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Exploring the world of trails, huts and other shelter systems (e.g. inns, B&B's, hostels, cabins, yurts, tents, pods, tree houses, caves, etc.) supporting long distance walkers & skiers → how they operate around the world → honoring & learning from the people who start & operate them → building international community and conversation → towards a sustainable, environmentally sensitive outdoor accommodations & education infrastructure for USA → all in service to cultivating environmental education and a broad-based ethos of biophilia through immersive experiences in the natural world.

Tarn Ridge Hut, 16 bunk replacement high mountain built by DOC
Broome Hut In Summer - D Maddox photo
Blue Range Hut built by Masterton Tramping Club in 1958
Dolent Hut, Swiss Alpine Club. Photo courtesy Marcon Volken.
Associated with the 1966-67 Freedom Walks on Milford Track
Asbestos Hut, mining hut, 1914, for 36 years the home of two lovers who exiled themselves here to escape unhappy marriages.
Ivory Lake Hut, a science hut constructed to support a team of glaciologists and hydrologists studying this retreating glacier.
Red Hut, built by Rodolf Wigley, tourism pioneer and entrepreneur, c. 1916
Waipakihi Hut, Lockwood style architecture, NZ Forest Service
Sign of the Packhorse Hut, government built (1916) tourism and climbing hut, originally built as one of four backcountry teahouses.
Roaring Stag Lodge II, originally built by a club, NZ Deerstalkers Association, over a period of four years.  Rebuilt by DOC in 2005.
Sutherlands Hut, interior
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Archive | Trails

huts trails

Huts & Trails: Programs at the International Trails Symposium

You can’t have huts without trails.  Surprisingly there is no communication at a national level in USA between the huts and trails communities.   Next month a conversation will begin at the International Trails Symposium (ITS). The ITS is a rich mix of hikers, operators of many of the major trail systems in the world, federal and state land […]

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Museum Hut_int-SftS_p211

Shelter from the Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts: book review, part two

Book review continued: Shelter From The Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts (Part two of a two part book review) 2012, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson, NZ. Text and most photographs by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown, and Geoff Spearpoint. For part one of this review click here.  Following are some fascinating themes and stories that […]

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Shelter from the Storm

Shelter from the Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts: book review, part 1

Book Review by Sam Demas: Shelter From The Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts (Part one of a two part book review) 2012, Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson, NZ. Text and most photographs by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown, and Geoff Spearpoint. With a single highly-organized system of 1,000 backcountry huts New Zealand (NZ) — […]

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forest and crag, huts and trails

AMC Huts & Unification of White Mountain Trails

See Introduction below.  The primary content of this post is this link to a reprint of Chapter 36 “Unification of the White Mountain trails” from the book Forest and Crag (AMC Books, 1989) by  Laura and Guy Waterman.  This chapter is reprinted with kind permission of Laura Waterman and AMC Books.  Forest and Crag is the Waterman’s magesterial history […]

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Derrynane National Park and Bay Photo by Peter Craine, via Wikimedia Commons

Kerry Way Case Study

Case Study: Kerry Way, Ireland July 2016 By Sam Demas with advice from Patricia Deane, Rural Recreation Officer Purpose, methodology, and notes These case studies are building blocks towards a broader “Country Study” examining long distance walking in Ireland. The intent of the case studies is to paint a picture of the most salient features […]

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Derrynane National Park and Bay Photo by Peter Craine, via Wikimedia Commons

Trip Report: Kerry Way, Ireland

Trip Report: Kerry Way May 2016 Overview: The Kerry Way affords beautiful coastal views, passes through upland moors and bucolic agricultural areas, and passes under Ireland’s highest mountain and one if its most spectacular mountains ranges, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. The full Kerry Way is 130 miles long, beginning at Killarney and proceeding inland towards Glenbeigh, after […]

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Burren Way Case Study

Case Study: Burren Way, Ireland By Sam Demas, April 2016 Purpose, methodology, and notes These case studies are building blocks towards a broader “Country Study” examining long distance walking in Ireland. The intent of the case studies is to paint a picture of the most salient features of each walk and to delve somewhat into […]

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Lakes at Glendalough

Wicklow Way Case Study

Case Study: Wicklow Way, Ireland by Sam Demas, January 2016   Purpose, methodology, and notes These case studies are building blocks towards a broader “Country Study” examining long distance walking in Ireland. The intent of the case studies is to paint a picture of the most salient features of each walk and to delve somewhat […]

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Sharing the Path of Abraham

Sharing the Path of Abraham  Can retracing the path of one of the world’s most revered prophets help sow the seeds of peace and economic prosperity for communities in the Middle East? This is the question that Harvard professor William Ury sought to answer when, in 2004, he established the Abraham Path Initiative. Abraham was […]

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NYT Opinion Piece: Right to Roam in USA?

In the April 23, 2016 New York Times Ken Ilguna makes a case for implementing “Right to Roam” laws in USA similar to those in England, Sweden, and other European nations.  Along the way he provides some useful comparative perspective on how different nations handle right to roam.  In the end he acknowledges that right to […]

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News: Great New Yorker article about Via Alpina and the hut-to-hut experience

Poet, writer and walker James Lasdun has published a wonderful exploration of the delights and challenges of the famous Via Alpina, and the experience of walking hut-to-hut.  Published in the April 11, 2016 issue of the New Yorker magazine, this is a delightful and serious essay on the Via Alpina, a trail that wends its way through […]

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Burren Way Trip Report

Burren Way Trip Report By Sam Demas Overview: As part of my research for a “Country Study” of long distance walking in Ireland, I walked much of this 132km classic Irish National Long Distance Waymarked Way through the sublime Burren landscape.  While this walk is 73% on little-used roads due to access rights limitations, it […]

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