Talk:Proposed features/Wilderness hut

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norway alpine_hut case

The current descriptions do not allow all combinations; in Norway (possibly also Sweden and Finland), there are alpine huts that do not have permanent staff, but where you still have to pay to sleep and have the possibility to buy food and prepare it yourself. Some of these have staff in season, but are usually open all/most of the year without staff. Therefore, the tourism=alpine_hut should not require permanent staff (though it may well be considered the default), which is also in accordance with the wikipedia article. -- Einarr 13:58, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that the only way to make distinction between alpine_hut and wilderness hut, is staff or no staff. Maybe what you are discribing is wilderness_hut + food=yes +fee=yes
Could you explain how it works so we could find the best way to take it into account :
  • how do you pay for it ? payment in advance ?
  • how do you get food is there is no staff ? free cupboard access and leave a money ?

Sletuffe 14:11, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

You pay both your stay and the food by putting money or a credit card payment form in an envelope and dropping them in a safe on the hut. Yes, you have free cupboard access, so the system is based on trust. To get access in the first place you'll have to pick up a key (which is the same for most (all?) of the network of alpine huts run by the Norwegian mountain touring association). As the key is the same for all huts, there is no other way than the trust-based system to tell where you've been and how long you stayed.
My point was also partly that some alpine/wilderness huts are run by staff only in season, meaning summer/autumn and perhaps easter. The rest of the year it is open using the system described above (with or without available food). It would therefore change between alpine_hut and wilderness_hut depending on the time of year, which I think may be the real representational problem here.
I'm not sure which way this could best be described. Perhaps by leaving these as alpine_hut and adding some extra tags for the off-season service level. However, these tags should preferably be the same as for the wilderness huts.
Also, I'd like someone from Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland to say something about how their systems fit into the scheme. Anyone from these (and other countries that have such huts) reading this?
-- Einarr 17:21, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Your proposition looks relevant setting staff=no to an alpine_hut might do. (Or food=yes to a wilderness_hut ;-) ) Sletuffe 22:06, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Here from France, it's quite ok with this scheme, same for switzerland (to my few knowledge) and a few variation might be handled with optionnal tags Sletuffe 22:06, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Mmmm, the idea behind staff=no (only off seasons) is really what I consider to be an alpine_hut. The case exist in france, and I would surely tag it as alpine_hut without staff=no as it is not permanently true. However, the case there is an open part off season is the problematic case :
  • Either it is a different part of the building, so a different location, in that case one other point wilderness_hut could do (with a opening_hours saying it's close in season
  • If it really is the same rooms as the alpine_hut, I see two solutions : we superpose two points (one alpine_hut one wilderness_hut at the exact same location) or we add optional tags to alpine_hut such as open_off_season=yes+food=yes/no
  • I'd like to have a better way, but have no idea Sletuffe 11:43, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
  • The New Zealand system sounds very similar to Norway but with no food available you have to bring that yourself -- gerkin
As was requested, here's some thoughts of the Finnish huts. There are free huts, no locks, no food, some cooking ware and a fireplace (sometimes a gas stove) - some official is supposed to fill up the wood containers but nothing more. There are also reservation huts which you book beforehand for a nominal fee and get a key; these could be at the opposite ends of one wilderness building. The added value in reservation huts is that you're guaranteed a sleeping place for the reserved night(s) (a free one might be full in high season), and many of them have mattresses and possibly even bed sheeting. There's also free "day huts" that are roughly similar to the "full" wilderness huts, but don't have sleeping places, but if you must, you could, and may, sleep on the floor - even these should always have a fireplace. One distinct type is a kind of Earth lodge ("kammi" in Finnish), a partially turf covered room with a fireplace - the floor might be soil, or wooden, and these can have sleeping places, but nothing else. Even many of these have a dry toilet nearby. In one national park there's even reservation earth lodges that have some cooking ware. If any "hut" has staff present, it's a motel or similar. And naturally one can rent a "fully" provisioned cabin from various operators, from the officials maintaining the nature park (or similar), to private cabin owners.
Also in Italy there are "full" wilderness "day huts", with fireplace/stove and cooking ware but no dedicated sleeping places. You can and do sleep on the floors or benches. Should we relax the dedicated sleeping places constraint and allow to tag them as tourism=wilderness_hut + capacity=0? --Kaitu 11:03, 19 April 2012 (BST)
Capacity=0 might be a solution. What do you think about the notation "You will find suitable sleeping places." A bench is suitable for sleeping.--Rudolf 11:31, 19 April 2012 (BST)
Yep, I like the "suitable sleeping places" formulation much better than the capacity=0 approach. --Kaitu 18:03, 20 April 2012 (BST)
One attribute that could be worthwile to records, is whether pets are allowed in the hut. Alv 11:38, 15 April 2012 (BST)

