[Tagging] Wilderness huts

Nico Rikken nico at nicorikken.eu
Wed Apr 2 21:24:49 UTC 2014

My apologies in advance if I break convention or code, but I just
recently started mapping and even more recently joined the mailing list.
As a mountaineer I was very intrigued by the hut discussion and wanted
to share some of my knowledge on this area. I will however definitely
exceed the initial question in this message, since I'm more interested
in the differentiation between the tags.

Of my experience in the Alps, larger huts are operated in season and can
most often be accessed off-season as well, although this might require
you to get a key somewhere in a nearby village. Often times only a
smaller section of the hut is available off-season. Smaller unmanned
huts (like Ren? Maroufi mentioned) can be considered emergency shelters,
which rarely require a key. All huts vary in size and level of comfort.

As a user of these huts key features I'd like to know about are:
- What does it cost? (say the typical fee for an adult)
- Do members of an Alpine society (DE: 'mitglieder') get a rebate?
- Who/what operates the hut? (e.g. a certain person, a certain society)
- Are you allowed to bring and cook your own food?
- Period(s) of the hut being manned (can be multiple)
- Contact information (phone, website, address, via common tags)
- Capacity? (in number of persons both sleeping and visiting)
- Facilities (e.g. running water, toilet, mattresses, blankets,
electricity, lights)
- Cooking/heating facilities and available fuel (often times a stash of
wood is available)
- Hut book available (for writing your name whilst on trip, for
increased change of retrieval when something bad happens.
- Deposit box for money available (or will you have to pay in town)
- Last changes made to the hut (thereby determining the state of the
hut) (via common tags)
- Elevation (also via common tags)
- Way of supply (helicopter, cableway, carriers) (this helps determine
the likely cost of food and drinks) (a mapped helicopter landing site
and a mapped cableway can help determine this, reducing the need for a

Now looking at available tagging schemes, I do recognize quit some of
these parameters, but not all. In my opinion the tourism:x_hut and
shelter_type:x should be combined (or at least be clearly separated).

Depending on the tagging options, I believe a hut can be defined as
being all the way from a basic shelter to a small hotel, therefore
requiring a solid set of examples (from various countries) of hut
Personally I'd prefer a more generic set of tags rather than having
various definitions that implicitly define location (alpine_hut), use
(emergency_shelter), type (lean_to) or level of comfort (basic_shelter).

Considering that most of the people on this mailing list are far more
experienced on tagging topics, I hope that this will fuel the discussion
necessary. Is it reasonable to start off on a new proposal as a way to
bring the huts into unison?

Kind regards,
Nico Rikken (NL)

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