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Sly
12-09-2014, 19:43
USFS limits stays in Shelters to 3 nights per 30 day period.
Appalachian Trail Limits of Stay
The U.S. Forest Service has established new limits of stay regulations at all Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Appalachian Trail) shelters, as well as one campsite and two overnight sites within the southern region. Overnight stays at the three regional Appalachian Trail sheltersóDavis Path and Davis Farm Overnight Sites and Wayah Bald Shelter Campónow are limited to three days within a 30-day period.

Read more here (two documents)...

rocketsocks
12-09-2014, 20:04
In addition to lowering impact...it seems like an attempt to be able to legally combat squatin'

Sarcasm the elf
12-09-2014, 20:07
In addition to lowering impact...it seems like an attempt to be able to legally combat squatin'

Privies are used to combat squattin!:p

rocketsocks
12-09-2014, 20:20
Privies are used to combat squattin!:p
like this


https://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-smlwZPDV4www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-smlwZPDV4

rocketsocks
12-09-2014, 20:24
or this


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-smlwZPDV4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-smlwZPDV4

Lone Wolf
12-09-2014, 20:33
this is just to target homeless type folks

rickb
12-09-2014, 20:42
While the specifics of this order hardly seem like they would generate any controversy, it should serve as a quiet reminder that civil servants can have a great deal of influence over the Trail.

Let's hope they turn to the ATC for advise and guidance rather than the upcoming AWITW movie.

rickb
12-09-2014, 20:43
this is just to target homeless type folks

Like in the city parks.

oldwetherman
12-09-2014, 21:01
Who is out on the trail that would enforce this new rule?

Connie
12-09-2014, 21:06
What is the AWITW movie?

Odd Man Out
12-09-2014, 21:12
What is the AWITW movie?

A Walk in the Woods

Lone Wolf
12-09-2014, 21:13
Who is out on the trail that would enforce this new rule?

nobody. someone would have to tattletale on some mentally ill/homeless person. it's what it's designed for

rickb
12-09-2014, 21:29
nobody. someone would have to tattletale on some mentally ill/homeless person. it's what it's designed for

The shelters were not built for squating by the mentally ill or indigent. The authorities should be able to move them out after 3 days.

WingedMonkey
12-10-2014, 13:00
Let's hope they turn to the ATC for advise and guidance rather than the upcoming AWITW movie.

More likely from Facebook. That's where you find the crowd that is so afraid of anyone "different" using the trail.

The Forest Service put a legal add in the Atlanta Constitution and got "no comments". I can't belive that I missed that.

This is a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

DavidNH
12-13-2014, 10:50
so who would want to stay in a shelter, any shelter, for more than three days? that's nuts. After one night I'd go stir crazy!

Tipi Walter
12-13-2014, 11:12
I see it all as part of an "anti-gypsy" hysteria so prevalent in America. There seems to be a severe concern in America over where a person sleeps and if that person sleeps outdoors or for free in a tent. For some reason many American authorities and the Tent Police get emotional and twisted about people who live like "gypsies" and who want to sleep outdoors.

Many State Parks do not allow overnight tenting and new rules and regulations are springing up everywhere to control the outdoor experience, just study the new rules for backpackers in the GSMNP---$4 a night and every campsite must be reserved beforehand---Lunacy. Old Ed Abbey talked about this long ago when he said---"Have fun in the wilderness but have fun in a clockwise direction only" or something like that.

There's something highly offensive about humans walking into the woods and sleeping for the next several weeks---it seems to agitate and irritate the head honchos. It used to be a rule with the USFS that a person could spend two weeks at a spot and then move a mile away and spend another two weeks. Oops, this rule is Verboten!! Now they are attempting to drastically alter this down to 3 days etc etc.

Eventually as our population reaches 450 million by 2050 every outdoor destination will have new rules and fees and vouchers and provisios and mandates and regulations and permits whereby every inch of every trail will be parsed and every camping spot reservation only and every night requiring a cash payment. To stamp out "gypsy-ism" the Tent Police will come up with a plan for AT thruhikers whereby every night is $5 and every campsite for 2,000 miles must be reserved beforehand. Have fun folks but in a clockwise direction only.

