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JPritch
07-17-2017, 14:32
I read a review of a local hike the other day, and one reviewer scolded non-thru hikers for using shelters during the season.

Here is the quote:
Side note... if you are backpacking this loop in summer. Please leave the shelters for AT Thru Hikers, I noticed too many "weekenders" using the shelters to sleep in. poor form.

I'd never heard of this unwritten rule before, and IMO if somebody had the gall to question my use of a shelter in-season as a section hiker, I'd tell them where to shove their opinion. But that's me.

I can see not filling up an entire shelter with your youth/boy scout/church group etc..., but for individual hikers...come on.

Curious what you all think.

gpburdelljr
07-17-2017, 14:47
Any hiker has the right to use a shelter.

AllDownhillFromHere
07-17-2017, 14:59
The shelter is only full when the last person who needs it is inside. "thruhikers only" is not a thing.

Tennessee Viking
07-17-2017, 15:04
Most experienced thru-hikers will prefer to camp away from shelters.

And how do you identify thru-hikers from weekenders?

Lone Wolf
07-17-2017, 15:07
first come, first served. period. there is nothing special about a thru-hiker

lonehiker
07-17-2017, 16:10
And how do you identify thru-hikers from weekenders?

In short, and because I need 10 characters, smell.

T.S.Kobzol
07-17-2017, 16:20
bs. plus thru-hikers are so badass they can camp anywhere. :-)






I read a review of a local hike the other day, and one reviewer scolded non-thru hikers for using shelters during the season.

Here is the quote:
Side note... if you are backpacking this loop in summer. Please leave the shelters for AT Thru Hikers, I noticed too many "weekenders" using the shelters to sleep in. poor form.

I'd never heard of this unwritten rule before, and IMO if somebody had the gall to question my use of a shelter in-season as a section hiker, I'd tell them where to shove their opinion. But that's me.

I can see not filling up an entire shelter with your youth/boy scout/church group etc..., but for individual hikers...come on.

Curious what you all think.

Deadeye
07-17-2017, 16:35
first come, first served. period. there is nothing special about a thru-hiker

exactly that

Slo-go'en
07-17-2017, 17:11
Most experienced thru-hikers will prefer to camp away from shelters.
And how do you identify thru-hikers from weekenders?

Actually, experienced thru hikers love shelters, especially if it's raining or going to rain - and that has happened a lot this year. So, coming to a shelter late in the day and finding it full of some camp group or weekend warriors, is a significant disappointment.

It doesn't take too long for a thru-hiker to develop a distinct look (and smell) which makes them easy to identify. But unfortunately, that status doesn't grant you any special privileges in terms of shelter space. It can get you a discount with the AMC through the Whites, but that's about it.

capehiker
07-17-2017, 17:24
You should post the link so they can be corrected.

Sarcasm the elf
07-17-2017, 17:41
first come, first served. period. there is nothing special about a thru-hiker

This. Every year there are a few entitled schmucks that make claims like this that make all thru hikers look bad.

I was out in VT doing a section last week. On my first night as I got to a busy shelter area one of the first things out of a thru hikers mouth was "It looks like it's gonna rain, we can make room for you in the shelter if you need it." That's exactly how it should work.

soumodeler
07-17-2017, 17:52
I am more than happy to let the thru hikers (or anyone else for that matter) have the shelters, while I camp somewhere nicer, with significantly less mice!

But it is first come first serve.

Teacher & Snacktime
07-17-2017, 18:00
Perhaps someone could relay the "first come, first served" concept to UGPC. Last year we were told that we'd have to give up our bunks if thru-hikers came in late. Apparently the new management of this shelter by the AMC (?) did in fact indicate it's only for thru-hikers.


I went back and checked, and am happy to say that the description has been expanded to include section hikers.

http://www.outdoors.org/lodging-camping/camps-cabins/upper-goose/index.cfm

soilman
07-17-2017, 18:18
Actually, experienced thru hikers love shelters, especially if it's raining or going to rain - and that has happened a lot this year. So, coming to a shelter late in the day and finding it full of some camp group or weekend warriors, is a significant disappointment.

It doesn't take too long for a thru-hiker to develop a distinct look (and smell) which makes them easy to identify. But unfortunately, that status doesn't grant you any special privileges in terms of shelter space. It can get you a discount with the AMC through the Whites, but that's about it.

Yes, some thru hikers think they are entitled to special privileges. I stopped at the Chatfield shelter for the night and the shelter was nearly full with mostly thru hikers. Just before dark a hiker came in and declared "I am a thru hiker and hiked 20 miles today. Make room."

tdoczi
07-17-2017, 18:21
this never ends well when i interject this into these discussions-

it depends on the definition of "thru hiker."

while not often spoken off, printed, cited or i imagine enforced, in some places, most notably SNP, there is in fact a rule that basically says someone who parks their car, hikes a mile or two into the woods to a nearby shelter with the intention of staying there a night or two and then turning around and hiking back to their car is technically not allowed to do so. the shelters are intended for people who are "hiking through."

i don't think many people understand the reasoning behind this rule or agree with it in the least, even those amongst us who would never do something like this, but as someone who has more than once come across groups of people who have commandeered a shelter that was within an easy mile or two of a road and turned it into their own private weekend vacation getaway (and yes, ive had such people pretty much directly tell me that the shelter was "theirs" and i couldnt stay at it.) i understand fully and agree with such rules. the shelters are for people doing end to end hikes. not for lazy quasi car campers.

i sense perhaps a similar rule is in place wherever this was and one or more people grossly misunderstood or misapplied it.

soilman
07-17-2017, 18:29
Perhaps someone could relay the "first come, first served" concept to UGPC. Last year we were told that we'd have to give up our bunks if thru-hikers came in late. Apparently the new management of this shelter by the AMC (?) did in fact indicate it's only for thru-hikers.


I went back and checked, and am happy to say that the description has been expanded to include section hikers.

http://www.outdoors.org/lodging-camping/camps-cabins/upper-goose/index.cfm

When I stayed there in 2010 there definitely was a bias in favor of thru hikers. The bunks were not full but the non-thru hikers were all on tent pads. That evening another caretaker hiked in to visit with the current caretaker and brought about 6 half gallons of ice cream for the thru hikers. There were only 4 of us thru hiking staying at the cabin. There was no way we could eat all that ice cream. After we had our fill they called in the non-thru hikers to clean it up. At breakfast the thru hikers ate first.

SkeeterPee
07-17-2017, 20:31
this never ends well when i interject this into these discussions-

it depends on the definition of "thru hiker."

while not often spoken off, printed, cited or i imagine enforced, in some places, most notably SNP, there is in fact a rule that basically says someone who parks their car, hikes a mile or two into the woods to a nearby shelter with the intention of staying there a night or two and then turning around and hiking back to their car is technically not allowed to do so. the shelters are intended for people who are "hiking through."

i don't think many people understand the reasoning behind this rule or agree with it in the least, even those amongst us who would never do something like this, but as someone who has more than once come across groups of people who have commandeered a shelter that was within an easy mile or two of a road and turned it into their own private weekend vacation getaway (and yes, ive had such people pretty much directly tell me that the shelter was "theirs" and i couldnt stay at it.) i understand fully and agree with such rules. the shelters are for people doing end to end hikes. not for lazy quasi car campers.

i sense perhaps a similar rule is in place wherever this was and one or more people grossly misunderstood or misapplied it.

And the PA game lands are exactly opposite that. If you are out and back from your car you are only allowed to stay at/near shelters. Point to point hikers are allowed to disperse camp, but not out and back hikers. The purpose of this is to keep them from making a camp close to a road and have a party.

tdoczi
07-17-2017, 20:43
And the PA game lands are exactly opposite that. If you are out and back from your car you are only allowed to stay at/near shelters. Point to point hikers are allowed to disperse camp, but not out and back hikers. The purpose of this is to keep them from making a camp close to a road and have a party.
but if a shelter is near a road... theyre allowed to have a party there???

SkeeterPee
07-17-2017, 21:03
probably depends on what you mean by a party. For the majority of shelters are not that near the road, but some have other lanes/roads close enough that people come into party. I've move on when encountering an obvious weekend party crowd.

tdoczi
07-17-2017, 21:24
probably depends on what you mean by a party. For the majority of shelters are not that near the road, but some have other lanes/roads close enough that people come into party. I've move on when encountering an obvious weekend party crowd.

where PA game lands start and end is not something i'm near to clear on but i can think of a number of shelters in PA that would be potential spots for the kind of people i referenced in my first post in this thread and a rule encouraging rather than stopping that behavior seems... odd. i guess in a sense its a lesser of two evils when compared to dispersed camping of that nature.

i generally move on too. doesnt mean that it isnt annoying and that rules against it (even if they are, in the end, pointless) are wrong.

i once came upon a family of about 5 or 6 on a friday night at the hemlocks in MA (a shelter with a listed capacity of 10 that can probably hold 12 or 14 easily). when i approached the shelter and asked them where water was they proceeded to ask me where i was staying and offered many suggestions (all of them under the broad category of somewhere else) never once coming anywhere near suggesting there was room in the shelter if i wanted it.

on a different occasion i stopped at either seth warner or congdon in VT, just to get water, and was greeted by some obvious locals (it was only 2 people if i recall correctly) who categorically told me without any provocation that i could not stay there.

at dick's dome in VA i happened upon what was obviously a young college or perhaps even HS couple who thought of the shelter as their private spot in the woods.

at wilbur clearing i happened upon about 3 locals who had probably 4 or 5 growling, snarling dogs chained up (literally chains, not the kind made for dogs) at the shelter.

none of these activities is covered by "first come first served" these people don't belong at the shelters. is there truly a way to police this? of course not. that doesnt mean it should be implicitly allowed by not even attempting to make it at all clear that it isn't appropriate.

in the case of the family at hemlocks, they might have honestly not thought anything of it and may have acted differently if they understood the real purpose for the structure they were in's existence.

TexasBob
07-17-2017, 21:36
Everyone is a thru hiker until December 31.

SkeeterPee
07-17-2017, 21:37
I believe the thought is most groups planning to party are more likely to hike 1/2 mile from road and have a party at a fire ring. you see a lot of fire rings close to roads. But there are some shelters close to roads where this could also be a problem.

rickb
07-17-2017, 21:59
first come, first served. period. there is nothing special about a thru-hiker
Except they are all on the AT at pretty much the same time.

Just as the ATC encourages alternative thru hike itineraries to avoid over crowding, weekenders can help by avoiding AT shelters during periods of high use.

Its fine to suggest everyone has equal claim, but that is just common sense.

tdoczi
07-17-2017, 22:06
Except they are all on the AT at pretty much the same time.

Just as the ATC encourages alternative thru hike itineraries to avoid over crowding, weekenders can help by avoiding AT shelters during periods of high use.

Its fine to suggest everyone has equal claim, but that is just common sense.

why not thru hikers can avoid using shelters on weekends?

its just common sense...

brimstone
07-17-2017, 22:12
Seems that if there are rules for usage of shelters they should be posted at the shelter. Don't ever remember seeing any. Maybe rules would clarify things. People go to the woods to get away from rules, and signs. But going down the AT with a lot of other people around is not really going to the woods, it's just travelling to villages with more primitive structures and smaller thoroughfares than a town. If there are people there needs to be rules. And rules need to be posted so everyone knows what is acceptable behavior.

tdoczi
07-17-2017, 22:20
Seems that if there are rules for usage of shelters they should be posted at the shelter. Don't ever remember seeing any. Maybe rules would clarify things. People go to the woods to get away from rules, and signs. But going down the AT with a lot of other people around is not really going to the woods, it's just travelling to villages with more primitive structures and smaller thoroughfares than a town. If there are people there needs to be rules. And rules need to be posted so everyone knows what is acceptable behavior.

i agree, there should be some rules posted. sometimes there are, but the only place ive ever seen the rule i'm talking about printed is, i think, on the back of the maps for SNP.

it is definitely printed there, but if ive seen it anywhere else i dont know where it was.

i do know if there was something i could point to in the case of the people at the hemlocks i would have done so in as polite a manner as i could have mustered.

HooKooDooKu
07-17-2017, 23:09
You should post the link so they can be corrected.
For those too lazy to use google...
https://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/ThreeRidges/

lonehiker
07-18-2017, 00:51
It sucks to be a shelter baby...

BuckeyeBill
07-18-2017, 02:11
Give me my hammock and tarp any day of the week.

Starchild
07-18-2017, 08:43
why not thru hikers can avoid using shelters on weekends?

its just common sense...

Thru hikers are not on a week/weekend schedule, that is for people who are off trail. Many thru hikers don't even know what day of the week it is when asked, the only time they really need to know is when theiy visit the rest of the world for a town day.

Starchild
07-18-2017, 08:51
One should look at the history and reason for the shelters as well as the common use today as to why they are still there and replaced and added to.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 08:52
Thru hikers are not on a week/weekend schedule, that is for people who are off trail. Many thru hikers don't even know what day of the week it is when asked, the only time they really need to know is when theiy visit the rest of the world for a town day.
and whats a "weekender's" problem how exactly?

Lone Wolf
07-18-2017, 08:59
overnighters have equal rights to shelters

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 09:05
overnighters have equal rights to shelters

overnighters who are actually hiking, yes.

overnighters who are looking for a free place to hang out in the woods all weekend? no, sorry, i disagree.

SouthMark
07-18-2017, 09:14
Every thru hiker is really just a section hiker taking smaller breaks between their sections.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Starchild
07-18-2017, 09:17
overnighters who are actually hiking, yes.

overnighters who are looking for a free place to hang out in the woods all weekend? no, sorry, i disagree.

Part of the reason for shelters is for bad weather situations. Weekenders should be much more able to plan ahead and prepare (and not come), as such leaving them for thru hikers is more in line with LNT.

Lone Wolf
07-18-2017, 09:25
Part of the reason for shelters is for bad weather situations. Weekenders should be much more able to plan ahead and prepare (and not come), as such leaving them for thru hikers is more in line with LNT.

nope.........

10-K
07-18-2017, 09:29
What's a shelter?

Hooch
07-18-2017, 09:35
weekenders can help by avoiding AT shelters during periods of high use.Load. Of. Crap.


Its fine to suggest everyone has equal claim. . . .That's because everyone does have equal clam. As LW said, thru-hikers aren't special. They're actually in a fairly small minority of AT users.

FlyPaper
07-18-2017, 10:24
Section hikers typically have jobs and are either squeezing a hike into a weekend or perhaps taking a little time off work to enjoy a slightly longer period of time on the trail.

Thru-hikers are either jobless, or have taken a leave of absence and have temporarily checked out of normal society.

The idea that just because someone quit their job to hike somehow elevates their privilege for the use of the trail (and facilities) doesn't even sound right, and it is clearly not part of the rules.

I should point out that I've rarely (if ever) met a thru-hiker that claimed they had more right to a shelter than another hiker.

