialite does. If you need salt, like me, you can’t go wrong with jerky. Cheese is your friend and can fit in sneaky places in your pack. Charcuterie board is optional. Beer is heavy. Just sayin’.
2. You aren’t sleeping outside. Unless you want to be?
I packed my LL Bean -20 sleeping bag that I’ve had and loved since 1999. It was cozy and delightful and took up 70% of my pack and I would have been fine with a significantly lighter spring bag. The pillowcase that weighed next-to-nothing and took up zero-and-a-half space in my pack, now that was entirely necessary and potentially my best protection against hut pandemic.
3. Your feet are #1. Treat them that way.
Pack hut slippers. Or crocs (maybe the fleece-lined kind?). You might want a little grip on the bottom to help smell your way to the outhouse. And while this may be hard to believe coming from a Point6 employee, invest in your socks, friends. They’ll treat you right and when your feet smell like poppies and sunshine and that dude in synthetics smells like the community compost, you’ll thank us. This isn’t the place to skimp on space. Pack at least two pairs. Merino wool is magical and will dry overnight and be surprisingly stink-free.
4. Face wipes feel as good as a shower.
I don’t care if these are the last item in an already overflowing pack, bring ‘em. When you have three days of sunscreen, sweat, and the-mountains-only-know-what-else on your skin, a quick swipe of these will have you feeling fresh as a daisy. This item can be appreciated by all genders. In all bodily locations. Ugh. Sorry.
5. Ear plugs.
It’s hard to sleep at altitude. Combine that with a communal sleeping arrangement where the snores of he-who-shall-remain-nameless fill the night sky and your ears and your every waking thought, and you’ll get zero shut-eye. That guy will somehow sleep soundly from 9pm to 7:30am but you won’t. Trust me. Ear plugs.
There is certainly better advice out there. Like avalanche training and trip preparation and how to read maps and I strongly encourage you to seek all of those out. But for now, I’m going to leave you with the lesson I learned the hard way: if someone offers you a seven mile snowmobile tow during a ten mile skin and you turn it down, that’s on you.
Stay cozy, friends.
What we wore
Always carry an extra: 37.5 Ultra Light OTC (I gave one of these away 1 mile into the skin to help prevent blisters by a sock company that shall also remain nameless)
Point6 Marketing Manager, Lib Diamond (left) and Point6 Production Manager Ryan Connelly (right)