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thruseeker
09-12-2018, 11:34
As a former thru hiker, who now has a house near Main St in Kent CT, I am trying to gauge interest if there are thru hikers who would like to tent camp, across from the welcome center showers, for free.
I know many of us make Kent a resupply stop, but would anyone want to camp out next to a 1850s barn in the center of the village? Laundromat and grocery store within a few hundred yards.
This is just my way of exploring a way to give back. Please comment both what you think positively, or negatively. Happy hiking!


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Hatchet_1697
09-12-2018, 12:10
As an AT section hiker who was in Kent two weeks ago I would have taken your offer of hospitality and very much appreciated it. Great location! The Fife and Drum Inn was nice enough, but a bit costly. Does the spot youíre talking about have hammock trees?


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thruseeker
09-12-2018, 13:25
Yes, and I really enjoy it.
The view is beautiful.
As an AT section hiker who was in Kent two weeks ago I would have taken your offer of hospitality and very much appreciated it. Great location! The Fife and Drum Inn was nice enough, but a bit costly. Does the spot youíre talking about have hammock trees?


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ldsailor
09-12-2018, 13:31
I think it is a good idea - especially because it is so close to those things a hiker needs. I went through the area this year and stopped in Cornwall Bridge to pickup a provision package and then move on, but I would have stopped in Kent if I had an affordable option to stay.

If you are going to make the area you have available for hikers to camp, you should contact both the AWOL AT Guide and Guthook, so they can list you. The AWOL AT Guide for 2019 ships usually at the end of the year, so you should do it ASAP before it closes the next year's edition if it hasn't already closed it.

Slo-go'en
09-12-2018, 13:33
Be careful though, you could end up with a yard full of tents and a big strain on your water and septic system.

Jeff
09-12-2018, 14:44
If you have neighbors it would be a good move to get their approval. Tom Levardi in Dalton, MA stresses out when there is too much noise coming from his tenting area. He worries about his neighbors.

thruseeker
09-12-2018, 15:12
Thanks for the replies so far. There would have to be a limit on the amount of people , it's not Woodstock [emoji846].
I've owned the property for decades, and I see it as a safe place for solo hikers to join in a safe area. This does not mean no pairs. A place to lay out wet things behind the barn. Nearby laundromat. A fire pit.
Showers and bathroom would be a couple of hundred yards away at the new Welcome Center, as it is now.
Back in the day, the AT ran through Macedonia Brook SP. It was great for backwoods tent camping.
Then the trail was moved, and I see the thru hikers without a good resting place, or any tent space once we have drawn them into the town. Any suggestions for vetting people?


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coach lou
09-12-2018, 15:25
I had heard that Tom stopped taking folks in???

Lone Wolf
09-12-2018, 16:42
do not allow alcohol on your property

The Snowman
09-12-2018, 18:11
Honestly its such a easy walk into town I don't see many hikers wanting to stay in a backyrd

tdoczi
09-12-2018, 18:18
Honestly its such a easy walk into town I don't see many hikers wanting to stay in a backyrd

unless something has changed dramatically since ive been through there town, though close, is kind of lacking for places to stay.

NJdreamer
09-12-2018, 19:00
I had heard that Tom stopped taking folks in???

I am a section hiker, and stayed there in June of this year. There were about 8 other backpackers in tents that night, and several people on his porch. I think he has purposefully been keeping it quieter. He told us to keep our voices down after 9 PM, which we all did (but the neighbors' kids were laughing loudly in their pool). It is very nice of him to let people stay, but it is very weird in that there are no bathroom facilities very close except some bushes for urinating. For me it was wonderful to be able to stay there, as I pushed myself a bit too far, and needed to find a place to stop for night. I really enjoyed seeing the other backpackers, some of which I had seen earlier that day.

NJdreamer
09-12-2018, 19:05
Then the trail was moved, and I see the thru hikers without a good resting place, or any tent space once we have drawn them into the town. Any suggestions for vetting people?


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I concur on the no alcohol, but include no drugs too, as there is a crowd that seems to like to indulge after hiking miles and miles. Perhaps limit to 1 night only, except for extreme weather. If you are seriously considering it, I suggest you contact someone else who does this in another area, and ask for tips about how to set it up and make it work for you and the hikers.

thruseeker
09-12-2018, 19:49
Yes, I was thinking of limiting it to 1 night, except in case of very bad weather. As for the neighbors, as long as I obey zoning rules, I won't announce my private matters to my neighbors, nor do they tell me when they have guests.
I realize, snoman, that this is not everyones desire, but for those that find themselves in the middle of town with no place to sleep, it may be a great relief.
No alcohol for sure, but Marijuana is legal with a prescription(recommendation) , and I am not one to judge anothers medical problems. I won't discriminate due to medical history.
I'll need to reserve the right to refuse anyone I feel would be a nuisance, or becomes one, but my experience as a hiker, and talking with others for quite some time, is that through hikers are usually on a well thought out journey. I'm thinking about a brief vetting process, with a ID. Those looking for respite shouldn't mind, and I would be naive to let unidentified people stay on the property.


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Slo-go'en
09-12-2018, 19:59
[QUOTE=thruseeker;2222830
Any suggestions for vetting people? [/QUOTE]

That's a sticky point. Would you be there all the time to greet and evaluate those who show up? Are you willing to say I don't like your looks so move along?

Thru hikers are very spread out by the time they get to Kent, so you shouldn't see too many at once, but there would be a steady stream of them all summer, although small bubbles form for various reasons.

