USING THE HUTS
The Swedish huts depend on everyone to look after them. You need to collect fresh water and take out the old water. Dishes should be washed, dried, and put away, with counters wiped and stoves cleaned. Firewood needs to be cut and brought in from the woodshed. Beds need to be made and floors swept. All trash is sorted in various bins according to type, with anything burnable being burned on site and the rest hauled away during winter.
While many of the huts can accept credit card payments, not all can. Therefore it is useful to carry enough cash to cover your accommodation, or you can also purchase credit vouchers at the Abisko Turiststation or the Fjällstations at the start of the trail.
Most of the huts on the northern section of the Kungsleden have small boutique shops offering basic food and supplies (at prices you can expect to find in the mountains). In theory, if you are looking to travel light, you can purchase all your food upon arrival at each hut, to keep from carrying anything unnecessary.
Beds are basic bunks in rooms of varying size from 4-10 beds on average, a pillow and blanket is provided. If you are not camping, you can carry a light sleep sheet, otherwise, you can use your sleeping bag. No booking is possible, though on the chance the hut is full, you’ll still get a mattress somewhere on the floor. Some bedrooms will have wood burning stoves for warmth, if not otherwise part of a shared common area.
All hut kitchens have gas stoves and a supply of pots, pans, and utensils for cooking, along with the necessary equipment for washing up. Water is typically collected in buckets from a nearby river/lake and used water is emptied into waste buckets, which are then emptied into special drainage containers outside, referred to as ‘slask.’
Generally combined with the kitchen, the common – dining area will have a series of benches or chairs for sitting. A wood burning stove is available for heating and candles are provided for light once it gets dark. Wood is collected from outside (vedbod), and if used, you must cut new wood for the next guests.
All huts have simple drop toilets and supplies of toilet paper, hand cleaning gel and soap. A washing basin is located outside the toilet. Water must be refilled if near empty.
Water is typically collected from a nearby river or lake. Follow the signs to ‘Vatten.’ In recent years, some of the huts have begun developing water delivery systems to centralized containers, saving some previously steep hikes.
Never wash upstream from the water collection area. Typically there will be a sign labeled ’Tvatt,’ where it is possible to wash and clean.
A relaxing sit in a sauna, perhaps combined with a brisk dip into a nearby river or lake is often a rewarding finish to a day of hiking. The saunas will have women, men, and mixed times, usually starting around 17:00-18:00 in the evening. Even if you’re not planning on sitting in the sauna, there is a plentiful supply of hot water, which you can use to wash yourself after a long day hiking.
It is possible to camp in the nearby vicinity of the huts and pay a reduced fee. This allows you use of one of the buildings typically designated for campers with common area and kitchen. You also have access to the sauna, should there be one. This is a popular option many people use to help save a bit of money, while still maintaining most of the convenience of the huts.
Hiking with dogs
The Kungsleden trail is dog friendly and each hut will have a specified dog room.