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Wilderness Hut Finland

December 25, 2012 by  

Wilderness Hut Finland, A wilderness hut, backcountry hut, or backcountry shelter (Finnish: autiotupa) is a rent-free, simple shelter or hut for temporary, usually overnight accommodation, usually located in wilderness areas, national parks and along backpacking and hiking routes.

They are found in many parts of the world, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, and northern Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.

The huts can be divided into official and unofficial, or maintained and unmaintained ones. Official wilderness huts are mostly maintained by Mets?hallitus (Finnish for Administration of Forests), the Finnish state-owned forest management company. Most of the wilderness huts in Finland are situated in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Their size can vary greatly: the Lahtinen cottage in the Muotkatunturi Wilderness Area can barely hold two people, whereas the Luiroj?rvi cottage in the Urho Kekkonen National Park can hold as many as 16.

A wilderness hut need not be reserved beforehand, and they are open for everyone tracking by foot, ski or similar means. Commercial stays overnight are prohibited in the wilderness huts owned by Mets?hallitus (there are bookable huts for such purpose) and an agreement should probably be made with maintainers of other huts.

For centuries the vast wildernesses of Finland and its resources were divided amongst the Finnish agricultural societies (such as families, villages, parishes, and provinces) for the purpose of collecting resources. Areas owned in this way were called er?maa, literally “portion-land”. People from agricultural societies made trips to their er?maas in summer, mainly to trap fur-bearing animals but also to hunt game, fish, and collect taxes from the local hunter-fisher population.

Huts were built in the wilderness for use as base camps for hunters and fishers from agricultural societies. Also non-agricultural Sami people built huts to help them manage reindeer. The earliest huts were meant only for the use of people from the society that owned them. People from other societies were not allowed to use the resources of other societies’ er?maas.

Huts that were free for everyone were first seen in late 18th century Finland, when dwelling places were built along walking routes for passers-by. In the 19th century the authorities started building these huts. Later in the 20th century they started to be built for travellers.

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Comments

One Response to “Wilderness Hut Finland”

  1. Helena Ho on December 25th, 2012 5:51 pm

    Love the look of this wilderness hut. I wonder whether it is safe to live up there.
    Is it expensive too.

    Thanks.

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