Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  1. #1

    Default Shelter Hog Groups

    Stopped by Stoney Brook Shelter and there was a large camp group that I doubt had gotten a permit--a few hikers had stopped there and moved on when they saw the group of over ten laying claim to the shelter. If anyone knows what the rules are regarding shelter use, please advise...

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    55
    Posts
    28,774

    Default

    First come, first served. A hiker should never count on shelter space. Always carry a tent, tarp, bivy, hammock, etc.

  3. #3
    15,000 miler
    Join Date
    04-30-2003
    Location
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Age
    40
    Posts
    382

    Default

    "Groups spending one or more nights on the Trail should not exceed 10 members at any one overnight-use area, and day-use groups should not exceed 25 members at any one location, unless clubs designate otherwise in their local-management plans"

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/prot...3Bspecial.html


    that is their over all policy. but many trail groups post "group size max:10, at shelter max:5" at trail heads and in shelters. your local trail group will have a set limit that may vary from area to area, so you should contact them.
    happy hiking! -Hellkat-

  4. #4

    Default Shelter hog groups

    The bothersome fact was that this group had done this several nights at different shelters. Permits are required for large groups in some areas. How many A/T hikers would not prefer to have a shelter option in heavy rain?

  5. #5
    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-14-2004
    Location
    Riverside, Ohio
    Posts
    435

    Default

    I agree these large groups are not only obnoxious but shelter hop. On a few of the A.T. maps it says on the bottom groups of 5 or more shall camp. While I was hiking I ran into this a few times, 4 times it was boy scouts, once was girl scouts and once was headed by an AMC ******* who was a co-ordinated group experience for some college students.

    She told she heading up the group and trying to give wilderness experience while teaching them proper trail use and ediquette. When I told her what she was doing was wrong and her group of 20 camp somewhere and to stay the hell away from the shelters, she just said well if thru hiker wants in we will make room.

    Who wants to stay the night around 20 people who only walked 6 miles that and have no intention of going to sleep before 3 am.

    No hikers do not have the right to expect room, but some common curtousy and common sense would be nice.

  6. #6

    Default

    At Pecks Corner shelter this past Saturday, a large group from Greenville University (IL) had essentially taken over the shelter. There stuff was hanging everywhere and no space was left uncluttered. Thet weren't bad or inconsiderate kids. I just don't think they thought through their actions. They quickly cleared off the picnic tables so we could have lunch and move on. Some kind words said in the right manner can go a long way with some folks. FYI Greenville sends their student leaders to the Smokies every year for an outdoor experience. There were numerous groups of students scattered throughout the park.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  7. #7
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-03-2002
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Age
    47
    Posts
    14,710
    Images
    248

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf
    First come, first served. A hiker should never count on shelter space. Always carry a tent, tarp, bivy, hammock, etc.
    Exactly. Shelter hogs only annoy you if you allow them to.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    Exactly. Shelter hogs only annoy you if you allow them to.
    When I walked the trail in Maine in 1991 with a 9-year-old, we chased commercial camp groups most of the 30 days. The camps seemed to have no facilities of their own. They just gathered kids off a bus and took them on the trail.

    Typically, the kids would arrive at a shelter about noon or a little after and spend the rest of the day playing cards or sleeping in the shelters. I became increasingly annoyed. Sarge, what would be your strategy for not becoming annoyed? My strategy is to avoid the trail during the peak summer camp season. September is a beautiful time on the trail in Maine.

    Weary

    Weary

  9. #9
    LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-03-2002
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Age
    56
    Posts
    5,064
    Images
    484

    Default

    I ran into a fraternity pledge class at the Pickle Branch Shelter south of Catawba last October. They were shoe-horned into the shelter when several of us arrived, but did offer to make some room (as if that were physically possible). I considered staying (at least they weren't allowed to talk!), but they obviously didn't want me there. I ended up tarping up the hill. Fortunately I had my earplugs so I only heard the pledgemaster yelling at them to collect more, and more, and more wood for the bonfire when I took them out a few times in the early morning hours.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2015?

  10. #10

    Default Thinking Out of the Box

    There will always be folks who are either unaware, or who simply don't care about shelter "etiquette." I.e., there will always be folks who travel in large groups, who are noisy, who take up too much space, who arrive late, leave early, are generally pains in the ass.

