Would someone who has actually experience the GSMNP hike, please help me figure out what is required regarding shelter/tents/permits?
It sounds like only thru-hikers can tent camp, correct?
I am assuming that since reservations are required to stay in the shelter if you are not a thru-hiker that someone regulates the numbers?
There is a statement in the Thru-Hikers Companion that states "Because only thru-hikers are permitted to tent cap at shelters, the burden is on them to make room inside shelter for others who have reserved space." Does this actually happen?
It all sounds so confusing to me. Thanks for input from knowledgable people.