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mweinstone
05-31-2007, 08:02
to lighten everyones load, shouldnt the shelters be stocked with the things everyone carrys but seldom uses? duct tape,needle and thread,mirror etc. and to save everyone battery life, why cant the shelters have a 10$ solar light like the kind used to light driveways and gardens. were talking about a lamp so dim it would never disturb the animals. and why not have a barrel water collection system for washing and dry spells? it could be bug free and safe all with a drum a hose a tap and a drainspout.cant the shelters have anything in them? or would the first aholes destroy and litter it? ive allways been for tareing down these poop houses, but if not, fix them up and try to get respect for them. more caretakers maby.

Lone Wolf
05-31-2007, 08:04
shelters suck. tear them down. build no more.

Tha Wookie
05-31-2007, 08:19
I'm glad there are many other long trails without shelters. But I think the AT needs them, to keep it's social value to all the urbanites. McKaye was a smart man. But lately, they seem to be getting out of control. The Ed Garvey shelter is point in case. There is a thin line.

RockyBob
05-31-2007, 08:44
shelters suck. tear them down. build no more.

I could not agree more on this issue. Tear them all down.

The Old Fhart
05-31-2007, 08:47
Question-"do shelters suck or what?"
Answer-"or what" :D

Actually, Matthewski, the enhanced shelters you describe with supplies and caretakers are already being used in the Whites. They are called AMC huts!:banana

Frolicking Dinosaurs
05-31-2007, 08:51
::: dino puts on asbestos suit and hood :::
The solar light idea actual would be helpful and it wouldn't be a very expensive modification.

Re: the stuff everyone carries, but seldom uses - putting those in hiker boxes would make sense, but I think they would end up as littler or mouse nests in a shelter.

neo
05-31-2007, 08:55
to lighten everyones load, shouldnt the shelters be stocked with the things everyone carrys but seldom uses? duct tape,needle and thread,mirror etc. and to save everyone battery life, why cant the shelters have a 10$ solar light like the kind used to light driveways and gardens. were talking about a lamp so dim it would never disturb the animals. and why not have a barrel water collection system for washing and dry spells? it could be bug free and safe all with a drum a hose a tap and a drainspout.cant the shelters have anything in them? or would the first aholes destroy and litter it? ive allways been for tareing down these poop houses, but if not, fix them up and try to get respect for them. more caretakers maby.


i hate shelters:cool: neo

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 09:00
Let the urbanites find comfort elsewhere, like at home.
Shelters nearly always attract rodents, insects, dirt, pestilence and foulness of all manner and description.

Down with shelters!:banana

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 09:04
Question-"do shelters suck or what?"
Answer-"or what" :D

Actually, Matthewski, the enhanced shelters you describe with supplies and caretakers are already being used in the Whites. They are called AMC huts!

HELICOPTER RESUPPLY!!!! Bwaaaaaah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
(how effete is that?):p

Tear 'em ALL DOWN.

MONKEYBUTT
05-31-2007, 09:20
These large mouse huts suck. The only thing I enjoy is reading/writing the logs and even those have to be placed in PVC piping to keep it away from those pesky rodents.
Nice place to stop and socialize though. This was my first year on the trail (section hiking) and I tell you what... from beginning to end of my week trip I met the nicest people. It was great to know that nice people still exist and gave me hope, because I have become VERY negative towards how people have become.

Yahtzee
05-31-2007, 09:25
Ah, so Trail Days must be as it was originally meant to be but screw Benton Mackaye and the original vision of the AT. What a crock! The AT wasn't designed for thruhikers, we're just the idiots who took a crazy idea and ran (hiked) with it. The AT is for dayhikers and weekenders. And until one can gauge how shelters serve them a reasoned assessment of their value cannot be made.

Having said that, I like the ad hoc nature of the shelter system. Some good, some bad, all of them keep me relatively dry when it's raining. Other than that they are big wooden boxes holding the registers I read on my way to whereever I am camping for the night. That is purpose enough for me.

Lyle
05-31-2007, 09:47
Shelters are fine when they don't go overboard. If you don't like them, don't use them. If you like them respect them. Simple as that.

Personally, I think they are going too far, Peter's Mountain just north of Duncannon is palacial when compared to Earl Schaffer's construction near-by. However I did stay in it during a stormy night and appreciated the indoor table, and "patio" that night. But I would have also been happy with a more typical shelter, and thankful for it's protection.

As long as dispersed camping as a rule is allowed, I don't see where the shelters should be a major concern. Most are off the trail a ways, so it is easy to avoid them if you wish.

The Old Fhart
05-31-2007, 10:06
Yahtzee-"The AT wasn't designed for thruhikers, we're just the idiots who took a crazy idea and ran (hiked) with it. The AT is for dayhikers and weekenders. And until one can gauge how shelters serve them a reasoned assessment of their value cannot be made."BINGO! The extremely small minority of trail users are the thru-hikers, some of them being the self proclaimed elite, or more properly, effete hikers.:rolleyes:

(effete, definition 2. 'Marked by self-indulgence, triviality, or decadence')

Skyline
05-31-2007, 10:07
The problem with placing amenities like matthewski described at shelters is that they add to the maintenance necessary, and the various types of messes that maintainers must deal with.

Case in point: A maintaining club or even an individual maintainer wants to provide TP in a privy, and devises a moisture-proof, mouse-proof manner in which to store the TP...provided each and every hiker goes along with the system. But we know there are selfish hikers who will STEAL the TP, and thoughtless hikers who will not replace the TP in its protective case so it becomes a plaything for rodents.

How many times have you arrived at a shelter that has a special place for the register to be kept, out of the weather and away from the rodents? How many times have you found that register just lying on the shelter floor, wet from blown-in rain or chewed by mice?

The only place providing items that hikers need would work is at those shelters that have a full time caretaker, and then only during his or her seasonal residency. Because it takes somebody who will clean up after hikers like their mommy would to eliminate problems as described above.

End of rant.

Rhino-lfl
05-31-2007, 10:08
Could we make them brothels? Maybe ad a wallyworld every 50 miles along the trail or so?

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 10:21
The problem with placing amenities like matthewski described at shelters is that they add to the maintenance necessary, and the various types of messes that maintainers must deal with.

Case in point: A maintaining club or even an individual maintainer wants to provide TP in a privy, and devises a moisture-proof, mouse-proof manner in which to store the TP...provided each and every hiker goes along with the system. But we know there are selfish hikers who will STEAL the TP, and thoughtless hikers who will not replace the TP in its protective case so it becomes a plaything for rodents.

How many times have you arrived at a shelter that has a special place for the register to be kept, out of the weather and away from the rodents? How many times have you found that register just lying on the shelter floor, wet from blown-in rain or chewed by mice?

The only place providing items that hikers need would work is at those shelters who have a full time caretaker, and then only during his or her seasonal residency. Because it takes somebody who will clean up after hikers like their mommy would to eliminate problems as described above.

End of rant.

Skyline's entry is evidentiary: Clearly the happy mutterings of another satisfied maintainer. Wouldn't he be so much happier and his life so much more stree-free if he didn't have to fight the good fight? No shelters, no stress. What could be simpler? It's Occam's Shelter. We must think of the maintainers...;)

Bilko
05-31-2007, 10:39
Tear down the shelters. Who needs them? Let everyone camp where they want. When your day is done, just clear out a little area and set up your tent, tarp or hammock. Need a little fire wood just cut down what you need. Have a group of scouts out for the weekend, let them make their own little settlement on the side of the trail.

No way should we tear them down. Yahtzee and Lyle are on the right trail. The shelters are for everyone, a meeting place, a place to get water and take a dump. We are the ones that leave the trash behind, we are the ones that leave the registers out, we leave TP visible. We need to take care of what we have. We are the problem with the shelters, the shelters are not problems for us. The last one to bed, turn off the light.

scope
05-31-2007, 10:43
For the most part, shelters are fine as long as they are away from roads where they get abused by those that don't care much for others. Hikers know how they would like a shelter to be and they leave it that way for other hikers - mostly. Having a central area for poop helps for any place where hikers might congregate, and congregate is something that I think hikers would do regardless if there were no shelters. So, I think its fine to say shelters suck, but I think they serve their purpose mostly pretty well.

rafe
05-31-2007, 10:56
What's the beef? A large portion of AT shelters -- and almost all new ones -- are not directly on the trail, but on side-trails. If you don't like them, don't stay at them. If your argument is that they attract the "wrong" people to the trail, I'd call that utterly elitist. If your beef is with the AMC's hut system, be advised that they predate the AT by many decades.

To the extent that the shelters are dirty and/or mouse-infested, that's primarily due to careless hikers. But I don't see where anyone's seriously addressing that issue. If you take the shelters away, the trash (from those same careless hikers) will end up dispersed randomly along the trail at sites amenable to tent setup. The net amount (of hiker trash) won't change. I believe the rationale for shelters is to concentrate the damage.

Again... if you don't like shelters, nobody's forcing you to stay at them.

Skyline
05-31-2007, 11:14
Skyline's entry is evidentiary: Clearly the happy mutterings of another satisfied maintainer. Wouldn't he be so much happier and his life so much more stree-free if he didn't have to fight the good fight? No shelters, no stress. What could be simpler? It's Occam's Shelter. We must think of the maintainers...;)

Sure, I'm a satisfied maintainer. (Pass Mt. Hut, SNP.)

Satisfied that we provide the right level of amenities already: A shelter with roof that doesn't leak, a picnic table, a firepit, a spring, a privy, poles to hang food from, and user-friendly tentsites not far away. Generally all kept clean and serviceable. What more do hikers require?

Mags
05-31-2007, 11:39
The problem with the deluxe shelters are that they use up much resources (building and maintaining) that could be directed elsewhere.

Personally, I think the shelter construction should go back to the simple lean-tos. Less costly, much easier to maintain, less impact on the area.

Perhaps more emphasis on hardended camping areas and less on shelters may work, too.

I recongnize the historical and cultural role that shelters hold on the AT. I also think that the shelter construction is going a bit overboard.

Crazy Larry #1
05-31-2007, 11:45
to lighten everyones load, shouldnt the shelters be stocked with the things everyone carrys but seldom uses? duct tape,needle and thread,mirror etc. and to save everyone battery life, why cant the shelters have a 10$ solar light like the kind used to light driveways and gardens. were talking about a lamp so dim it would never disturb the animals. and why not have a barrel water collection system for washing and dry spells? it could be bug free and safe all with a drum a hose a tap and a drainspout.cant the shelters have anything in them? or would the first aholes destroy and litter it? ive allways been for tareing down these poop houses, but if not, fix them up and try to get respect for them. more caretakers maby.
What a subject. I think the shelters ought to be well stocked and there should be maid service as well. I mean like someone there to cater to my every whim........yeah, that sounds good...........

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 12:31
Sure, I'm a satisfied maintainer. (Pass Mt. Hut, SNP.)

Satisfied that we provide the right level of amenities already: A shelter with roof that doesn't leak, a picnic table, a firepit, a spring, a privy, poles to hang food from, and user-friendly tentsites not far away. Generally all kept clean and serviceable. What more do hikers require?

HELICOPTER RESUPPLY. And galley slaves to cook my meals! Argh!:cool:

Skyline
05-31-2007, 13:34
HELICOPTER RESUPPLY. And galley slaves to cook my meals! Argh!:cool:

Could we draw you a bath as well? :-)

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 13:42
I'd pay up to 80 bucks a night for that...:rolleyes:

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 13:45
....when pigs fly.

Rhino-lfl
05-31-2007, 13:47
Sure, I'm a satisfied maintainer. (Pass Mt. Hut, SNP.)

Satisfied that we provide the right level of amenities already: A shelter with roof that doesn't leak, a picnic table, a firepit, a spring, a privy, poles to hang food from, and user-friendly tentsites not far away. Generally all kept clean and serviceable. What more do hikers require?

Apparently a babysitter.

Crazy Larry #1
05-31-2007, 14:00
Apparently a babysitter.
gaga...googoo.......................:)

minnesotasmith
05-31-2007, 14:30
Say there is a shelter directly on, or within 25 yards of, the Trail on average every 20 miles. (Ones off the AT can be disregarded for this discussion, as much as hotels in towns should be.) That's 20 * 1760 = 35,200 yards. If, say, 50 yards of the AT is affected by a trailside shelter, that means (50*100)/35200 %, or 0.1420 percent of the AT is shelter area. I don't think it's asking much of the shelter-phobes to dodge those tiny parts of the AT during their hiking. That is, how likely is it that they will just have to stop for the night in exactly those spots? There are miles and miles of the AT where tenting is an impractical PITA, just due to rocks, unbroken foliage, bogs, etc., especially up North, so by inference, anyone who finds shelters to crimp their hiking style should logically be completely unable to do anything more than dayhiking in the Whites or the southern half of Maine. Or, their logic is just full of s*** on this subject. Given that more than a few shelter-haters have successfully thru-hiked, I'd vote for the latter explanation. :-? ;)

Add more shelters. Put them in every 2 - 3 miles, ideally, especially in the Whites, Smokies, Maine, and SNP. Just don't put them near paved roads.

rafe
05-31-2007, 14:32
The fabric of the universe has a tear. I find myself agreeing with MS.:eek:

(PS: I don't quite follow MS's math, even if I agree with his general point.)

WalkinHome
05-31-2007, 15:43
Sure, I'm a satisfied maintainer. (Pass Mt. Hut, SNP.)

Satisfied that we provide the right level of amenities already: A shelter with roof that doesn't leak, a picnic table, a firepit, a spring, a privy, poles to hang food from, and user-friendly tentsites not far away. Generally all kept clean and serviceable. What more do hikers require?

Something to gripe about!

