One of the first questions we’re often asked when explaining the Vermont Huts Association for the first time is: “Well that’s great and all… but what is a hut??” That is a fantastic question that we’ve finally decided to write a blog post about, to help clear the air for anyone who is not quite sure.
A hut, which comes from the old German word hutte means “a small wooden shed, a primitive dwelling, a cabin on a boat, a usually-simple recreational lodging, pub, or suchlike for scouting, mountaineering, skiing, and so on.” While not a perfectly clear explanation, that is what makes the allure of huts so fascinating. Which leads us to why we ended up deciding to create huts in Vermont.
We specifically decided on the term “huts” to incorporate into our name and be the foundation for our organization as a result of countless conversations about structure type. Going into the creation of the organization, we had decided that we wanted to model our system as the European and New Zealand models, which specifically calls for the term “huts.”
The reason being is due to their eclectic nature, being in many shapes, sizes, sleeping capacities and structure types. The structures along the New Zealand track, in particular, had the most diversity of any other system in the world. This provided a starting point for Vermont Huts!
That explains the logic for choosing the name, but it doesn’t fully explain how that will effect our structure here in Vermont, which leads me to the final point: It depends.
Our huts’ capacity and design will largely be determined by location and anticipated use, which will help to guide the square footage, number of beds, heating system, and materials used. So, in locations where we expect a a high volume of visitors, we might build a hut capable of sleeping around 15 individuals and a caretaker, while more remote locations will only need to hold around 8-10 adventurous travelers. The structures themselves might be a brand new cabin, repurposed yurt, or even a renovated historic building. With countless land managers and property owners to work with, you can expect a great amount of diversity within our system!
So that explains it – our huts will vary completely by location. Doesn’t that make so much more sense now?!
We thought so.