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View Full Version : restrictions in the "smokies"



downes911
06-22-2009, 23:19
I am a hanger, are there restrictions in the smokies for thru hikers. Will I have to stay at a shelter? ugh

flemdawg1
06-22-2009, 23:39
Yes you will have to stay at the shelter. There are no rule provisions for Hammocking.

Pedaling Fool
06-23-2009, 08:49
You can as a thru-hiker (and only a thru-hiker) camp at the shelter if it is full. Of all the times Iíve been through GSMNP ~75% of the time the shelters were full (by my definition of full), so I camped.

With respect to hammock hanging, I donít know, but Iíve never seen anything in black and white that prohibits hammocks (but Iíve never looked, since I tent). So I donít see a problem with hanging your hammock, if the shelter is full.


Here's the park's thing on thru-hikers, it might say something about hammocks, never really checked, but I doubt it. The most informative section for thru-hikers are on pages 12 & 13 http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/upload/07%20Compendium.pdf

Blissful
06-23-2009, 11:12
Might check with the ridge runners if you are sectioning. They do patrol at shelters, but some could let you do it. I'd make shelter reservations anyway, just in case,.

Cannibal
06-23-2009, 11:30
There are no rules in the park prohibiting hammocks. The issue, on the AT, is one of being forced into a shelter. Early on, the shelters will most likely not be full. Only one that I stayed at filled and I was there in late March.

All the shelters in the Smokies are very easy to hang inside, if you so choose. My experience with the Ridge Runners was very positive. I saw one at each end of the Smokies and neither had any problems with me hanging next to the shelter even though it was not full.

Of course, the best options are stealthing (illegal) or blue blazing down to one of the campsites not on the AT. The blue trails are much more appealing in GSMNP than the AT, which is ugly by comparison. The campgrounds are usually very nice, close to water, and deserted. The downside is, they are all downhill from the AT so you get to go up first thing in the morning. Still worth it IMO.

1azarus
06-23-2009, 17:51
There are no rules in the park prohibiting hammocks. The issue, on the AT, is one of being forced into a shelter. Early on, the shelters will most likely not be full. Only one that I stayed at filled and I was there in late March.

All the shelters in the Smokies are very easy to hang inside, if you so choose. My experience with the Ridge Runners was very positive. I saw one at each end of the Smokies and neither had any problems with me hanging next to the shelter even though it was not full.

Of course, the best options are stealthing (illegal) or blue blazing down to one of the campsites not on the AT. The blue trails are much more appealing in GSMNP than the AT, which is ugly by comparison. The campgrounds are usually very nice, close to water, and deserted. The downside is, they are all downhill from the AT so you get to go up first thing in the morning. Still worth it IMO.

I so appreciate the info about hanging in the shelters as a backup. Seemed like it would work at many of the shelters in the "porch" area. I'll be there in September looking for those places!