Gambit McCrae
07-18-2017, 12:13
Every year the more I tent, the more I dislike the shelters. thumbs up for whoever wants to stay in the shelter, more tenting spots for the sane

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 12:17
Every year the more I tent, the more I dislike the shelters. thumbs up for whoever wants to stay in the shelter, more tenting spots for the sane

every year it seems like less and less people want to stay at shelters. i love it. i hope their bad reputation gets worse and worse.

let all the people with mouse phobia who havent showered in days decry them as being "too dirty." more room for the sane people who want to carry as little as possible and do as little non-hiking work as possible.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 12:40
Every year the more I tent, the more I dislike the shelters. thumbs up for whoever wants to stay in the shelter, more tenting spots for the sane

side note- does this make you someone who *just* stays in their tent?

Gambit McCrae
07-18-2017, 12:40
IMO there is nothing better on the trail then a good creek bath, and getting to retreat to my private tent, leave a vestibule or 2 open for venting and sleep in the sounds of nature by my lonesome.

kestral
07-18-2017, 15:51
every year it seems like less and less people want to stay at shelters. i love it. i hope their bad reputation gets worse and worse.

let all the people with mouse phobia who havent showered in days decry them as being "too dirty." more room for the sane people who want to carry as little as possible and do as little non-hiking work as possible.

I'm not phobic of mice, I am phobic of the latrine! Scary buggy places.

Teacher & Snacktime
07-18-2017, 16:17
Part of the reason for shelters is for bad weather situations. Weekenders should be much more able to plan ahead and prepare (and not come), as such leaving them for thru hikers is more in line with LNT.

Perhaps we could, but why SHOULD we? My single overnight is a result of planning and scrounging for free time....unlike a thru who apparently has months at his/her disposal. Inclement weather is a fact of life on the trail, and all who enjoy the outdoors are entitled to all the trail has to offer....including a chance to come in from the rain or snow should they so choose.

Next some idiot will be suggesting that the water sources at shelters are for thrus only, and weekenders should have the courtesy to carry all they need or go thirsty so as to not usurp this resource.

Gambit McCrae
07-18-2017, 16:26
Part of the reason for shelters is for bad weather situations. Weekenders should be much more able to plan ahead and prepare (and not come), as such leaving them for thru hikers is more in line with LNT.

I will happily 100% disagree. Somebody walking 2200 miles should have proper shelter and be completely capable of setting up their shelter in the midst of bad weather. More so then someone out just for a weekend correct?

Shelters are equal opportunity. They don't care who stays in them.

"Hey your only out for the weekend, you had a better opportunity to see the weather, even tho I (thru hiker) got here after you, its raining and since you had access to a weather report sooner then I have, YOU go set your tent up" ....Oh boohoo get over it.

capt. photon
07-18-2017, 17:02
Groups have been ASKED to not use the shelters in some places along the trail as this is one block of people taking up the shelter. As far as small groups of w/e ders, shelters are open.

Dogwood
07-18-2017, 18:32
There are some accommodations at various AT lean to's and housing such as in GSMNP on the AT, AMC AT adjacent Huts, and in Baxter SP as well as special regs applying to AT thru hikers. PCT thrus have some added accommodating options as well even though it doesn't concern lean to's. This occurs in the form of a PCT Thru-hiker Permit where a PCT thru is determined as one doing a 500 mile or more continuous unbroken PCT ONLY hike So, Tdoczi has a valid point in who is to be determined as a thru-hiker - NOT BY THE DEBATING CROWD - but determined by officiating agencies

Dogwood
07-18-2017, 18:33
Groups have been ASKED to not use the shelters in some places along the trail as this is one block of people taking up the shelter. As far as small groups of w/e ders, shelters are open.
And, this affects other section hikers as well as thrus.

rickb
07-18-2017, 18:52
And, this affects other section hikers as well as thrus.
A group is just a set of individuals-- each one no more or less deserving of a shelter experience than anyone else.

The big difference with regard to AT shelters is that a group -- and camp and scout groups in particular -- have the ability to plan ahead and choose places that are not likely to be overcrowded. Weekenders have that ability as well.

Not saying anyone has any less of a claim on a shelter space-- just that common sense suggests we all factor in the carrying capacity of a particualr site when making our plans.

I expect there is a history at Upper Goose Pond which led to the policy there.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 19:02
A group is just a set of individuals-- each one no more or less deserving of a shelter experience than anyone else.

The big difference with regard to AT shelters is that a group -- and camp and scout groups in particular -- have the ability to plan ahead and choose places that are not likely to be overcrowded. Weekenders have that ability as well.



actually, no. (as is usually the case with most of your theories of late, and by of late, i mean the past 3 years or so).

i won't pretend to be able to adequately explain it, but in places where there is a differentiation between groups and non-groups (for instance, national park campsites that are on any sort of reservation system) it is because groups have been shown to have a higher environmental impact than non-groups. that is why, in a place with say, a policy that above 6 is a group, were you to get caught trying to circumvent this by dividing your group of 8 into 2 groups of 4 for purposes of securing non group campsites, you'd be in some degree of trouble. it isnt because as a group you should have been able to plan better and carry more gear, or whatever you were trying to say.

Dogwood
07-18-2017, 19:16
I'n not arguing with whom is more or less deserving but I can tell you there are campgrounds with specific designated GROUP SITES wher a s a solo hiker I may not be immediately allowed to camp EVEN THOUGH THE GROUP SITE IS EMPTY AND UNRESERVED and in many areas on other trails for walk ins or touring bicyclists ONLY or catering to thru-hikers. I'm getting off topic some as it doesn't specifically always apply to AT lean to's but for example AMC Hut work for stays at Huts on OR very close to the AT are quietely preferred to be given to AT thru hikers during peak AT thru-hiker periods rather than section hikers. There're lean to accommodations in BSP specifically set aside for thru hikers and other regs that seek to accommodate this user group while balancing it with other user's needs. Same for GSMNP on the AT.

Offshore
07-18-2017, 19:31
Except they are all on the AT at pretty much the same time.

Just as the ATC encourages alternative thru hike itineraries to avoid over crowding, weekenders can help by avoiding AT shelters during periods of high use.

Its fine to suggest everyone has equal claim, but that is just common sense.

Common sense tells me that weekenders will be using a shelter for one night out of seven and probably are limited to weekends due to their work schedules. Thrus are out for a 4 - 6 month long vacation and have the opportunity to use them the other 6. Despite what some may tell you, there is no special status granted by virtue hike length. The fact is that everyone does have equal claim to shelters, so if a thru gets upset to find a shelter full of weekenders, they are welcome to go pout in their tent. Luckily, I've found this this entitled attitude to be rare.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 19:35
I'n not arguing with whom is more or less deserving but I can tell you there are campgrounds with specific designated GROUP SITES wher a s a solo hiker I may not be immediately allowed to camp EVEN THOUGH THE GROUP SITE IS EMPTY AND UNRESERVED and in many areas on other trails for walk ins or touring bicyclists ONLY or catering to thru-hikers. I'm getting off topic some as it doesn't specifically always apply to AT lean to's but for example AMC Hut work for stays at Huts on OR very close to the AT are quietely preferred to be given to AT thru hikers during peak AT thru-hiker periods rather than section hikers. There're lean to accommodations in BSP specifically set aside for thru hikers and other regs that seek to accommodate this user group while balancing it with other user's needs. Same for GSMNP on the AT.
those situations you mention, and i'm not by any means saying i'm in favor of their existence, are because the logistics of going to those places and following the same rules as the general public would render a thru hike virtually impossible, or i suppose more properly stated- so difficult that rule breaking would be rampant and the respective powers that be would rather not deal with it.

Dogwood
07-18-2017, 19:53
With the two pro rah rah rah section hiker boo hoo to thru-hikers threads getting exposure I feel many have been watching an abundance of late night infomercial ambulance chasing personal injury lawsuit ads. What's next a section hiker class action anti discrimination and harassment lawsuit? Picketing at AT Lean to's and AT THs? :p :D :-?

Go Go we don't want no thrus. Equal access for all...

Kaptainkriz
07-18-2017, 20:03
And then there are those that set up their tents in the shelters.....I just don't get it.

Dogwood
07-18-2017, 20:07
I knew the tents in shelters topic was next.

Hikingjim
07-18-2017, 20:23
every year it seems like less and less people want to stay at shelters. i love it. i hope their bad reputation gets worse and worse.

let all the people with mouse phobia who havent showered in days decry them as being "too dirty." more room for the sane people who want to carry as little as possible and do as little non-hiking work as possible.


Staying in shelters doesn't change what I carry with me or save me any weight. I don't want to limit my options.
I will stay in shelters if I want people around. But 2/3 of the time I'm happy to be off in a quiet space elsewhere. The conveniences of the shelter often draw me closer, but I have stayed at a lot with of shelters with annoying people, and of course a lot with good people.
The mice and dirt are the least of my concerns at shelters.

Staying in shelters doesn't change what I carry with me. I don't want to limit my options.
I will stay in shelters if I want people around. But 2/3 of the time I'm happy to be off in a quiet space elsewhere. The conveniences of the shelter often draw me closer

AllDownhillFromHere
07-18-2017, 20:31
And then there are those that set up their tents in the shelters.....I just don't get it.
Said the man who's never been devoured by bugs while sleeping tentless in a shelter.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 20:33
Staying in shelters doesn't change what I carry with me or save me any weight. I don't want to limit my options.
I will stay in shelters if I want people around. But 2/3 of the time I'm happy to be off in a quiet space elsewhere. The conveniences of the shelter often draw me closer, but I have stayed at a lot with of shelters with annoying people, and of course a lot with good people.
The mice and dirt are the least of my concerns at shelters.

Staying in shelters doesn't change what I carry with me. I don't want to limit my options.
I will stay in shelters if I want people around. But 2/3 of the time I'm happy to be off in a quiet space elsewhere. The conveniences of the shelter often draw me closer
if the plan for my hike is to sleep at shelters every night and i have no reason to anticipate huge crowds i will not carry my tent. i dont care, there is nothing that could possibly be going on that would make me carry my tent in case i should spontaneously decide i dont want to stay at a shelter. i'm probably better at blocking out background nonsense than most people and i am perfectly willing to be the antisocial weirdo in the corner who doesnt want to join whatever party might be going on. i'll ignore people i dont want to talk to who try to engage me, its easy.

might i one day get burned by a full shelter? yup. and itll be a bad night when that happens. until it starts being a regular occurrence though the benefits to me far outweigh the risks.

i just got tired of carrying around a 3 lb piece of gear that if i was being honest with myself i was going to do anything i could to avoid using. that thing spent a lot of days at the bottom of my pack being dead and useless weight.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 20:34
Said the man who's never been devoured by bugs while sleeping tentless in a shelter.
set your tent up outside of the shelter. protection from the bugs will not be compromised.

AllDownhillFromHere
07-18-2017, 21:02
set your tent up outside of the shelter. protection from the bugs will not be compromised.
And pack a wet tent in the morning? No thanks.

ScareBear
07-18-2017, 21:28
And pack a wet tent in the morning? No thanks.

Now. I have read it all. Setting up a tent in a shelter to avoid bugs AND the rain.

I was hoping it was sarcasm. Yet, sadly, I suspect it is not.

Sarcasm the elf
07-18-2017, 21:42
Now. I have read it all. Setting up a tent in a shelter to avoid bugs AND the rain.

I was hoping it was sarcasm. Yet, sadly, I suspect it is not.

Wasn't me. I only setup my tent inside shelters in the winter :D
39895

gpburdelljr
07-18-2017, 22:10
The following is from the ATC website:

"Shelters are for all A.T. users. Hikers may occupy them on a first-come, first-served basis until the shelter is full. They are intended for individual hikers, not big groups."

Kaptainkriz
07-18-2017, 22:31
SNP's rules are a little different: Huts are three-sided structures located along the Appalachian Trail and for use by long-term hikers (who are out for three consecutive nights or more).

The following is from the ATC website:"Shelters are for all A.T. users. Hikers may occupy them on a first-come, first-served basis until the shelter is full. They are intended for individual hikers, not big groups."

Last Call
07-18-2017, 22:31
It's just common sense to let the thru-hikes have priority at the shelters, they do more miles and are considered "royalty" on the A.T...weekend warriors can set up their tents and have the privilege (maybe) of hearing the thru's holding forth around the campfire....

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 23:24
And pack a wet tent in the morning? No thanks.

i'm going with that was sarcasm. the alternative is too much for even me to bear.

tdoczi
07-18-2017, 23:25
The following is from the ATC website:

"Shelters are for all A.T. users."

so, if someone were to access a shelter that is, lets say, .2 miles off the AT without ever setting foot on the AT itself....

AllDownhillFromHere
07-19-2017, 00:04
i'm going with that was sarcasm. the alternative is too much for even me to bear.
Explain why the idea of pitching a tent inside a shelter is unbearable?

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 00:09
Explain why the idea of pitching a tent inside a shelter is unbearable?
naah, i'm good. you knock your bad self out.

AllDownhillFromHere
07-19-2017, 01:01
naah, i'm good. you knock your bad self out.
Classic Internet badass.

MuddyWaters
07-19-2017, 01:02
so, if someone were to access a shelter that is, lets say, .2 miles off the AT without ever setting foot on the AT itself....
It would be perfectly OK

If your dependent on shelters such that you care who uses them, youve got issues. I wish theyd remove every last one. Reduce trail use significantly.

Although i kinda likes it if raining, its a luxury, not necessity.

Alligator
07-19-2017, 01:45
Explain why the idea of pitching a tent inside a shelter is unbearable?I don't think it is unbearable but to a degree it is self-entitled. Shelters have an intended capacity. If that intended capacity cannot be achieved because your tent is hogging up the space, then that's a lack of respect for other hikers. Doing so during spring through fall is problematic due to traffic. If you can't deal with a wet tent maybe you shouldn't be outside.

Alligator
07-19-2017, 02:01
if the plan for my hike is to sleep at shelters every night and i have no reason to anticipate huge crowds i will not carry my tent. i dont care, there is nothing that could possibly be going on that would make me carry my tent in case i should spontaneously decide i dont want to stay at a shelter. i'm probably better at blocking out background nonsense than most people and i am perfectly willing to be the antisocial weirdo in the corner who doesnt want to join whatever party might be going on. i'll ignore people i dont want to talk to who try to engage me, its easy.

might i one day get burned by a full shelter? yup. and itll be a bad night when that happens. until it starts being a regular occurrence though the benefits to me far outweigh the risks.

i just got tired of carrying around a 3 lb piece of gear that if i was being honest with myself i was going to do anything i could to avoid using. that thing spent a lot of days at the bottom of my pack being dead and useless weight.
This is completely irresponsible. You could get injured midway between shelters. You could underestimate the terrain and be caught out in the dark. The one time you encounter a full shelter could be the start of the last time you ever need shelter. That one time might the beginning of a string of events that makes that happen.

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 06:56
It would be perfectly OK

If your dependent on shelters such that you care who uses them, youve got issues. I wish theyd remove every last one. Reduce trail use significantly.

