The defining feature of a Hiker’s Cabin is that it is made of wood, which creates a special ‘back to nature’ feel. This sets them apart from other types of outdoor accommodation such as tents and caravans. Most are on one storey and do not have interior stairs, although they are not necessarily at ground level so there may be a few steps outside.
Furnishings, fixtures and fittings are basic but adequate. The cabins offer sleeping accommodation and seating for between two and six persons. All have electric lighting, at least one power point and some form of ventilation (such as an opening window).
The history of Hiker’s Cabins in the Netherlands
The Netherlands’ first Hiker’s Cabin was erected in 1986 and Stichting Trekkershutten Nederland came into existence on 31 July that year. Before long the small cluster of cabins in Overijssel and Gelderland had grown into a nationwide network. In Belgium, a similar movement began in 1995.
To increase public awareness of the Hiker’s Cabins, Stichting Trekkershutten encouraged the adoption of standard designs. At first, there were four types of cabin which differed in size and standard of facilities. The Netherlands had ‘Standard’, ‘Plus’ and ‘Comfort’, while Belgium favoured the ‘Flemish Model’. Standard specifications meant that guests knew exactly what to expect. Several new types and models have since been introduced. They include the Trek-in, the Pod and the Mobihut. The emergence of the internet has made it even easier to find a Hiker’s Cabin which meets your exact requirements.
Trek-in, the sustainable Hiker’s Cabin
The ‘Trek-in’ is a very sustainable type of Hiker’s Cabin, launched in 2012. It was designed by students of the Faculty of Architecture at Eindhoven University of Technology, who stipulated that it should be manufactured using recycled materials and sustainably produced (FSC) wood. The Trek-in and a smaller version, the Trek-in Junior, can now be found at nine locations throughout the Netherlands.