Mountain Huts in the UK

In the UK there are quite a number of mountain huts, but most are owned by various Climbing Clubs, and do not provide access to the general public. Many of these facilities are old farm buildings with separate dormitories for men and women, a communal kitchen and social area. They do not have any staff, the custodian being a volunteer, who monitors the hut condition and administers bookings. The main organisations which own such buildings are: the British Mountaineering Club, Scottish Mountaineering Club, Fell and Rock, Midland Mountaineering Club, Pinnacle Club, Climbers' Club. Many universities also own similar accommodation, again available only to associated individuals. Historically, these huts were not liable for certain taxes or required to adhere with legislation relating to accommodation for hire. Although now classed as businesses the status of these places as members only has remained. The long-established clubs do have reciprocal arrangements under the 'Kindred Clubs' scheme.

Thus these places cannot legitimately be tagged with tourism=*, but are entirely Alpine Huts. Several are in prominent locations in wilderness areas, the most notable being the SMC CIC hut under Ben Nevis. Others are well known, such as Helyg and the BMC hut at Glenbrittle.

At the moment there is no convenient means of tagging these places consistently. This proposal is highly appropriate. I believe the tagging scheme should take local distinctions such as these into consideration. SK53 15:18, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I was a bit worried too with tourism, but as alpine_hut is almost already approved as tourism, I felt that keeping on this line was the least problematic way. amenity category was the other option, but to be honnest, I consider them as secondary as it's just a categorie system wich allready as low meaning.
as of the country specific things, either create a tag such as uk_legislation=yes, or best, don't do anything and explicit on the wiki that any uk widerness_hut has this default properties. (or if it's dependent of club owner, use the tag operator as suggested wich will trigger knowledge about them) Sletuffe 15:34, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Tourism should not be used for buildings that are not open to the public. The tourism tag is likely to be used by many applications to generate POIs for tourists, and should not include stuff that tourists do not have access to. I would prefer (by far) another main tag for private club/company/university/organization cabins, but keeping the exact same sub-tagging for toilets/mattresses/drinking water/ etc. Perhaps by using a tourism:private=alpine_hut tag, so that the link is obvious to anyone.Einarr 14:22, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
The issue is also present in Norway. If these are marked with as tourism, there should at least be a private=yes and an operator= tag on them so that they are easy to filter in/out for different purposes. I support the idea of taking everything out of the tourism category, but I'm not sure what to use instead. A new "top-level" tag like hiking=, backcountry=, mountaineering= or something similar might be better. -- Einarr 17:44, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
The idea of a main tag was proposed in Proposed_features/Shelter it was called refuge= with different possible values. I think it's basically the same result, but would break the already quite used tourism=alpine_hut Sletuffe 22:09, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


I find the "The access is restricted physically to foot or mountain bike." clause a bit too constraining. I'd like to include huts which can be physically reached by motor vehicles, when a special permit to do so is required (granted for examples to operators, rescue teams, military). Furthermore, some huts have a dedicated helipad to provide access from air (tipically to occasionally deliver supplies, possibly for rescue teams).

I concur, but it's probably text styling deficiency as the last bullet point allows some vehicle connections. Up north we have state maintained wilderness huts, which are reachable by snowmobiles (in the winter only, naturally) and by skiing (and on foot when the snow's gone). As far as I know, they even try to bring in enough wood for the whole summer (for the fireplace) in winter, when it's easier to drag a trailer with the snowmobile. Alv 11:04, 15 April 2012 (BST)