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

A TRAILSNext™ presentation

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

by Sam Demas, Owner, Hut2hut.info

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, hut2hut.info. 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

More Articles in this Category

The House of Representatives has Passed the Outdoors for All Act!

Public Lands and local parks play a vital role in the physical, social and economic well-being of our communities. The Outdoors for All Act will help underserved communities access parks and public lands, protect areas sacred to Indigenous peoples, ensure clean and safe drinking water, and promote the outdoor recreation economy.

Smart Outdoor Inc. is Bringing Innovative Signs to Trails in New York and Beyond

Westchester County New York and Friends of Westchester County Parks, in collaboration with Westchester County Parks, announce collaboration with Smart Outdoor to enhance 34.6-mile running trail.

Important Updates Regarding the International Trails Symposium

American Trails will now be hosting the International Trails Symposium in February of 2022. By moving to this later date we are able to maintain an in-person symposium for those who can travel to Reno.

Submit Your Project to the Trails Move People Survey

This survey aims to quantify the capacity of the trails community to build, maintain, and develop trails now, and to provide input to GAOA and LWCF funding.