Veteran Outdoors - Fitness & Preperation

We will be hiking at elevations between 8,000 and 11,500 feet, so it is important to undertake a program of physical conditioning. This should involve a consistent program of aerobic exercise, ideally hiking (running and biking are good, too). Build up distance and cadence on varied terrain until you can keep a strong, steady pace for at least two miles, or one hour. Ideally, these training walks should be done in the hiking shoes or boots you will bring to the program. It is important to break in both your feet and your footwear before the trip to avoid blisters. Remember, great things happen when we get a veteran outdoors – come ready to have enjoy the wilderness at altitude.

Veteran Outdoors Program

Clothing & Gear to get a Veteran Outdoors

The following items are recommended. Depending on weather, most of them will go to the hut with the shuttle in your gear duffel. Carry only day gear – and readings – for the hike.

Day Pack Suggestions:

  • Day pack with waist belt and padded straps (essential!)
  • Water bottle(s) or water bladder system (enough to carry at least one quart)
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Sunscreen (15 SPF or higher)
  • Camera
  • Lunch and trail snacks (All other meals will be made at Margy’s.)
  • Lightweight pair of comfortable hiking boots or shoes (break them in before the seminar)
  • Waterproof stuff sacks or plastic bags to keep gear dry in daypack
  • Lightweight sun hat or visor with large brim
  • Lightweight, sheer liner socks and medium weight wool or wool blend hiking socks
  • Mole skin or comparable foot dressing for blisters
  • First Aid kit (aspirin, band aids, antibacterial wound dressing, etc.)
  • Comfortable, durable shorts
  • Lightweight, comfortable pants (rain pants can double for evening wear)
  • Lightweight zippered, long-sleeved turtlenecks of moisture-wicking fabric (No cotton)
  • Heavy zippered turtleneck/sweater of moisture-wicking fabric
  • Lightweight, waterproof jacket with hood
  • Lightweight, waterproof over-pants
  • Fleece jacket or down vest for extra warmth
  • Medium weight gloves
  • Warm woolen cap

Hut Gear - for shuttle:

  • Sleeping bag – medium weight good to 30 degrees – and personal pillow case
  • Hut clothes – casual jeans, shirts, sandals, etc.
  • Lightweight long underwear, tops and bottoms
  • Flashlight or headlamp

What Our Vets Have To Say

I came to Huts For Vets expecting to be available for wounded souls. I didn’t expect to learn how talented, dedicated, and just plain great vets are. Yeah, they suffer problems, but their courage and motivation to continue to give to others has been a revelation. Reach out. Get to know a vet and you’ll find a quality person who has more to offer than you could ever imagine. Thank you, guys!

Dr. Gerald Alpern- “the shrink”

Army, Korea

 Thank God for all the wonders He has created and Huts For Vets for providing a conduit to return me to these wonders. Semper Fi!

Matt Broker

Marines, Iraq

This has been a great program that is a catalyst to healing and becoming whole again. There is no better place to start this process than with nature. Thank you!

Cornelius Gaye

Army, Iraq

Experienced great time with fellow vets. Learned that life is about living the moment, with no fear of retribution. Fear only controls emotion which creates hostility and anger. Being outdoors has broken me into pieces by realizing pain. Thoughts that were buried I brought to the surface. On the walks these thoughts consumed my every breath. Memories are always going to remind me of where I was before deployment, during deployment, and currently. I am not a horrible person. Only to get better.

Clifford Campbell

Army, Iraq

This trip was far more amazing than I ever could have imagined. The mountains were absolutely amazing and serene, and make you not want to go home. The leaders and exercises really made you think, and it helped a lot to prioritize life, which can be very difficult to do with PTSD. I highly recommend this trip to any veteran who has returned home physically, but is still trying to find their way back mentally.

Eric Dickson

Army, Iraq

This was an amazing experience. The connection I possessed with this band of brothers, military or not, is sure to have a positive impact on myself and those in my presence. I have found the tools I need to make it happen. Now, all that is left is Action! God speed to Huts For Vets and all of its successors.

Thomas Prater

Army, Iraq

I am a person that spends time outdoors, but my time here has been different – the perfect “reset.” I will take the tools I have gained and better myself.

Keith Garner

Army, Iraq

Being in this wilderness has helped me understand the value, quality and significance of these wild places. “The further man’s feet are from the earth, the less respect he has for living, growing things.” The men here have taught me that I must improve myself in order to enjoy the freedoms that we all fought for. The Huts For Vets staff is an amazing group of guys with an exceptional program that can give the combat veteran tools to be able to cope with transitions and the issues associated with PTSD, TBI, etc. This program exceeded all my expectations, and the talk, the laughter, music and general BS were truly a gift and proved that camaraderie and brotherhood cross the lines of military branch, unit, and years. Thanks for everything!

Chris Barker

Army, Iraq

Thank you to everybody associated with Huts For Vets. Not only have I been allowed to see some of God’s most beautiful landscapes throughout the Hunter-Frying Pan Wilderness Area, but I have also been able to connect with fellow vets with similar situations and reflect on where I am now and where I want to be. This trip exceeded all expectations in every way.

Preston Williams

Army, Kuwait

Wow! Words cannot express the impact this experience has had on my heart and soul! Wilderness therapy for combat vets is an incredible and innovative concept. What a journey! I have come further with braving my post-traumatic experiences in the last three days than I have in two years dealing with the VA. I pray that my fellow brothers and sisters in arms find their way to experience the enlightenment that Huts For Vets has provided. God bless!

Justin Jackson

Army, Afghanistan