PDA

View Full Version : Saving Shelter Spaces



rickb
05-12-2012, 07:46
This poll asks what you do when you arrive at a shelter and an earlier arrival informs that all the available spots are taken-- because his is saving them for his friends coming up the trail.

HiKen2011
05-12-2012, 07:50
That wouldn't go over well for me.

brotheral
05-12-2012, 08:04
That wouldn't go over well for me.
ME Either !! I'd politely explain what 1st come 1st served means while getting settled in...

4shot
05-12-2012, 08:11
I didn't like the shelters unless it was raining. If it was raining and I was told a space was "saved", I'd unpack my stuff anyway. I cannot imagine this happening though.

PennyPincher
05-12-2012, 08:11
I would only be understanding if the 'saved' spot was for a child and an adult who had to hang back and hike slower with the kid. But I tent so I really don't care.

Lone Wolf
05-12-2012, 08:14
i'd ignore the twit then start settin' up

Bearpaw
05-12-2012, 08:17
Shelters are for snorers and mouse droppings. God may not have invented the hammock, but he surely put his blessing on them.

WIAPilot
05-12-2012, 08:18
From what I understand, there now are some shelters where this scenario happens frequently. I'm only going to use the shelter as a very last resort, but oh yeah - I would definitely start unpacking!!

Bearpaw
05-12-2012, 08:18
i'd ignore the twit then start settin' up

You lie. You'd ignore the twit and start settin' fire to the shelter.

coach lou
05-12-2012, 08:19
I would explain to that person what 'first come.. first served means', while I started to unpack! I just had a similar experience back in November, with some townie kids at Mt.Algo shelter. I showed just after sunset, camping gear was all over the place, but no one was there. There was plenty of room for me, after I made dinner they showed up with their booze. one young man, we will call him Brenda, wanted me to leave. I explained to him how this actually worked, he was not happy, but his pals were not up to backing him up. I woke them all up at O'dark-30, 2 of them started puking......have a nice day boys!!!!!

Bianchi Veloce
05-12-2012, 08:31
I don't stay at shelters.

But, if I did, I would have to mess with that person. I'd use one of my favorite Roddy Piper quotes, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and Im all out of bubblegum.:banana

garlic08
05-12-2012, 09:01
My vote's "other". The AT shelters weren't part of my universe on my hike, other than a spring, table and privy sometimes. I mostly met nice people hanging around, but I sure didn't want to sleep with them.

lemon b
05-12-2012, 10:08
Would depend on the weather. My condition and the other hikers conditions. Usually I'm not interested in shelter sleeping anyway.

Montana Mac
05-12-2012, 10:16
I didn't like the shelters unless it was raining. If it was raining and I was told a space was "saved", I'd unpack my stuff anyway. I cannot imagine this happening though.

It happens more often then you can imagine

Old Hiker
05-12-2012, 10:49
Other. I'll tent near a shelter if the sites are nice, but except for the Smokies, I don't sleep in the shelters.

Velvet Gooch
05-12-2012, 11:34
I'd say, "Yes, sir! Bossman!" and then offer to haul water for his group before moving on to the next shelter.

Deadeye
05-12-2012, 11:48
I'd go with the explaining the first come first served philosophy of the trail. Then, depending on the response, I'd probably move on - I don't really want to spend much quality time with people that don't want me around, and I'd rather sleep in my hammock anyhow. Maybe, just maybe, the person's attitude and approach would be different next time.

Sarcasm the elf
05-12-2012, 12:15
I can't think of a scenario where I would have any interest in staying in a crowded shelter in the first place.

Hooch
05-12-2012, 12:33
Shelters are for snorers and mouse droppings. God may not have invented the hammock, but he surely put his blessing on them.Amen! Save some trees for me, buddy!

rocketsocks
05-12-2012, 13:16
Other;Laugh

Don H
05-12-2012, 14:48
I didn't like the shelters unless it was raining. If it was raining and I was told a space was "saved", I'd unpack my stuff anyway. I cannot imagine this happening though.
Happened to me last year at Cherry Gap Shelter on Unaka Mt during a freezing rain. That's why I always carry a tent, and rarely sleep in shelters.

Mags
05-12-2012, 16:16
The only time I like sleeping in shelters was the rare time I had it to myself or a hiking partner. THey are handy on cold, rainy day when you do have it to youself..but sleeping with 16 of my closest friends is not for me. :O


Otherwise, I'd rather tent it.

Grampie
05-12-2012, 21:16
0n my 2001 thru I had planed to spend the night at Wilcox North shelter in Mass. I was hiking SOBO. Soon after I arrived two section hikers came along. They were going to spend the night at Wilcox South shelter but when they arrived there were a couple in the shelter and the guy told them that he had the shelter reserved and that they couldn't stay. Wilcox South was only three miles away so I decided to see what this was all about. When I arrived at the shelter there was a couple inside. They had a nice fire burning and had a large pile of wood they had collected. They had several quilts on the shelter floor and a couple of folding chairs too. I entered the shelter and greeted them. I started to unpack my gear. The woman asked me if I was staying the night and i said yes. I than asket them if they were staying. They walked away from the shelter and started to talk. When they returned, even though that it was dark, they said that they were going into town to spend the night. After they had everything packed up and were ready to go the guy said that I could have the fire wood for around $5 since he had collected it. I told him no thanks and they left. I did what I did because I didn't like the fact that they took advantage of a couple of young guys that didn't know the rules.

