What to Pack For an Alpine Hut

The Alpine Club of Canada operates more than 25 backcountry huts. If you book one, don't forget your booking confirmation, sleeping bag, water purifier and more.


Illustration by Jérôme Mireault


The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) operates more than 25 backcountry huts, the overwhelming majority of which are in Alberta and B.C. These one-of-a-kind structures provide warmth, shelter and community in some of the most remote and lovely places in the country, and anyone willing to make the trek is welcome. Like all great outdoor adventure experiences, a hut stay is better if you’re prepared. Here’s a handy list of what to pack.


Booking Confirmation 

You’ll need to present this to the hut caretaker when you arrive. Choose a hut at alpineclubofcanada.ca and book your spot in person at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore (201 Indian Flats Road) or by calling 403-678-3200. You don’t have to be an ACC member to book a hut, though membership does have certain benefits.


Wilderness Pass

If your hut is in a National Park, you’ll need to buy one of these from the ACC when you book. It costs $9.80 for a night or $68.70 for an annual pass.



It’s beautiful where you’re going.


Sleeping Bag, Pillowcase

Huts have mattresses but no bedding. 



It’s hard to visit the outhouse (or find your bed) after sunset without a light. 



It’s good form to take deodorant, toothpaste and toilet paper.



There are cooking facilities and implements at the huts but there’s nothing to eat except what you carry up. Freeze-dried camping meals and high-calorie hiking snacks work well. 


Garbage Bag

Be prepared to remove every scrap of trash and leftover food from the hut when you leave. 


First-aid Kit

Stuff happens. Be prepared in case it does.


Water Purifier

If you leave this at home, you’ll have to boil your water.


Hut Shoes

Hiking boots or shoes aren’t permitted in the huts, so make sure you have clean hut booties for walking around indoors. 


Ear Plugs

In most huts you sleep dorm-style.


Creature Comforts 

Chocolate and whisky (self-explanatory); a book, e-reader or playing cards (huts don’t have Wi-Fi) and make sure to have comfy clothes and clean water waiting in your car upon your return.


This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here.


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