Skyline
05-31-2007, 16:26
Say there is a shelter directly on, or within 25 yards of, the Trail on average every 20 miles. (Ones off the AT can be disregarded for this discussion, as much as hotels in towns should be.) That's 20 * 1760 = 35,200 yards. If, say, 50 yards of the AT is affected by a trailside shelter, that means (50*100)/35200 %, or 0.1420 percent of the AT is shelter area. I don't think it's asking much of the shelter-phobes to dodge those tiny parts of the AT during their hiking. That is, how likely is it that they will just have to stop for the night in exactly those spots? There are miles and miles of the AT where tenting is an impractical PITA, just due to rocks, unbroken foliage, bogs, etc., especially up North, so by inference, anyone who finds shelters to crimp their hiking style should logically be completely unable to do anything more than dayhiking in the Whites or the southern half of Maine. Or, their logic is just full of s*** on this subject. Given that more than a few shelter-haters have successfully thru-hiked, I'd vote for the latter explanation. :-? ;)

Add more shelters. Put them in every 2 - 3 miles, ideally, especially in the Whites, Smokies, Maine, and SNP. Just don't put them near paved roads.

So if shelters are more than 25 yards off the AT they should be disregarded? As in, don't go thereóit's too far to walk? I don't have a list of precise distances at my fingertips, but I think you've just "disregarded" about half the shelters on the AT.

Generally, I'll camp near a shelter (usually not stay in one, but tent nearby) if it's within a quarter mile of the trail. Most are.

Johnny Swank
05-31-2007, 17:02
The problem with the deluxe shelters are that they use up much resources (building and maintaining) that could be directed elsewhere.

Personally, I think the shelter construction should go back to the simple lean-tos. Less costly, much easier to maintain, less impact on the area.

Perhaps more emphasis on hardended camping areas and less on shelters may work, too.

I recongnize the historical and cultural role that shelters hold on the AT. I also think that the shelter construction is going a bit overboard.


What he said X 100. Some of the newer shelters are getting way over the top. I'd much rather the resources go back into actually maintaining the trail instead of putting up another condo.

DavidNH
05-31-2007, 17:04
Ok first off.. would those of you who would tear down shelters even get rid of Quarry Gap? That place was like a free hotel..complete with karosene lamps (i dont think they worked though), flowers, gravel, sheltered table, land scaped spring...on and on.

On a more serious note.. would not elimination of the shelters simply result in the masses spreading out more? As it is now... folks congreate at shelters and if one wants privacy one can pitch a tent just before or just past...or where ever one wants and can get water (aside from areas of the AT where you can't camp just any ol place like in the Whites).

To me the real problem isn't having shelters. The real problem is just too many people. Having eight people crowd a shelter and then 20+ sleeping in tents or tarps around the shelter in the immediate vicinity.. that is what detracts from the experience.


Lastly.. I want to put in a good word here for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club..the club that maintains the trail through SNP. Not only are their shelters wonderful, but the tent sites in SNP are among the best I have seen. Beautifully laid out and close enough to water but not too close to the shelters!!! The trail in their section was also wonderfully maintained! You guys are the best!

DavidNH

The Old Fhart
05-31-2007, 17:20
MS-"If, say, 50 yards[linear measure] of the AT is affected by a trailside shelter, that means (50*100)/35200 %, or 0.1420 percent of the AT is shelter area."If you were a scientist you would instantly realize there is no way to compare linear measurement with area. Hopefully you're better at finding oil than simple mathematical concepts!:D

BTW, most of the shelter signs you see say: "Shelter-0.2 mile". Of course that isn't any more scientific than your SWAG so if you actually go through the A.T. Data Book you might come up with some meaningful data.

rafe
05-31-2007, 17:40
So if shelters are more than 25 yards off the AT they should be disregarded? As in, don't go thereóit's too far to walk?

I don't think that's what MS is saying. If I may be so bold -- I think he's saying that if a shelter is more than 25 yards off the trail, it's not going to impact anyone's "wilderness experience."

But maybe I should let MS defend his own post. It seems to me that placing shelters on short side trails ought to satisfy those hikers who are determined not to use them.

I agree that "mega" shelters are counter-productive. I'd prefer to see small, simple shelters... and maybe a few more of them (or at somewhat more regular intervals.)

Mags
05-31-2007, 17:41
On a more serious note.. would not elimination of the shelters simply result in the masses spreading out more?


I am not against shelets per se; I am just against the vast resources that are used to purchase, build and maintain the more elabaorate shelers. A simple lean-to with a picnic table would serve the purpose of an AT shelter. (Much as Skyline already described)

I also suspect designated and hardended tent sites (perhaps with a central picnic pavilion) would make sure camping is not dispersed as much in addition to being less costly and easier to maintain.

Realistically, shelters aren't going away. They are too much apart of the history and culture of the Appalachian Trail. The community feel is very part of the AT and I would not want to see that go away. But part of the tradition are the simple lean-tos that the AT started off with as well. And I'd hate to see that go away and be replaced by more elaborate structures.


I am genuinely curious and maybe a trail maintainer can answer: Why the emhpasis on the larger shelters? Are they what want volunteers want to build and maintain? Are they what most hikers want?

mweinstone
05-31-2007, 17:42
wonderfoot is comming over to take me shopping! who cares about anything else! the wonderfoot part ,..not the shopping. now i will check my shelter threadtrap to see whats biting. or,..who bites. back in a bit with my sunapsis.

hopefulhiker
05-31-2007, 17:52
I think that simple shelters with picnic tables have a place on the AT especially in really bad weather. and people with measly tarps...

Gaiter
05-31-2007, 17:56
ooh crap, i had written a great response to this thread, but it looks like i forgot the whole "post quick reply" button, damn sleep deprivation.

anyways, i felt like writing a shelter version of ben harper's burn one down http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/benharper/burnonedown.html

but i feel that shelters aren't that bad, i don't mind staying in them. given the number of people who hike the trail, just think of the environmental impact it would have if the shelters weren't there, everyone creating campsites every .5 mile, the cat-hole minefeilds, blah blah blah, you can all picture it in your head.
at the end of the day sometimes its just great not to have to worry about setting up a tent, or having to take down a wet tent early in the morning when you should be drinking coffee or tea because u just aren't quite functional yet.
and if your worried about mice then don't leave food in the shelter, bear bag it, the last 3 weeks of my hike last summer i hiked w/ a guy who insisted on bearbaging every single night, the only time there was a mouse issue was in a shelter that had a granola bag hanging in it when we got there but i must speak highly of that mouse, if we could only live our lives w/ half the amount of determination that he had.

Chache
05-31-2007, 17:56
Is it to much to ask for a well stocked Mini-Bar?

Gaiter
05-31-2007, 17:58
or a well stocked spring, cold drinks, no power needed

mweinstone
05-31-2007, 18:10
minnesota smiths last meal on his last day in the last shelter he would see on his first thruhike. with mattys feet.

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 18:24
Looks kinda like a character from a Dickens novel.

mweinstone
05-31-2007, 18:31
issue one. drunken aholes can carry alot more beer when their not carriying a tent. our problem is the shelters lower the skill level needed to be an overnight guest in the wilds.they allow skilless fools to multiply. without them, alot more confidence and skill is required. put up this many shelters on the ptc or the cdt and theyll go bad to. our trail has problems. no one is leaving no impact. everyone is leaving the woods trashed because they dont know the rules of minnimum impact and leave no trace. they dont need to learn either. as long as a house waits for them at the end of a short walk.
issue two. all the privys comprimise all the water sources and all the shelter areas are non reclaimable for a thousand years. only spreading out a more skilled smaller group of hikers will work. we would have that instantly if the shelters go.
issue three. minnesota smith is finally getting the respect a thru hiking god deserves. i only hope my mistake ,(wyoming skateboarder)minnesotas older brother dosnt get jellouse and start decapitating people with his canoe paddle. when i created them i made them different. wyoming was to fast. he learned so fast he needed paddles to think. minnesota was my crowning achivement. i allways intended to go back and fix wyoming. but now theres no time. im dieing. i love you both like sons . minnesota, i hope you learn to understand your brother wyoming one day. hes really not that different from you. i gave you both a love of walking so that you might meet one day. now,...with my labratory smashed and in ruins, my life short.. and your brother missing,...i must say goodby. minnesota,......learn well. use your positronic brain to do only good.
issue epilog. soup is made primaraly from soup.

FanaticFringer
05-31-2007, 19:52
Blood Mt. shelter sucked. First time in a shelter cause my nephew thought it would be cool.:rolleyes:
Those mice gave me hell all night and I did'nt sleep a wink. I even had my hammock with me that I could have used.:eek:
They suck I tell ya. They suck.
Oh yea. it was 10 degrees. That was cool.:cool:

rafe
05-31-2007, 20:53
Blood Mt. shelter sucked.

Any building made entirely of stone sucks. Wouldn't stay there, or Chestnut Knob shelter. Creepy.

NICKTHEGREEK
05-31-2007, 21:16
I could not agree more on this issue. Tear them all down.
Leave 1 standing as an eternal testimonial to total suckiness. Other wise some one will think it's a good idea to build them and the circle will begin once again

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 21:33
Any building made entirely of stone sucks. Wouldn't stay there, or Chestnut Knob shelter. Creepy.

Ugly feng shui, bad ju ju, etc.

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 21:34
There is no such thing as gravity: That force you feel is shelters sucking.

Darwin again
05-31-2007, 21:36
Shelters and Chuck Norris cannot exist in the same time-space continuum because they both suck so horribly.

Rhino-lfl
06-01-2007, 08:32
I am not against shelets per se; I am just against the vast resources that are used to purchase, build and maintain the more elabaorate shelers. A simple lean-to with a picnic table would serve the purpose of an AT shelter. (Much as Skyline already described)
...

What is an elaborate shelter to you? A floor? A clearing? Are we talking swimming pools and movie stars here?

Shelters are needed because they keep all the idiot hikers from clearing a path through the woods to put up a tent, crapping and leaving their junk everywhere, and spoiling the environment by collecting them all in one area where they can bitch about it. The AT would look like hellís kitchen in 3 weeks without shelters with all the reckless people ripping their way through the woods and pissing and sh1tting on every tree, bush and grass patch.

Skyline
06-01-2007, 09:29
I am not against shelets per se; I am just against the vast resources that are used to purchase, build and maintain the more elabaorate shelers. A simple lean-to with a picnic table would serve the purpose of an AT shelter. (Much as Skyline already described)

I also suspect designated and hardended tent sites (perhaps with a central picnic pavilion) would make sure camping is not dispersed as much in addition to being less costly and easier to maintain.

Realistically, shelters aren't going away. They are too much apart of the history and culture of the Appalachian Trail. The community feel is very part of the AT and I would not want to see that go away. But part of the tradition are the simple lean-tos that the AT started off with as well. And I'd hate to see that go away and be replaced by more elaborate structures.


I am genuinely curious and maybe a trail maintainer can answer: Why the emhpasis on the larger shelters? Are they what want volunteers want to build and maintain? Are they what most hikers want?

As we've both agreed on previous WB threads, I think clusters of tentsites are the way of the future on the AT. IMHO they should be enhanced with a few other amenities like a picnic table, a nearby water source, in many locations a privy, and perhaps a bear pole or pulley system in heavy bear country. I like Dr. Jeff Marion's ideas about tentsites: Don't crowd them all together like a big ghetto, but spread them out over a designated area (like a quarter square mile) and where possible build them into sidehill.

As far as the question, why build bigger/more elaborate shelters...I think it can often be traced back to a combination of wanting to do something nice for hikers, and ego on the part of the club leaders/designers/volunteers. Good intentions, but maybe not the best solution for backcountry camping.

I don't believe shelters will ever completely disappear on the AT. But if the maintaining clubs and ATC took a position that no NEW shelters would be built, some of the shelters ready to fall down would be eliminated, and instead of new/replacement shelters new more frequent campuses of tentsites with a few amenities would be established--two positive things would happen. First, construction and ongoing maintenance (material purchases as well as volunteer time) would be drastically reduced. Second, we could eventually have these clusters every two or three miles in some sections instead of a shelter every ten miles or more. This would serve the dual goals of concentrating camping to certain areas (not by banning camping anywhere else but by attracting the majority to these pre-hardened sites), and it would provide many new options for both short and long distance hikers who now tend to shoot for shelters that are further apart.

Skyline
06-01-2007, 09:33
What is an elaborate shelter to you? A floor? A clearing? Are we talking swimming pools and movie stars here?

Shelters are needed because they keep all the idiot hikers from clearing a path through the woods to put up a tent, crapping and leaving their junk everywhere, and spoiling the environment by collecting them all in one area where they can bitch about it. The AT would look like hell’s kitchen in 3 weeks without shelters with all the reckless people ripping their way through the woods and pissing and sh1tting on every tree, bush and grass patch.

You make some good points about the inherent evils of not having places along the AT for hikers to spend the night in a group setting. The same goals can be accomplished without shelter structures, for a lot less money and a lot less volunteer effort during initial construction and ongoing maintenance.

See my post, above...

scope
06-01-2007, 10:23
Is it to much to ask for a well stocked Mini-Bar?

As long as its something other than bud-lite.... when I come into a shelter after a long day, I deserve better, dammit!

Mags
06-01-2007, 10:42
What is an elaborate shelter to you? A floor? A clearing? Are we talking swimming pools and movie stars here?


http://www.atthruhiker.org/photos/week7-8/pages/Luxurious%20Partnership%20Shelter%20(w%20Shower)_j pg.htm

With a shower no less...

There are other examples, too.


A bit different than a lean-to..eh?





Shelters are needed because they keep all the idiot hikers from clearing a path through the woods to put up a tent,

I did not say shelters should go away, I said shelters should be less elaborate.

Mags
06-01-2007, 10:48
As we've both agreed on previous WB threads, I think clusters of tentsites are the way of the future on the AT.


Yep..we definitely agree. I think Wookie feels along those lines, too. Due to the nature of the AT (more people, cultural and historical reasons), there needs to be centralized camping. I think everyone agrees about that statement. I guess the debate is HOW to concetrate the camping. Super Sized structures? Centralized camping? Lean-tos?

I am curious what Weary and Cosmo think, They are both active AT maintainers, post on WB, and I would love to hear their views.

rafe
06-01-2007, 10:54
As we've both agreed on previous WB threads, I think clusters of tentsites are the way of the future on the AT. IMHO they should be enhanced with a few other amenities like a picnic table, a nearby water source, in many locations a privy, and perhaps a bear pole or pulley system in heavy bear country. I like Dr. Jeff Marion's ideas about tentsites: Don't crowd them all together like a big ghetto, but spread them out over a designated area (like a quarter square mile) and where possible build them into sidehill. <snip>

I'm with you, Skyline. Let's keep it simple. I would love to see more tent sites with a few basic amenities (privy, picnic table, water source.) I enjoy a bit of company when I'm camping. It's more fun, and (irrational or not) I feel a bit more secure, usually.

My new standard for an "ideal" AT shelter is something like Kirkridge, in PA just south of DWG. Notwithstanding the water spigot up the side trail (a bit strange) the structure is simple but solid, with room for maybe 10-15 hikers, in a pinch. There's a generous overhang and a picnic table under it. It's got a fire pit, which I like -- though I understand why these are rare.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-01-2007, 11:04
A covered pavallion with some shelfs or tables (for cooking) with both tent sites and hammock sites all round would be my choice - and a privy nearby to limit damage to the ground water in the area.

scope
06-01-2007, 11:07
OK, consider this.... greenspace is diminishing, people are becoming more urban, housing is becoming more apartment-like with less greenery.... sales of cars that have greater 'outdoor' capacity, better roads so that ordinary cars can traverse a forest road, and add that to a booming outdoor industry with additional competition which will likely expand its market to the point where folks who might have gone to the picnic area at the state park, now might consider going backcountry, and what you've got is exponentially more hikers on the AT.

I think its a little naive to say shelters suck, tear them all down, and we'll go back to having this nice little AT again. I actually wouldn't mind that, but I think we'd end up with a larger problem in a few years. More people, more poop, more areas cleared for tents, more fire rings and larger cleared areas to supply the fires.

I think its probably more accurate to say shelters are better for the environment than large tent sites (and I think hammocks are the wave of the future anyway). Might need to have more than one privy per shelter to accommodate the poop. They just need to start building those things further from the shelters. And for new or rebuilt shelters, go ahead and build them big. If built right, the bigger shelters probably last longer and require less maintenance than the puny shelters because they are less exposed to the elements. Plus, if there's more people on the trail, that should translate to more volunteers, and more $$ in donations. If it doesn't, then that's the fault of the clubs for not actively seeking them.

I just think its better to have an effective plan to deal with what is likely to be increasing numbers of hikers, instead of getting into a situation where limitations have to be placed on hikers to save the environment.

Mags
06-01-2007, 11:25
now might consider going backcountry, and what you've got is exponentially more hikers on the AT.



Actually, backcountry use is down. Way down.
http://www.outdoorindustry.org/pdf/2005_Participation_Study.pdf

Threads from before:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=18837&page=2&highlight=outdoor+industry+report

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=14841&highlight=skurka



Backpacking and multi-day camping has decreased almost 25% since 1998.

"Done in a day" activities are what is popular right now.


In any case, I don't see how building shelters with showers is showhow less expensive in the long run. :)

Lyle
06-01-2007, 11:30
"Plus, if there's more people on the trail, that should translate to more volunteers, and more $$ in donations. If it doesn't, then that's the fault of the clubs for not actively seeking them."

Not really true. The clubs all actively seek new membership and volunteers, but it is a sad fact that out of the millions of users of the AT each year, only about 27,000 (I believe this number is close) actually join and support the ATC. Many thru-hikers don't even join or fnancially support the trail. It's the fault of our society expecting something for nothing.

leeki pole
06-01-2007, 11:35
Baxter State Park has a nice set-up. Super tentsites with covered picnic tables and nice shelters next to the creek. Simple, yet functional.

Jaybird
06-01-2007, 11:44
to lighten everyones load, shouldnt the shelters be stocked with the things everyone carrys but seldom uses? duct tape,needle and thread,mirror etc. and to save everyone battery life, why cant the shelters have a 10$ solar light like the kind used to light driveways and gardens. were talking about a lamp so dim it would never disturb the animals. and why not have a barrel water collection system for washing and dry spells? it could be bug free and safe all with a drum a hose a tap and a drainspout.cant the shelters have anything in them? or would the first aholes destroy and litter it? ive allways been for tareing down these poop houses, but if not, fix them up and try to get respect for them. more caretakers maby.


Hell, why not build a Super Wal*Mart every 15 miles & tear down the shelters?!:D

scope
06-01-2007, 12:12
Backpacking and multi-day camping has decreased almost 25% since 1998.

"Done in a day" activities are what is popular right now.

In any case, I don't see how building shelters with showers is showhow less expensive in the long run. :)[/quote]

Who needs a shower on the trail? Not sure where that comment is based. Well, actually, that's the only way I'd get my wife out on the trail, but that's only if the showers had built-in hair dryers. ;)

Building bigger shelters doesn't necessarily have to mean more amenities. Except for beer taps, of course.

The problem I have with "studies" is that they are always a picture in time and I never really know how one is conducted, so I never do trust the numbers. I think its entirely possible, or even probable, that the increased urbanization has led to decreasing backcountry use, for a variety of reasons. I also think that the continuation of the urbanization trend will result in a pendulum effect swinging the other way. Better tools, better access, and eventually, better information will key more use.

And as for volunteers, the clubs are absolutely at fault for sitting back and waiting for people to volunteer. People are busier than ever, plus there's volunteer needs around every corner, increasingly so that there is more conpetition for volunteer time. Clubs need to do a better job of getting the word out and just asking, that's all.

scope
06-01-2007, 12:13
Backpacking and multi-day camping has decreased almost 25% since 1998.

"Done in a day" activities are what is popular right now.


In any case, I don't see how building shelters with showers is showhow less expensive in the long run. :)

Previous message based on this quote.

rafe
06-01-2007, 12:20
The attention span of the average American is in the toilet. I believe that's by design. It kind of explains the state of our governance as well.

buckowens
06-01-2007, 12:32
I found the links Mags provided to be interesting. I Geocache with the kids as well and have observed that some of the tougher caches, such as those requiring a bit of a hike, climb or a little effort do not get near as much traffic. We put our own out that is 1/2 mile walk through farm fields in a Wildlife Management area and I am amazed that it gets little traffic. Terrapin too hit the nail on the head.

Part of the reason I am impressed with the folks on this site is the fact that all of our ages vary so much. Plus, some of you really make me smile with your thoughtful and humorous commentary!:D The man who passed away while hiking had it right. Do what you like and have fun...

Mags
06-01-2007, 13:16
Who needs a shower on the trail? Not sure where that comment is based.


The Partnership shelter has an honest-to-goodness shower. There are other example of Hiltons on the trail, too. Very expensive to build and maintain vs. the type Terrapin talked about.





Building bigger shelters doesn't necessarily have to mean more amenities.


This is true as well. Except bigger does seem to mean more. Rather than scaled up lean-tos, they are rather more like rustic retreats. [1]



Except for beer taps, of course.


:-? hmm..I may have to rethink my stance on fancy shelters if there are beer taps!



Better tools, better access, and eventually, better information will key more use.


That I can't agree with. Even if you don't believe the study per se, think about what you see when you go to an outdoor store. Less backpacking equipment, more climbing, adventure racing, trail running, MTBing type stuff.

The outdoor industry has no reason to falsify numbers..they want to sell you scchwag so knowing what to sell is VERY important to them.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that most of my climber friends will not go in any further than they have to. My roomie (who also hikes) is amazed how something only 1 mile up from the popular spot near the trailhead gets NO ONE.

Again, BACKPACKING is down. Other outdoor activities are up quite a bit.

Heck, Backpacker Magazine now has day hiking colums, rafting colums and even featured mountain biking a few times.

If the magazine devoted to backpacking has multi-sport, front country activities, what does that say about the the overall popularity of backpacking? FWIW, Backpacker Mag now uses lesser quality stock and binding. Less backpackers = less ad revenue = less costly to produce mag.
Also explains why they are trying to appeal to a wider group of people.

Maybe backcountry use will pickup. Maybe.

But I think in this increasingly "gotta do it quick" culture, the outdoor activities that continue to grow and be popular will be more front country type activities.

Where you can drive your SUV advertised on page 5 to get back in time for happy hour for the beverage advertised on page 23 of Cool Outdoor Magazine.

There will always be backpackers. We just won't be the main users of the outdoor resources. And if even backpackers demand more front country type amenities in increasingly elaborate shelters, is it any wonder that backpacking is declining over all?

(Great discussion BTW. I love the different view points without the flaming!)


[1] And I fully admit being contradictory in winter. Bring on the ski huts. ;)
Of course the huts are not open in summer and are not 8-10 miles apart for 2200 miles...

Rhino-lfl
06-01-2007, 13:30
http://www.atthruhiker.org/photos/week7-8/pages/Luxurious%20Partnership%20Shelter%20(w%20Shower)_j pg.htm

With a shower no less...

There are other examples, too.


A bit different than a lean-to..eh?



I did not say shelters should go away, I said shelters should be less elaborate.

Looks like a grat place for you soapbox a$$holes to prove your superiority.

Rhino-lfl
06-01-2007, 13:32
Hell, why not build a Super Wal*Mart every 15 miles & tear down the shelters?!:D

I suggested that earlier ... welcome to the short bus.

Mags
06-01-2007, 13:55
Looks like a grat place for you soapbox a$$holes to prove your superiority.

Heh..that's too funny. ;)

Darwin again
06-01-2007, 14:17
Looks like a grat place for you soapbox a$$holes to prove your superiority.

Feeling resentful today, rhino?

Newb
06-01-2007, 14:25
Could we make them brothels? Maybe ad a wallyworld every 50 miles along the trail or so?


they're not brothels? Dammit. Tell that smelly hiker chick I want my money back.

Skyline
06-01-2007, 14:30
. . .And as for volunteers, the clubs are absolutely at fault for sitting back and waiting for people to volunteer. People are busier than ever, plus there's volunteer needs around every corner, increasingly so that there is more conpetition for volunteer time. Clubs need to do a better job of getting the word out and just asking, that's all.

In the hiking/maintaining clubs I've been involved with, or know about first or second hand, it's a generational thing. Many of the volunteers are in their 60s, 70s, or even 80s. They have been trail volunteers much of their lives. But the generation behind them and the one behind that has not stepped up to the plate in numbers equal to the attrition of the older folks.

I have seen evidence that the clubs I'm familiar with (PATC, MRATC, Foothills Trail, North Country Trail, among them) have made real efforts to get the word out, and recruit, people of all ages to be volunteers and/or paying members. Some have organized speakers' bureaus, attended outdoor expos, printed recruitment literature which is widely distributed, initiated "fun" events to attract people who they would later try to strongarm, er, recruit :-), made appeals on websites and in newsletters, and more. Clubs consider it a good year when their net loss of volunteers is small; besides, the average age of those who are attracted by these efforts tends to skew older so the real problem isn't really solved.

Again, the problem appears to be generational. I know there are younger folks who volunteer so don't flame me (I am part of a generation that hasn't stepped up in large-enough numbers, after all), but the NECESSARY OVERALL NUMBERS of younger people are not coming forward to replace the older people who leave due to health, relocation, death, etc. We need to see more volunteers but we are getting by with even fewer, and the volunteer pool continues to be older. One of the only positives about an older volunteer pool is that it tends to be more experienced, but where are we going to be in 10, 15, 20 years if younger people don't jump in to that pool NOW?

Rather than just pointing fingers, Scope, do you have any specific constructive plans of action that AT maintaining clubs might adopt that you believe could reverse this trend?

Mags
06-01-2007, 14:37
In the hiking/maintaining clubs I've been involved with, or know about first or second hand, it's a generational thing. Many of the volunteers are in their 60s, 70s, or even 80s.

Weary said much the same thing in the past.

I do some trail work (not nearly enough) and noticed that the majority of the people are recent retirees. (Call it mid 50s to mid-late 60s). There's a fair amount of 40somethings and 30somethings. Almost no 20somethings.


Makes me wonder, though, as people retire maybe they will become trail maintainers as well? Who knows. When people in my age bracket can no longer mtbike, climb and trail run on the trails..well, we gotta do something, right? :)

The Old Fhart
06-01-2007, 14:47
BuckOwens-"I Geocache with the kids as well and have observed that some of the tougher caches, such as those requiring a bit of a hike, climb or a little effort do not get near as much traffic. We put our own out that is 1/2 mile walk through farm fields in a Wildlife Management area and I am amazed that it gets little traffic."That is generally correct. A lot of cachers go for the 'park and grab' type of caches but there are exceptions. One cache I hid required an 18 mile round trip hike that had several stream fords, a 0.4 mile climb up a rock slide, and a good bit of elevation gain to a 4000 ft remote peak-just to get one cache. Some people did it in a 14+ hour day while others backpacked to do it in 2 days. A number of cacher did that cache just to have bragging rights to the hardest cache in New England but it still only got 16 finds in a year. I have another cache in a very scenic area that requires less than a 0.1 mile walk and that has 214 finds in 3 years.

Skyline
06-01-2007, 15:15
Weary said much the same thing in the past.

I do some trail work (not nearly enough) and noticed that the majority of the people are recent retirees. (Call it mid 50s to mid-late 60s). There's a fair amount of 40somethings and 30somethings. Almost no 20somethings.


Makes me wonder, though, as people retire maybe they will become trail maintainers as well? Who knows. When people in my age bracket can no longer mtbike, climb and trail run on the trails..well, we gotta do something, right? :)

One can hope, but there is still the aspect of experience. Especially in roles like district manager, leaders of more advanced work crews that take on special projects, or organizational leaders. It is fairly easy to train someone to do routine maintenance on a two-mile stretch of trail. Real skillsets are required to know how to properly grade new tread or rehab existing tread, install efficient and effective water bars or check dams, do rock cribbing, perform tool maintenance, use a chainsaw correctly, build or rehab shelters/tentsites/privys, create good signage, organize and lead effectively, etc.

A good primer--tho not AT-centric--for anyone wanting to understand the differences between basic skills and advanced skills can be found in this NPS Essential Competencies document:

http://www.nps.gov/training/npsonly/MNT/mntwkrtr.htm

Clubs need a diverse volunteer pool, spread out nicely between those in their teens all the way to those in their 70s/higher. That way there is always a pool of newbies getting experience . . . with many of those hopefully being younger folks so when they are older (and we hope still involved) they will be seasoned plus have a first-hand sense of where the club has been the previous few decades.

Less than ideal is a large group of newbies in their 60s/70s with little to no experience, and near-zero knowledge of the club's history, standards, personality, etc. But, hey, if that's all we can get we would be grateful for those inexperienced, older newbies I guess.