Although i kinda likes it if raining, its a luxury, not necessity.
i was just pointing out a loophole in the wording of the rule and also pondering the idea of what exactly an "AT user" is.

put differently- is the AT there so people can walk to the shelter and use it, or is the shelter there as a place for people who are using the AT to stay? there is a valid and important distinction there i don't think many of us are considering.

"AT user" to my mind means people who are using the shelter for it's own sake and the AT is just coincidentally how they get there are excluded.

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 06:58
This is completely irresponsible. You could get injured midway between shelters. You could underestimate the terrain and be caught out in the dark. The one time you encounter a full shelter could be the start of the last time you ever need shelter. That one time might the beginning of a string of events that makes that happen.

i carry an emergency shelter. it is not something i want to use, but, i'd survive if i had to use it. it is many times lighter than carrying a tent i actually want to sleep in.

MisterQ
07-19-2017, 07:01
And pack a wet tent in the morning? No thanks.

Rain and bugs are usually an either/or proposition, no?

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 07:03
I don't think it is unbearable but to a degree it is self-entitled. Shelters have an intended capacity. If that intended capacity cannot be achieved because your tent is hogging up the space, then that's a lack of respect for other hikers. Doing so during spring through fall is problematic due to traffic. If you can't deal with a wet tent maybe you shouldn't be outside.

much like my example of the family of 5 at the hemlocks, it as you say, disregards the shelter capacity. to me, both are examples of an attitude which basically says "i got here first so as much of this, up to and including all of it, is now mine."

thats the problem with just saying "first come, first serve."

egilbe
07-19-2017, 07:12
much like my example of the family of 5 at the hemlocks, it as you say, disregards the shelter capacity. to me, both are examples of an attitude which basically says "i got here first so as much of this, up to and including all of it, is now mine."

thats the problem with just saying "first come, first serve."

first come, first served does not grant exclusive rights to more than your fair share, which is the width of your sleeping pad. Any more than that and one is a shelter troll.

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 08:22
first come, first served does not grant exclusive rights to more than your fair share, which is the width of your sleeping pad. Any more than that and one is a shelter troll.

i know that.

some don't. or they dont care. rules explaining that explicitly might have some impact on those who are simply ignorant and would do the right thing if they werent.

but any attempt at any sort of rule making or discussion in regards to who can use a shelter and how seems to always be met with hostility by a certain segment of the hiking populous who just spouts "first come, first served!"

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 08:23
Rain and bugs are usually an either/or proposition, no?
the main reason why i just went with the theory he was being sarcastic.

MuddyWaters
07-19-2017, 08:44
first come, first served does not grant exclusive rights to more than your fair share, which is the width of your sleeping pad. Any more than that and one is a shelter troll.
If you cant show this written in a regulation.....then its just made up.

Yeah, it would be common sense and consideration for others, but a rule....its not. And not everyone has consideration for others. Like when people hiking together commandeer a shelter by spacing themselves apart, strangers are reluctant to get between friends

Some scatter their gear around them, taking up space a perdon could, hoping no one askd to move it. Lots try to save space for friends with little tricks

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 09:09
If you cant show this written in a regulation.....then its just made up.

Yeah, it would be common sense and consideration for others, but a rule....its not. And not everyone has consideration for others. Like when people hiking together commandeer a shelter by spacing themselves apart, strangers are reluctant to get between friends

Some scatter their gear around them, taking up space a perdon could, hoping no one askd to move it

which is exactly why there should be, and in some places are, rules about this.

why so many people, who i assume dont act in this manner to begin with anyway, act so hostile to that notion i don't know.

maybe it is because they assume everyone is as courteous as they are, but i have a hard time imagining that any experienced backpacker has never once ran across someone, in some way hogging or otherwise doing something obviously inappropriate in or with one of the shelters.

MuddyWaters
07-19-2017, 09:11
which is exactly why there should be, and in some places are, rules about this.
.

Or maybe.....its why there should be less expectations for shelters

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 09:20
Or maybe.....its why there should be less expectations for shelters

what is your issue with their being rules? you wish to allow inconsiderate people to continue being inconsiderate?

aside from the difficulty of enforcing them, why be against the notion of their existence? in the few places where they do exist almost everyone, despite the fact that they themselves probably never violate them, think theyre dumb and should not exist. why?

Starchild
07-19-2017, 09:51
Common sense tells me that weekenders will be using a shelter for one night out of seven and probably are limited to weekends due to their work schedules. Thrus are out for a 4 - 6 month long vacation and have the opportunity to use them the other 6. Despite what some may tell you, there is no special status granted by virtue hike length. The fact is that everyone does have equal claim to shelters, so if a thru gets upset to find a shelter full of weekenders, they are welcome to go pout in their tent. Luckily, I've found this this entitled attitude to be rare.
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 10:28
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.

well, no one can say there havent been some.... fascinating... posts in this thread.

Ethesis
07-19-2017, 10:43
I've had people chase me down and force Trail magic on me during a section hike.

(It was chocolate and I'm allergic).

I gave up and and just took it.

They obviously didn't care that I wasn't on a through hike.

That said, groups grabbing shelters, people taking three spots each and pushing others out into the sleet and other bad behavior does call for some better social norming.

gpburdelljr
07-19-2017, 12:20
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.
Well aren't you special, bless your heart.

rickb
07-19-2017, 12:57
As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.
I have no experience with crowded shelters in Georgia during the NOBO bubble, but I suspect that many of the people participating in is thread have.

So a sincere question.

Putting an individual's unquestionable rights aside, doesn't it make sense for weekenders to find alternative places to camp during the very busiest time of the year?

Not because they are somehow less important, but rather simply because their circumstances are different -- they will have access to a whole lot a hiking options, right?

Seems to me that is common sense-- don't add to the problem (crowded shelters) if it doesn't cost you anything.

I also have no experience with the Three Ridges Trail that gave rise to this thread, but I would think that details matter -- like just how crowded shelters get there when the bubble comes through.

Lone Wolf
07-19-2017, 13:03
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.
that's funny. and such BS

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 13:04
I have no experience with crowded shelters in Georgia during the NOBO bubble, but I suspect that many of the people participating in is thread have.

So a sincere question.

Putting an individual's unquestionable rights aside, doesn't it make sense for weekenders to find alternative places to camp during the very busiest time of the year?

Not because they are somehow less important, but rather simply because their circumstances are different -- they will have access to a whole lot a hiking options, right?

Seems to me that is common sense-- don't add to the problem (crowded shelters) if it doesn't cost you anything.

I also have no experience with the Three Ridges Trail that gave rise to this thread, but I would think that details matter -- like just how crowded shelters get there when the bubble comes through.

to answer your question. no. anything else?

i will say though it is interesting to me that three ridges was the specific location in reference to which this hike was made.

why? because three ridges is near SNP, and in SNP you have the regulations i mentioned concerning "hiking through" as opposed to "thru hikers."

i am now more convinced this is the source of the confusion.

MuddyWaters
07-19-2017, 13:16
what is your issue with their being rules? you wish to allow inconsiderate people to continue being inconsiderate?

aside from the difficulty of enforcing them, why be against the notion of their existence? in the few places where they do exist almost everyone, despite the fact that they themselves probably never violate them, think theyre dumb and should not exist. why?

Some things are worth rules
Some things aint

Feral Bill
07-19-2017, 13:23
I suppose it is worth mentioning that some, perhaps many, shelters were built before there was such a thing as a thru hiker, let alone large numbers of them.

Sarcasm the elf
07-19-2017, 13:35
I suppose it is worth mentioning that some, perhaps many, shelters were built before there was such a thing as a thru hiker, let alone large numbers of them.

It could also be mentioned that when the trail was built it was intended for section hiking and shorter term use, the idea of thru hiking was never considered a factor. It always was and still is simply a footpath for those seeking fellowship with the wilderness.

FreeGoldRush
07-19-2017, 14:23
Are shelters really worth fighting over? I'm still new at this but have done nearly 300 miles on the AT this summer. Still have never slept in a shelter but have visited quite a few at this point. They can be really nasty places. The inside of my tent is a vastly more upscale environment. I have eaten lunch at shelters a few times and they are always buzzing with bees or flies. Both insects and rodents are looking for food scraps, including the food you are currently eating. The smells around shelters are that of burnt fire mixed with food. I can't even imagine adding a bunch of smelly hikers with all their food packages getting opened up.

Give me a nice flat piece of ground any day over a shelter.

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 14:39
Are shelters really worth fighting over? I'm still new at this but have done nearly 300 miles on the AT this summer. Still have never slept in a shelter but have visited quite a few at this point. They can be really nasty places. The inside of my tent is a vastly more upscale environment. I have eaten lunch at shelters a few times and they are always buzzing with bees or flies. Both insects and rodents are looking for food scraps, including the food you are currently eating. The smells around shelters are that of burnt fire mixed with food. I can't even imagine adding a bunch of smelly hikers with all their food packages getting opened up.

Give me a nice flat piece of ground any day over a shelter.
1500 miles done here, mostly sleeping in shelters, and i've never been at THAT one.

how does one burn fire?

soilman
07-19-2017, 15:05
I have no experience with crowded shelters in Georgia during the NOBO bubble, but I suspect that many of the people participating in is thread have.

So a sincere question.

Putting an individual's unquestionable rights aside, doesn't it make sense for weekenders to find alternative places to camp during the very busiest time of the year?

Not because they are somehow less important, but rather simply because their circumstances are different -- they will have access to a whole lot a hiking options, right?

Seems to me that is common sense-- don't add to the problem (crowded shelters) if it doesn't cost you anything.

I also have no experience with the Three Ridges Trail that gave rise to this thread, but I would think that details matter -- like just how crowded shelters get there when the bubble comes through.

On my second day of my NOBO I stopped at Gooch Gap shelter to eat lunch and get out of the rain. When I arrived the shelter was near capacity with NOBO's who apparently didn't hike in the rain. They asked me if I passed the boy scouts. I hadn't but a short time later about 20 scouts and 5 or 6 leaders came up to the shelter looking for space. They were quickly told the shelter was at capacity. I hiked on to Gooch Gap to tent. I didn't want to be around that. In this case I think it was irresponsible for the leaders to expect shelter space during the height of thru hiking season. Plus their group was too large. I ran into several large boy scout troops in GA. As an aside, the only shelter I slept in in GA was Stover Creek because it was my first night, it was fairly new, large and basically empty.

BobTheBuilder
07-19-2017, 15:43
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. NOPE Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. NOPE Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. NOPE So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight,NOPE as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. NOPE And they deserve it, NOPEThey are doing something wonderful, NOPE something few people dare to do, NOPE but so needed in society NOPE - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams. NOPE

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem NOPE, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.NOPE

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod NOPE and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude NOPE. It's unofficial , but karmically correct NOPE, a show of respect.
Just, NOPE.

rickb
07-19-2017, 17:11
to answer your question. no. anything else?

Sure.

In your personal experience, do you find many weekend hikers at the Georgia shelters (or shelter areas) during the height of the thru hiking season?

I expect there are some, but I have no idea if the numbers are in anyway significant.

I would think that most weekenders would want to stay away then. Not because they don't have every bit as much "right" to shelter space, but because alternative options abound, and because they just don't want to contribute to the over crowding.

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 17:19
Sure.

In your personal experience, do you find many weekend hikers at the Georgia shelters (or shelter areas) during the height of the thru hiking season?

I expect there are some, but I have no idea if the numbers are in anyway significant.

I would think that most weekenders would want to stay away then. Not because they don't have every bit as much "right" to shelter space, but because alternative options abound, and because they just don't want to contribute to the over crowding.

never been to GA during peak season, dont plan on ever going.

if i did, i would go aware that its likely i may not get a shelter spot.

were i to arrive at a shelter and there was space for me, i would have negative 1,000,000 qualms about taking it.

SkeeterPee
07-19-2017, 17:43
Sure.

In your personal experience, do you find many weekend hikers at the Georgia shelters (or shelter areas) during the height of the thru hiking season?

I expect there are some, but I have no idea if the numbers are in anyway significant.

I would think that most weekenders would want to stay away then. Not because they don't have every bit as much "right" to shelter space, but because alternative options abound, and because they just don't want to contribute to the over crowding.

Don't know about GA, but the bubble is getting so long that you would be avoiding areas for 2-3 months. I was hiking southern PA to VA at end of May and the shelters were full. The hikers said they were the early faster bubble, but not the point of the spear, much bigger bubble to follow. Some we passed could be section hikers, but you can kind of tell and we would see about 20/day of thru hikers since we were going southbound.

While I would try to avoid the bubble, I am also working on sections so I am going to go to a section I have not done and would not worry too much if that meant that I was in the bubble.

Alligator
07-19-2017, 17:45
i carry an emergency shelter. it is not something i want to use, but, i'd survive if i had to use it. it is many times lighter than carrying a tent i actually want to sleep in.You did mention in your post that you had emergency shelter in the event of being "shut out". Thank you for carrying something for shelter though and my apologies for assuming you had nothing else.


much like my example of the family of 5 at the hemlocks, it as you say, disregards the shelter capacity. to me, both are examples of an attitude which basically says "i got here first so as much of this, up to and including all of it, is now mine."

thats the problem with just saying "first come, first serve."I agree with you that family had no right to do that. I do not agree that it follows from "first come, first serve". The concept of capacity should be understood from that. You don't get to show up at a megashelter alone and claim the whole thing. Even in everyday parlance, in most situations there is more than one item available for "first come, first served".

Teacher & Snacktime
07-19-2017, 18:11
Just, NOPE.

Is there a "like" button somewhere? I'm with you!

Alligator
07-19-2017, 18:13
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.These very thoughts are the kind of attitude that leads to self-entitled thrus thinking rules don't apply to them because they are "special" people.

Thruhikers are very often escaping life-divorced, job change, personal problems etc. Don't kid yourself there.

The shelters are a public resource and as most excellently pointed out by Feral Bill and Sarcasm the elf, shelters were not built, nor the trail designed for thruhikers. That nod you are talking about is a nod of snotty exceptionalism and has no place within an egalitarian trail.

MuddyWaters
07-19-2017, 18:25
Planned food for people on vacation, isnt magic.

Its fools wasting their time and money trying to feel "connected" to hikers. Or buy friends. .

Its rampant on all trails now. Needs to be discouraged.
Many are breaking laws leaving unnatended food cache on nfs land, and are too ignorant to know it. All they want is someone to like them..or give them facebook recognition

Hiker groupies.....

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 18:27
You did mention in your post that you had emergency shelter in the event of being "shut out". Thank you for carrying something for shelter though and my apologies for assuming you had nothing else.