Another Kevin
12-13-2014, 12:37
There's something highly offensive about humans walking into the woods and sleeping for the next several weeks---it seems to agitate and irritate the head honchos. It used to be a rule with the USFS that a person could spend two weeks at a spot and then move a mile away and spend another two weeks. Oops, this rule is Verboten!! Now they are attempting to drastically alter this down to 3 days etc etc.

You're perhaps a bit too hysterical with this. (Only a bit, mind you.) Disneyfication of the wilderness (keep your hands and feet inside the ride, kids!) is a real risk. This rule isn't it. The slope isn't even all that slippery.

New York has long had a similar rule for the state forest preserve. There have been only two reasons I've seen the rule enforced.

One was that I saw an arrest made last month of a big group who had established a tent city in the middle of the Catskill Park for deer hunting season. They'd moved in at least one huge wall tent - with a wood stove, even - set up cots, dug a pit latrine, and otherwise pretty much just moved in as if they owned the place. Since they hadn't been caught cutting trees, poaching, or otherwise doing something blatantly illegal, the "three days in one spot" rule was the easiest way to get rid of them. They left the site a muddy, trampled mess that will take years to regrow. The rangers who responded, by the way, had no problem with me heading in with my backpack, and wished me a good hike. One even moved his car to let me have a decent parking spot. (Yes, Walter, I rode the rolling sofa to the trailhead. Sorry. I don't live with the forest in my backyard. I'd rather live where I can walk to my job and not sit on the sofa daily.)

The other is that there are various sets of people - ranging from the clearly mentally ill and homeless to millionaires who get flown in on seaplanes to just outside the preserve - who take over campsites and shelters and proclaim "first come, first served, this is MY shelter" for many days at a time. If anyone but them is to use the designated campsites at all, there needs to be a way to get them to move. (In that situation, I'd rather stealth camp, but that requires skills that a lot of hikers haven't yet developed, and I'd like them to have the "license to learn.")

There's never been a campsite reservation system, a permitting system (other than a self-registration at the trailhead for Eastern High Peaks), fees, or any similar bureaucratic rubbish in the state forest preserve up here. Just simple rules like "don't camp above 4000 feet at any time of year or above 3500 in summer", "don't camp within 150 feet of a trail or water source except as posted" and "don't stay at any single site more than three nights running or more than ten nights total in any one year." I can plan to spend a couple of weeks bumming around the Adirondacks and not have to grovel to anyone.

Of course, it helps that the area can absorb a lot of use: in New York, the Forest Preserve is larger than the State of Massachusetts.

I've also had a conversation with a ranger in a "designated sites only" state park, that went something like, "The days are short this time of year. If I run out of daylight on the way to [lawful campsite], I might have to set down somewhere near [unlawful campsite]." Ranger: "You ain't going to hurt the snow none!" I took that as permission to camp at [unlawful campsite]. If there had been trouble (there wasn't!), I figured I could get out of it with, "Oh, I'm so sorry! I'll be up and moving as soon as I can pack! I know it's off limits, but when I checked with Officer Wojciechowski [not his real name, or even the right ethnicity] at the [place name] ranger station, he told me that it'd be OK!"

WingedMonkey
12-13-2014, 23:05
Comparing some of these sites to the Catskills would be a stretch.

Davis Farm campsite is a small patch of grass barley big enough for a tent with a near by spring. Nice to overlook the dairy farm below but it does come with the smells and night sounds of a dairy.

Not the type of site I would expect squatters.

BaxterBear
12-14-2014, 15:32
Vagrants are reported quite quickly using social media such as Facebook, and people who post on Facebook are very vocal. As are most college age kids who post on social media. I am sure this is where the rule came from to a degree.

I used shelters to cook and socialize, I tented far away from them. One night in a shelter was enough to convince me to avoid sleeping in them like the plague.

Dogwood
12-14-2014, 21:35
OK, the USFS is limiting stays at AT shelters. GOOD! It seems in line with why they were built.

