Story: Tramping

Russian Jack

Russian Jack

Russian Jack, after his arrival in New Zealand in 1912, was the nickname of Barrett Crumen, a Latvian who walked around the lower North Island for over 50 years. In Britain, such homeless wanderers were known as tramps, but in New Zealand, ‘tramping’ means hiking in the bush for recreation. Men such as Russian Jack were known as swaggers or swagmen (their packs or bedrolls were called swags).

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PA12-2130
Photograph by Margaret MacPherson

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Tramping - New Zealand tramping, clubs and culture', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 June 2023)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015