I agree with you that family had no right to do that. I do not agree that it follows from "first come, first serve". The concept of capacity should be understood from that. You don't get to show up at a megashelter alone and claim the whole thing. Even in everyday parlance, in most situations there is more than one item available for "first come, first served".
i think its a matter of seeing things from different perspectives. i dont know the people in this example came to know of the existence of the hemlocks, but to their mind, i would guess they saw it as a cabin in the woods that was free to whoever wanted to use it.

in terms of sleeping a bunch of hikers all on top of one another, it has a certain capacity. this concept is likely completely foreign to them and people like them. to their mind, i can see how it could be seen as a comfortable place for 5 people to spread out and enjoy.

another possibility, though admittedly remote, is there are other places where the policy is if you arrive at a shelter first it is now yours, whether you are one person or 5, and it is clearly established you dont have to share. so these things arent, i dont think, obvious to people who arent AT hikers.

i think a sign stating the capacity of the shelter and what its intended use is would be a good thing. they have them in places like the smokies, why not all over?

Alligator
07-19-2017, 18:49
I have no experience with crowded shelters in Georgia during the NOBO bubble, but I suspect that many of the people participating in is thread have.

So a sincere question.

Putting an individual's unquestionable rights aside, doesn't it make sense for weekenders to find alternative places to camp during the very busiest time of the year?

Not because they are somehow less important, but rather simply because their circumstances are different -- they will have access to a whole lot a hiking options, right?

Seems to me that is common sense-- don't add to the problem (crowded shelters) if it doesn't cost you anything.

I also have no experience with the Three Ridges Trail that gave rise to this thread, but I would think that details matter -- like just how crowded shelters get there when the bubble comes through.


Sure.

In your personal experience, do you find many weekend hikers at the Georgia shelters (or shelter areas) during the height of the thru hiking season?

I expect there are some, but I have no idea if the numbers are in anyway significant.

I would think that most weekenders would want to stay away then. Not because they don't have every bit as much "right" to shelter space, but because alternative options abound, and because they just don't want to contribute to the over crowding.Thruhikers have the option to walk an alternate route. They are the ones creating the bubble. Why should everybody else accommodate them? Go southbound right;)? They could hike another less crowded long distance trail too.

Weekenders don't always have access to other overnight hiking. (NJ comes to mind.) They might not have time to drive anywhere. Or, everywhere else could be crowded too. Or, they are a sectioner and that's the time of year they have to hike and where they need to get done, just like a thruhiker has chosen that time in their life to do it. A thruhiker's choice is no more important than a sectioner's, a weekenders, or any other overnight hiker's choice. It's everybody's trail. (And I'm not leaving out day hikers but the issue is shelter use.)

I do generally avoid the bubble because I don't want to scramble for campsite space. I don't want to share a shelter either but in some stretches, the campsite space is limited, and I do have an itinerary to follow. Too long a day impacts the next and I may have a bus or train to catch. I did hike GA in the tail end of NOBO season once. Mostly out of curiosity. In general though, I don't hike in the bubble, most times that is a concession I make regarding thruhikers. What concession is a NOBO thruhiker making to everyone else who wants to use the trail? The people that hike for solitude ...CRUSHED by the bubble.

putts
07-19-2017, 19:08
another possibility, though admittedly remote, is there are other places where the policy is if you arrive at a shelter first it is now yours, whether you are one person or 5, and it is clearly established you dont have to share. so these things arent, i dont think, obvious to people who arent AT hikers.


Good point. In Maine for instance, A family or individual may have camped in a Baxter Park lean to, or one of the lean tos at Abol Pines - where you pay the fee and have the lean to for your own private use. (Abol Pines is first come-first-served, Baxter you reserve) Those who are out having their first AT experiences simply may not know that things are different, and that lean tos are not private.

And they are not just for hikers attempting a thru.

Turbo Bear the Great: "Hi, I started at Springer a few weeks ago. I'm a thru hiker! Make room for me!"

Jim from Old Town: "Hi I'm just doing a section- from Monson to Neel Gap...I am humbled in your presence sir. Since you are a Thru Hiker, and I am just a section hiker, I believe you are entitled to this spot in the shelter and also all of the pegs on the wall to dry out your gear. In the morning you get to use the privy first, and I'm told you get your butt wiped for you too."

Cosmo
07-19-2017, 19:27
Right On, MW. Can't tell you how many stinking (literally) coolers with empty cans, wrappers and bugs I've hauled out of the woods--and those are the good ones that haven't been scattered by critters or humans.

It's sad that people can spend time and money 'helping' vacationers spending 1000s of dollars on a 5 month trip, but won't even consider spending a day actually contributing to the effort local volunteers are doing to make it possible.

Cosmo


Planned food for people on vacation, isnt magic.

Its fools wasting their time and money trying to feel "connected" to hikers. Or buy friends. .

Its rampant on all trails now. Needs to be discouraged.
Many are breaking laws leaving unnatended food cache on nfs land, and are too ignorant to know it. All they want is someone to like them..or give them facebook recognition

Hiker groupies.....

tdoczi
07-19-2017, 23:57
Good point. In Maine for instance, A family or individual may have camped in a Baxter Park lean to, or one of the lean tos at Abol Pines - where you pay the fee and have the lean to for your own private use. (Abol Pines is first come-first-served, Baxter you reserve) Those who are out having their first AT experiences simply may not know that things are different, and that lean tos are not private.

And they are not just for hikers attempting a thru.

Turbo Bear the Great: "Hi, I started at Springer a few weeks ago. I'm a thru hiker! Make room for me!"

Jim from Old Town: "Hi I'm just doing a section- from Monson to Neel Gap...I am humbled in your presence sir. Since you are a Thru Hiker, and I am just a section hiker, I believe you are entitled to this spot in the shelter and also all of the pegs on the wall to dry out your gear. In the morning you get to use the privy first, and I'm told you get your butt wiped for you too."
interesting about baxter, didnt know that, ive yet to visit.

i was specifically thinking of my recent trip to isle royale. it is an explicitly stated policy that if you claim a shelter there it is yours and you most definitely do not have to share it with anyone. the feeling and impression i got was that this is so much the case that if you were to walk up to 2 people in an otherwise empty shelter and ask if you could stay there you'd be committing a serious breach of etiquette unless you were stuck out in some sort of life threatening storm.

not saying that this explains the people i met at the hemlocks, but just saying.... you take someone whos not an AT person whos prior experience is in a vein such as that and drop them on the AT for one night or weekend, what do you think theyre going to do if there is no clear instruction to the contrary? we cant expect everyone who ever touches the AT for 2 second to have a read a guidebook. thats assuming they even know theyre on the AT. i suspect way more people you find out hiking are oblivious to that fact than most of us tend to think.

Alligator
07-20-2017, 00:22
Of course you might get newbie hikers on the AT that are unfamiliar with how the shelter system works. From time to time we get a member here who asks how the shelter system works. I don't know how frequent this happens because because I generally "retire" from the shelter if someone comes along and will be using it. I might put my pack in the shelter, pull a little stuff out, cook dinner. If someone comes along, I usually note they are welcome to stay in the shelter. If they do, I will move out. If they wonder why I tell them I snore, which is true. If I know someone is heading to the shelter or there is traffic, I'll just pick out a campsite when I arrive. So i don't run into this issue. I don't think I ever had a situation where somebody claimed the shelter. I have cruised in late and not been offered space or an acknowledgment that space existed. I wouldn't take it anyway though.

Now if you run into this situation often, I suggest going to this link http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/thru-hiking/shelters , printing it as a pdf, and stashing it on your phone. If you have service at the shelter, even better. When you run into this situation, explain that the shelters are intended for all hikers until the shelter sleeping capacity is reached. Explain who the ATC is and if they don't believe you, give them the link or show them your pdf. Be the unofficial ridgerunner for the evening. If you don't want to deal with it, there's pretty much always a campsite within walking distance.

Dogwood
07-20-2017, 03:24
interesting about baxter, didnt know that, ive yet to visit.

i was specifically thinking of my recent trip to isle royale. it is an explicitly stated policy that if you claim a shelter there it is yours and you most definitely do not have to share it with anyone. the feeling and impression i got was that this is so much the case that if you were to walk up to 2 people in an otherwise empty shelter and ask if you could stay there you'd be committing a serious breach of etiquette unless you were stuck out in some sort of life threatening storm.

not saying that this explains the people i met at the hemlocks, but just saying.... you take someone whos not an AT person whos prior experience is in a vein such as that and drop them on the AT for one night or weekend, what do you think theyre going to do if there is no clear instruction to the contrary? we cant expect everyone who ever touches the AT for 2 second to have a read a guidebook. thats assuming they even know theyre on the AT. i suspect way more people you find out hiking are oblivious to that fact than most of us tend to think.

OK I'm thinkin of Isle Royale shelter experiences too...as you describe. On one trip I had a 5-6 person screened shelter to myself. All others were taken. A couple showed up in the rain. They communicated asking politely "do you mind if we share; we just want to lay out in our sleeping bags; our tent got a tear in it
What do you think was my reply?

Another time it was me arriving in a light rain in the midst of a skeeter swarm. All screened shelters were taken. Several parties doubling up. I wanted to be inside a screened enclosure that night. One shelter there was a lone kayaker/hiker upon seeing me slapping away without me saying a word offered to share.

It doesnt take a guidebook or posted rules to know in your heart and mind how and when to be kind and considerate Tdozci.I expect no matter the shelter rules people are accustomed communicated kindnesses and caring for others transcends it.

I've truly never read so many posts regarding contentious, easily offended, and overbearing drama at lean tos.

rickb
07-20-2017, 04:47
I've truly never read so many posts regarding contentious, easily offended, and overbearing drama at lean tos.
Really?

In this thread?

ScareBear
07-20-2017, 05:41
Really?

In this thread?

This isn't the "Why can't my dog sleep in the shelter?" thread?

tdoczi
07-20-2017, 06:32
Of course you might get newbie hikers on the AT that are unfamiliar with how the shelter system works. From time to time we get a member here who asks how the shelter system works. I don't know how frequent this happens because because I generally "retire" from the shelter if someone comes along and will be using it. I might put my pack in the shelter, pull a little stuff out, cook dinner. If someone comes along, I usually note they are welcome to stay in the shelter. If they do, I will move out. If they wonder why I tell them I snore, which is true. If I know someone is heading to the shelter or there is traffic, I'll just pick out a campsite when I arrive. So i don't run into this issue. I don't think I ever had a situation where somebody claimed the shelter. I have cruised in late and not been offered space or an acknowledgment that space existed. I wouldn't take it anyway though.

Now if you run into this situation often, I suggest going to this link http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/thru-hiking/shelters , printing it as a pdf, and stashing it on your phone. If you have service at the shelter, even better. When you run into this situation, explain that the shelters are intended for all hikers until the shelter sleeping capacity is reached. Explain who the ATC is and if they don't believe you, give them the link or show them your pdf. Be the unofficial ridgerunner for the evening. If you don't want to deal with it, there's pretty much always a campsite within walking distance.
carry a phone while hiking? baah!!

so why not print that out and post it at all shelters?

tdoczi
07-20-2017, 06:41
It doesnt take a guidebook or posted rules to know in your heart and mind how and when to be kind and considerate Tdozci.I expect no matter the shelter rules people are accustomed communicated kindnesses and caring for others transcends it.


so the family who commandeered the hemlocks... unkind? the young couple at dick's dome too?...i wouldnt say that. but then again i do tend think most people who are doing something they arent supposed to or shouldnt do are simply ignorant.

tdoczi
07-20-2017, 06:50
OK I'm thinkin of Isle Royale shelter experiences too...

as far as IRNP goes, all i was getting as was that i were to arrive at a campsite there and see all the shelters were full, i would simply get out my tent (i carried it there) and thatd be the end of it. i wouldnt even consider asking someone if i could stay in the shelter with them. on the AT, i do of course do so.

there are different traditions, rules, etc whatever you want to call them at different places, that was my only point. at IRNP it was made pretty clear that once someone sticks their permit on the outside of the shelter its their's. and i have no problem with this way of operating. maybe if i was there in more crowded or more weather adverse conditions i'd have a different feel of the place.

Offshore
07-20-2017, 07:43
Good point. In Maine for instance, A family or individual may have camped in a Baxter Park lean to, or one of the lean tos at Abol Pines - where you pay the fee and have the lean to for your own private use. (Abol Pines is first come-first-served, Baxter you reserve) Those who are out having their first AT experiences simply may not know that things are different, and that lean tos are not private.

I suppose it would be unreasonable to think that since they didn't reserve or pay for shelter, that they may realize that it may not be private for their exclusive use. They'd probably find out pretty quickly though...

Offshore
07-20-2017, 07:45
This isn't the "Why can't my dog sleep in the shelter?" thread?
I get the best sleep when I put my dog in its own tent next to my own tent in the shelter...

Venchka
07-20-2017, 08:06
Page 13 on a problem that doesn't exist in most of the country.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

tdoczi
07-20-2017, 08:18
Page 13 on a problem that doesn't exist in most of the country.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

everything ever discussed on this website, on the internet in general for that matter, is a problem that doesnt exist in most of the country.

Slo-go'en
07-20-2017, 09:52
Page 13 on a problem that doesn't exist in most of the country.
Wayne

But it is a problem which exists on the AT, for which this discussion applies.

Another problem are the squatters who make a shelter their home, typically at shelters which are easy to get to from a road. They claim to be "hiking the trail" but you can tell right away their not.

dmax
07-20-2017, 10:02
I've seen a sign at Wise shelter stating its for thru hikers only.

tdoczi
07-20-2017, 10:36
I've seen a sign at Wise shelter stating its for thru hikers only.

i was at wise last year, and stayed the night, along with 3 or 4 other hikers who were definitely not thrus. if there was a sign, i didnt notice it.

being (i believe) on state park lands i would lean towards thinking, if there was a sign, it was indicating, much as in other places, that it is for people who are "hiking through"

imscotty
07-20-2017, 12:08
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.
This thread is making me wish they would just tear all the shelters down.

Dogwood
07-20-2017, 12:17
WB AT drama.

So much BS. Some threads here are no better than the Yahoo or YouTube comments section.

Between this and the other polarizing hiker vs thru hiker thread it's becoming obvious sentiments are being alowed to reach higher than mildly annoyed proportions. Even if all AT lean to's were removed those with contentious easily offended and questionably socially inept child like behaviors would still find something to bitch about. So very fortunate what can be represented here is not always what is experienced in the on trail.

PennyPincher
07-20-2017, 12:18
But it is a problem which exists on the AT, for which this discussion applies.

Another problem are the squatters who make a shelter their home, typically at shelters which are easy to get to from a road. They claim to be "hiking the trail" but you can tell right away their not.

This is why I never plan on camping near any road crossings whether at a shelter or tent only location.

PennyPincher
07-20-2017, 12:19
This thread is making me wish they would just tear all the shelters down.


This. SO much this.

Slo-go'en
07-20-2017, 12:24
This thread is making me wish they would just tear all the shelters down.

Why? Most of the year shelters stand empty. Sure there are places and times of the year when they are overflowing, but I've spent many a night alone in a shelter. Some of it is luck, some of it is timing.

A typical shelter sleeps 6 to 8 people. Some can hold up to 15. If you removed the shelter, no way would 6, 8 or 15 tents fit into the same area.

