Shelter From The Storm: The story of New Zealand’s backcountry huts

‘Shelter From The Storm: The story of New Zealand’s backcountry huts’
Written by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint.

One of the defining and unique features of the New Zealand outdoors is the backcountry hut. New Zealand has a remarkably diverse network of these huts, unparalleled anywhere else in the world, and for those who venture into our wild places there is often a passionate attachment to these humble structures.

Shelter from the Storm is a landmark publication, the first wide-ranging history of our hut network. The authors provide an overview of who built the huts – tramping and mountaineering clubs, the Department of Internal Affairs, Lands and Survey, New Zealand Forest Service, Park Boards and DOC – as well as why they were built, which includes farming, mining, tourism, tramping and climbing, hunting and deer culling, science and as monuments. For each of these sections the authors profile a wide range of representative huts, and recount the fascinating stories that invariably surround them.

This is a wonderful book, meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated with a huge range of historic and contemporary photographs. Its significance and appeal is far-reaching, as this is a subject that has a genuine resonance with many, many New Zealanders.

This 340-page, hardback, full colour book weighs in at a mighty 2.72kg and retails at $80. However, through the FMC we can get this wonderful resource, signed by one of the authors, Shaun Barnett, for just $64. I am going to make a bulk order if we have enough interest, so please email me at before Sunday 21 April if you would like to purchase a copy. I can collect the books and bring them to club night for those who have pre-ordered and pre-paid me.

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