Photo of Sam Demas

Sam Demas

College Librarian, Emeritus, Gould Library

Education & Professional History

In reinspirement (aka retirement) life revolves around delighting in the wonders of daily life: food & drink, nature, gardening, walking, reading, picnics, meditation practice, and spending time with friends and family. Continuing to hut systems in support of long-distance, human-powered travel, and share what I learn through

This is a field in which little research has been done in USA. I am trying to inform and an emerging national conversation about the role of huts and other accommodations in US outdoor recreation and education, which includes helping to start a community of practice among those who operate hut systems.

Have retired from my library consulting practice and through my hut work am returning to my roots in environmental education and protection.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Laurel Bradley and I have written the first-ever guidebook to hut to hut in the USA, which will be released October 2021 by Mountaineers Books in Seattle.  Will do some travelling around a book tour and meeting with folks interested in the ideas.  Now am working on elaborating the historical and comparative context on huts as infrastructure for recreation, education. and conservation.

The book project occupied much of my time 2018-2021.  In addition articles in recent years include: country studies of how Ireland, New Zealand and USA support long distance walkers; and am just beginning  a study of Icelandic hut systems.

Writing for and editing is my primary scholarly activity, along with occasional pieces for other sites and publications.  The enterprise is a mix of research, journalism, and advocacy.

Other current and upcoming projects include:

  • Writing “Country Studies” of long distance walking in other parts of the world,
  • Helping to organize a community of practice for US hut masters,
  • Working with World Trails Network, and attending the International Trails Symposium and World Trails Network meetings in Nepal and Korea,
  • Advocating for further scientific analysis (i.e. recreation ecology studies) comparing the environmental impacts of various forms of overnights in the outdoors, including car camping, various forms of backpacking sites, and hut-to-hut travel.
  • Lots of camping in our new teardrop trailer!

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

Working as a Volunteer Researcher for the US National Park Service, and active in World Trails Network, American Trails,  and Northfield Buddhist Meditation Center.

Photo of Sam Demas


Curriculum Vitae