Hut Etiquette

Here in NZ we are so lucky to have lots of amazing DOC-managed huts dotted all over the country for everyone to use when tramping (aka hiking), and more often than not you will find yourself sharing these choice spaces.

Unfortunately my last couple of hut stays have been marred by poor hut etiquette, so I thought I’d share a few house/hut rules that I’ve picked up along the way, for those that  either don’t know/ need a refresher/ or need to remind their children (at least the ones old enough to understand).

  • Sleep rooms are for quiet time:
    • This can be difficult when the hut is just one large room, but use your head and be respectful if people are resting especially after dark – this means no loud talking or laughing, or going through plastic bags 🤫😠.
  • Turning up after dark:
    • Organise your things/rummage through your pack/cook/chat/eat/whatever  you need to do ….. outside! Enter the hut or sleep room when you are ready to sleep. Keep your head torches out of people’s faces, on dim and/or on the red light night setting 🔦.
  • Leaving before sunrise:
    • Organise yourself the night before and then in the morning take your things outside to pack. Also your alarm does not need to be extremely loud and do not push snooze and let it continue to go off ⏰🤬.
  • Communication: 
    • Do not be too afraid or shy to ask someone if what your doing is ok or bothering them, or to kindly …. “shut up” 😜🙌 if they is be obnoxiously rude while everyone is trying to sleep.

I’m not saying that I am a saint, on my very first hut stay I was one of those “loud un-organised leave before sunrise trampers” 👎 – but you live and you learn and now I’m sharing with you and you can pass on 👍 = Yay happy trampers 😊.

No-one expects to have a great nights sleep in a hut (and if you do, you really need to modify your expectations), but I think we can all expect good manners. And if you do happen to wake people or unintentioanlly show poor hut etiquette, admitting your mistake and apologising goes a long way for a good positive happy hut experience for all.

For more information about huts and their user codes, check out DOC’s info page here.

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Smile, be polite and considerate of other’s 👍. Look after each other whanau 🙌.

Nga mihi, Anita 🥜✌️


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