The Environmental Benefits of ACC Huts
ACC huts provide an
environmental option for a growing number of people who want to
experience the majesty of Canada’s mountain backcountry by offering
reliable protection from the elements, communal cooking and sleeping
areas and access to water and toilets. Hut users do their own cooking,
fetch water from nearby streams or by melting snow, and sleep in their
own sleeping bags in common areas. They contribute to keeping the hut
clean during and at the end of their stay, and they pack out all trash
and food wastes.
Conversely, backcountry camping, whether in
developed or undeveloped sites, is land intensive and can lead to
degradation of flora and fauna over time. Unless privies are provided,
human waste can also pose a significant environmental and health issue. Where privies are provided, removal of human wastes can be
difficult. As well, backcountry camping involves ongoing potential for
By centralizing and managing these
impacts, ACC huts significantly reduce the environmental impact of
backcountry travel in a number of ways.
- Considerably less land is required for huts than for equivalent capacity camping, reducing impacts on flora and fauna.
reduce the potential for human/wildlife conflicts by separating people,
food and wastes from wildlife. This is safer for both.
- Huts minimize environmental damage by concentrating and controlling human use.
reduce the use of fossil fuels by providing more efficient, centralized
cooking, water purification and lighting systems and eliminating the
need for users to haul in fuel containers.
- Huts provide for more
environmentally sound management of black and grey water. The ACC’s
fly-out privy barrel system removes human wastes from the backcountry,
where the land has very limited capacity to absorb wastes without
pollution of the local watershed.
- Huts provide safe emergency shelter for backcountry travelers stranded by poor weather conditions or injuries.
a hut is constructed in a backcountry area where camping has been
permitted, this provides land managers with the opportunity to reduce or
eliminate campground use and rehabilitate the land.
ACC has collaborated with Parks Canada to develop best practices and
environmentally sustainable technology for mountain huts. Full
descriptions of the technologies we have developed and employ in many of
our huts are available on the BeeSolutions website.