You may be dating yourself 😉 either that or the French huts haven't been keeping up with their Austrian, Swiss and German counterparts...

> the blankets/pillows are re-used daily bring a sheet-like sleeping bag that also covers the pillow
Sleeping bag liners have been mandatory for at least 20 years now. REI sells them. You can also buy them at any European sporting goods store. You can probably also buy them in the huts. I prefer silk for light weight and packability, as well as comfort.

The supplied pillows tend to be puny. Either wrap some clothes around them or bring an inflatable pillow if you want something that's larger and provides better support.

> it can get stuffy in group rooms, try to get a bunk next to the windows
It can also get very loud when the snorers are active. Bring a pair of ear plugs.

> make sure you bring a headlamp and know how to get the bathroom at night
Be respectful of others when using the headlamp at night. I can't count the number of times someone has wakened me by inadvertently "aiming" their headlamp at my face. I prefer a small pocket flashlight for use inside the hut.

> they never feed you enough, so bring a lot of snacks and if you like coffee, bring some starbucks via and get some hot water or pay through the nose for morning coffee/tea. Don't be afraid to take your cup up to the kitchen area and just ask for some hot water.

That's also improved greatly since the '80s and '90s. Food is generally plentiful. It's often as good as you'll find down in the valleys. Many huts also offer vegetarian options.

> some huts think a couple of slices of thick bread, butter, jam and a piece of cheese is all you need for breakfast.
Breakfasts are now often all-you-can-eat buffets with yoghurt, muesli, eggs, hams, sausages, cheese, orange juice, etc. The food is meant for consumption at breakfast. Don't take extras for later snacking.

If you can carry the extra weight, bring a thermos and get it filled with tea or hot water every morning before you head out.

> they huts are usually well stocked with local beer, I think they assume that's a meal unto itself, lol
Not just beer and not just one variety. Nothing quenches thirst after a hike on a hot day than a cold beer. Huts also have wine and liquor (schnapps.)

Back in the '80s and '90s showers were essentially non-existent. Now they're often available. A few even offer "warm" water 😉 as an option. You'll need to buy a token and the warm water will be on a timer, e.g. a couple of minutes, so plan accordingly.

Huts are now also very environmentally-conscious. Use water, even cold water, sparingly. Pack out your waste.

Many huts now require hiking poles to be hung up on a rack rather than brought up to the dorm. Similarly some don't like day packs being brought into the dining room. If you're not sure about something, ask. Most people (staff and other hikers) speak English, often very good English. Most appreciate it if you try to speak their native language first.

Carry local cash (Euros.) Don't assume that credit cards are accepted.

If you have devices that need recharging, bring an AC charger and adapter. There are usually only a few public AC outlets. Use them respectfully of others.

There's cell phone service at some huts. There may even be WiFi. 

The national alpine clubs (who sponsor the huts) have websites as do most of the huts. You can use these when planning your trip to find out what facilities are available at each hut. Google is your friend.

...Wanderer


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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