    There's a simple remedy for this. Don't stay in shelters, or don't even PLAN on staying in them unless you absolutely have to. However, if you choose to do so, be aware that in deciding to spend the night in communal "shared" space, you are inevitably going to "share" with people who might not be ideal companions. Don't be surprised, and don't complain, if they don't live up to your standards or expectations, and don't be surprised if their behavior doesn't conform to your perception of proper "shelter etiquette."

    Keep in mind:

    *It's always first-come, first served.
    *It's not cool to "hold" spots for people who may or may not be arriving later.
    *Thru-hikers aren't inherently entitled to shelter space; shelters neither
    discrimainate nor do they reward. It's first-come, first served. A group
    of fat weekenders is just as entitled to be there as you are.
    *If you're being Joe Cool Ultralight, and have decided to dispense with tent,
    tarp, or bivy, this does NOT automatically entitle you to shelter space, so
    don't expect others to vacate their space for you. If you make a voluntary
    decision not to carry equipment that other folks think is vital gear, well
    that's YOUR choice. Live with it. If there's room in the shelter, folks will
    most likely accomodate you. Otherwise suck it up and get wet. Next time,
    bring a tent and don't blame other folks for YOUR mistakes.
    *If you snore, arrive late, leave super early in the morning, make a lot of
    noise, get up frequently in the night, etc., you should probably be
    considerate to others and stay in a tent. Likewise, if this sorta behavior
    bothers you, then YOU should stay in a tent.
    *In short, people aren't perfect. If you decide to stay in a group facility,
    then be aware that not everyone might conform to your standards of
    behavior; be aware also, that not everyone is aware of what constitutes
    appropriate shelter behavior. If it's a group that's making the problem,
    consider tactfully and privately discussing the matter with the group's
    leaders. But always, the simplest way to avoid the myriad problems
    associated with overnighting in a shelter is simply to overnight somewhere
    else.

  11. #11
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-03-2002
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Age
    47
    Posts
    14,710
    Images
    248

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by weary
    When I walked the trail in Maine in 1991 with a 9-year-old, we chased commercial camp groups most of the 30 days. The camps seemed to have no facilities of their own. They just gathered kids off a bus and took them on the trail.

    Typically, the kids would arrive at a shelter about noon or a little after and spend the rest of the day playing cards or sleeping in the shelters. I became increasingly annoyed. Sarge, what would be your strategy for not becoming annoyed? My strategy is to avoid the trail during the peak summer camp season. September is a beautiful time on the trail in Maine.

    Weary

    Weary
    I would probably avoid the shelters to begin with. But that is just me
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  12. #12
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Age
    30
    Posts
    3,027
    Images
    10

    Default

    Every yr there are thru-hikers who bitch and moan about a group of people who walked 1 mile from the parking lot and grabbed the last spots in the shelter on the rainy night when they hiked 28 miles to get there and are sour cuz they have to set up their emergency shelter that they don't really know how to operate. I even read one a couple weeks ago in the log at Fingerboard Shelter. I'm sure I complained myself at least once. Thru-hikers start to get the idea that they are better than life itself because they are doing something so cool and unique and that they need special treatment. It not that thru hikers are bad people, just that they lose sight of everyday "normal" life; that where normal working people enjoy a short jaunt in the woods on their free time and that everyone is entitled to backcountry facilities. Sure it sucks being shut out in bad weather when your exhausted, but hey, no one made you walk 28 miles.

    With that being said, I think groups of 4 or more should seriously consider sleeping in tents when traveling for more than a night or two. Considering most shelters hold 6, its a bit inconsiderate for the same one group to keep filling up almost the entire occupancy of a shelter, because then you're simply not giving others an opportunity to share. I witenssed a few groups of thru-hikers, 6 or more, traveling together and getting a bad wrap because there was never room for a single other hiker.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  13. #13

    Default

    First some preliminaries. I don't stay in shelters unless I'm the only one there, so I am always prepared with personal shelter. I either camp at a tent spot or continue on if no space is available. I prefer an out of the way place where I can stay up late without disturbing other hikers and do anything of the following : read, have a fire, drink whiskey or tequila, smoke cigarettes, kabitz, or play cards. I generally have a good idea what the local hiker traffic will be like, depending on the time of year. And, I am always ready for the curveball of some group being at the shelter. I carry enough water capacity to camel up and head out.

