View Full Version : Camsite Question??

02-20-2010, 20:00
If you finish your days hike and the capsites are taken what do you do?

Red Hat
02-20-2010, 20:04
Good campsites taken, that's why I hammock. I don't have to find a perfect tentsite, just a couple of trees. But if you are referring to the shelter being full, then you pitch your tent, or hang your hammock, but you should be prepared for shelters to be full.

02-20-2010, 20:43
There's always a place to stick a tent. :)

SGT Rock
02-20-2010, 20:47
I've never had a time when I couldn't find a place to park a tent or hang a hammock on the AT when I wanted to camp.

02-20-2010, 21:30
In the 70's if it was dark and I decided it time to stop hiking, I use to camp on the trail and I mean on the trail, not to the side. If the weather was nice and there were no bugs I would not set up a tent, just use my foam pad and my sleeping bag. Some of my best hiking was done during nights with a full moon. The same trail looks and feels totally different when hiked at night.

02-21-2010, 00:43
That was my question. If all the tent sites are taken is it ok to clear a spot and pitch the tent? I don't think I have any desire to sleep in a shelter...no offense

02-21-2010, 05:05
Flat spots can be tough to find at crowded shelters sometimes.
If you cannot find one that has already been used, you should use caution in creating one if that's what you must do.
I have already slept ON THE TRAIL itself as an alternative although, keep in mind animals use the trail at night and some hikers night-hike or get up very early in the morning so, you might get stepped on.
Another reason why it's good to cook your food at shelters or water sources and then hike another hour till dark and find a great camp spot away from the herd.

Tipi Walter
02-21-2010, 08:44
Most everyone on the AT assumes that they should camp by the shelters where there usually is water, etc. But the AT has a million campsites stretched along its length and they can be found all along the trail nowhere near the shelters. You can easily camp off the trail in between shelters, 4 miles past one, 4 miles before the other, etc. 95% of all potential campsites on the AT are never used.

02-21-2010, 09:15
That was my question. If all the tent sites are taken is it ok to clear a spot and pitch the tent? I don't think I have any desire to sleep in a shelter...no offense
There is no tent site # 24 #16 etc... You find a piece of ground and claim it.

02-21-2010, 09:26
You are obviously new. That's fine. Welcome. You must have a lot of other concerns or questions about your upcoming hike. In regards to this question, put it out of your mind. You will always be able to find a place to pitch your tent along the A.T.. You should be worried about much more important things now. Like, is there such a thing as a wharrghiagey? and where do all the cool kids hang out at trail days? and how far into my hike will i be when I quit being a purist? and just who is this Matthewski guy and why can't he spell? Seriously, worrying about where you will sleep every night when there are so many more important matters is silly.

Mountain Wildman
02-21-2010, 10:59
Good morning,
I'm sure you all know this but I just read it yesterday and thought I would post it: The ATC Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Planner: In areas that allow dispersed camping, choose either a well-worn site or one showing no signs of prior use. Avoid lightly used sites, as they may recover if left alone. Set up tents on durable surfaces, such as dead leaves or grass, well apart from each other and at least 70 feet from any water source. Page 17 under Leave No Trace.

02-21-2010, 18:33
Thanks for all the responses and yes I am new. My son (10) and I are are planning to do 1 and 2 nighters just to get a feel for all of this. I am going to have break him in gently with a pack at first but I think he will grow to love all of this. Last fall we did a few day hikes and covered just about all of Maryland. He really enjoyed this and one day while on the trail he asked me what would we have to do to hike the entire trail. I told him about people who are called "thru hikers" that hike the entire trail and he thought that was the greatest thing ever.

So like I said my plan is to introduce him to this a little at a time and over the years we will cover the entire AT. Someday down the road I want to do a thru hike and I hope my son is there to join me.

It's really cool when he goes to school on Monday and his friends ask him what he did over the weekend and he answers with " I hiked 14 miles on the Appalachain Trail" They don't believe him untill he whips out a cd with pics from our hike. He's in the Cub Scouts now and will move into the Boy Scouts next year so he should be well prepared by that time.

Thanks again for all the responses. Walking along the trail I often look out into the woods off the trail and say to myself "that would be a nice place to camp for the night" so it's good to know you can!