You probably want to keep this sort of word of mouth and not publish in any of the guides. Put a note at the bath house that you let hikers camps in your yard across the street, if possible showing a designated tenting area. Leave a note up at the Algo shelter too.

The walk to town from the Algo shelter is pretty reasonable. The current situation is hikers time their arrival at Algo to have enough time to run into town and back. Easy to do if you spend the previous night at Wiley or 10 mile river. More of a stretch from Telephone pioneers shelter, but I've done it myself with just enough time to get back to the shelter before dark. If I had known that I could camp more or less across the street, I would have had a few more beers with my dinner :)

Quik
09-12-2018, 22:18
do not allow alcohol on your property

Lone Wolf I agree 100%

Iím in Kent now and I stayed here during my thru in 2010, I like the town and the people here. Would the township allow tent camping in town, have you discussed this with the city council, permits, insurance, I have no idea what might be involved?

thruseeker
09-12-2018, 22:42
Lone Wolf I agree 100%

Iím in Kent now and I stayed here during my thru in 2010, I like the town and the people here. Would the township allow tent camping in town, have you discussed this with the city council, permits, insurance, I have no idea what might be involved?I'm sure if I do something like this, my lawyer will insist on additional insurance, maybe more. As far as the town, they allow up to 6 unrelated people to stay /rent at the house as paying short term rental tenants at a time. A 'boarding house' as they define it. Kent does not even have a noise ordinance. There are no guidelines for a homeowner allowing friends to stay over, so long as they don't park in rights of way or setbacks.
The entire code was rewritten 4 months ago and is available online.

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Quik
09-12-2018, 22:57
I'm sure if I do something like this, my lawyer will insist on additional insurance, maybe more. As far as the town, they allow up to 6 unrelated people to stay /rent at the house as paying short term rental tenants at a time. A 'boarding house' as they define it. Kent does not even have a noise ordinance. There are no guidelines for a homeowner allowing friends to stay over, so long as they don't park in rights of way or setbacks.
The entire code was rewritten 4 months ago and is available online.

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I thought you were talking about tent camping across from the welcome center?

thruseeker
09-13-2018, 05:31
Tent camping, yes. Across from the welcome center? No, nearby as stated. The rest of what you quoted is in response to the other posters replies, if you would care to read the whole thread. A couple of times permits and zoning were brought up, and I addressed them.

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Bubblehead
09-13-2018, 08:23
That's a great idea! I hiked thru Kent this past May, and will hike through again next year. This year, I encountered a couple of homeless people at Wiley and Mt. Algo shelters. A place to tent in Kent within walking distance of the IGA would be awesome. Thanks.

thruseeker
09-13-2018, 09:31
In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that the AT used to go through Macedonia Brook SP.
The blue trail absorbed it, but if you wanted, there is a blazed trail with old campsites along the way, not a part of the park camping sites. For those who want to avoid civilation. Google Chippewalla Rd, and zoom into the top of the ridgeline.

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thruseeker
09-13-2018, 11:09
Honestly its such a easy walk into town I don't see many hikers wanting to stay in a backyrdYeah, "backyard" camping would be such a demerit to some. But, since the trail runs perpendicular to my land, it's just something that someone in need would have to lower themselves to <sarcasmhttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180913/2e8f8b29cba24afdec82d7786d88b263.jpg

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Old Grouse
09-13-2018, 11:37
By all means, check with your attorney and insurance agent. In addition, Connecticut's Recreational Use statute specifically mentions camping and hiking, and should provide liability protection as long as you don't charge a fee.

ldsailor
09-13-2018, 12:27
When I stayed at the Rattle River Hostel this summer, I watched the informal "hostel grapevine" in action. Apparently a hiker who was pulling scams at hostels was on his way into the area. Eric, the owner at Rattle River Hostel, called around to the other hostels in his area and down the trail SOBO to warn everyone to watch for the hiker. If you go ahead with your plan, it may be worthwhile to get a list of the hostels in your area and either join their grapevine or get one started.

liptackj
09-18-2018, 21:02
A couple of years ago a shop owner allowed hikers to stay in the lot behind their store (and the church). It did not last long. Lots of problems.

thruseeker
09-20-2018, 10:03
Thank you for all the replies and information.
The saying 'no good deed goes unpunished' seems a possible fate were I to do this.
I think come springtime, I may try to do this as a word of mouth only option for those in need of respite. It's unfortunate that a few can ruin things for the whole, but that seems to be the reality.
So, anyone passing through in spring 2019, if you are finding this post and truly need a hand, pm me. I will not be making public my giving back, as the potential for abuse is too high.
Happy and safe hiking to all.


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Alligator
09-20-2018, 14:35
Thank you for all the replies and information.
The saying 'no good deed goes unpunished' seems a possible fate were I to do this.
I think come springtime, I may try to do this as a word of mouth only option for those in need of respite. It's unfortunate that a few can ruin things for the whole, but that seems to be the reality.
So, anyone passing through in spring 2019, if you are finding this post and truly need a hand, pm me. I will not be making public my giving back, as the potential for abuse is too high.
Happy and safe hiking to all.


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Teacher & Snacktime
09-20-2018, 19:11
I noticed in the original post that you indicated offering this to thru hikers. Several section hikers have responded. Can you clarify please whether this would be available to both thrus and sectioners?

thruseeker
09-20-2018, 21:59
Do you realize your idea of a low-key location is going to last about 10 minutes with social media?Which is why this is the last post I needed to make an informed decision along with the other research, and the last to which I'll respond in regards to this thread. Thanks to those who responded.

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