    But, I do get irritated by groups larger then 12. I'm willing to stretch the ten so that ten kids and two adults can travel together. Limiting group size is part of ethical use of the trail. I feel that exceeding the 10 (12) person limit is just as egregious as littering or carving up trees. I am especially perturbed when the group is made up of young people. Group leaders should be entirely aware of the ten person limit. To break the limit with young hikers perpetuates a problem and teaches bad habits.

    What to do about it? Well first, suck it up, save the negativity, and move on. You will not change anyone's behavior by coming across as an Ahole. Besides, even 15 girl scouts can kick the bejesus out of a lone hiker. The group is not going to move either and who wants to stay there anyway? I see two options. One, politely talk to the group leaders about LNT. If you are armed with some facts about group impacts, and are polite, "Hey maybe you were unware but large groups impact the area by ....blah blah blah." Or two, find out the name of the group. All groups have hierarchies. Write a couple of letters/make a couple of phone calls to the higher-ups. Explain about group size limits and hopefully change some behaviors.

    Or you could vandalize their bus at the trailhead . Just kidding .

  14. #14
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-04-2002
    Location
    Marlboro, MA
    Posts
    3,036

    Default

    Like other actions we all see, they are largely the result of poor training, or lack of knowledge.

    Most regulations clearly urge groups to bring tents rather than monopolize shelters. Further, Leave No Trace suggests keeping groups size to around 10 or so. And, most planning books for backpacking and long distance hiking urges you to bring along shelter (tent, tarp, hammock) so you are not dependent on shelters.

    Sometimes it doesn't take an over crowded shelter to make you go into your tent. All it takes is one individual who snores, or stays up late, or is other wise inconsiderate to drive you out of a shelter.

    When you come across someone who is not observing the Leave no trace principals, then we should make the attempt to educate them as best we can. Other easier said than done.

  15. #15

    Default shelter hogs

    They have always said first come first serve,but I was told by all the ridgerunners that thrue hikers and distance hikers have first dibs and commonsense would tell you thats the way it should be! I have been at many shelters and generally most groups will give the shelters up but naturally some people think they own it all especially with more numbers although they usually are weekend hikers or out for a week. kentucky

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    55
    Posts
    28,774

    Default

    BS. The ridgerunners who told you that are idiots. Thru-hikers have NO dibs on shelter space.

  17. #17
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-03-2002
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Age
    47
    Posts
    14,710
    Images
    248

    Default

    Actually common sense tells me to bring some shelter and first come first serve. There is no "common sense" way to prove thru-hiker credentials. to try and give long distance hikers and thru-hikers first dibs would be like trying to say American Indians get first dibs in shelters: how am I to prove my ancestry at a shelter? And how is a guy walking into a shelter when I am already there going to convince me he has more of a right than I do.

    I have also never heard a ridgerunner say this.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  18. #18
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-30-2002
    Location
    Fairbanks AK, in a outhouse.
    Age
    54
    Posts
    4,545
    Images
    33

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kentucky
    They have always said first come first serve,but I was told by all the ridgerunners that thrue hikers and distance hikers have first dibs and commonsense would tell you thats the way it should be! I have been at many shelters and generally most groups will give the shelters up but naturally some people think they own it all especially with more numbers although they usually are weekend hikers or out for a week. kentucky

    actually inside the smokies (by the "rules") the section hikers with reservation and permits have "first dibs" over thru hikers... thru hikers are actually the minority on the trail ....and this thru-hiker status means NOTHING when it comes to shelter space...as a matter of fact (common sense) would suggest that a thru hiker\long distance hiker should be more prepared than a casual weekender and not need the shelter space.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  19. #19

    Default shelter hogs

    well in all do respect to people who have hiked more than myself I say your right,I generally pass on when i see a big group or set up my tent.

  20. #20
    Registered User The_Professor's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-29-2008
    Location
    Northern NJ about 20 miles from the AT
    Age
    59
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I have had the experience of wanting to tent near a shelter, but finding all the good tent sites taken by a large group.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •