Hut Trip Check List

by | Apr 28, 2022

Guest blogger and bikepacking semi-pro Dana Allen has put together a rad check list of his go-to gear. Check out the image below as it corresponds to the numbered list. For many of the huts in our network, you can eliminate cookware, dishes, sleeping pad, and tent. This keeps the load lighter and your expenses lower (be sure to check each hut’s details to know what is provided). We recommend trial and error on small trips to see what works best for you!

  1. Seatbag – this one is from Bedrock Bags and designed to be smaller for use with mountain bikes and dropper posts but works great with any bike. It’s not that big, which is nice because it prevents you from over-packing. A heavy bike isn’t that fun to ride on rougher roads or trails!
  2. Gas tank – primarily for snacks, this goes on the top tube near the stem and is an essential item for me, even when not bikepacking. 
  3. Frame bag – this is a half-bag, but it does expand to give you more room with a zippered expansion pocket. Look for one that fits your bike’s top-tub and frame clearance. Bottles stored in bottle cages can sometimes cause a fit issue – you’ll have to mess with things to make it work. I like this one because it has internal dividers to keep things from bouncing around and is pretty waterproof. 
  4. Chuck bucket – another essential for things like snacks or even a small camera. It doesn’t bounce around on rough stuff as much as you’d think. I was concerned I’d constantly hit my knee on it, but that doesn’t happen really. A great simple addition to any setup. 
  5. Handlebar roll – this one is from Revelate Designs and is called the Sweetroll. It’s pretty…sweet. Waterproof and voluminous but be careful – only store relatively light stuff in here that you won’t really need during the day like your sleeping bag and down coat. Weight on the bars feels awful. 
  6. Gear strap – the bigger the better because these things fix everything. This is a Titan Strap. It could probably hold down a Greek god. I haven’t tried that yet, though. 
  7. Device charger – because I use my phone for photos and sometimes navigation (and emergencies). 
  8. Lightweight lock – keeps honest people honest but let’s face it – serious thieves will probably cut through this. But for a quick coffee stop, it buys some peace of mind if you can’t see your bike.
  9. Dop kit – keep it clean. 
  10. Pump and multi-tool (stored on frame usually) – this is the OneUp EDC tool and it’s awesome. Pump and tool in one, with space for a CO2 canister. And it just lives on the bike so it’s handy whenever you want it!
  11. Kitchen – MSR Pocket Rocket stove & canister, lighter, spork, Sea to Summit Collapsible pot, mug, and bowl, soap. I love the old MSR Pocket Rocket because it just works, though in the cold, it’s not great. The Sea to Summit collapsible cookware is amazing – silicon sides with aluminum bottoms are light and don’t take up much space in a bag.
  12. Repair kit – zip ties, duct tape, spare brake pads, clipless pedal cleat and bolts, derailleur cable, valve stems, rag and chain lube (and compass to ‘repair’ your route when you mess up…). 
  13. Water filter – this one is the Katadyn squeeazable bottle filter and works for pretty much any nasties out there. It can’t filter much water at one go, so each person should bring one.
  14. Headlamp (and there’s a 650 lumen on-bike light next to the stuff sack, too) – critical for around camp and the on-bike light (from Light and Motion) is pretty key for after-dark rides if you have to do that. 
  15. Bike shoes – I usually choose something that’s easy to walk around in. These are Giro something or others and hike pretty well when needed. 
  16. Helmet – whatever fits your head, really. 
  17. Chamois cream – I like it and use it all the time. These single-serve packets are nice because they’re super easy to pack. 
  18. Flask – because, well…sometimes you need a tipple. This one is plastic, so it’s pretty light. 
  19. Inflatable pillow – NOT a luxury, a necessity. Sea to Summit makes this one. 
  20. Sea to Summit Spark II lightweight down sleeping bag (good for around 40 F) – perfect for spring/summer and early fall camping or sleeping in huts.
  21. Nemo inflatable insulated sleeping pad – ¾ length – a little bit of insulation goes a long way and it’s actually pretty comfy.
  22. Camp clothes – hiking pants, cotton t-shirt (comfy!), undies, spare socks, long sleeve shirt. 
  23. Buff – ‘cause it’s a hat, face mask, and headband.
  24. Riding shorts, chamois, gloves, and knee warmers (depending on season but they’re pretty much always in the mix). 
  25. OR lightweight rain jacket – packable and pretty waterproof.
  26. Mont-Bell lightweight down jacket – always. Even in summer. 
  27. Xero Aptos shoes – they’re super light and packable (and kinda dorky, but I love them).

Things not shown here:

  • Food – usually a lot of oatmeal, dried fruit, robo-food snacks like Clif bars and Gu shots, dried meat, cous cous, nuts, peanut butter – anything calorie dense and packable. 
  • First-aid Kit – band-aids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, alcohol pads, steri-strips, Quick-Clot (always carry this – it helps stop LOTS of bleeding fast), antihistamine tablets, ibuprofen, triangular bandage, medical tape, space blanket, and a few other things. 
  • COFFEE SETUP – usually an Aero-press because it’s light and simple or a tiny Moka pot if I’m feeling fancy. Sometimes instant coffee, but only if it’s from a hoity-toity small-batch producer because there’s no need to drink terrible instant coffee. 
  • Navigation device – you can use a phone or a specific device like a Wahoo or Garmin with your route loaded. Whatever you do, make sure you have a good mount on your handlebar or stem. I like the Quadlock for my devices. If you do choose to use your phone, make sure to conserve the battery by pre-loading the route maps and putting it in airplane mode. There are a ton of good navigation apps – Gaia GPS and RideWithGPS are two of my favorites. 
  • Tent – I use a Tarptent Double Rainbow for true camping trips. It’s light, small, and big enough for two people (but you have to like each other). It’s not freestanding, which means that staking it out on hard ground can be tricky. 
Photo courtesy of Dana Allen
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