Johnny Swank
06-01-2007, 15:35
Backpacking and multi-day camping has decreased almost 25% since 1998.

"Done in a day" activities are what is popular right now.

In any case, I don't see how building shelters with showers is showhow less expensive in the long run. :)

Who needs a shower on the trail? Not sure where that comment is based. Well, actually, that's the only way I'd get my wife out on the trail, but that's only if the showers had built-in hair dryers. ;)

Building bigger shelters doesn't necessarily have to mean more amenities. Except for beer taps, of course.

The problem I have with "studies" is that they are always a picture in time and I never really know how one is conducted, so I never do trust the numbers. I think its entirely possible, or even probable, that the increased urbanization has led to decreasing backcountry use, for a variety of reasons. I also think that the continuation of the urbanization trend will result in a pendulum effect swinging the other way. Better tools, better access, and eventually, better information will key more use.

And as for volunteers, the clubs are absolutely at fault for sitting back and waiting for people to volunteer. People are busier than ever, plus there's volunteer needs around every corner, increasingly so that there is more conpetition for volunteer time. Clubs need to do a better job of getting the word out and just asking, that's all.[/QUOTE]


Just a couple of things. Multiple studies, in multiple areas of the country, using multiple methods, all point to the same thing that Mags' article said. Overnight stays in backcountry sites are down per the US Forest Service. Same for the National Park Service. Etc, etc, etc. That you don't "trust numbers" doesn't in any way change what the reality of the situation is.

BTW - which trail maintainance club are you a member of?

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-01-2007, 16:04
Two words: solar showers (and for Johnny's wife, solar hair dryer :D)

Mags
06-01-2007, 16:14
Clubs need a diverse volunteer pool, spread out nicely between those in their teens all the way to those in their 70s/higher. That way there is always a pool of newbies getting experience . . . with many of those hopefully being younger folks so when they are older (and we hope still involved)


I've showed up on enough VOC (http://voc.org/page.php) projects now that my face is getting known.

Whenever they see a younger person on a semi-regular basis, they try to recruit them for for crew leaders (and training) then try to make the crew leader a project leader after a while. So lack of youthful people to fill in appears to be a concern all around.

I will say that Colorado does have a younger demographic overall. It may also explain why there are a good amount of under-50 people on these projects. Enough so that many of the crew and project leaders are in their mid30s to mid40s.

Off course, growing up Catholic it is easy for me to feel guilty and have the need to do my share. ;)

Skyline
06-02-2007, 10:35
I've showed up on enough VOC (http://voc.org/page.php) projects now that my face is getting known.

Whenever they see a younger person on a semi-regular basis, they try to recruit them for for crew leaders (and training) then try to make the crew leader a project leader after a while. So lack of youthful people to fill in appears to be a concern all around.

I will say that Colorado does have a younger demographic overall. It may also explain why there are a good amount of under-50 people on these projects. Enough so that many of the crew and project leaders are in their mid30s to mid40s.

Off course, growing up Catholic it is easy for me to feel guilty and have the need to do my share. ;)

Just looked at their site, and VOC seems to be a good organization. They're lucky to have you too!

mweinstone
06-04-2007, 08:59
the answer is: shelters suck.






thanks and join us next week on matthewskis world when we ask the question,....whats the deal with stinky hikers?

goodby!

rafe
06-04-2007, 09:05
the answer is: shelters suck.

Huh? Haven't you just posted all sorts of pix of you and Camo (et. al.) at the "secret" shelter?

mweinstone
06-04-2007, 09:12
i love shelters!

mweinstone
06-04-2007, 09:13
and a good squabble!

DavidNH
06-04-2007, 11:55
Well..I just could not resist posting this question....

If shelters are so bad, if shelters suck as some suggest..

Then Why do the vast majority of hikers use the shelters?

My theories... it's convient and gives social opportunities. But is it that simple?


David

Skyline
06-04-2007, 12:17
Convenience may equate to laziness in some cases. Social opportunities may equate to a fear of being alone in the woods, or possibly inexperience, in some cases.

Actually, the vast majority of hikers do not use shelters. Only those who get accustomed to them on the AT. It's the same as "Field Of Dreams"--if you build it, they will come. On most other major trails there are no or very few shelters. So nationwide, the vast majority of hikers do NOT use shelters.

Lone Wolf
06-04-2007, 12:19
If shelters are so bad, if shelters suck as some suggest..

Then Why do the vast majority of hikers use the shelters?

cuz they're scared of the woods and can't be without manmade structures

Skyline
06-04-2007, 12:21
cuz they're scared of the woods and can't be without manmade structures

I said it before you, but you said it better. :-)

Darwin again
06-04-2007, 12:31
Well..I just could not resist posting this question....

If shelters are so bad, if shelters suck as some suggest..

Then Why do the vast majority of hikers use the shelters?

My theories... it's convient and gives social opportunities. But is it that simple?


David

Habit. Fear. Need.
(What they said.)

DavidNH
06-04-2007, 16:37
Convenience may equate to laziness in some cases. Social opportunities may equate to a fear of being alone in the woods, or possibly inexperience, in some cases.

Actually, the vast majority of hikers do not use shelters. Only those who get accustomed to them on the AT. It's the same as "Field Of Dreams"--if you build it, they will come. On most other major trails there are no or very few shelters. So nationwide, the vast majority of hikers do NOT use shelters.

What I meant to say was the vast majority of AT hikers not hikers in general. Plus, I found, when hikers weren't sleeping IN the shelter they would tent right near it! IE in several places (for example I think it was Cable Gap Shelter right before Fontana) you had a full shelter and like 20 tents in the immediate vicinity of the shelter.

In the 100 mile wilderness I did manage to camp in some primo choice spots away from shelters. Fortunately I ran into a group whose leader knew just where to go.


David

refreeman
06-04-2007, 17:05
I like shelters. If you don't like them, don't use them. If you like shelters respect them when you use them.

I don't understand why someone who doesn't use shelters would want them torn down. I use shelter more than tent areas, but I have no desire to plant trees and rocks to remove any tenting places. Such an attitude is stupid.

Skyline
06-04-2007, 17:32
I like shelters. If you don't like them, don't use them. If you like shelters respect them when you use them.

I don't understand why someone who doesn't use shelters would want them torn down. I use shelter more than tent areas, but I have no desire to plant trees and rocks to remove any tenting places. Such an attitude is stupid.

From a backcountry management perspective, shelter structures are overkill though they do concentrate usage--a worthy goal.

Some of us see a middle ground. Not to tear down existing shelters (except maybe a few that are past prime and are unsafe), but to just not build any more of them. For what it costs to build one shelter, you could provide a whole bunch of tentsite groupings with a few amenities like a picnic table and in some places a privy. Think something like Annapolis Rocks along the AT, as rehabbed under the direction of Dr. Jeff Marion.

Several groupings of tentsites (say, four, with eight tentsites each) would serve more people at four different locations along the AT, cost less, require less skilled labor to construct, and require less ongoing maintenance than a single shelter structure.

mweinstone
06-04-2007, 17:36
learn this. i use shelters cause they are near water and have people . if they werent there, i would sleep near water where theres people . if you want to be real honest, the sites are needed for tenting. the structure causes the problems. and the sites cant be avoided easily enough. sure i could camp anywhere. dry camp. but we only have so many sources and flat spots. the ugly piss soaked shelters hog them all up. we need to ditch them. dont worry that im enjoying them as much as possible untill then. dont try to figure that one out. trust me, the place would be beter off as well as the hikers, without them. the point is moot. as the responsibillity level drops and the respect for others , in this day and age,.. the shelters cause abuse to have a home. period. big period. like heavy flow day period. stop allready! remove the shelters and toast a marshmallow to their memorys and move on.

refreeman
06-04-2007, 17:49
Atmooney, a hypocrite is someone who say one thing and does something else. That person could also be call a brown noser. So, you use shelters but want them gone, not to hard to figure you out.

Shelters serve a purpose and anyone ignoring that is stupid or irrational.

mweinstone
06-04-2007, 22:18
im both stupid and irrational thank you very much.

mweinstone
06-04-2007, 22:19
and a hippocrit. almost forgot.

McQueen
06-04-2007, 22:48
What does it matter? No need to argue about it. If you like shelters, use them. If you don't like shelters, don't use them. If shelters bother you THAT much, then don't hike the AT. If you are looking for a wilderness experience, solitude, and no man-made structures, then you should probably go out West or just not hike the most popular trail on the most populated coast.

Johnny Swank
06-05-2007, 09:48
It's not the shelters that bother me per se. It's the amount of resources wasted on the newer Taj Mahals that could be much better spent on trail maintenance and rehab. The AT is millions behind in that regard, and monies spent on a newer Taj mahal are monies wasted, IMO.

camojack
06-05-2007, 10:05
Well..I just could not resist posting this question....
If shelters are so bad, if shelters suck as some suggest..
Then Why do the vast majority of hikers use the shelters?
My theories... it's convient and gives social opportunities. But is it that simple?
David

Actually that was two questions...but whatevah. (sic) :D

Some hikers use shelters so that they don't have to carry their own. :eek:

Your theories are sound, although it isn't that simple, only for some... :-?

camojack
06-05-2007, 10:07
im both stupid and irrational thank you very much.

No, neither...but you are a silly bastard. I still love ya, tho'... :rolleyes:

Mags
06-05-2007, 12:58
It's the amount of resources wasted on the newer Taj Mahals that could be much better spent on trail maintenance and rehab. The AT is millions behind in that regard, and monies spent on a newer Taj mahal are monies wasted, IMO.

Exactly!

Simple shelters (or better yet, hardened tent sites) are easier to build and maintain. Less volunteer hours needed for upkeep. Les money in the long run. The community feel, a very important part of the AT, is still maintained.

kyhipo
06-05-2007, 14:35
same o same:rolleyes: ky

gimpy68
06-05-2007, 16:25
You know I haven't set foot on the trail yet, but I don't want anything to do with a shelter after all I've read and heard about them. The only good thing that I can think of when I think about a shelter is knowing I'm hiking the right way.

The Old Fhart
06-05-2007, 16:50
Gimpy68-"You know I haven't set foot on the trail yet, but I don't want anything to do with a shelter after all I've read and heard about them."It isn't wise to have such a strong opinion where you haven't even tried staying at one on a long hike, who knows, you might like it, there are plenty of hikers who do. I am a light sleeper and tented about 95% of the time on my second hike but there were a couple of nights where a shelter was a welcome sight.

rafe
06-05-2007, 16:53
You know I haven't set foot on the trail yet, but I don't want anything to do with a shelter after all I've read and heard about them.

One gets a warped view of the A.T. from Whiteblaze.net. I've been walking on the AT for thirty years or so, and been an ATC member since 1989. I've spent many a night in shelters, from Springer to Katahdin and most of the distance in between. I've never encountered this sort of shelter-dissing outside of Whiteblaze.net. I can't account for it, except as some sort of group-think, possibly associated with testosterone poisoning.

Lone Wolf
06-05-2007, 16:57
You know I haven't set foot on the trail yet, but I don't want anything to do with a shelter after all I've read and heard about them. The only good thing that I can think of when I think about a shelter is knowing I'm hiking the right way.

shelters are dirty, noisy, cramped, mice infested and hard as hell. they suck. you'll see. you have thousands of acres around you on the trail to throw down. no need to cram into a box with a bunch of other sheeple.

Jack Tarlin
06-05-2007, 16:59
Does anyone other than me think it's kinda amusing for a guy with more than 3600 posts here to inform us that opinions and views expressed on Whiteblaze are somehow "warped?" :D

Um.....thanks, terrapin.

But not to worry, pal. Whatever your failings may be, I assure you that none of us here have ever considered that the root cause was an excess of testosterone.

Lone Wolf
06-05-2007, 17:02
I can't account for it, except as some sort of group-think, possibly associated with estrogen poisoning in my case.

that explains it

smokymtnsteve
06-05-2007, 17:38
shelters are dirty, noisy, cramped, mice infested and hard as hell. they suck. you'll see. you have thousands of acres around you on the trail to throw down. no need to cram into a box with a bunch of other sheeple.

mainly crowded during thru NOBO thru-hiker season, other times of the year shelters aren't so busy,,,course NOBO thru-hiker season is when most the sheeple are out there,

rafe
06-05-2007, 18:30
mainly crowded during thru NOBO thru-hiker season, other times of the year shelters aren't so busy,,,course NOBO thru-hiker season is when most the sheeple are out there,

Thru hikers (and thru-hiker wannabes) account for about 0.1% of the visitors to the A.T. in a given year.

mweinstone
06-05-2007, 18:39
softness abounds. sleep unwoken. piss odor elsewhere. the sleep falls. like doves from sho lin monestarys highest window. onto the sterile ground poop falls. into a virgin pit. dug with love. wood abounds. firepits gone. my heart listens for the owl.as dusk calls, no busy signal heard. my campsites my own. and im water rich. now sleep late knowing, your two miles ahead of the shelters crowd. drink coffie. avoid the loud.

Nightwalker
06-05-2007, 18:58
You know I haven't set foot on the trail yet, but I don't want anything to do with a shelter after all I've read and heard about them. The only good thing that I can think of when I think about a shelter is knowing I'm hiking the right way.

I hike a lot, and don't see many of the folks that post here very often on the trail. I see Jack and Wolf, it seems, at least once per year. I've seen Skids and a couple of others.

Maybe most of what you're getting about shelters is not from heavy hikers?

My shelter take: They're great for hanging around before bed to talk to other hikers. They're great if you're just too tired to pitch a tent, or if it's raining and your tent leaks. The Nantahala-design shelters with the covered tables are great for eating in the shade under. They're a part of the tradition of the AT, and they'll be here as long as the AT is here.

Don't let other folks make up your mind for you before you even get started! Especially folks whose hiking days might be well behind them, and may well be grouchy about it. I'm thinking of no one in particular here, just trying to give you something to think about. :sun

Nightwalker
06-05-2007, 19:03
cuz they're scared of the woods and can't be without manmade structures

That's about a load of crap.

Different people have different reasons, but fear would keep most of them out of the woods in the first place.

Lets forget this stuff and go to Dots for a pitcher!

mweinstone
06-05-2007, 19:03
what about death in shelters. isnt it tru that each hiking season more and more deaths of good times happen in shelters. ill take the answer off the air.

rafe
06-05-2007, 19:13
I met L. Wolf at Elmers' in Hot Springs in 1990. Between there and Damascus, I know for a fact that Wolf camped in the immediate vicinity of shelters on several occasions -- but never in the shelter.

What I don't understand is the impassioned call to "burn 'em down," etc. If you don't like shelters, fine. They're not very hard to avoid. But why impose your view on everyone else? How does that jibe with HYOH?

superman
06-05-2007, 20:18
shelters are dirty, noisy, cramped, mice infested and hard as hell. they suck. you'll see. you have thousands of acres around you on the trail to throw down. no need to cram into a box with a bunch of other sheeple.

While I agree with the above statement I add the following. Shelters are good for the following: indicating a water source, they contain loud talking silly people that are way too politically correct, who complain about my snoring. There are soooo many reasons to avoid them.

Lone Wolf
06-05-2007, 23:50
That's about a load of crap.

Different people have different reasons, but fear would keep most of them out of the woods in the first place.

Lets forget this stuff and go to Dots for a pitcher!

BS. man made boxes draw the weak

Lone Wolf
06-05-2007, 23:52
I met L. Wolf at Elmers' in Hot Springs in 1990. Between there and Damascus, I know for a fact that Wolf camped in the immediate vicinity of shelters on several occasions -- but never in the shelter.

What I don't understand is the impassioned call to "burn 'em down," etc. If you don't like shelters, fine. They're not very hard to avoid. But why impose your view on everyone else? How does that jibe with HYOH?

i don't give a f ck about hyoh. burn all shelters:banana

Frosty
06-06-2007, 00:02
On a more serious note.. would not elimination of the shelters simply result in the masses spreading out more?

To me the real problem isn't having shelters. The real problem is just too many people. Having eight people crowd a shelter and then 20+ sleeping in tents or tarps around the shelter in the immediate vicinity.. that is what detracts from the experience.The crowds around some shelters are a blight, but they are often a blight out of sight of the trail. Those who want the shelter experience/companionship, and I often do, can hang around the shelter. Those who don't, and I sometimes don't, can simply camp away from the shelters almost anywhere along the trail.

If nothing else, bunching at shelters keeps the rest of the trail neater. If it were not for shelters and their associated privies, there would be fire-rings and toilet paper blossoms all along the trail.

My 2 cents.

Jester2000
06-06-2007, 00:42
Convenience may equate to laziness in some cases. Social opportunities may equate to a fear of being alone in the woods, or possibly inexperience, in some cases.


Habit. Fear. Need.
(What they said.)


course NOBO thru-hiker season is when most the sheeple are out there,

Speaking as a lazy, fearful, inexperienced, needy, habituated sheeple, I'd like to say that I like shelters, particularly the natahala style. Before you all start burning shelters down, please:

1)feel free to not pull out your amateur psychologist/insult comic act

2)go on ahead and investigate one of the many, many trails that have no shelters if the mere sight (and smell) of them so offends and

3)wake me up before you torch it so I can get out.



For what it costs to build one shelter, you could provide a whole bunch of tentsite groupings with a few amenities like a picnic table and in some places a privy. . . Several groupings of tentsites (say, four, with eight tentsites each) would serve more people at four different locations along the AT, cost less, require less skilled labor to construct, and require less ongoing maintenance than a single shelter structure.

I hear many folks on this thread talk about the cost of a shelter and how that money can be better used. But resources don't necessarily translate like that. For example, if LL Bean was told "no, we don't need a shelter, but give us the money and we'll use it as we see fit," LL Bean could well say "um, actually, we'll see fit to donate elsewhere." I'm not saying that this is always the case, but there are shelters that have been built with donations specifically earmarked for shelter construction.

As for maintenance, I suppose I'm missing something. Assuming that a shelter is well built, what kind of maintenance is necessary besides making sure it's kept clean? Yeah, a new roof every so often, but what else that wouldn't be necessary at the alternative campsite option (assuming that the campsite areas would have a privy)?

refreeman
06-06-2007, 01:08
Shelters are where it is AT. Shelters congregate excellent times spent with fellow backpackers after a challenging day on the beautiful AT. Not liking shelters is like saying you don't like your feet because hair is more esthetically pleasing. Nonsense.
---------------
Remember fellow shelter fans, don’t try to teach a pig to sing, it only annoys the pig and wastes your time.

Nightwalker
06-06-2007, 01:31
BS. man made boxes draw the weak

I'm pretty sure that we both live in one, now that you mention it. Maybe we should be more like Steve and live out with the dogs.

Nightwalker
06-06-2007, 01:35
As for maintenance, I suppose I'm missing something. Assuming that a shelter is well built, what kind of maintenance is necessary besides making sure it's kept clean? Yeah, a new roof every so often, but what else that wouldn't be necessary at the alternative campsite option (assuming that the campsite areas would have a privy)?

This is not meant to be a thread with common sense attached. Please take your big sexy brain elsewhere. :sun

smokymtnsteve
06-06-2007, 02:25
I'm pretty sure that we both live in one, now that you mention it. Maybe we should be more like Steve and live out with the dogs.

Hate to tell U (and admit this) this Frank..but my partner Karen and I jist recently bought ourselves a little piece of land and cabin near fairbanks.....but we still got our wolf dog... we jist got finished putting up a power pole...so we'll soon have electricity...we still ain't gooona have indoor plumbing or running h20, but we do have wild raspberries (and grizzbears) rite outside the front door.

smokymtnsteve
06-06-2007, 02:27
guess I have stayed in so MANY trail shelters that I'm used to not having indoor plumbing and running water..plus some of the shelters on the AT are BIGGER than our little cabin:D

Skyline
06-06-2007, 11:06
Speaking as a lazy, fearful, inexperienced, needy, habituated sheeple, I'd like to say that I like shelters, particularly the natahala style. Before you all start burning shelters down, please:

1)feel free to not pull out your amateur psychologist/insult comic act

2)go on ahead and investigate one of the many, many trails that have no shelters if the mere sight (and smell) of them so offends and

3)wake me up before you torch it so I can get out.




I hear many folks on this thread talk about the cost of a shelter and how that money can be better used. But resources don't necessarily translate like that. For example, if LL Bean was told "no, we don't need a shelter, but give us the money and we'll use it as we see fit," LL Bean could well say "um, actually, we'll see fit to donate elsewhere." I'm not saying that this is always the case, but there are shelters that have been built with donations specifically earmarked for shelter construction.

As for maintenance, I suppose I'm missing something. Assuming that a shelter is well built, what kind of maintenance is necessary besides making sure it's kept clean? Yeah, a new roof every so often, but what else that wouldn't be necessary at the alternative campsite option (assuming that the campsite areas would have a privy)?

I never said burn 'em, just don't build anymore. But I agree, the Nantahala style isn't a bad example of what's already out there.

As for an example of a trail without shelters: The Foothills Trail in SC/NC. I've hiked a lot of it. Did not see any problem associated with the lack of shelters. It was nice to be able to camp at pre-existing campsites that were pre-identified on maps and in guidebooks without the ghettoization of a shelter structure. I do wish they had more privys on the FHT tho.

Re: Maintenance. Shelters become depositories for all manner of junk left behind by hikers. This doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with tentsites. So regular vigilance is necessary to keep them clean and free of such leave-behinds. Ditto graffiti. Shelters need painted every year or two. Roof repair, gutter repair, floorboards, chinking in some cases, leaves collecting in the gutters, trees falling on them, termites/deteriorating wood, rodent infestations, and more all add to the workload. Most of this is avoidable with tentsite clusters that do not have a shelter structure.

I believe most donors--corporate or individual--to trail clubs would continue to donate if a club announced it wanted to earmark the funds for tentsite establishment or enhancement instead of constructing a new shelter. Why wouldn't they, if the maintaining club said that's why they needed to raise money? Of course if the club copped an attitude and declared "We'll spend your money as we see fit," that might be another story.

rafe
06-06-2007, 11:30
Roof repair, gutter repair, floorboards, chinking in some cases, leaves collecting in the gutters, trees falling on them, termites/deteriorating wood, rodent infestations, and more all add to the workload.

Why do shelters need gutters? Sheesh. I think gutters were invented to soak up excess free time. Stupidest invention ever.

Alligator
06-06-2007, 11:47
Why do shelters need gutters? Sheesh. I think gutters were invented to soak up excess free time. Stupidest invention ever.On a shelter, ehh...but on a house, used wisely they will redirect the rain water away from your foundations, especially for sloped properties.

Used unwisely, they will concentrate water against your foundations:mad: .

Mags
06-06-2007, 13:02
As for maintenance, I suppose I'm missing something. Assuming that a shelter is well built, what kind of maintenance is necessary besides making sure it's kept clean? Yeah, a new roof every so often, but what else that wouldn't be necessary at the alternative campsite option (assuming that the campsite areas would have a privy)?

All I can say is that volunteer hours are limited. How many volunteer hours total does it take to build a very elaborate shelter? How many of those volunteer hours could be used for other needed maintanance? I spent 16 hrs this past weekend hauling timber, building rock walls and banging re-bar into the timbers used for steps. If I was working on a shelter, those 16 hrs for trail maintance would not be done. That's just one example for me. Multiply it by the other volunteers on the project this weekend.


The more elaborate the shelter, the more hours are needed to build. The less hours can be used for othe projects.

As for maintenance, I am sure Skyline, Weary, Cosmo et al can talk about it in more. But yes, a roof. Normal wear and tear. Taking out the garbage people leave behind and other items I am sure the previously mentioned people can talk about it in more length than I.

Serioiously, why are people up for more than just a three-sided lean-to? What benefit do you gain by having something larger and fancier?

Finally, about the LL Bean example. If the ATC said "Sorry, we are not building fancy shelters as much", somehow I don't think LL Bean is going to say "No money for you then!". Yeah..it could happen. But the PR would suck.


Seriously, great discussion. Good opinions without (for the most part!) getting nasty...

Mags
06-06-2007, 13:08
This is not meant to be a thread with common sense attached. Please take your big sexy brain elsewhere. :sun

I thinky Skyline gave some great reasons why Jester's statement may not be quite on the money. :)

Skyline
06-06-2007, 14:33
Why do shelters need gutters? Sheesh. I think gutters were invented to soak up excess free time. Stupidest invention ever.

Gutters are one of those nice touches we never much think about or even notice. They just exist and quietly do their job. It would be nice if all shelters had gutters, so long as we must have shelters at all.

Well constructed shelters, like the shelters in SNP, use gutters so those sitting on the front edge of the sleeping platform, standing nearby, or entering/leaving the shelter don't get pelted by the water cascading down from the roof. Gutters also keep water from creating mud ponds right in front, and help keep water from degrading the foundation.

Jack Tarlin
06-06-2007, 14:57
Speaking of "excess free time", Terrapin, how much Trail work, Trail maintenance, or work on shelters have YOU done this year, eh? Which trail clubs do YOU belong to, and when did you last do volunteer work on the Trail?

Please feel free to enlighten us; then feel free to put a sock in it.

rafe
06-06-2007, 15:20
Speaking of "excess free time", Terrapin, how much Trail work, Trail maintenance, or work on shelters have YOU done this year, eh?

I've got a job, Jack. And I'm not the one bitching about shelters.

Jack Tarlin
06-06-2007, 15:26
Oooooh, so you have a job?

Want a medal to go with it?

Most maintainers and volunteers are also employed, Terrapin. Yet they manage to find the time to work on the Trail. So your excuse is pretty weak.

You're bitching about shelter conditions and how maintainers and volunteers are spending their time.

Yet when directly asked how much time YOU have spent lately on similar volunteer projects, for once, you're speechless.

If you're not a volunteer or maintainer, pal, then it's pretty low-class to complain about the folks who ARE doing this work......many of whom have full-time jobs, Terrapin.

For once, how about giving it a rest.

Unless, of course, you really DO enjoy making a fool out of yourself here, which you do on almost a daily basis.

rafe
06-06-2007, 15:32
You're bitching about shelter conditions and how maintainers and volunteers are spending their time.

I am not the one complaining about shelters. Skyline said something about fixing gutters on shelters. I said gutters (in general) were stupid. That's it. In case you hadn't noticed, my role in this thread has been to defend shelters against the several voices calling for their destruction and elimination.

Jack Tarlin
06-06-2007, 15:37
What I've noticed is that role here is to make yourself look like a moron.

Why should this thread be any different from any of the others you contribute to?

Have a nice day.....oh, and for a guy so eager to tell us you have a job, you seem to spend a whole lotta time on the Internet during working hours. You must have a very understanding, or very obtuse employer. :D

rafe
06-06-2007, 15:39
Have another beer, Jack.

Jack Tarlin
06-06-2007, 17:00
Ooooh, what a smarting riposte, Terrapin. One truly quakes at your wit, lemme tell ya.

If truth be told, I'm not much of a beer drinker, pal. And anyway, it's a bit early.

But since you wanna pursue this conversation, let's forget about what you've done for the Trail LATELY. Or NOT done for it, as the case may be.

Since you seem so interested in shelters, Trail maintainers, and facility/Trail maintenance, please answer the following questions:

1. What local Trail clubs/maintaining clubs do you presently belong to?
2. Or have belonged to in the past?
3. When was the last time you worked on a shelter, campsite, or anywhere
else on the A.T. ?

Inquiring minds really wanna know, tho they already suspect the answer.

mweinstone
06-06-2007, 17:17
hes working on trails right now. dont you see them? go like this,...with your hand. see em?

rafe
06-06-2007, 17:32
Since you seem so interested in shelters, Trail maintainers, and facility/Trail maintenance, please answer the following questions...

What are you today, Jack, the Spanish Inquisition? Who appointed you Torquemada-du-jour?

Your question is irrelevant. I'm not the one complaining about the trail, or its maintainers, or the shelters, see? Not today, and not in this thread, anyway.

Let me introduce you to the subject of the thread. The very provocative title is, do shelters suck or what. Amazingly, until you arrived, it had been a polite and civil discussion.

You also seem to have failed to notice this: my consistent response has been in defense of the shelters. I've not dissed the trail, its shelters or its maintainers, in spite of your baseless, arrogant, and pugnacious insinuations.

Lugnut
06-06-2007, 18:12
I don't have any strong opinions on shelters one way or the other, although I helped build one and updated another on hardcore projects, so I've stayed out of this discussion. However, it should be pointed out that now that Jack is on a tear the opportunity for us to improve our vocabulary is here. Be sure to keep notes. The word for today is: obtuse. :banana

OrionTheRanger
06-06-2007, 18:22
They dont have all those things because they would be stolen.

Skidsteer
06-06-2007, 18:33
They dont have all those things because they would be stolen.

Brilliant. And so true.

refreeman
06-06-2007, 20:07
Jack Tarlin,

In debate, a personal attack on the charter of the debater of the opposing view point immediately causes the attacker a loss. Good honest debate form restricts points and counterpoints to observations that are directly relevant to the discussion's topic. Interestingly, most intelligent people know this intuitively, whether or not they have been formally trained in the art of debate.

The main reason a debater instantly looses when they attack the charter of the debater of the opposing view point is that the attacker's argument is assumed to be too weak to win on the merits of their point of view on the given topic.

So, as an intelligent person I see you have lost.

Shelters serve a purpose, thatís why they exist. A wide spectrum of people use the AT. Their varying abilities and time dictate what resources would maximize their relative enjoyment of the AT and nature in general. Therefore, the absence of shelters would preclude a larger segment of the population from participating in the AT experience. As the AT is a Federal Park, the general public should always be considered in allocating resources. The way I see it, those that would abolish shelters have a too narrow view of the people that will use and benefit from the AT.

Lone Wolf
06-06-2007, 20:29
shelters truly suck

Jimmers
06-06-2007, 20:39
shelters truly suck

Yup. Pretty much. I'd rather tent or hammock anytime.

Egads
06-06-2007, 20:50
yep, except for the social aspects, the privy, & the reading material

ed bell
06-06-2007, 20:55
I enjoy a shelter in winter, but other than that, I generally gravitate away from them. They can, most certainly, suck.

rafe
06-06-2007, 22:04
Gutters are one of those nice touches we never much think about or even notice. They just exist and quietly do their job. It would be nice if all shelters had gutters, so long as we must have shelters at all.

I've been going through my photo archives looking for photos of shelters where the roof construction is clear enough to discern. Granted, I've never hiked SNP. I found about six or eight such photos. There's no gutter on any of them, at least on the front roof eave. One of these shelters (Kirkridge) is, in my humble opinion, near-perfect in its design, simplicity, and location. It has a generous overhang (big enough for a picnic table) which obviates the need for a gutter, at least in the front.

My reaction to roof gutters was based on owning and maintaining homes with gutters in New York and New England, where gutter cleanup is an ongoing and consistent PITA. I've seriously considered tearing them off. Then again, I'm barely fit to be a homeowner. I really should sell this joint and live in a condo. ;)

The Old Fhart
06-06-2007, 22:48
Wise Shelter in Grayson Highlands certainly has a gutter. The last time I was there (I tented, it was packed) it rained so hard there was practically a river gushing out the end of the gutter. I'm sure that gutter was clean after that storm.

Darwin again
06-06-2007, 23:05
Speaking of "excess free time", Terrapin, how much Trail work, Trail maintenance, or work on shelters have YOU done this year, eh? Which trail clubs do YOU belong to, and when did you last do volunteer work on the Trail?

Please feel free to enlighten us; then feel free to put a sock in it.

Note the use of the Royal "us."
The poster presumes to assume the voice of an imaginary mob that agrees with him. Note also the use of the "YOU" in the foregoing phrases.
This rhetorical technique sets up an imaginary tension between the phantom ALL OF US against the poster's object of scorn, "YOU," thereby creating an artificial sense of group approval for the personal attack. Demagogic, at the very least. Passive aggressive, to be sure. Note the final rude dismissal, as if the discussion had already played itself out in a way that left the poster unsatisfied or somehow humiliated and inclined to lash out in frustration.

This poster implies that shelters are a quid pro quo priviledge and that one who doesn't work on trails or shelters or hold membership in a club isn't qualified to comment on trail or shelter conditions or those who work on same.

Looks like the words for the day are: Ad hominem, ad nauseum.
Shelters are dirty, attract rodents, other animals, insects and demand continuous resource expenditure for maintenance.

As for Jack, if you want respect, you should act respectably.
Shelters suck, Ray.

Darwin again
06-06-2007, 23:08
Unless, of course, you really DO enjoy making a fool out of yourself here, which you do on almost a daily basis.

Pot, I'd like you to meet kettle.:rolleyes:
What does this have to do with shelters sucking or not?

Yahtzee
06-06-2007, 23:22
"In debate, a personal attack on the charter of the debater of the opposing view point immediately causes the attacker a loss. Good honest debate form restricts points and counterpoints to observations that are directly relevant to the discussion's topic. Interestingly, most intelligent people know this intuitively, whether or not they have been formally trained in the art of debate.

The main reason a debater instantly looses when they attack the charter of the debater of the opposing view point is that the attacker's argument is assumed to be too weak to win on the merits of their point of view on the given topic.

So, as an intelligent person I see you have lost."

Again, I find myself defending mister Jack, who is perfectly capable of his own verbal defense, but sorry Refreeman, sometimes a a-hole is an a-hole and they should be addressed as such. This concept of tolerance and due respect can be pushed too far. There are many people who deserve nothing but ad hominem attacks because there opinions are either too stupid or evil to address rationally. This is not in reference to this particular debate but sometimes you just gotta say "that's bull****". Every point does not deserve a rational response.

mweinstone
06-07-2007, 00:06
suck sucky sucker suckiest sucks like an old roach motel with thruhiking roaches that never shower standing in front of powerful fans bringing the suckyness right into your nose.sucks sucks suck like three penut butter and honey sandwitches soaked in suck, sucking on an oversized rotting fleash chunk from an exploded horses ass. suck my everloving hatred of shelters you suckster organimus. sukie sirs ans sucky mamms, may i tell you shelters suck? will you say shelters suck when there covered with maget infested suckyness? when they drip with soursuck?

refreeman
06-07-2007, 00:25
So, as an intelligent person I see you have lost.

Jimmers
06-07-2007, 03:24
There are many people who deserve nothing but ad hominem attacks because there opinions are either too stupid or evil to address rationally. This is not in reference to this particular debate but sometimes you just gotta say "that's bull****". Every point does not deserve a rational response.

And sometimes, it's better not to inflict it on everyone else and just send a pm. Or leave it in the other thread/threads. Just a suggestion.

fiddlehead
06-07-2007, 05:32
Sometimes i see the same questions asked every few months on Whiteblaze. It gets boring and i stop answering them just because people are too lazy to search for what they are looking for. (it's been debated over and over)
The shelter problem is one of them and I normally don't go back to discuss it again.
But the entertainment value and vocabulary lessons i am learning here are possibly worth the hassle.
Fight on! I'm enjoying this!
(oh yeah, shelters suck!)

mweinstone
06-07-2007, 06:27
can someone like froliking dino please use photoshop to show us what one of lonewolfs' "sheeple" look like? im curious.

camojack
06-07-2007, 06:36
can someone like froliking dino please use photoshop to show us what one of lonewolfs' "sheeple" look like? im curious.
Here ya go, Mateo: A sheeple (http://www.themoononline.com/images/sheeple.jpg). :banana

mweinstone
06-07-2007, 06:39
no no no cammo. they have a sad look on there face. not happy sheeple

The Old Fhart
06-07-2007, 06:42
I guess this picture of 'sheeple' (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=17065&c=536) won't do either.;)

Skyline
06-07-2007, 09:18
I've been going through my photo archives looking for photos of shelters where the roof construction is clear enough to discern. Granted, I've never hiked SNP. I found about six or eight such photos. There's no gutter on any of them, at least on the front roof eave. One of these shelters (Kirkridge) is, in my humble opinion, near-perfect in its design, simplicity, and location. It has a generous overhang (big enough for a picnic table) which obviates the need for a gutter, at least in the front.

My reaction to roof gutters was based on owning and maintaining homes with gutters in New York and New England, where gutter cleanup is an ongoing and consistent PITA. I've seriously considered tearing them off. Then again, I'm barely fit to be a homeowner. I really should sell this joint and live in a condo. ;)

The shelter I help maintain, Pass Mt. Hut, has a gutter in front. Without it things would be a mess every time it rains. Here is a photo:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=6227&catid=member&imageuser=1502

I know other shelters in SNP have gutters. I have also seen gutters on shelters outside SNP.

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 10:11
This concept of tolerance and due respect can be pushed too far. There are many people who deserve nothing but ad hominem attacks because there opinions are either too stupid or evil to address rationally. This is not in reference to this particular debate but sometimes you just gotta say "that's bull****". Every point does not deserve a rational response.

So to what do you resort when you judge someone evil or stupid? A bottle the head? THAT is EXACTLY the mentality that has gotten our nation into the intractable mess it's in, my friend.

The whole point of discussion and discourse and debate is to DISCUSS AND DEBATE. If you're too inarticulate to say somethin other than "Bull*****!" to something you disagree with, then maybe you're in the wrong intellectual neighborhood. ;)

saimyoji
06-07-2007, 10:15
....then maybe you're in the wrong intellectual neighborhood. ;)

Can I get directions back to the freeway? :confused:

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 10:33
Er, doh!
"...intellectual neighborhood..."
I realized the irony of those words as soon as I wrote them.

Shelters suck, but all shelters should have gutters. Does that mean gutters suck and if so, may I sleep in them?

Tabasco
06-07-2007, 11:27
If shelters suck, why are they always so crowded?

Slimer
06-07-2007, 11:47
Threads on "why shelters suck" REALLY suck.

Jimmers
06-07-2007, 11:56
If shelters suck, why are they always so crowded?
That'd be a reason they suck. :rolleyes:

Tabasco
06-07-2007, 12:04
That'd be a reason they suck. :rolleyes:

if they weren't crowded, they WOULDN'T suck?

Didn't Groucho Marx say something to that affect? I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me...

Tabasco
06-07-2007, 12:11
and don't forget Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra once famously said "That place is so crowded that no one goes there anymore."

He musta been talking about shelters.....

superman
06-07-2007, 12:29
If shelters suck, why are they always so crowded?

A full shelter is a relative term. Winter and I were hiking north in southern Vermont on a day of constant rain. It was getting on to dark and we hadn't found a good place to tent yet. We passed a side trail to a shelter and a short time later I met two novice hikers heading south. They had no tent and were like deer caught in the headlights. They had been run off by the shelter folks to the north even after explaining their situation. They didn't know whether to poo or go blind. I told them where the next shelter was and I told them that it was up to the people in the shelter to make room for them in those conditions. I further told them to tell the shelter dwellers that Superman said so. They were so appreciative you would have thought that I actually had the authority to order it so. I didn't hear of two hikers dying of hypothermia so I figure they got into the next shelter. Winter and I continued on a short way to a great place to camp. In no time Winter and I were both under my opened rectangular bag with steamy warmth and blissful sleep...free of shelter politics and issues.
So many reasons to avoid shelters.

rafe
06-07-2007, 13:32
There used to be this "unwritten rule" that there's always room for one more in a storm. Still true? Or is it entirely situational?

I've seen the rule violated in one case. A small crowd of hikers on an AMC outing arrived at Ethan Pond shelter, in pouring rain, when the shelter itself was about 3/4 full. There might have been room for one or two more, but not the whole crowd.

MOWGLI
06-07-2007, 13:43
There used to be this "unwritten rule" that there's always room for one more in a storm.

That "rule" has resulted in me crawling out of my dry sleeping bag and leaving the relative warmth of a shelter to find a campsite in the rain somewhere on the trail. So if I'm in the shelter, I suppose that rule applies, as there is a good chance I'll get up and leave before I stay in an overcrowded shelter.

Lone Wolf
06-07-2007, 13:46
That "rule" has resulted in me crawling out of my dry sleeping bag and leaving the relative warmth of a shelter to find a campsite in the rain somewhere on the trail. So if I'm in the shelter, I suppose that rule applies, as there is a good chance I'll get up and leave before I stay in an overcrowded shelter.

That "rule" is a buncha BS. If the shelter is designed for 8, and 8 are in it, it's full. It's very inconsiderate to ask people to move.

Jimmers
06-07-2007, 13:47
if they weren't crowded, they WOULDN'T suck?

Didn't Groucho Marx say something to that affect? I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me...

Nah, it's just one reason. The others have mostly been covered already. I like sleeping in peace and quiet, not listening to farting and snoring all night. And earplugs just don't work well enough to blot that out.

kyhipo
06-07-2007, 13:51
boy o boy!do your own thing:rolleyes: ,I have stayed in crowded shelters,jumped out of them in the middle of the night,just do whatever floats your boat:D ky.

Skyline
06-07-2007, 14:00
That "rule" has resulted in me crawling out of my dry sleeping bag and leaving the relative warmth of a shelter to find a campsite in the rain somewhere on the trail. So if I'm in the shelter, I suppose that rule applies, as there is a good chance I'll get up and leave before I stay in an overcrowded shelter.

I did exactly that one rainy late afternoon at Poplar Ridge Shelter in Maine. I was taking a zero in the woods, feeling rather poorly due to some food beyond its expiration date at a restaurant the day before, and broke my own rule about not staying in shelters. The register indicated it only had one occupant the night before, and this day I was hoping for a repeat. Soon the rains came. As we all know, rain makes magnets out of the shelters and in no time there were eight or nine packed in like sardines. Along comes an elderly couple looking desperate, obviously expecting the "rule" to be followed. I decided that was going to be two too many so despite my health decided to go pitch a tent in the rain. They were grateful enough to help me set it up.

Lesson: I shoulda just tented in the first place!

rafe
06-07-2007, 14:10
FWIW, in the case I cited (post #174) there was no conflict, nor did the late arrivals even ask to be accomodated. The late arrivals were part of an AMC outing, and I suspect their leader understood the logistics of the situation. Given that the whole group couldn't possibly fit in, the group -- as a whole -- tented nearby. We had all walked through the same driving rain. If you've been on Ethan Pond Trail in wet weather, you know the scene. The trail was mostly underwater.