Sarcasm the elf
07-20-2017, 13:01
I get the best sleep when I put my dog in its own tent next to my own tent in the shelter...
I hope you at least use a pup tent. :o

Dogwood
07-20-2017, 13:04
This. SO much this.

Its not the shelters Penny it's SOME PEOPLE. DO NOT LET WHAT YOU READ HERE BE ASSUMED THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE. There very well may be more vociferous contentious spirits here than you'll experience at all the AT shelters in a 1000 mile hike.

rafe
07-20-2017, 13:05
This thread is making me wish they would just tear all the shelters down.

Nah. Use them or ignore them, as you wish. Never rely on having one. Then you can't go wrong.

These days I'm using them less and less, but in heavy rain or other fierce weather, I'd certainly stop in, at least for a spell. More often than not, I'll camp nearby.

Off season, I've had shelters to myself many times. When there's not a lot of crumbs and food scrap to chow on, the mice tend to disperse.

No special privileges for thru hikers or anyone else. Shelters are first-come, first-served.

soilman
07-20-2017, 14:43
I wonder how many people who are anti-shelter use the amenities at shelters like the picnic table to eat or take a break? I know that I may not sleep in a shelter but stop at many for a break. It is nice to sit on something other than the ground.

MuddyWaters
07-20-2017, 14:53
I wonder how many people who are anti-shelter use the amenities at shelters like the picnic table to eat or take a break? I know that I may not sleep in a shelter but stop at many for a break. It is nice to sit on something other than the ground.
Their best use.

Im not anti-shelter

Im anti pro-shelter , due to what I percieve as detrimental to experience of hiking.

Ever increasing really luxurious shelters get built, that have no place in woods. Attracting people that really dont want to be there either.

Teacher & Snacktime
07-20-2017, 15:23
FWIW I'm not anti-thru-hiker either. Quite the contrary. I can't say I hold any special respect or admiration for them, but I appreciate what they're trying to accomplish and I've gone out of my way to offer help to many....and will continue to do so. That being said, I don't believe they have no proprietary claim on anything AT-related, nor should they. As Lone Wolf often says, "It's only walking", and all they can claim is that they're doing it more than most of us.

FlyPaper
07-20-2017, 16:29
I, for one, as a section hiker take into consideration where the thru-hiker "bubble" is and try to avoid it.



Sure.

In your personal experience, do you find many weekend hikers at the Georgia shelters (or shelter areas) during the height of the thru hiking season?

I expect there are some, but I have no idea if the numbers are in anyway significant.

I would think that most weekenders would want to stay away then. Not because they don't have every bit as much "right" to shelter space, but because alternative options abound, and because they just don't want to contribute to the over crowding.

Rex Clifton
07-20-2017, 16:44
I don't have any problem with leaving shelters to thru hikers. Shelters are backwoods slums, teaming with infectious diseases! I can see why Thru's use them, you can just flop down after another long day, but Sect's are best to avoid them.


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dmax
07-20-2017, 18:46
i was at wise last year, and stayed the night, along with 3 or 4 other hikers who were definitely not thrus. if there was a sign, i didnt notice it.

being (i believe) on state park lands i would lean towards thinking, if there was a sign, it was indicating, much as in other places, that it is for people who are "hiking through"
It might have said AT hikers only. It was about 2-3 years ago.

capehiker
07-20-2017, 20:04
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.

There's some folks on here mocking this post and laughing at it but I'm actually in agreement with Starchild. I'm not saying I endorse Thru hiker favoritism, but I am saying it exists and it's real. People often talk about the hikers themselves being entitled but it is more comprehensive and more broad than some 20-something kid feeling entitled.

It starts with AWOLS guide listing Thru hiker specials. Then there's trail magic. You are living in a fantasy world if you think feeds and magic are for everyone. That's just to silence the masses. Go look at the Class of 2017 Facebook page and back in Feb-Apr, pack sniffers who will never spend a day hiking the trail themselves were tripping over themselves trying to find out where the bubble would be to provide magic to the Thru hikers.

Sir-PacksAlot even had separate prices between Thru hikers and everyone else before getting blasted on social media. I've had well known trail angels in PA& NJ tell me they charge Thru hikers a lower price than section hikers for shuttles.

On my attempt this year, I personally witnessed a group of ladies at Woody Gap tell section hikers their food was for Thru hikers only. Further up the trail in NC, one group hemmed and hawed when a section hiker asked if he could partake. He had been hiking with us from the start so before the group said anything we started tossing cans of coke at him to drink.

Ending Thru hiker entitlement starts with ending feeds, reduced rate services, discouraging pack sniffers handing out food, etc. Starchild's post may be on the exaggeration side but there is more truth in her post than not.

As for shelter entitlement, first come first served. I have no problem telling a Thru hiker to pound sand when demanding space just as I have told the same thing to a section hiker.

tdoczi
07-20-2017, 20:22
There's some folks on here mocking this post and laughing at it but I'm actually in agreement with Starchild. I'm not saying I endorse Thru hiker favoritism, but I am saying it exists and it's real. People often talk about the hikers themselves being entitled but it is more comprehensive and more broad than some 20-something kid feeling entitled.

It starts with AWOLS guide listing Thru hiker specials. Then there's trail magic. You are living in a fantasy world if you think feeds and magic are for everyone. That's just to silence the masses. Go look at the Class of 2017 Facebook page and back in Feb-Apr, pack sniffers who will never spend a day hiking the trail themselves were tripping over themselves trying to find out where the bubble would be to provide magic to the Thru hikers.

Sir-PacksAlot even had separate prices between Thru hikers and everyone else before getting blasted on social media. I've had well known trail angels in PA& NJ tell me they charge Thru hikers a lower price than section hikers for shuttles.

On my attempt this year, I personally witnessed a group of ladies at Woody Gap tell section hikers their food was for Thru hikers only. Further up the trail in NC, one group hemmed and hawed when a section hiker asked if he could partake. He had been hiking with us from the start so before the group said anything we started tossing cans of coke at him to drink.

Ending Thru hiker entitlement starts with ending feeds, reduced rate services, discouraging pack sniffers handing out food, etc. Starchild's post may be on the exaggeration side but there is more truth in her post than not.

As for shelter entitlement, first come first served. I have no problem telling a Thru hiker to pound sand when demanding space just as I have told the same thing to a section hiker.

what you and starchild are saying, to my reading, are two very different things, though related.

as for your points, one has to make a distinction between people who are in the business of making money (i dont mean that in as mean spirited a way as some may take it) off of the thru hiker bubble and well... i can think of no other way to put than what i'll call "AT groupies." the people you reference wholl never set foot on the trail themselves but go to the ends of the earth to help people who, in the grand scheme of things, are really in no need what so ever of assistance. they are a curious lots, those folks, i'll agree with you there.

JumpMaster Blaster
07-20-2017, 22:26
Actually thru hikers are unquestionably given preferential treatment, as they should be. Local, state and federal law encodes this favoritism, depending on the location, but most notably they can camp where others can not. Also it is in society in general, the trail magic is for the thru hikers, others may glom some, but if there were no thru hikers there would be no such trail magic, it's because and for the thru hikers. So the argument that trail magic should be for any hiker and not exclusive for thrus just doesn't hold any weight, as without thrus there is no trail magic in it's common form along the AT. And they deserve it, They are doing something wonderful, something few people dare to do, but so needed in society - to leave it for a long time to pursue their dreams.

Weekenders are more of the vacationing problem, thru hikers are experiencing live, not escaping it.

As for the shelters, the thrus will get the nod and people who violate this will be looked down upon if they take it with a self righteous attitude. It's unofficial, but karmically correct, a show of respect.

Wow, just wow.

I want some of what you're smoking.

JumpMaster Blaster
07-20-2017, 22:34
If we are going to reserve shelter space and give priority to "special" and/or "privileged" groups of people, how about we start with ATC members, trail maintainers, and disabled veterans?

I'm being slightly sarcastic; this is aimed to those that think thru hikers are "magical" and "wonderful" as if they're doing something for the greater good of the trail and mankind, and not in it for themselves and their personal growth and enjoyment (or lack of wanting to be a part of society).

I mean seriously, you're on a vacay just like any other section hiker, weekend warrior, or day hiker. It's not the freaking Bataan Death March, and you're not a P.O.W.

Ankle Bone
07-21-2017, 12:59
Wow, just wow.

I want some of what you're smoking.

Amen! Amen! Amen!

As a Section Hiker, I am happy when hiker feeds (not Trail Magic) are not for me. I'm not out there for hand-outs and road crossing get-togethers

Grampie
07-21-2017, 13:41
While on my thru, SOBO, I was taking a break at Wilcox North shelter. Two weekend hikers came in and informed me that the next shelter, Wilcox South, had been reserved by a couple and they could not stay there. That was to be my final destination. When I arrived at the shelter there was indeed a couple there. They had a nice fire going with a huge pile of fire wood. I greeted them with a cheery "hello". They said nothing. They had their stuff spread out taking the whole floor. I asked them if they could move some of their stuff so that I could have some room. I was than asked if I was going to spend the night and I informed them that was my plan. I was waiting for them to tell me that they had it reserved but they didn't. I took out my pad and opened up my. Sleeping bag. They left the shelter and I could see them having a discussion as to what they would do. Without saying a word to me, they started to pack up their stuff. i asked them if they were moving on and they said their plans had changed. As they were leaving I said good by. He answered that I could use his fire wood. I may have approached it differently if it was not for the other hikers who told me that they had it reserved.

Dogwood
07-21-2017, 14:10
..
this is aimed to those that think thru hikers are... doing something for the greater good of the trail and mankind, and not in it for themselves and their personal growth and enjoyment (or lack of wanting to be a part of society).

I mean seriously, you're on a vacay just like any other section hiker, weekend warrior, or day hiker. It's not the freaking Bataan Death March, and you're not a P.O.W.

And the same labels can easily be applied to ANY hiker including section hikers. That is NOT, repeat NOT a comment against section hikers or any HIKER. It is made to see the some of the ridiculousness in categorizing and shouldering people with labels.

Some of the most profound and honestly accurate accounts of thru-hikers can be had by reading Spirit Eagle's Thru-Hiking papers. Still honestly pertinent years after it was written. Take it form Spirit Walker/Spirit Eagle who are experienced and non grandstanding thru-hikers, section hikers, and "just" hikers. I suggest we all spend a moment to read and consider it. http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/TH_attitude.html

TD55
07-21-2017, 19:26
For what is worth, here is what I find objectionable to the concept of thru hikers having special rights to the use of shelters.
I did my first volunteer trail maintenance on the AT over 50 years ago as a Boy Scout. Since then, I have done various volunteer projects, both organized and on my own in every decade since the 60's. In addition, I have made financial contributions to many Trail Clubs that maintain the trail and shelters for almost as long. Whenever I visit the AT, whether, for a few weeks or a few days, the first thing I do when I get home is to send a small donation to the club that maintains the section of trail I visited. I do not expect everyone to do the same, but it makes me feel good to do it. Every donation helps, even the small twenty dollar ones.
My opinion is that the folks like me who actually have helped pay for the shelters and trail have as much right as anyone to use a shelter if we adhere to the first come first serve rule that has been an accepted tradition since I first hiked the trail over 50 years ago. I see no reason to change that tradition.

tdoczi
07-21-2017, 19:56
For what is worth, here is what I find objectionable to the concept of thru hikers having special rights to the use of shelters.
I did my first volunteer trail maintenance on the AT over 50 years ago as a Boy Scout. Since then, I have done various volunteer projects, both organized and on my own in every decade since the 60's. In addition, I have made financial contributions to many Trail Clubs that maintain the trail and shelters for almost as long. Whenever I visit the AT, whether, for a few weeks or a few days, the first thing I do when I get home is to send a small donation to the club that maintains the section of trail I visited. I do not expect everyone to do the same, but it makes me feel good to do it. Every donation helps, even the small twenty dollar ones.
My opinion is that the folks like me who actually have helped pay for the shelters and trail have as much right as anyone to use a shelter if we adhere to the first come first serve rule that has been an accepted tradition since I first hiked the trail over 50 years ago. I see no reason to change that tradition.

so as someone who has invested much in the construction and maintenance of these shelters, how do you feel about people like the family i encountered at the hemlocks or the couple the above poster encountered at wilcox? that all good with you or are they warping and twisting the intention of your work?

Starchild
07-21-2017, 20:10
While on my thru, SOBO, I was taking a break at Wilcox North shelter. Two weekend hikers came in and informed me that the next shelter, Wilcox South, had been reserved by a couple and they could not stay there. That was to be my final destination. When I arrived at the shelter there was indeed a couple there. They had a nice fire going with a huge pile of fire wood. I greeted them with a cheery "hello". They said nothing. They had their stuff spread out taking the whole floor. I asked them if they could move some of their stuff so that I could have some room. I was than asked if I was going to spend the night and I informed them that was my plan. I was waiting for them to tell me that they had it reserved but they didn't. I took out my pad and opened up my. Sleeping bag. They left the shelter and I could see them having a discussion as to what they would do. Without saying a word to me, they started to pack up their stuff. i asked them if they were moving on and they said their plans had changed. As they were leaving I said good by. He answered that I could use his fire wood. I may have approached it differently if it was not for the other hikers who told me that they had it reserved.

IIRC South Wilcox Shelter is actually 2 shelters, a old one that comes up first and is obvious and going a little further down the blue blazed trail a new one but somewhat hidden. Perhaps they moved to the other one?

Starchild
07-21-2017, 20:16
And the same labels can easily be applied to ANY hiker including section hikers. That is NOT, repeat NOT a comment against section hikers or any HIKER. It is made to see the some of the ridiculousness in categorizing and shouldering people with labels.

Some of the most profound and honestly accurate accounts of thru-hikers can be had by reading Spirit Eagle's Thru-Hiking papers. Still honestly pertinent years after it was written. Take it form Spirit Walker/Spirit Eagle who are experienced and non grandstanding thru-hikers, section hikers, and "just" hikers. I suggest we all spend a moment to read and consider it. http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/TH_attitude.html
One difference is that the change of lifestyle that is required while thru hiking. Forging what most take for granted for months. This gives an opportunity for others to give to people who will gratefully accept. It is easy and sometimes fun to forgo real food, in favor for backpacking food, for a weekend, but to do it regularly (and when you get to town restaurant food which also gets old fast too), some real food given allows a exchange, a easy gift that means so much to another, that is the defining difference. Gratefully receiving very simple stuff, that is the cornerstone of thru hiker trail magic and what attracts trail angels to the AT.

