hut2hut.info is created by:
Sam Demas is an independent researcher focusing on environmentally sensitive food and shelter systems for long distance human-powered travelers. He is the editor, and at this point, the primary researcher and writer for h2h. Part of the 97%, Sam is a reluctant backpacker and an enthusiastic walker. He loves to walk for days on end with a light pack, and has walked (or skied, but never biked, yet!) hut-to-hut in the USA, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Morocco,Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Greece, Chile, and Japan. But he hasn’t visited New Zealand, Iceland, Norway and lots of other nations with hut systems (yet!). By now he has visited and written about most of the hut-to-hut systems in the USA, and is hoping to return to many of them.
After 40 years working in academic libraries, Sam is focusing on hut2hut.info as his research and writing interest for the next few years. This endeavor utilizes his skills in research, collaboration, and strategic planning; it puts him in touch with lots of interesting people; and it frames his travel plans. And perhaps it will help to raise the level of discourse and knowledge in the USA about huts, yurts, home/farm stays and other ways of supporting long distance walkers, bikers and skiers.
In 1973 Sam completed a masters degree in Environmental Education, but chose a career in librarianship. This project is something of a return to his long-standing interest in nature study/environmental education, focused now on the role hut systems might play. Sam hopes his research and development work in this arena will contribute in some way to the essential civilizational task of providing young people with immersive nature experiences that engender a profound ethos of biophilia in our culture.
Azucena Briones, or Susy as we know her, is a sophomore at Carleton College. Susy is currently pursuing a double major in Psychology and in Spanish. During fall term of 2015 she studied Spanish in Madrid and went on to travel to Hungary, France, and Italy after her program. Susy was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, but travels down to the rural towns of southern Mexico to visit family and to hike in the mountains near her small town every year. Other hobbies include playing the guitar, playing the piano and running.
Susy will be helping the team with media and communications. Along with Sam and Jake, Susy will be doing research to help hut2hut move forward and spread knowledge of huts and trails in America.
Adam Rutkowski is a sophomore at Carleton College who has decided to major in Physics. He has developed the web site, which is still a work in progress, as a student research assistant working 7 hours per week. He also coordinates the hut mapping project. Adam loves backpacking and has a great curiosity about huts and their future in America.
Jake Thornburgh is a senior at Carleton College. He is a history major with a special interest in Middle Eastern studies. Jake considers himself part of the 97% of hikers that are not backpackers. He grew up hiking in the woods of southern Indiana during the summer and skiing in Northern Michigan in the winters. Jake studied Arabic in Jordan in the spring of 2015 and, while there, hiked to the top of Jabal Umm ad Dami, the highest mountain in the country.
Jake will help advance the mission of hut2hut through a variety of jobs including developing the social media presence of the organization, searching out potential partners, researching data relevant to outdoor recreation and global hut systems, and writing articles for the website.
Amanda Wagstaff is an artist, writer, and educator from Red Oak, Virginia. She currently lives in Dublin, Ireland where she is a Fulbright Research Fellow at the Chester Beatty Library. Her Fulbright project is called “Pilgrims Travel Differently,” an interdisciplinary research project exploring Celtic Christian monastic practices and Insular Art in relation to her own art practice. Her research includes retracing pilgrimage routes and visiting the sacred sites of medieval Ireland and the United Kingdom. Through her art and writing practices, she hopes to make connections between this research, contemporary life, and current events. For more information about her art work and her research observations, check out her website “Traipse” www.amandawagstaff.com. As our “Pilgrimage Editor” Amanda will be writing about pilgrimage for hut2hut, and seeking writing from others on this and related topics.