Field huts range from fully stocked buildings to a simple, empty shell. They may include 240V power, HF and VHF radios, gas stoves, lights and heaters, comfortable beds with bedding provided.
Rules for the use of field huts and refuges depend on commonsense and consideration of fellow expeditioners. Each hut has a list of instructions peculiar to that hut posted inside the hut.
On arriving at a field hut
Walk around the hut and identify:
- Vents (they may be at floor level, on the roof or hidden away in strange places). Open them all.
- Gas bottles. Usually there are two. A splitter valve will point to one, turn this bottle open one full turn.
- Locate where the gas line enters the hut to make it easier to trace once inside.
On entering the hut
- Check for vents which you may have missed and open them.
- Trace the gas lines from the bottles (outside the hut) to the appliances and identify and open the internal shut off valves.
- Locate and test smoke and CO detectors.
- Check and replace if out of date any Dead Stop CO detectors.
- Check the location and integrity of fire extinguishers and blankets, first aid kits, survival rations, rescue boxes.
- Locate and test VHF and HF radios.
- Check and fill out the log book.
While occupying a hut
- Always turn off and isolate stoves, lamps and heaters when sleeping. Even a nap.
- Don’t waste fuel or food. Re-supply is not easy. Inform the station plumber when the first gas bottle becomes empty or is changed.
- Dry out blankets and bags in good weather.
- Ensure your waste is managed according to requirements.
On departing a hut
Leave huts better than you found them.
- Fill fuel tanks of heaters, lamps and generators.
- Turn off gas.
- Turn off and drain water.
- Sweep floor.
- Store or return rubbish.
- On Macquarie Island, make sure perishables are rat and mouse proof.
- Fill out the log book noting your intended route and travel info.
- Close vents when leaving.
- Deactivate CO and smoke detectors to increase battery life.
- Ensure the door is latched closed.
- Radio the station to inform them of your departure and intentions.
On return to station
- Report shortages, breakages or faults