TD55
07-21-2017, 20:53
so as someone who has invested much in the construction and maintenance of these shelters, how do you feel about people like the family i encountered at the hemlocks or the couple the above poster encountered at wilcox? that all good with you or are they warping and twisting the intention of your work?
I am sorry if the trail has become overcrowded at times, but the traditional rules have served the trail for a long time and there is no reason they still can't. No one has a right to claim a shelter for themselves or their particular group. Tradition says each person has a right to space the size of their sleeping bag. If a person or persons don't like sleeping shoulder to shoulder jammed to maximum capacity they should set up their tent, tarp, whatever. If they don't have one they don't belong on the trail. For sure, no one has a right to fill a shelter built to hold 10 or 12 people with 5 or 6 friends and claim it for themselves.

tdoczi
07-21-2017, 21:00
I am sorry if the trail has become overcrowded at times, but the traditional rules have served the trail for a long time and there is no reason they still can't. No one has a right to claim a shelter for themselves or their particular group. Tradition says each person has a right to space the size of their sleeping bag. If a person or persons don't like sleeping shoulder to shoulder jammed to maximum capacity they should set up their tent, tarp, whatever. If they don't have one they don't belong on the trail. For sure, no one has a right to fill a shelter built to hold 10 or 12 people with 5 or 6 friends and claim it for themselves.

do you think ignorant of trail etiquette and customs amongst people who are not regular users of the AT could perhaps be to blame, or are these people just obvious and inconsiderate? do you feel an established and published set of rules that says more than "first come, first served" might cause at least some of these people to see the error of their ways?

rickb
07-21-2017, 21:02
They left the shelter and I could see them having a discussion as to what they would do. Without saying a word to me, they started to pack up their stuff. i asked them if they were moving on and they said their plans had changed. As they were leaving I said good by. He answered that I could use his fire wood. I may have approached it differently if it was not for the other hikers who told me that they had it reserved.
Four of the people murdered on the AT were young heterosexual couples who elected to stay at a shelter with a lone male.

While I agree you had every right to stay at the shelter, it may have been that arrival of a non-communicative male hiker made one or both of the couple uncomfortable. If they felt that way, it is understandable that they left the way they did.

In fact I give them props for doing so.

That said, I absolutely get why you claimed your spot the way you did -- and might well have done so in the same way myself -- but just a bit of friendly banter and sharing some of your background while you did so might have been kinder.

Just some thoughts -- I wasn't there and think a bit differently about these things than most.

TD55
07-21-2017, 21:24
do you think ignorant of trail etiquette and customs amongst people who are not regular users of the AT could perhaps be to blame, or are these people just obvious and inconsiderate? do you feel an established and published set of rules that says more than "first come, first served" might cause at least some of these people to see the error of their ways?
I think people who depend on shelters for sleeping during the busiest parts of the hiking season are very foolish. They have lots of uses but sleeping in them generally sucks.

tdoczi
07-21-2017, 21:30
I think people who depend on shelters for sleeping during the busiest parts of the hiking season are very foolish. They have lots of uses but sleeping in them generally sucks.

not the question i asked at all, but thanks.

i sleep in them all the time. i've never found anything at all about it to suck.

and i've even spent the night at cooper lodge.

Praha4
07-21-2017, 22:07
some of the college orientation groups in southern Vermont in August also pretty much take over shelters too and tell AT and LT hikers the shelter is full and "reserved" for the college orientation group. Happened to us last August on two nights with Yale orientation groups at both shelters. Was news to me because in past years it was policy that the college orientation groups could not reserve or take over a shelter, they used to bring their own tents and camp away from the shelters.

Traffic Jam
07-21-2017, 22:35
not the question i asked at all, but thanks.

i sleep in them all the time. i've never found anything at all about it to suck.

and i've even spent the night at cooper lodge.

I have a soft spot in my heart for shelters. I'm one of those idiots who didn't know better and relied on shelters for at least a year, maybe two, instead of carrying my own.

Gear is expensive and I couldn't afford everything so all my hikes were planned around shelters. Shelters helped me learn how to be a hiker and I met some really neat people who taught me a lot.

In my defense, I didn't know any other hikers, wasn't a Boy Scout, and didn't know about online hiking sites. All I knew is that I wanted to hike snd didn't have a tent.

Sorry to be so irresponsible, alligator. :)

Sarcasm the elf
07-21-2017, 22:49
some of the college orientation groups in southern Vermont in August also pretty much take over shelters too and tell AT and LT hikers the shelter is full and "reserved" for the college orientation group. Happened to us last August on two nights with Yale orientation groups at both shelters. Was news to me because in past years it was policy that the college orientation groups could not reserve or take over a shelter, they used to bring their own tents and camp away from the shelters.
I strongly suspect those groups were flat out lying to you.

https://www.greenmountainclub.org/groups/

39905

Dogwood
07-21-2017, 23:06
If we are going to reserve shelter space and give priority to "special" and/or "privileged" groups of people, how about we start with ATC members, trail maintainers, and disabled veterans?...

In all my yrs rarely, like I can count on one hand, thru-hikers reserving shelter space for another thru hiker ON ANY TRAIL WITH SHELTERS. MOST OFTEN PEOPLE DOING THAT ARE SELF ASSUMING ENTITLED SPECIAL OR PRIVLEGED GROUPS LIKE SCOUT and FEMALE ONLY GROUPS and SECTION, WEEKEND, or WEEK LONG HIKERS THAT ARE COUPLES. - HIKERS.


I'ver NEVER seen a THRU-HIKER in a packed shelter erect their shelter in a lean to taking up more than a 1 p space. I certainly have seen self entitled assuming section hikers do that several times.

AND, if I really wanted to take this thread further sideways revealing how inconsiderate and imposing - entitled - some hikers can be I immediately can name two categories that IMHO outweigh the imposition of the AT thru-hiker used category.

BuckeyeBill
07-22-2017, 00:58
I suspect like someone above said and the couple was not telling the whole truth. Then again it could be they thought the permits/reservations gave them exclusive use of the shelter sorta like a hotel room. either way, they did seem to act a little strange.

rickb
07-22-2017, 06:49
AND, if I really wanted to take this thread further sideways revealing how inconsiderate and imposing - entitled - some hikers can be I immediately can name two categories that IMHO outweigh the imposition of the AT thru-hiker used category.

Dog owners, of course.

But what is the other category?

Smokers (pot, cigarette and cigar)?

Liked your post though -- seems like some of the replies in this this this thread are more in response to a "Strawman" than anything else.

Traveler
07-22-2017, 07:39
One difference is that the change of lifestyle that is required while thru hiking. Forging what most take for granted for months. This gives an opportunity for others to give to people who will gratefully accept. It is easy and sometimes fun to forgo real food, in favor for backpacking food, for a weekend, but to do it regularly (and when you get to town restaurant food which also gets old fast too), some real food given allows a exchange, a easy gift that means so much to another, that is the defining difference. Gratefully receiving very simple stuff, that is the cornerstone of thru hiker trail magic and what attracts trail angels to the AT.

Sounds like a great concept for helping at soup kitchens.

Traffic Jam
07-22-2017, 08:12
I suspect like someone above said and the couple was not telling the whole truth. Then again it could be they thought the permits/reservations gave them exclusive use of the shelter sorta like a hotel room. either way, they did seem to act a little strange.
I could be wrong, but my first thought is the couple planned an amorous, outdoor experience and the smelly hiker ruined it. :D

rickb
07-22-2017, 08:20
Another difference with thru hikers is that many tend to hike later in the day, and often in a bubble.

Nothing wrong with a weekender who is done at 3PM after a 6 mile hike to set up a tent, rather than taking a shelter spot (but hang out / cook by the shelter as if he owned it) -- out of respect for those who are hiking differently.

Nothing wrong with a weekender avoiding AT shelters at the very busiest times/places (GA in April) out of respect for those whose hiking itineraries are more strictly defined.

Nothing wrong with a weekender accepting that the AMC only offers "work for stays" to thrus, because they respect that that accommodation was made for good reasons.

Nothing wrong with any of that at all. In fact I respect people who might think that way.

If they don't, that is fine too. Except for those who are bitter about thru's exclusive benefits in the Whites. That is just petty.

TexasBob
07-22-2017, 09:24
I could be wrong, but my first thought is the couple planned an amorous, outdoor experience and the smelly hiker ruined it. :D

That is what I was thinking too.

tdoczi
07-22-2017, 09:29
Another difference with thru hikers is that many tend to hike later in the day, and often in a bubble.

Nothing wrong with a weekender who is done at 3PM after a 6 mile hike to set up a tent, rather than taking a shelter spot (but hang out / cook by the shelter as if he owned it) -- out of respect for those who are hiking differently.

Nothing wrong with a weekender avoiding AT shelters at the very busiest times/places (GA in April) out of respect for those whose hiking itineraries are more strictly defined.

Nothing wrong with a weekender accepting that the AMC only offers "work for stays" to thrus, because they respect that that accommodation was made for good reasons.

Nothing wrong with any of that at all. In fact I respect people who might think that way.

If they don't, that is fine too. Except for those who are bitter about thru's exclusive benefits in the Whites. That is just petty.

ive seen someone who was not a thru hiker ask for and receive work for stay at a hut in the white mountains. it wasnt even during a time of year when it was realy even likely he was a thru hiker (first weekend in june.)

another thought i had re: your repeated statements about GA during the bubble.

were i to go there next march, i'd go there having already completed 1500 miles of trail.

the "thru hikers" you're suggesting i defer to have hiked nothing, and most of them are going to quit and go home (and probably never hike again) long before they get anywhere near 1500 miles in.

so what am i deferring to exactly? you say something like they have a more rigid schedule. thats hogwash. a section hiker generally has to go home on a certain day and probably has to be in a certain place by that time. thats a rigid schedule. not the people who are out for months and have some vague notion of when they think they might like to be finished by. in fact, the accommodations like work for stay in the whites exist precisely because you can not put thrus on a rigid schedule.

on my last AT hike i got up early one morning and quit by 3pm (something i never do) to make sure i beat a group of thrus to a shelter. when they arrived, as i predicted they would, they didnt seem to care the least that i (and others) were there already and set up there tents. no biggie.

and if they wanted shelter space so badly they should have not stayed up until 2 am the night before and then slept until 9 and then hung out on top of a mountain for 3 hours. but they did. and deferring to that is somehow some sort of noble thing to do? please.

Greenlight
07-22-2017, 09:47
This was my thought, too, TV.

Few thru hikers I met between Pearisburg and Damascus when I hiked into Trail Days wanted to rack out in a shelter. While offering protection from the elements, shelters are generally filthy. They may pitch a tent or hammock near the shelter because the water source is usually close by, but ... yeah. who wants to sleep in a shelter unless you have to?


Most experienced thru-hikers will prefer to camp away from shelters.

And how do you identify thru-hikers from weekenders?

rickb
07-22-2017, 10:06
Just to be clear, I have not been to GA during the bubble.

I have no first hand knowledge of whether weekenders contribute to the overcrowding that time of year.

If they do, I think it would make sense for many of them not only to avoid staying inside the shelters, but away from the AT altogether -- at that particular time.

But it only if they feel such an accommodation is not too great a burden. They have as much "right" to be there as anyone else. Everyone's situation is different.

Seems like common sense.

tdoczi
07-22-2017, 11:34
Just to be clear, I have not been to GA during the bubble.

I have no first hand knowledge of whether weekenders contribute to the overcrowding that time of year.

If they do, I think it would make sense for many of them not only to avoid staying inside the shelters, but away from the AT altogether -- at that particular time.

But it only if they feel such an accommodation is not too great a burden. They have as much "right" to be there as anyone else. Everyone's situation is different.

Seems like common sense.

there are two reasons that are "common sense" for avoiding the trail altogether at that time and palce-

1) because you feel your experience is going to be negatively impacted

2) because you dont want to cause more impact to the trail than it is already suffering

this idea that its somehow thru hiker's time and we should give them space to do what their doing because they somehow are deserving of it something though??

youre trying to have it both ways. you're being passive aggressively critical of a behavior while saying you have the right to behave that way.

Another Kevin
07-22-2017, 13:12
I don't hike in hiker bubbles. And I pass by shelters as often as not.

Last time I stayed in a lean-to, it was in the middle of winter, and the big group I was joining had the place to themselves. I was the last to arrive on Friday evening and they'd saved a spot for me so I wouldn't have to set up in the dark.

Previous time, I had a nasty sprained knee. Even then, when a big church group came by, I offered to move to a tentsite nearby. (I wasn't yet all moved in, I was sort of starting to set up, would have been no trouble, really.) The big group hiked on, the trail was going by a lake and there were three lean-tos about a mile apart.

Previous time to that, I confess, I just felt like it. It was the cleanest lean-to I've ever been in, and I had it to myself.

Previous time to that, I was one of three hikers in the lean-to just as an epic thunderstorm was starting. We could hear the widowmakers come crashing down all around. By morning, there were seven in the shelter, and the four arrivals were pretty miserable. Their gear had not stood up to the weather. None of us got very much sleep. There was too much rain and debris blowing in the front of the lean-to, even with tents and footprints and what not wrapped around everyone's feet. And the place leaked! (And with all the moisture, it smelt like a hamster cage.) Still better than getting my tent shredded. We all wound up sitting in sort of a semicircle around the walls in the back, talking and watching the weather. Someone had built a hot fire before I got there, and piled huge logs on it so that it managed to burn the rain off and stayed going. One poor guy had had everything he brought either soaked or shredded, and wound up hiking out hauling a huge pile of wet, heavy stuff wearing his only dry clothing - a blaze orange T-shirt and a pair of lime green boxer shorts. I'm sure there's a possible trail name in that story. (He turned out to be a good guy, I've hiked with him a few times since.)

The rest of the last couple of dozen nights on the trail were in my tent. (Well, except for one that was under my little tarp because I wasn't really expecting to sleep rough. No real trouble, just a bunch of pesky little delays on a route that I didn't feel safe night-hiking.)

In the 'no good deed goes unpunished' department, one time that I tented near a shelter, I trashed it out - it needed it badly - and then got threatened with a ticket when I tried to dispose of the trash at the next campground . Because the recyclable cans didn't have their labels on and the aluminium ones had been crushed. The jobsworth at the recycling center couldn't grasp the concept that it was OTHER people's garbage, I was just cleaning it up!

I've got no problem with the shelters being there. I can just take or leave them.

I do have a problem with people who can't seem to manage to get along with each other. There are more of them in here than Out There, fortunately!

tdoczi
07-22-2017, 13:28
I do have a problem with people who can't seem to manage to get along with each other. There are more of them in here than Out There, fortunately!

its the nature of websites like this. i dont get into debates about proper shelter usage with people i meet out hiking, even if they are being obnoxious.

BuckeyeBill
07-22-2017, 16:54
I could be wrong, but my first thought is the couple planned an amorous, outdoor experience and the smelly hiker ruined it. :D

TJ I thought that as well, but was giving the couple an embarrassment pass. Also I think that the first time a rodent made their presence known, I think they would have packed up and left to the nearest Motel 8.

Dogwood
07-22-2017, 19:48
I could be wrong, but my first thought is the couple planned an amorous, outdoor experience and the smelly hiker ruined it. :D
Thru-hiker must have ignored the Barry White playing on the XMini speaker, passion fruit scented votives, car camping size 10" thick queen sized inflatable mattress, and the curtain across the lean to with Kamasutra pictographs printed on it. :D

BillyGr
07-23-2017, 10:00
TJ I thought that as well, but was giving the couple an embarrassment pass. Also I think that the first time a rodent made their presence known, I think they would have packed up and left to the nearest Motel 8.