I regularly encounter the anti-gypsy hysteria. Actually, it's becoming quite common as I bring much of it on myself as I reside in more than one location as a non "settled down" American male over 30 yrs old not fitting cultural norms with 2.2 kids, married, house w/ white picket fence, in debt over my head, mini van, SUV, or sports car in the driveway, distracted and enthralled by mass consumption and materialistic amassing of electronics, food, shopping, and sports, etc, frugally traveling and hiking extensively - sometimes in sharp contrast to conventional touristy culturally normal ways, averaging 100+ nights a yr outside, employing my backpacking gear extensively into its later useful life stages, etc.

If I entertain being irritated about it it has a larger potential to escalate into a larger problem. What I don't want is to be an annoyed cantankerous backpacker which would kind of defeat the purpose for me of entertaining a healthy wander lust. It's easy enough, but with thoughtful tact, distancing myself from some of the perceived, and very real, negatives associated with homelessness, gypsy life, vagrancy, etc. once I recognize what society and authorities are attempting to avoid. It's easy enough for me to put most of their fears at rest by telling them/showing them what I'm involved in(long distance backpacking, legally hitch hiking, attempting to stay here for one night, etc), demonstrating an awareness of their concerns, etc by announcing myself to the local Police Dept, showing them my I.D. knowing the authorities will run a back round check for outstanding warrants, even enlisting Police Dept's/Rangers/Wildlife Officers/authorities advice(ALL are a GREAT resource(Please note that perspective!), I try to get along with them knowing they are people just like me but can have very demanding often under appreciated lifestyles), demonstrating a willingness to comply with regs and laws, not projecting an image of an itinerant mentally ill drug addict, practicing LNT IN TOWN/at campgrounds/at TH's/EVERYWHERE!, being conscientious of commercial and residential concerns, letting them know I share many of their objectives, etc. I get a lot more acceptance and accommodation, even a welcomeness, when I align myself into a state like this rather than assuming my walk on this planet takes place in a bubble.

Here's the BEST part. I see the hysteria as an opportunity to demonstrate to them they may need to reexamine and change some of their generalities and perceptions. In short, it's an opportunity to change some minds. It's about leaving a place, a person, a thing, an atmosphere etc possibly in a better state than you found it. To me, that surely beats wasting resources simply complaining.

BaxterBear
12-15-2014, 04:04
People get comfort in what they understand. Some do not understand the so called 'gypsy' "thing". They want to surround themselves with others who are working their ass off with 85 hour workweeks and never getting ahead, and are just keeping their heads above water. They want to surround themselves with distractions and gadgets to try to mask the internal pain they are suffering on a daily basis. The pain comes from a profound regret of their life situation and they feel trapped without escape. They feel it's more acceptable to stay in this situation than to face the truly terrifying prospect of trying to break free of their life.

So, keeping this in mind, when they meet someone who is different from the type they surround themselves with to try to validate their life and debts they are VERY offended by them. They secretly see a strength and peace in such a person that they were not brave enough to find internally. That dirty thru-hiker or 'vagrant' does not have to go home to a family they thought they wanted, but finds out they truly dislike family life and are now stuck for life in it. That dirty thru-hiker or 'vagrant' does not have massive debt, and does not use the latest iPhone gadget to distract themselves if but for a moment of their situation.

That dirty thru-hiker or 'vagrant' while smelly, dirty, and has no home to go to that night is far more free than they will ever be.

In essence, people who are free spirited and 'break the norm' are direct and painful reflections on people who feel they are trapped in life.

My grandfather told me before he died so many years ago when I was a boy to live my life how I see fit, and do not become trapped. 'Stay fluid' is what he told me. Do not ever put permanent roots down he told me, for you might find the soil is toxic and now you are rooted into it, and that will slowly poison the soul.

I told my son something else, go live life to the fullest because while many have theorized what hell is, I know what is really is. Hell is being on your deathbed and someone visits you, a stranger. You slowly realize that this stranger is the person you would have become if you managed to get past the fears you held onto your entire life.

It's not a good feeling.