Dances with Mice
06-07-2007, 14:12
Shelters usually have good cellphone reception and provide a place for my dog to sit while I clean my pistol.

rafe
06-07-2007, 14:16
That "rule" is a buncha BS. If the shelter is designed for 8, and 8 are in it, it's full. It's very inconsiderate to ask people to move.

I don't recall any shelters where the "design" capacity was posted. So where does that number come from? Who decides?

Skyline
06-07-2007, 14:32
I don't recall any shelters where the "design" capacity was posted. So where does that number come from? Who decides?

If there is no signage, I would think common sense might dictate that a hiker needs at least a space 20"w x 72" deep for sleeping (the size of the typical Thermarest or other sleeping pad). I've seen all sorts of creative sardining arrangements tho and felt oh so sorry while I was luxuriating in my spacious tent. :-)

rafe
06-07-2007, 15:13
If there is no signage....

If? In 30 yrs tromping over ADK, AMC, FLT and AT trails, I've never once seen such signage.

rafe
06-07-2007, 15:20
If there is no signage, I would think common sense might dictate that a hiker needs at least a space 20"w x 72" deep for sleeping (the size of the typical Thermarest or other sleeping pad). I've seen all sorts of creative sardining arrangements tho and felt oh so sorry while I was luxuriating in my spacious tent. :-)

In other words, it's strictly... situational. ;)

Even if there was a tape measure on hand -- who's to say this "rule" would be accepted by all concerned?

refreeman
06-07-2007, 15:45
AT Lean-tos are fun.

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2007, 15:50
Actually, Terrapin is mistaken. (Gee, what a surprise!!)

There are a great many shelters on the A.T. that have signs listing their capacity. Dozens of them, in fact. If he doubts this, then I suggest he hike a bit more of the Trail and see for himself.

And Wolf is absolutely right. On a rainy night, folks willl indeed do everything possible to accomodate more folks in a shelter, but of course there comes a point when a shelter is totally "maxed out" and latecomers will have to make other plans.

Asking people to "make room" when a shelter is indeed full is out of line. If you want space, then get there early and claim it. Otherwise, pitch your tent in the rain and suck it up. Shelters are first come, first served, till the shelter is full, and it doesn't matter if you get there late, or if you're old, are hurt, or you're not carrying a tent, or whatever. When the shelter is full, you can't stay in it, period, end of story.

The prudent hiker simply doesn't PLAN on staying in shelters anyway, but that's another story....

The Old Fhart
06-07-2007, 15:58
Terrapin_Too -"I don't recall any shelters where the "design" capacity was posted. So where does that number come from? Who decides?"The AMC guidebook gives the capacity for the shelters covered in its area and the Thru-Hiker's Companion list the capacity of all shelters on the trail. Each individual state guidebook should have information on the shelters in their state as well but I just checked Maine to see that it does indeed have the info. I'm sure when they are building a shelter they know how many can comfortably fit. I agree that the number they list isn't absolute but its pretty darn close.

rafe
06-07-2007, 16:01
There are a great many shelters on the A.T. that have signs listing their capacity. Dozens of them, in fact.

Got a picture? Anyone? Bueller?

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2007, 16:04
Christ, you're an idiot.

Anyone who's actually spent some serious time on the Trail has seen these signs and wouldn't question their existence.

Hike more, pal. Post less. You'd answer your own question.

You're being a moron again, but I guess that can't be helped.

rafe
06-07-2007, 16:06
Christ, you're an idiot.

I asked for proof, not insults. But I guess that's all you've got.

Alligator
06-07-2007, 16:07
Got a picture? Anyone? Bueller?I'm sure I've seen some with, but it's not something I take pictures of. My hiking buddy and I always laugh because to us the numbers always seem too high. I'm sure you can fit 8 or 6 in some, but it sure wouldn't be at all comfortable. Sorta like a "three man" tent.

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2007, 16:12
As I said, fool, if you'd actually leave the computer and go hike a bit, you wouldn't be pulling this petulant whiny "Give me proof!" crap. There are scores of shelters that list their capacity right on their walls, and as O.F. pointed out, the principal guidebooks list this information as well. If you posted less and hiked more, we wouldn't be having this dialogue, because you'd know this to be true.

As to what I've got, it's about 20,000 more miles on the A.T than you have, sweetie.

Hike more, post less, kewpie.

Thank you for repeating and highlighting my statement "Christ, you're an idiot."

It bears repeating.

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 16:20
Christ, you're an idiot.

I would caution Mr. Tarlin against insulting God.

rafe
06-07-2007, 16:20
As to what I've got, it's about 20,000 more miles on the A.T than you have, sweetie.

Indeed Jack you are the Source of all Hiking Wisdom. I can't imagine how I've survived all these years without it. :rolleyes:

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2007, 16:22
Ya know, Darwin, for a guy who generally contributes nothing to this site except chiming in to bash me every once in awhile, that was kinda funny.

Have a nice day, and I really mean it. :D

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 16:24
Aw, Jack.
It's only because I admire you...

Or is that fear and loathe? :D
Peace, bro.

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2007, 16:25
You've survived, Terrapin, because God in his wisdom gives a special dispensation to fools, and tries to look after them.

But ya know, after 54 years, maybe your dance card is all used up.

Tread carefully.

Even the Almighty gets fed up eventually.

Lone Wolf
06-07-2007, 16:27
love is in the air. i'll pick you up in 5 minutes, jack. chinese buffet is calling. shelters blow by the way.:banana

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 16:31
Jack, when I arrived here, mostly on account of our own Minnesota Smith and The Thread (TM), I found the place was already lousy with experts and legends. You're too easy -- and big -- a target for me to stay silent while you do your thing to the unsuspecting. You should know that...

mweinstone
06-07-2007, 16:41
if i was kidnapped and blindfolded and taken to a place on the trail. and if i somehow managed to get hold of a cell phone. i would call jack and simply describe the sounds and smells around me and he could tell me where i was on the trail. jack is a fountain of info. he used to be a fountain of youth . and before that he was a regular old fountain in some crappy park. he started as a young lad being a urinal. hes come so so far darwin,...why not learn from a master instead of trying to piss in his youth. hes old, wise and trailed enough to be respected. oh yeah,... and hes fun to have as a friend and comforting to know. why not bath in his warm glow of info and exspirience instead of peeing in his tub?

sorry, had to call you old to make the point. old man.
oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxomatthewski

rafe
06-07-2007, 16:58
Tread carefully.

I plan to, Jack. I'm touched by your concern for my safety. Hand me a hanky.

RockyBob
06-07-2007, 17:01
I don't recall any shelters where the "design" capacity was posted. So where does that number come from? Who decides?

Just 1 example, there are more.

http://www.cs.utk.edu/~dunigan/at/m.php?wpt=MolliesR

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 17:17
It's true. Shelter capacities are listed in all the usual AT resource materials. Of course, guides are just guides, not rule books. Smokies shelters have slots laid out with wooden slats for people positions.

I got snubbed out of a shelter in the pouring rain in Vermont one time. Five or six peeps in there, most cooking dinners with stoves out and looking all cozy and settled in together. Nobody moved when I pulled up in the pouring rain. I stood there and they all looked at me like idiots. I was pleasant as I could be, but after a few tense minutes they won their little game and I cruised down to the next shelter, where there were only two people. Luckily there was that second shelter close. I find that I hate pitching in the rain, like many thrus I've met. But in all fairness, I wouldn't have wanted to make room for a soaking wet, dripping hiker either, so it's was all good, if a little annoying at the time. I just went down and dripped on the other two hikers...:D

Skyline
06-07-2007, 17:25
If? In 30 yrs tromping over ADK, AMC, FLT and AT trails, I've never once seen such signage.

I know our shelters in SNP used to list capacity on its (then-small) signs. But we went to a more informational poster type thing a few years ago. I'll have to look to see if capacity is still listed.

Anyway, Jack is right--don't PLAN to stay in a shelter. Plan to be flexible. Carry a tent, tarp, or hammock and be willing to use it if the shelter already looks like it has enough people. It doesn't really matter if there is a strict definition of "full," common sense will tell you if you'd be comfortable adding to the crowd.

I know setting up/breaking camp in the rain is no fun but if you do it often enough you will develop the skill necessary to do it fast enough not to be absolutely miserable. Carry something to sop up the water. Once you've mastered this, you will be amazed how great you will feel not to "have" to crowd into a shelter. Downright liberating I say!

I get a kick out of 20-something ultralighters half my age who insist they MUST stay in shelters so they don't have to carry a (somewhat heavier) wet tent or tarp the next day.

rafe
06-07-2007, 17:29
Just 1 example, there are more.

So here's the scenario, I guess. Arrive at shelter in the rain. Count bodies in shelter. Consult shelter-capacity-rating in guide book. If #bodies < capacity, those present are obliged to make room, right? And if not, they're not. Cool. Downright cold, in fact.

To be honest, I hadn't considered the guide book capacity ratings (nor have I ever needed to.) I was thinking literally of signs in shelters with that info. In practical terms? Not an issue lately, since I hike off-season. And yes, I carry a tent.

rafe
06-07-2007, 17:31
Anyway, Jack is right--

By definition. Of course.


... don't PLAN to stay in a shelter. Amazingly, I agree 100%. Jack might be in it.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-07-2007, 17:35
if i was kidnapped and blindfolded and taken to a place on the trail. and if i somehow managed to get hold of a cell phone. i would call jack and simply describe the sounds and smells around me and he could tell me where i was on the trail. jack is a fountain of info. he used to be a fountain of youth . and before that he was a regular old fountain in some crappy park. he started as a young lad being a urinal. hes come so so far darwin,...why not learn from a master instead of trying to piss in his youth. hes old, wise and trailed enough to be respected. oh yeah,... and hes fun to have as a friend and comforting to know. why not bath in his warm glow of info and exspirience instead of peeing in his tub?

sorry, had to call you old to make the point. old man.
oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxomatthewski::: dino seen mopping up keyboard and monitor - and wiping tears of laughter from cheeks :::
Matt is a genius. That is all.

Jester2000
06-07-2007, 18:07
Re: Maintenance. Shelters become depositories for all manner of junk left behind by hikers. This doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with tentsites. So regular vigilance is necessary to keep them clean and free of such leave-behinds. Ditto graffiti. Shelters need painted every year or two. Roof repair, gutter repair, floorboards, chinking in some cases, leaves collecting in the gutters, trees falling on them, termites/deteriorating wood, rodent infestations, and more all add to the workload. Most of this is avoidable with tentsite clusters that do not have a shelter structure.

I believe most donors--corporate or individual--to trail clubs would continue to donate if a club announced it wanted to earmark the funds for tentsite establishment or enhancement instead of constructing a new shelter. Why wouldn't they, if the maintaining club said that's why they needed to raise money? Of course if the club copped an attitude and declared "We'll spend your money as we see fit," that might be another story.

I suppose it's nice to believe that. They might, however, decide that what they wanted built was a shelter, with a little plaque on it telling everyone who built it. You don't, by the way, get bad PR by not donating to something. If that was the case 99% of all corporations in America would have a bad rep on the AT. MY point is that money and hours can not necessarily be simply shifted around. The people who show up to build a shelter might decide not to show up to do rock work. The people who give money for a shelter might not want it spent on pulaskis. Assuming that the quantity of resources stays static as projects and goals are shifted is naive. If, for example, the ATC announces that no more shelters will be built, I might decide that they therefore don't need as much money from me, and I might donate less.

As for trash at shelters, well, yeah. I've packed out my share of other people's crap. But is there anything to suggest that shelters do anything other that centralize the trash? Are hikers going to pack out all trash if there's no shelter? Or are they going to throw their trash anywhere they feel like it?

As for needing to repaint shelters, I suggest not painting them in the first place.


Ooooh, what a smarting riposte, Terrapin. One truly quakes at your wit, lemme tell ya.

Jeez, Jack. What crawled up the Lemon Sweezer and died?


Yup. Pretty much. I'd rather tent or hammock anytime.

Awesome. More room for me in the shelter.


Got a picture? Anyone? Bueller?

Um, yeah, you see, I (like most people, I think) prefer to take pictures of, well, things worth taking pictures of. I've seen capacity mentioned on signs, but I think you should be way more suspicious of photos. I've seen photos of moose, for example, and we all know they don't exist.


Regarding being prepared not to stay in shelters:


Amazingly, I agree 100%. Jack might be in it.

You obviously don't know Jack or how and where he camps very well. You probably don't care to know, which is cool. But as a result this line would've been funnier if you hadn't written it at all.

Skyline
06-07-2007, 18:21
I suppose it's nice to believe that. They might, however, decide that what they wanted built was a shelter, with a little plaque on it telling everyone who built it. You don't, by the way, get bad PR by not donating to something. If that was the case 99% of all corporations in America would have a bad rep on the AT. MY point is that money and hours can not necessarily be simply shifted around. The people who show up to build a shelter might decide not to show up to do rock work. The people who give money for a shelter might not want it spent on pulaskis. Assuming that the quantity of resources stays static as projects and goals are shifted is naive. If, for example, the ATC announces that no more shelters will be built, I might decide that they therefore don't need as much money from me, and I might donate less.

As for trash at shelters, well, yeah. I've packed out my share of other people's crap. But is there anything to suggest that shelters do anything other that centralize the trash? Are hikers going to pack out all trash if there's no shelter? Or are they going to throw their trash anywhere they feel like it?

As for needing to repaint shelters, I suggest not painting them in the first place.

If there are indeed donors who have a single-track desire to fund shelters, and only shelters, I see your point.

LL Bean or whoever could just as easily post a plaque at the entrance to a cluster of tentsites.

The kind of skilled craftspeople who volunteer to build shelters might not be the same people who volunteer to swing pulaskis and mccleods. I'm thinking it wouldn't diminish the ranks of trail builders and maintainers much if there were no more shelters built, and that some of the carpenter types would find other tasks complementary to their skills to volunteer for.

Selfish, inconsiderate people will leave behind trash almost anywhere. They just seem to do it in greater amounts at shelter structures.