Must have been a not very well reported motel chain merger? ;)

Traveler
07-23-2017, 10:18
Thru-hiker must have ignored the Barry White playing on the XMini speaker, passion fruit scented votives, car camping size 10" thick queen sized inflatable mattress, and the curtain across the lean to with Kamasutra pictographs printed on it. :D
HA! Perfect mental image, including the sub-sonic vocalizations of Barry White performing his popular, "You're my First, My Last, My Shelter Baby".

BuckeyeBill
07-23-2017, 10:22
Oh that's should have been Motel 6 or Super 8.

Dogwood
07-23-2017, 11:04
"ive seen someone who was not a thru hiker ask for and receive work for stay at a hut in the white mountains. it wasnt even during a time of year when it was realy even likely he was a thru hiker (first weekend in june.)"

Thru-hikes are undertaken with different itineraries. It's not just approached in a straight unbroken linear terminus to terminus NOBO or SOBO hiking fashion. A thru hiker could have for some unlikely reason to me too been at one of the AT AMC huts in early June.
"were i to go there next march, i'd go there having already completed 1500 miles of trail.
After how many hikes?

"the "thru hikers" you're suggesting i defer to have hiked nothing, and most of them are going to quit and go home (and probably never hike again) long before they get anywhere near 1500 miles in."

Quite a few AT section hikers aim to complete the trail largely by breaking down their hikes into states. So, perhaps a AT thru hiker wannabe who gets the GA AT done is doing exactly the same thing as a section hiker who has aim to get GA done. To say a thru-hiker who quits somewhere into their hike even if it is in GA as "having hiked nothing" is inaccurate and perhaps places, again, too much focus on miles? What you're saying further is absolutely correct. Most professing AT thru-hikers by a large majority will in actuality ultimately be section hikers.

"so what am i deferring to exactly? you say something like they have a more rigid schedule. thats hogwash. a section hiker generally has to go home on a certain day and probably has to be in a certain place by that time. thats a rigid schedule. not the people who are out for months and have some vague notion of when they think they might like to be finished by. in fact, the accommodations like work for stay in the whites exist precisely because you can not put thrus on a rigid schedule."

Both groups can be on a schedule. Its not uncommon for thru-hikers having to be done because they have to go back to school, or start a job, or be at specific locations at specific times to meet friends or family members, pick up mailed resupplies, legally fulfill permit requirements, meet a shuttle, get to public transportation options that are seasonal in nature, etc. It's not uncommon for AT NOBO thrus to get stressfully preoccupied focusing on that advised 'summit Mt K by Oct' advice. Overall though it's easily possible thrus tend to have a greater number of scheduling commitments because the length of time out. Putting things on hold and adequately addressing responsibilities at home for thrus can be even more taxing again for the length of time they are out.

Dogwood
07-23-2017, 11:21
Being a nit picking curmudgeon about cooperating with different users on trail doesn't always play out to the extent as it seems it will given some of the posters opinions on WB.

There are many skewed opinions about the LD/thru hiking community on WB because this forum has a primary AT focus. The thru-hiker opinions here are offered with a narrowed focus on only the thru hiking community when the larger thru hiking/LD community can be much different. For example, I don't recognize anywhere the level of implied thru-hiker / section hiker relationship issues at lean to's or elsewhere on the entirety of the Long Trail. Even though absent of lean to's I don't see anywhere the level those relationship issues, if any, between JMT thrus and JMT section hikers. Lots of drama here.

My guess is contentious fiery east coast trail drama queens would have difficulty on other trails demonstrating cooperation amongst different trail users. This comment vis not aimed specifically at anyone.

tdoczi
07-23-2017, 11:38
"ive seen someone who was not a thru hiker ask for and receive work for stay at a hut in the white mountains. it wasnt even during a time of year when it was realy even likely he was a thru hiker (first weekend in june.)"

Thru-hikes are undertaken with different itineraries. It's not just approached in a straight unbroken linear terminus to terminus NOBO or SOBO hiking fashion. A thru hiker could have for some unlikely reason to me too been at one of the AT AMC huts in early June.


he was on a long section hike of several hundred miles.

i didnt bring it up to imply he or the hut crew did anything wrong. i brought it up to again illustrate the difference between "thru hiker" as we typically mean it around here and the more broad sense of "hiking through." ie you dont need to start in GA and walk all the way to the white mountains to qualify for work for stay, you simply need to be on long and indeterminate hike that passes through. someone can be "hiking through" the whites and thereofre be perfect entitled to work for stay at any time of year.

now on the other hand, can someone take a 3 mile hike up to lakes of the clouds and ask for work for stay and then hike back down? maybe they could get away with it, but i think thatd clearly be out of bounds.

the same concept, to my mind, does or should apply to all shelters on the AT.

this is the same everywhere on the AT there is something like this going on- backcountry permits in SNP and the smokies, BSP, etc. when they speak about "thru hikers" they are talking about anyone on a hike of a length that requires a degree of flexibility in exact dates and locations.

egilbe
07-23-2017, 12:29
My experience with Lakes: We were section-hiking from July 1st to July 9th. We had the section from Flagstaff lake to the Kennebec to finish, and we wanted to do from Pinkham Notch to Crawford Notch. We didnt commit to either section dependent on the weather. Looking at the forecast Friday night we saw torrential rains and flash flooding forecast for Saturday so we decided to do the Maine section first. Spent Saturday night in the shelter at West Carry pond and convinced a few sobos that they may want to stay there that night. They were happy they listened to us a couple hours later when the storm hit.

Monday we came home and Tuesday morning headed to the Highland center to catch our shuttle to Pinkham Notch. Plan was to hike to Osgood tentsite, hike over Madison and Adams, and possibly Jefferson and stay at one of the RMC cabins or lean-to and the next day, hike over to Nauman.

Since the forecast for Thursday was kinda iffy and Wednesday was so beautiful, we decided to skip Adams and Jefferson and hike over to Mt Washington and see if we could stay at Lakes. We got the last two beds available. There was a section hiker there, who was doing a several hundred mile section, who was refused the dungeon. He wasnt a through hiker. As a compromise, he was offered the storage room for something like $10 or $20 bucks. There were four through hikers who did work for stay, and a couple through hikers who stayed in the dungeon.

My gf and I hung out with the through hikers and other section hiker, away from the other paying guests. The obvious segregation was weird. We didnt eat in the main room, much too noisy and crowded. All we wanted was a bed, anyway. I would have gladly stayed in the dungeon, but its not allowed for section hikers. That was news to me. That was my first experience with the through hiker preferential treatment and section-hiker discrimination.

Randingo
07-23-2017, 18:07
I love my tent. I can escape the all night shelter conversations and the ever present headlamps. I am not anti shelter, just a little anti social.

Dogwood
07-23-2017, 18:16
Anyone can say anything. From what I've been unofficially told a few times I'm relaying that during the AT bubbles, which are different depending on itineraries, the AMC Huts prefer to give work for stays to thrus.

tdoczi
07-23-2017, 18:51
I love my tent. I can escape the all night shelter conversations and the ever present headlamps. I am not anti shelter, just a little anti social.

you're not antisocial enough. youd feel obligated to talk to your shelter mates.

i walk into a full shelter, say hello, then the earbuds go in and i willfully ignore everyone if i dont feel like talking. i sit in my own little bubble in the middle of 8 people as if they werent there.

THATS anti social.

Dogwood
07-23-2017, 22:03
Bet you were one of those F off sleep masks too tdoczi? :p

tdoczi
07-23-2017, 22:34
Bet you were one of those F off sleep masks too tdoczi? :p

do they make those in tyvek or cuben fiber?

naah, i just face the corner if i am lucky enough to have gotten that spot

cneill13
07-24-2017, 12:04
I camped with two guys this past weekend in NC who were flip-flopping the AT. They began in Damascus hiking south in early-June.

They carried no tent, did not filter their water or hang a bear bag. They hung their food on the shelter wall. And remember, this was in a bear sanctuary. There was bear scat everywhere.

If they came to a shelter which was full, they would ask someone to leave or give them their tent to sleep in.

They have had zero issues so far and said people have been very nice about it.

I do not agree with any of their methods but thought it would be of interest to pass along.

tdoczi
07-24-2017, 12:39
I camped with two guys this past weekend in NC who were flip-flopping the AT. They began in Damascus hiking south in early-June.

They carried no tent, did not filter their water or hang a bear bag. They hung their food on the shelter wall. And remember, this was in a bear sanctuary. There was bear scat everywhere.

If they came to a shelter which was full, they would ask someone to leave or give them their tent to sleep in.

They have had zero issues so far and said people have been very nice about it.

I do not agree with any of their methods but thought it would be of interest to pass along.

oh no, here comes the sleep with your food vs hang it tangent...

i'd never ask someone to leave and i REALLY wouldnt ask someone to give me their tent. if not carrying a tent ever bits me i'll just accept the consequences of my decision.

Slo-go'en
07-24-2017, 14:33
If they came to a shelter which was full, they would ask someone to leave or give them their tent to sleep in.
They have had zero issues so far and said people have been very nice about it.


Good thing they didn't encounter me. I'd say FU, you go set up your tent in the rain.

Dogwood
07-24-2017, 14:55
I camped with two guys this past weekend in NC who were flip-flopping the AT. They began in Damascus hiking south in early-June.

They carried no tent, did not filter their water or hang a bear bag. They hung their food on the shelter wall. And remember, this was in a bear sanctuary. There was bear scat everywhere.

If they came to a shelter which was full, they would ask someone to leave or give them their tent to sleep in.

They have had zero issues so far and said people have been very nice about it.

I do not agree with any of their methods but thought it would be of interest to pass along.

To do that an entire thru is more laziness and imposing on others than anything else. That is not UL! Not carrying some kind of shelter is being irresponsible as Gator said earlier. Even Todczi carries an emergency shelter. :p

Meeses can climb a vertical wall, era bag line string, sapling, tree, etc and jump and hang on a stuff sack to chew though it to get at the goodies inside. Wonder if they were using an Ursack, I'm guessing no on that because of the other things they were doing.

If I found that's how they were approaching their entire thru I'd make mention of it to others that might meet them not to promote such behavior.

Dogwood
07-24-2017, 14:55
bear bag line string

Dogwood
07-24-2017, 15:19
Reminds me of a famous FKTer attempter a few yrs ago I shared Icewater Springs Shelter who went on bragging about his SUL 5 lb kit that included consumables and 40 MPD avgs. He said he was going for an unsupported FKT. He only had 1.5 days food at 17 oz/day for all of GSMNP for a Fontana Dam to Standing Bear segment. Was almost out of food already at Icewater, was shivering uncontrollably inside his 50* UL quilt wearing all his clothes with only a WR UL shell and a MB Thermawrap vest and a pr of UL GL nylon running shorts. It got to 28* that night with rain most of the day that late in the afternoon turned to ivy rain/sleet. He came in drenched and iced up. All he had left to eat was half a energy bar and maybe 25 M&M's. He said it was enough. Finally, someone offered and he accepted, a dry shirt and jacket to stop the close to hypodermic shivering. Someone also offered some hot food to which he also accepted. The famous FKTer was going cookless. Finally, some one(um me and another person) asked "so you're going unsupported, huh?"

Wisely, he abandoned his FKT "unsupported" attempt after having been reminded of previous events. Later, when I caught up to him further into it, he said he changed it in his personal best pseudo unsupported FKT. What the f#$k? Pseudo Unsupported FKT? Let's get real.

lonehiker
07-29-2017, 20:32
On my attempt this year, I personally witnessed a group of ladies at Woody Gap tell section hikers their food was for Thru hikers only. Further up the trail in NC, one group hemmed and hawed when a section hiker asked if he could partake. He had been hiking with us from the start so before the group said anything we started tossing cans of coke at him to drink.

Well, if someone is giving something they own away, I would suppose that they are able, as they should be, to determine who should receive it. Don't dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back for "stealing" cans of coke to toss at him...

rocketsocks
07-30-2017, 02:22
I'd give a Pepsi (cause coke sucks) to anyone who was thirsty, any hiker be it day, section, or thru...even a passing dog walker. What ever happened to "and good will towards..." Rediculous!

Traffic Jam
07-30-2017, 07:24
I'd give a Pepsi (cause coke sucks) to anyone who was thirsty, any hiker be it day, section, or thru...even a passing dog walker. What ever happened to "and good will towards..." Rediculous!

I'm with you.

And, it seems people believe that those who behave badly should be treated badly. I dont understand that mentality.

tdoczi
07-30-2017, 08:06
I'm with you.

And, it seems people believe that those who behave badly should be treated badly. I dont understand that mentality.
i dont know if id go so far as to say they should be treated badly (though what exactly treated badly entails is a matter of opinion) but people who are, for lack of a better word, misbehaving, need to have it made clear to them that what they are doing is not acceptable or it will never change. and worse still, others will see them get away with and start doing it.

this a societal wide problem and there have been articles and studies written on it. i am too lazy to go looking for them on a sunday morning but the basic idea is that when we stop being willing/able to call out those around us when they do things we know they shouldnt be doing that behavior eventually just becomes accepted.

ive always felt it was a large and not often spoken of factor in how the housing crisis happened, for instance.

Traffic Jam
07-30-2017, 08:14
i dont know if id go so far as to say they should be treated badly (though what exactly treated badly entails is a matter of opinion) but people who are, for lack of a better word, misbehaving, need to have it made clear to them that what they are doing is not acceptable or it will never change. and worse still, others will see them get away with and start doing it.

this a societal wide problem and there have been articles and studies written on it. i am too lazy to go looking for them on a sunday morning but the basic idea is that when we stop being willing/able to call out those around us when they do things we know they shouldnt be doing that behavior eventually just becomes accepted.


I agree with you. I'm talking about those who justify behaving like aholes. And I'm preaching to myself. :)

TTT
07-30-2017, 09:30
All you need are United Airline staff monitoring the shelter occupancy and the problem is solved

rocketsocks
07-30-2017, 11:12
I'm with you.

And, it seems people believe that those who behave badly should be treated badly. I dont understand that mentality.
Yup, I wouldn't treat some badly, but I'd sure as hell say something to them in an attempt to allow them to see the error in their ways.

George
07-30-2017, 20:27
Reminds me of a famous FKTer attempter a few yrs ago I shared Icewater Springs Shelter who went on bragging about his SUL 5 lb kit that included consumables and 40 MPD avgs. He said he was going for an unsupported FKT. He only had 1.5 days food at 17 oz/day for all of GSMNP for a Fontana Dam to Standing Bear segment. Was almost out of food already at Icewater, was shivering uncontrollably inside his 50* UL quilt wearing all his clothes with only a WR UL shell and a MB Thermawrap vest and a pr of UL GL nylon running shorts. It got to 28* that night with rain most of the day that late in the afternoon turned to ivy rain/sleet. He came in drenched and iced up. All he had left to eat was half a energy bar and maybe 25 M&M's. He said it was enough. Finally, someone offered and he accepted, a dry shirt and jacket to stop the close to hypodermic shivering. Someone also offered some hot food to which he also accepted. The famous FKTer was going cookless. Finally, some one(um me and another person) asked "so you're going unsupported, huh?"

