Huts in the USA: Where, Why, and How to Responsibly Expand Access to Nature

A concise presentation of the roles hut systems can play in the educational and recreational opportunity spectrum of America.

by Sam Demas, Owner,

These include huts as educational infrastructure for educational and therapeutic programs, as agents of economic development in rural areas, as portals for nature immersion experiences for under-served minorities, as supports for emerging spiritual development of a new generation of environmental pilgrims, as programs for developing outdoor and stewardship skills, and as agents in community-building around responsible land stewardship.

Learning Objectives: The audience will get a clear and simple picture of how huts, a comparatively small presence in USA, can contribute to the civilizational imperative of cultivating a sense of bio philia in American citizens. The data supporting this role for huts and examples from the field will be supplemented with an overview of trends in the development of new hut systems in USA, New Zealand and Europe.

About the Author

After over 40 years working in college and university libraries, Sam Demas' reinspirement project is studying huts. He travels the world learning how other nations shelter long distance human powered travellers. He writes about what he learns and puts it on his website, The hope is that it will inform a small but growing conversation about the future of huts in the USA.

He and his partner Laurel Bradley are visiting every American hut system as research for the first-ever guidebook to huts in the USA, to be published in 2020 by Mountaineers Books of Seattle. Sam’s hope is that through artful envrionmental education we can more intentionally leverage the phenomemal American interest in recreation to create a new generation of outdoor citizens committed to land conservation and to an ethos of biophilia in our society.

Contact: [email protected]

More articles by this author

927 views • posted 06/11/2019