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Sam Demas

Sam Demas

  • College Librarian, Emeritus, Library


In reinspirement (aka retirement) my life revolves around delighting in the wonders of daily life: food & drink, exercise, nature, gardening, walking, reading, picnics, meditation practice, and spending time with friends and family.  Continuing to research accommodation 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 cohere a national conversation about the role of huts and other accommodations in US outdoor recreation and education. 

Present emphasis in this research arena is co-authoring, with my partner Laurel Bradley, the first-ever guidebook to hut to hut in the USA.  Will also include historical and comparative context on huts as recreational, educational and conservation infrastructure.Mountaineers Publishing expects final installment of ms. June 2020 and we still have 7 to visit and writeup.  Expected publication late 2020 if all goes well. 

Education & Professional History

See CV.  Have mostly retired from my library consulting practice.  Am returning to my roots in Environmental Education and am now mainly pursuing my interests in hiking and natural history, and my longstanding interest in long distance, human-powered travel around the world.

Languages Spoken

Highlights & Recent Activity

Recent articles include: country studies of how Ireland and New Zealand support long distance walkers; also  "What is a hut?", "Hut-to-Hut in the USA: Situation and Outlook" , "More Hut-to-Hut Hiking in the USA?: Part 1, Benefits""More Hut-to-Hut Hiking in the USA?: Part 2, Challenges".  Have also written a variety of book reviews, trip reports, and have completed six operational profiles describing in detail how hut systems operate and the challenges they face. 

Writing for and editing is my primary scholarly activity.  The enterprise is a mix of research, journalism, and advocacy.  Other projects include:

  • writing a "Country Study" of long distance walking in New Zealand,
  • organizing a workshop for US hutmasters in conjunction with the upcoming International Trails Symposium,
  • securing funding for a scientific analysis of the comparative environmental impacts of car camping, backpacking, and hut-to-hut walking, and
  • working as a volunteer researcher for the US National Parks Service.  

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

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

Profile updated August 21, 2019

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