Wisely, he abandoned his FKT "unsupported" attempt after having been reminded of previous events. Later, when I caught up to him further into it, he said he changed it in his personal best pseudo unsupported FKT. What the f#$k? Pseudo Unsupported FKT? Let's get real.

obviously it is all on a sliding scale (there is no rule making/ sanctioning body) - true self support would be hunt / gather / grow your own food

IMO someone "unsupported" who obtains anything from other hikers (and does not return equal or better) is a fake and likely a bum - a fair price for a MH meal that someone carried on their back for 50 miles should be maybe 40$

of course that is not what will be paid if anything

the beauty of being a "speedy" bum is you always have a new set of chumps to bum from

EuroPacker
08-07-2017, 07:53
All you need are United Airline staff monitoring the shelter occupancy and the problem is solved

That's good.

Booker
06-23-2018, 15:09
I'm a section hiker, started at age 65, working on the New England section and probably won't get beyond that (bad back). But I digress. I've stayed at shelters a few times and pitched my new lovely ultra tent on the ground more times than that. I've never sensed any animosity from thru-hikers about sleeping at the shelter. They've been friendly, welcoming, encouraging, everything one could want in good company. Part of the reason I love hiking the AT is because of the company at the end of a long day of solo hiking. I've learned a lot from thru-hikers who care to share their tips with me. I've even shared a few tips myself. I realize I could visit with folks and then retire to my tent. But it would seem an odd rule to me to have these firm divisions of hikers with different rules. I really love you all, you thru-hikers. Section and weekend hikers too.

Marta
06-23-2018, 18:17
There's some folks on here mocking this post and laughing at it but I'm actually in agreement with Starchild. I'm not saying I endorse Thru hiker favoritism, but I am saying it exists and it's real. People often talk about the hikers themselves being entitled but it is more comprehensive and more broad than some 20-something kid feeling entitled.

It starts with AWOLS guide listing Thru hiker specials. Then there's trail magic. You are living in a fantasy world if you think feeds and magic are for everyone. That's just to silence the masses. Go look at the Class of 2017 Facebook page and back in Feb-Apr, pack sniffers who will never spend a day hiking the trail themselves were tripping over themselves trying to find out where the bubble would be to provide magic to the Thru hikers.

Sir-PacksAlot even had separate prices between Thru hikers and everyone else before getting blasted on social media. I've had well known trail angels in PA& NJ tell me they charge Thru hikers a lower price than section hikers for shuttles.

On my attempt this year, I personally witnessed a group of ladies at Woody Gap tell section hikers their food was for Thru hikers only. Further up the trail in NC, one group hemmed and hawed when a section hiker asked if he could partake. He had been hiking with us from the start so before the group said anything we started tossing cans of coke at him to drink.

Ending Thru hiker entitlement starts with ending feeds, reduced rate services, discouraging pack sniffers handing out food, etc. Starchild's post may be on the exaggeration side but there is more truth in her post than not.

As for shelter entitlement, first come first served. I have no problem telling a Thru hiker to pound sand when demanding space just as I have told the same thing to a section hiker.

Point of fact: No one is a thru-hiker until they're through. Most of the folks who are calling themselves thru-hikers will actually end up being section hikers, so they should be a bit less arrogant and more modest until they have walked the walk the whole way.

As far as "trail magic" being put out there for thru-hikers only, that just seems rude. It's like going through a classroom announcing a party, and then pointedly telling a bunch of the kids that they aren't actually invited because they aren't cool enough.

Ethesis
06-24-2018, 15:26
Point of fact: No one is a thru-hiker until they're through. Most of the folks who are calling themselves thru-hikers will actually end up being section hikers, so they should be a bit less arrogant and more modest until they have walked the walk the whole way.

As far as "trail magic" being put out there for thru-hikers only, that just seems rude. It's like going through a classroom announcing a party, and then pointedly telling a bunch of the kids that they aren't actually invited because they aren't cool enough.


Ive had people chase me down the trail and force food on me when I bought into the “only for through hikers” insisting they wanted me to have it.

Im pretty sure they wanted me to take it.

Marta
06-24-2018, 22:34
Ive had people chase me down the trail and force food on me when I bought into the “only for through hikers” insisting they wanted me to have it.

Im pretty sure they wanted me to take it.

You think, lol? I hope it was something you liked.

petedelisio
06-28-2018, 00:12
Use to be in my travels, the shelters were not built for "thru hikers". And many "thru hikers" felt they should leave the shelters to the youth groups etc first...

But first come first serve and make room it's raining just goes without saying... Who the heck do people think they are that they feel they deserve special treatment.

Some Local hiking groups put a lot of time, energy and often money in and on the trails. A lot more than most thru hikers.

somers515
06-28-2018, 07:38
I read a review of a local hike the other day, and one reviewer scolded non-thru hikers for using shelters during the season.

Here is the quote:
Side note... if you are backpacking this loop in summer. Please leave the shelters for AT Thru Hikers, I noticed too many "weekenders" using the shelters to sleep in. poor form.

I'd never heard of this unwritten rule before, and IMO if somebody had the gall to question my use of a shelter in-season as a section hiker, I'd tell them where to shove their opinion. But that's me.

I can see not filling up an entire shelter with your youth/boy scout/church group etc..., but for individual hikers...come on.

Curious what you all think.

This is the first post on this thread quoted. My initial read of this is that the reviewer wasn't a thru-hiker - i.e. no one was asking for special treatment for themselves. Perhaps this is like a Rorschach ink blot test and how you feel about thru hikers is revealed by who you think the reviewer is.

Also a thru hiker is someone who intends to thru hike. Kinda like the legal definition of domicile, where you reside or intend to return to. It's your honest intention that matters in the common usage of this word. Yes I know certain parks have different definitions of thru hikers but to seriously say there are no thru hikers until they complete the hike is a little silly.

Finally it's been my admittedly limited experience that 99% of hikers, including thru hikers, appear to be good and helpful people. I understand it's fun to slam the 1% though so carry on whiteblaze! : )

Mr Strict
07-31-2018, 20:51
this never ends well when i interject this into these discussions-

it depends on the definition of "thru hiker."

while not often spoken off, printed, cited or i imagine enforced, in some places, most notably SNP, there is in fact a rule that basically says someone who parks their car, hikes a mile or two into the woods to a nearby shelter with the intention of staying there a night or two and then turning around and hiking back to their car is technically not allowed to do so. the shelters are intended for people who are "hiking through."

i don't think many people understand the reasoning behind this rule or agree with it in the least, even those amongst us who would never do something like this, but as someone who has more than once come across groups of people who have commandeered a shelter that was within an easy mile or two of a road and turned it into their own private weekend vacation getaway (and yes, ive had such people pretty much directly tell me that the shelter was "theirs" and i couldnt stay at it.) i understand fully and agree with such rules. the shelters are for people doing end to end hikes. not for lazy quasi car campers.

i sense perhaps a similar rule is in place wherever this was and one or more people grossly misunderstood or misapplied it.

U can’t technically be a “thru-hiker” until you start and finish the AT in less than one calendar year. Until then, everyone is considered a “section hiker”. I didn’t make the rules.

rickb
07-31-2018, 21:56
U can’t technically be a “thru-hiker” until you start and finish the AT in less than one calendar year. Until then, everyone is considered a “section hiker”. I didn’t make the rules.



The instant you finish a thru hike, you are no longer a thru hiker.

You are a former thru hiker.

Ergo, thru hikers do not exist (if your definition holds).

tdoczi
08-01-2018, 07:56
The instant you finish a thru hike, you are no longer a thru hiker.

You are a former thru hiker.

Ergo, thru hikers do not exist (if your definition holds).
i still say a "thru hiker" is just a person who is "hiking through"

that this warped at some point somehow into "person attempting to hike the whole trail" is just one of many examples of how we collectively like to forget (or willfully ignore) what words really mean in favor of what we think they mean.

rocketsocks
08-01-2018, 08:27
i still say a "thru hiker" is just a person who is "hiking through"

that this warped at some point somehow into "person attempting to hike the whole trail" is just one of many examples of how we collectively like to forget (or willfully ignore) what words really mean in favor of what we think they mean.sometimes words or phrases have more than one meaning...

Unchecked ego equals poor forum. :D

Traveler
08-01-2018, 12:32
The instant you finish a thru hike, you are no longer a thru hiker.

You are a former thru hiker.

Ergo, thru hikers do not exist (if your definition holds).

As a fun point of consideration, when reaching terminus at either end of the AT, one still has to walk out. For that hike out, if its on the AT, they can state they are a thru hiker. So thru hikers may exist, but they may be time stamped in a philosophical sense.

Odd Man Out
08-01-2018, 12:46
i still say a "thru hiker" is just a person who is "hiking through" ...

Also, no one stays at a shelter permanently. Therefore everyone is a thru hiker.


...Ergo, thru hikers do not exist (if your definition holds).

Therefore no one is a thru hiker.

Thus we have proven that all people thru hikers and not thru hikers at the same time. This is actually quite a reasonable conclusion based on quantum theory, since it is only once a particle is observed that its properties are fixed. So until you observe the hiker, he/she is both a thru hiker and not a thru hiker. It's just like Schrödinger's cat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat). If you put a hiker in a box, he/she will be both alive and dead at the same time, until you open the box. So the obvious solution is to not open the box.

Mr Strict
08-01-2018, 13:51
then if your senses are taken away, you cant prove that anything exists.

tdoczi
08-01-2018, 14:07
Also, no one stays at a shelter permanently. Therefore everyone is a thru hiker.



Therefore no one is a thru hiker.

Thus we have proven that all people thru hikers and not thru hikers at the same time. This is actually quite a reasonable conclusion based on quantum theory, since it is only once a particle is observed that its properties are fixed. So until you observe the hiker, he/she is both a thru hiker and not a thru hiker. It's just like Schrödinger's cat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat). If you put a hiker in a box, he/she will be both alive and dead at the same time, until you open the box. So the obvious solution is to not open the box.
actually in my statement "hiking through" is in contrast to "hiking to a point, turning around and hiking back to the start. or i suppose in a loop that ends where it began.

tdoczi
08-01-2018, 14:10
sometimes words or phrases have more than one meaning...


it generally ends up that way because we, for one reason or another, start using them to mean different things.

it would be more helpful to invent new words. therefore i move that "through hiker" go back to meaning "hiking through" and person who is attempting to hike the whole trail will henceforth be a.... hikeldumpty.

i look forward to the first thread discuss an attempt to set a FKT for a hikeldumpty

Mr Strict
08-01-2018, 14:17
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy ATC (which is the generally accepted authority of the AT) only recognizes someone to be a "thru-hiker" when they start and finish the AT within 12 months. Otherwise you are a "section hiker". In fact, if you finish the entire AT, without leaving the trail, in 12 months and one day, you are considered a "section hiker". Likewise, if you hike sections of the AT and go home in between for a week at a time but finish in less than 12 months, you would be a "thru-hiker" (this only considers the AT, you will have to figure out the definition for other tails)

tdoczi
08-01-2018, 14:25
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy ATC (which is the generally accepted authority of the AT) only recognizes someone to be a "thru-hiker" when they start and finish the AT within 12 months. Otherwise you are a "section hiker". In fact, if you finish the entire AT, without leaving the trail, in 12 months and one day, you are considered a "section hiker". Likewise, if you hike sections of the AT and go home in between for a week at a time but finish in less than 12 months, you would be a "thru-hiker" (this only considers the AT, you will have to figure out the definition for other tails)

actually im 98% sure all they recognize is people who have finished the trail and they (wisely) do not wade into differentiating the myriad different ways in which people do so.

well, thats mostly true. they seem to differentiate their photos by type of hike. this is probably a bad idea.

they also i think, at different points, like the kennebec, count "thru hikers" (this may technically not be the ATC doing it). of course at the kennebec there is really no way of knowing whether someone will become a thru hiker. by my definition of the word a "through hiker" is anyone who doesnt ride the ferry once in each direction in close succession. but thats probably not what they mean.

so i guess its really about what someone choses to identify themselves as (coming dangerously close to political discussion here). therefore, i will just tell people from now on that i am through hiking when i do a unidirectional hiking trip. by my meaning of the word that is what i am doing. who is anyone else to argue with my choice of what a word means or if it should apply to me, right?

how this will factor into the argument about who gets preferential treatment at UGPC i wont venture to guess at this juncture.

Mr Strict
08-01-2018, 14:37
I give up...

tdoczi
08-01-2018, 14:47
I give up...

so would you say, in a manner of speaking, that you are through posting?

Mr Strict
08-01-2018, 14:49
I give up...

..........

Mr Strict
08-01-2018, 14:50
so would you say, in a manner of speaking, that you are through posting?

on this issue, yes

chef4
08-01-2018, 18:23
Thru hikers are people committed to completing this one trail within a year, if we follow the standard definition, and I guess they evolve to 'thruhikerdom' if they meet this definition. Unless sleeping in a certain number of shelters is required to meet the requirements, it's unclear why they should receive preference at shelters, or anywhere else. Perhaps an exception can be made in areas with limited tent sites, but otherwise they should simply use their skills to complete the trail. (Also group camping at shelters seems to not be a good idea, if I were a group leader I'd avoid this because it would exclude the random hikers passing through, out of courtesy). Otherwise we need to set up something like a European royalty/privilege system that anoints the intended thru hiker with special privileges and requires other hikers to defer to them. We should all just get along and enjoy hiking in the way we define it, not defined as by someone else.

shelb
08-01-2018, 21:50
first come, first served. period. there is nothing special about a thru-hiker

YES - with the exception of groups - and by groups, I mean scout/youth/family groups of four or more. Two years ago, I was in GA, and there was a family of 7 hiking - staying in shelters. I was so happy that I could put in more miles to get the heck away from them!

BTW: I always bring a tent or hammock to use if shelter is full... but I prefer to be in the shelter as it is easy-peasy for set-up and take-down....

swisscross
08-01-2018, 21:51
If one is a hiker then they are never through hiking.

rocketsocks
08-01-2018, 21:56
it generally ends up that way because we, for one reason or another, start using them to mean different things.

it would be more helpful to invent new words. therefore i move that "through hiker" go back to meaning "hiking through" and person who is attempting to hike the whole trail will henceforth be a.... hikeldumpty.

i look forward to the first thread discuss an attempt to set a FKT for a hikeldumptythats gonna be tough since many can’t even agree what “trail magic” is.

Ethesis
08-04-2018, 21:26
You think, lol? I hope it was something you liked.


Unfortunately it was stuff I was allergic to. Luckily I found a through hiker later who took it off my hands.

So all was well.