Painting shelters help them last longer. I guess not painting them wouldn't be such a bad idea given that, so long as they aren't replaced once deteriorated badly enough. :-)

rafe
06-07-2007, 18:37
Um, yeah, you see, I (like most people, I think) prefer to take pictures of, well, things worth taking pictures of. I've seen capacity mentioned on signs, but I think you should be way more suspicious of photos. I've seen photos of moose, for example, and we all know they don't exist.

Good point, and in general, I agree. But the odd topic of rain gutters came up (to cite an example) and suddenly those photos of shelters that I found had a certain new significance and relevance, at least in the context of that discussion.

I'll cede the point on shelter capacity; the number is in the guide books, even if it's not enshrined under Lexan on the wall of the shelter. OTOH, I've never had that number referenced in the course of a stay/don't-stay/can't-stay discussion. It's just never come up.

When I brought up that quaint "always room for one more" rule, I was hoping to discern current notions on sharing and etiquette. Not quite what I wanted to hear, but I got my answer.

Dances with Mice
06-07-2007, 19:09
Jack, when I arrived here, mostly on account of our own Minnesota Smith and The Thread (TM),...Oh.

Well, that's sure to generate lots of respect around here.

Jester2000
06-07-2007, 19:17
When I brought up that quaint "always room for one more" rule, I was hoping to discern current notions on sharing and etiquette. Not quite what I wanted to hear, but I got my answer.

Generally speaking, I've found that most of the time folks in the shelter will try to fit people in. The only way to positively guarantee that this won't happen is to demand entrance, citing the "the shelter's not full until everyone is in" thing as some sort of law.

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 19:25
Oh.

Well, that's sure to generate lots of respect around here.

You presume there's respect to be sought here and that I'm seeking it.
Whoopsie!

Dances with Mice
06-07-2007, 19:35
You presume there's respect to be sought here and that I'm seeking it.
Whoopsie!Your irony meter's broken, isn't it?

rafe
06-07-2007, 19:45
Generally speaking, I've found that most of the time folks in the shelter will try to fit people in. The only way to positively guarantee that this won't happen is to demand entrance, citing the "the shelter's not full until everyone is in" thing as some sort of law.

Again, I agree. As for that "rule" I cited way-back when, I finally found it in print. It's in the 1990 "Philosopher's Guide" by Darrell Maret, on page 27, to wit:

9. On Shelter Etiquette:

If you must stay two nights in a shelter, do not "take it over" to the detriment and aggravation of those hiking in that second day. Remember this: In bad weather, there is ALWAYS room for one more in a shelter.
[Emphasis Darrell's, not mine.] In case anyone's wondering, the P.G. was the precursor to Wingfoot's guide; 1990 was the last year that Darrell edited it.

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 19:55
Your irony meter's broken, isn't it?

No, but yours is! :banana

{Anyway, isn't irony against the law in this country?}

Jester2000
06-07-2007, 20:07
Boys, boys, no need to fight. I's a candy AND a breath mint.

rafe
06-07-2007, 21:39
It's true. Shelter capacities are listed in all the usual AT resource materials.

Though oddly enough, not in the 2007 AT Data Book. (The one from ATC.)

scope
06-07-2007, 22:34
Do clusters of tentsites suck or what?

smokymtnsteve
06-07-2007, 22:37
Do clusters of tentsites suck or what?


yea..that mess the NPS made of the old Birch springs shelter site converting it into a clusster of campsites really sucks.

Jester2000
06-07-2007, 22:56
yea..that mess the NPS made of the old Birch springs shelter site converting it into a clusster of campsites really sucks.

Well, to be fair, nothing could be as bad as the Birch Springs Shelter, which we referred to as "The Mexican Jail Shelter."

One of my favorite register entries was at that spot, where Jack wrote "I see the privy. But where's the shelter?"

It's hard to take a terrible shelter location and make it a good tenting location, at least not in this case.

Me, I say we should cut down all of the trees along the AT, 'cause I don't like seeing people using hammocks.

rafe
06-07-2007, 23:10
Well, to be fair, nothing could be as bad as the Birch Springs Shelter, which we referred to as "The Mexican Jail Shelter."

Holy mudhead, Mackerel! Birch Springs Shelter is no more? :eek: Horrors. I believe even Bryson and Katz had a rollicking good time there.

"There's nothing like a good night's sleep and that was nothing like a good night's sleep." [Katz]

mweinstone
06-07-2007, 23:20
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BBVBpaLRgs

if not uploaded yet, try in 10. made at this years traildays of jester disertating on why shelters suck.

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 23:28
Though oddly enough, not in the 2007 AT Data Book. (The one from ATC.)

Now I know why Jack has such a high opinion of you.
troll...

Darwin again
06-07-2007, 23:41
But getting back to topic, the Governor Clement Shelter sucks pretty hard. It's even near a road, so as to be a sketchy place to stay. Nothing like a little Deliverance action, Vermont style.

mweinstone
06-07-2007, 23:43
go there....

Lugnut
06-07-2007, 23:58
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BBVBpaLRgs

if not uploaded yet, try in 10. made at this years traildays of jester disertating on why shelters suck.

19 seconds! Are you kidding me? :eek:

rafe
06-08-2007, 00:11
Now I know why Jack has such a high opinion of you. troll...

You have a problem with the cited fact? Or do you not consider the ATC's own Data Book to be among "the usual AT resource materials?"

Or do you have a problem with Darrell Maret's rule, which I cited from "the usual AT resource materials" of 1990?

Scroll back through the thread, Darwin, and see where the bad vibes come from and it starts getting heavy. Oh here, let me help you:

Msg #2, L. Wolf: shelters suck. tear them down. build no more.

Msg #7, Neo: i hate shelters

Msg. #46, Fanatic Fringer: They suck I tell ya. They suck.

Msg. #83, matthewski: the answer is: shelters suck.

Msg. #108, L. Wolf: no need to cram into a box with a bunch of other sheeple.

Msg. #109: Enter the Estimable Jack Tarlin, with a relatively innocuous post, attacking only me

Msg. #119, L. Wolf: BS. man made boxes draw the weak

Msg. #120, L. Wolf: i don't give a f ck about hyoh. burn all shelters

Msg. #134: Tarlin again: feel free to put a sock in it.

Msg. #138, Tarlin again: What I've noticed is that role here is to make yourself look like a moron.

Msg. #147, L. Wolf, again: shelters truly suck

Msg. #156, matthewski: suck sucky sucker suckiest sucks like an old roach motel

Msg. #176, L. Wolf again: That "rule" is a buncha BS.

Msg. #190, Tarlin again: Christ, you're an idiot.

Msg. #193, Tarlin again, more gratuituous insults

Msg. #198, Tarlin again. Insult and/or threat, not sure which


------------

Y'all would make Old Benton Mackaye proud, I tell ya.

But y' know what? I'm outta here. Looking back at this list, I realize that WB is a bunch more trouble than it's worth. I'll miss some of you. The rest? Happy trails.

Jester2000
06-08-2007, 00:19
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BBVBpaLRgs

if not uploaded yet, try in 10. made at this years traildays of jester disertating on why shelters suck.

Hard to tell, but I was discussing why one should stay at Allentown Shelter even if it's a short day rather than go to Bake Oven Knob Shelter. The comedy comes from the fact that I wasn't wearing pants.


But getting back to topic, the Governor Clement Shelter sucks pretty hard. It's even near a road, so as to be a sketchy place to stay. Nothing like a little Deliverance action, Vermont style.

Here's a story. I was staying at Governor C. Clement Shelter while southbound on the Long Trail with two other hikers, and we were way in the back of the shelter, which is large and dark. Round about ten at night we hear trucks pulling up outside, many of them, and voices talking about where to put the keg. We came out of the shelter, spooking the large group of teenagers, who didn't realize there was anyone inside.

We explained to them that we loved a party as much as anyone, but we had had a long day and were exhausted and was there anywhere else they could possibly go instead of staying right in front of the shelter?

They apologized profusely, said absolutely, and politely invited us to join them if we had a mind to, giving us directions to a spot they knew not too far away in the woods.

It wasn't that far away, but we heard them not at all that night. Got a good rest, and headed out the next day. Turns out that "Vermont style Deliverance" is actually, in fact, Digiorno.

Nightwalker
06-08-2007, 01:04
I thinky Skyline gave some great reasons why Jester's statement may not be quite on the money. :)

Yeah, but I'm Jester's imitation groupie-stalker.

Nightwalker
06-08-2007, 01:25
Y'all would make Old Benton Mackaye proud, I tell ya.

But y' know what? I'm outta here. Looking back at this list, I realize that WB is a bunch more trouble than it's worth. I'll miss some of you. The rest? Happy trails.

Well, I haven't been on the "insult TT" train, but: seeya, good riddance and all that. Try to avoid that doorknob in the ass. :welcome

Jester2000
06-08-2007, 01:26
Hey, don't sell yourself short. I think you're a real groupie-stalker, made of imitation Corinthian leather.

And anyway, my statements are never on the money. The glass is on the money, so that the tip doesn't blow away. The statements are to one side of the money. If the statements were on the money, the waitress might not notice that I left a generous tip, and she might chase me out into the parking lot.

There'd be some shouting at first, and then mutual laughter as we figured out the whole mix-up. After she finished her shift we'd meet for drinks, and find ourselves comfortable enough with one another to drink a bit too much and make some bad decisions.

In the morning, to our surprise, we would be embarrassed not at all. She would still be beautiful, and she wouldn't notice that I wasn't. I would cook her breakfast, and she would suddenly fall in love with my scrambled eggs. Later, less suddenly, and despite my lack of peppers, onions, and cheese, she would fall in love with me.

Man, I gotta start putting my statements on the money.

Nightwalker
06-08-2007, 01:31
Hey, don't sell yourself short. I think you're a real groupie-stalker, made of imitation Corinthian leather.

You be nice, or I'll sell that tape we made in Vegas. I even figured out a way around that "stays in Vegas" rule. The slimeball who offered me 9.95 for the rights to it has an office in North LV, and he was only gonna sell it on the 'net, so technically, it'll never leave town.

So there. :p

camojack
06-08-2007, 04:00
Well, I haven't been on the "insult TT" train, but: seeya, good riddance and all that. Try to avoid that doorknob in the ass. :welcome
I'll believe it when I (don't) see it. :banana

Egads
06-08-2007, 06:48
Everyone agrees, shelters suck, suck, suck, suck

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 06:49
Everyone agrees, shelters suck; and so do threads like this

suck, suck, suck

Some of you need to grow up. Keep your personal problems personal

you in charge now?

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 07:16
------------

Y'all would make Old Benton Mackaye proud, I tell ya.

But y' know what? I'm outta here. Looking back at this list, I realize that WB is a bunch more trouble than it's worth. I'll miss some of you. The rest? Happy trails.

thank christ your boy benton didn't get his way. there'd be 3 times the shelters and bunches of huts up and down the trail.

you'll get along just fine on trailplace

oh yeah, shelters suck. ba bye turtle.

mweinstone
06-08-2007, 07:22
you suck. by matthew claude weinstone: your car sucks.
your doctor sucks. your cheesesteak sucks. the handgrips on your bike suck. your lawer sucks. the foundations of your house suck. your candy sucks. your beachtowel sucks. the wax you use on your car sucks. each flower in your garden sucks. the antimicrobial coating on your flip flops suck. your ice cream sucks. the ashtray you bought sucks. all of your creative writtings suck. your toothpicks suck. your wrench sucks. your logs suck. your baldspot sucks. your bike sucks. your friends suck. your one and a half inch drain sucks. the clothing you wear sucks. your war sucks. the whisky your drinking sucks. the letter b sucks. the number 12 sucks. each rabbit in the world sucks. the moon suck. your shoes suck. all of your childrens art sucks. your education sucks. your morals suck. the refrigerator you bought sucks. your hose water sucks. the footpowder you use sucks. all of your windows suck. the glove box sucks. your golf score sucks. vannila sucks. the color orange sucks. your choice of leaders suck. your tie sucks. your feet suck. tomatoe soup sucks. shelters suck.

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 07:24
but you blow

mweinstone
06-08-2007, 07:25
nicely put wolfy

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 07:26
nicely put wolfy

thanks whinestoner:banana

mweinstone
06-08-2007, 07:43
number 10. shelters are gathering places for compulsive hanger uppers/spreader outers.
number 9. shelters are made of recycled chipped outhouse floors and seats.
number 8. all the female mice in shelters are nappy .
number 7. all the male mice in shelters have sexually transmitted teeny tiny mouse deseases.
number 6. staying in a shelter makes folks act weirdly.
number 5. shelters dont have cooth.there uncooth.
number 4. shelters can cause blindness.
number 3.staying in a shelter leaves you smelling of exstract of hiker toe with just a hint of fungus.
number 2. ledge pee' ers
and the number one reason for not staying in AT shelters is: shelters suck.

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 07:45
2nd in line to shelters sucking are hostels. Not much difference except hostels cost $$

kyhipo
06-08-2007, 07:50
number 10. shelters are gathering places for compulsive hanger uppers/spreader outers.
number 9. shelters are made of recycled chipped outhouse floors and seats.
number 8. all the female mice in shelters are nappy .
number 7. all the male mice in shelters have sexually transmitted teeny tiny mouse deseases.
number 6. staying in a shelter makes folks act weirdly.
number 5. shelters dont have cooth.there uncooth.
number 4. shelters can cause blindness.
number 3.staying in a shelter leaves you smelling of exstract of hiker toe with just a hint of fungus.
number 2. ledge pee' ers
and the number one reason for not staying in AT shelters is: shelters suck.thats pretty funny:D ky

Skyline
06-08-2007, 08:42
But y' know what? I'm outta here. Looking back at this list, I realize that WB is a bunch more trouble than it's worth. I'll miss some of you. The rest? Happy trails.

Tho we seem to disagree about whether we like to stay in shelters, on this thread, I will miss your input on the political forums among others. But if you're goin' hikin' I'm gonna just be jealous.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-08-2007, 08:58
::: calls ACLU about nappy-headed mice comment :::

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 09:04
the ACLU sucks worse than shelters

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-08-2007, 09:08
:::: nods agreement with LW ::::

Lone Wolf
06-08-2007, 09:09
:::: nods agreement with LW ::::

no *****t!!!:eek: you agree with me?!