Friday, 16 January 2015

New Tramping Literature: Shelter from the Storm & Tramping: A New Zealand Story

New books about Tramping in New Zealand

One of my passions are books about tramping, climbing and the outdoors, particularly books about these pursuits in a  New Zealand context. I have a growing collection of classic tramping titles as well as guides, personal histories and biographies in my own library. Here are a couple of excellent books I received for Christmas, both with a tramping theme.

Shelter from the Storm: Shelter from the Storm:  The Story of New Zealand's Backcountry Huts

By  Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown, Geoff Spearpoint

Shelter from the storm is an older book, published in 2013, but I have been hinting that I would like a copy of it for some time, and received one this last Christmas. It is a photographic tour de force which details examples of the over 900 tramping huts scattered around the country. The authors will be well known to NZ trampers from their publishing, tramping and official roles within various tramping clubs and the FMC.
Each entry has a photo of the hut along with a short history: location,  why it was built and by whom & how it is still being used. Entries are broken down into the major period's of hut construction such as colonial, working huts, trampers huts, NZFS, DOC etc.  Interposed with this are feature articles about aspects of hut builders, the role of tramping clubs and personal anecdotes of visits to particular huts.
It is an excellent read, the photos are top notch as well as being an inspiration to get out there and visit these locations.

Tramping: A New Zealand Story 

 By Shaun Barnett & Chris Maclean

Another well received Christmas present was Tramping: A New Zealand Story, possibly the closest thing we will ever see to a comprehensive history of the outdoor pursuit we call Tramping. The authors have done an outstanding job of laying out the history of tramping in New Zealand, its legends and lore as well as the forces which have influenced it.
The book is written in chronological order starting with the early Maori migrants right through to the present day. There is information about notable personalities as well as notable events in the development of outdoor recreation and tramping in New Zealand. The text is informative and interesting and there is a wealth of fine photographs and illustrations. This is all bound together in a very attractive book for either coffee table or book shelf.

Taken together these two books give an excellent introduction to the history of tramping and back country huts in this country, I thoroughly recommend both.

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