Sustainable Hut Trips
10th Mountain Huts
February 10, 2023
Sustainable Hut Trips
Are you organizing an upcoming hut trip and looking for ways to make it as sustainable as possible? Consider some of these options to streamline your packing, conserve resources, and keep your footprint small.
Burn less wood. Did you know that the wood stoves in the huts are the most significant contributor to the overall emissions of the hut system? Stoves can generate a lot of heat without requiring enormous amounts of firewood, but they’re only efficient when used correctly. Keep the stove doors closed, and use the damper— if you’re unsure of best practices, look for directions at the hut. It’s nice to feel warm and toasty inside, but if you need to open the outside doors to cool off or crack the windows to sleep, you might be burning more wood than is recommended.
Consider carpooling. If your group is embarking on a hut trip from a common location, why not pile in together and drive fewer cars? You’ll save money on gas, reduce your overall emissions, and it’s a great way to catch up with other group members before you hit the trail.
Prep, precook, and repackage. Consider prepping and precooking food at home before you depart on your trip. If you chop veggies, portion, and repackage store-bought goods, you’ll have less bulk to carry in and less food waste to pack out. Try to eliminate single-use plastic. Precooking certain menu items at home before you depart— think bacon, proteins, sides, or starches — will save on propane and reduce cooking time at the hut. These steps translate into easier cleanup and use less precious snowmelt-sourced water, which further conserves firewood and fuel.
Engage in meaningful conversation. A hut trip offers a unique opportunity to disconnect from the everyday world and immerse yourself in nature and the mountains. Use your time with others on the trail, over a meal, or around the fire to have thoughtful discussions on climate, sustainability, and the environment. All topics are fair game— from commitments to reduce your personal impact to more significant global concerns— there’s no better setting for these conversations.
Actions we can take toward a more sustainable future
- 10th Mountain Hut Association is working hard to be more sustainable. From upgrades at the huts to electrification of our housing and vehicle fleets, we’re conserving resources, reducing our footprint, and being more efficient. For more information on the 10th Mountain Climate Project, click here, 10th Mountain Climate Project.
- It’s our hope that if we lead by example we can inspire hut users to do the same. If you’re unsure where to start, consider these easy steps:
- Use renewable energy sources for your home. Does your home’s electricity come from fossil fuel-based sources or renewables? Check with your utility provider about the different options. Some providers— such as Holy Cross Electric in Colorado— allow customers to opt-in to 100% renewable power sources such as wind and solar.
- Engage with partner advocacy groups. The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association has partnered with POW, Winter Wildlands Alliance, CLEER, CORE, and 1% for the Planet to improve energy efficiency in the hut system and support environmental initiatives. As a hut user, we also encourage you to connect with advocacy groups.
- Vote. To move the needle on climate action we need to pass meaningful climate legislation at the local, state, and national levels. Support candidates who back sustainable initiatives, the transition to greener energy, and the need to protect our wild places.
- At 10th Mountain we believe that we can all work together toward a more sustainable hut system for years to come. And if you have thoughts as to how we can do better as a hut system, let us know!