Miner
05-13-2012, 15:38
I think it would depend on the guys story of why he feels the need to hold space for another hiker. If the guy was really sick, that might be a legit reason though I might feel the need to leave a few references about it in trail registers further north in case he keeps getting sick.

If its because the guy can't get up before 9am, needs 2 hours to pack up, or had a bad hangover from town... well I don't think I have to say just how much I don't really care. Though I have to ask myself, do I really want to spend time in a shelter with guys like that?

cavediver256
05-13-2012, 15:55
I don't particularly care for the shelters anyway.....I can't see myself ever running into this situation. I hike to get away from all the noise and the BS that typically surrounds ......well PEOPLE!!!!! Did I mention, I LOVE MY HAMMOCK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Old Boots
05-13-2012, 16:00
Except in really bad weather, I would just setup my tent. It isn't worth the conflict.

Sarcasm the elf
05-13-2012, 16:36
I can't think of a scenario where I would have any interest in staying in a crowded shelter in the first place.

I feel the need to change my original response; I generally avoid sleeping in shelters so when I choose to stay in one, there's probably a reason (serious exhaustion, heavy rain, gear problem, etc.)

In these cases I will be happy to make myself comfortable and let the complaining hiker know that they are welcome to lodge a complaint with the ATC's shelter reservation committee. :bse

Mrs Baggins
05-13-2012, 17:28
Didn't Cimarron, the 80+ year old hiker hike without a tent and then demand that people make room? I've met him (on his 2007 attempt) and he's to be admired for his stamina at that age....but no. Bring a damn tent. 20, 40, 60, 80....the rules are the same. If you can't carry a tent and use it now and then, don't go.

Blissful
05-13-2012, 18:01
I've saved a spot for my son in '07 no one cared but there was room.

Tinker
05-14-2012, 00:33
I don't stay at shelters.

But, if I did, I would have to mess with that person. I'd use one of my favorite Roddy Piper quotes, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and Im all out of bubblegum.:banana

The Bianchi Volpe was a nice bike. Wish I bought one back in the 1980s when they were lugged steel (I've been a bike mechanic since 1978).

Tinker
05-14-2012, 00:41
Oh, btw, I answered "other". I haven't used shelters unless I was with others who depended upon them (or they were completely empty and I could hang my hammock) since the start of this century. I always take my hammock and tarp, so even if I was planning on using a shelter, I would just set up my hammock if someone said that they were saving spaces for their friends. I would, however, tell them that they have no legal rights to a space in the shelter and I wouldn't plan on other hikers being as understanding as I am, since many of them are planning (and depend upon) using that particular shelter.
I've personally seen someone "holding a space" for a couple of friends only to find that they stopped short of the shelter, leaving their well-meaning friend in the lurch, wondering where they were all night only to have them show up first thing in the morning, oblivious to the fact that their friend had risked his life to guard their still-empty spots on the hard wood floor. :D

Theosus
05-14-2012, 06:42
I'd say, "Yes, sir! Bossman!" and then offer to haul water for his group before moving on to the next shelter.

And "forget" to treat it?

I think I'd move on. After all, I have to sleep sometime, and who knows what a group of pissed off twits will try over night...

Stepinwolfe
05-14-2012, 07:08
I carry a tent and never use shelters for sleeping, but shelters are useful for cooking/eating, socializing, and storing gear.

peakbagger
05-14-2012, 08:44
My general "rule" is I and others in a shelter have the "right" to reserve the space under a thermarest for the night, any other space if available for others. Generally there are two groups that can be a hassle, locals who are out to party and dont realize or dont care about the informal rules or the "packs" of thru hiker wannabes" south of Damascus who either grow up or leave the trail once the "party" starts to get old. I have also seen it on occasion with thruhikers going north in Maine where they ditch most of their gear in NH and then demand shelter space.

I ran into one character once in the 100 mile wilderness who was bragging about dumping all his gear in NH and that he slept under a tarp and stayed away from shelters. The next night he decided to comboy camp under the stars and got caught by a heavy rainstorm, he showed up at a overflowing shelter at 2 AM and expected that everyone whould get up and make him room. He ended up crawling under the shelter floor. I saw a couple of his subsequent register postings where he told of the horrors of this and how his real buds on the trail would have recognized him and made room.

FlyPaper
05-14-2012, 09:42
Seems like the majority of people on this thread felt it important to mention that they don't sleep in shelters, and did not even answer the original question. Why won't people stick to the topic at hand?

Oh, wait!!! Never mind.

Sarcasm the elf
05-14-2012, 10:08
Seems like the majority of people on this thread felt it important to mention that they don't sleep in shelters, and did not even answer the original question. Why won't people stick to the topic at hand?Oh, wait!!! Never mind.Sorry that we're not living up to your standards. ;-)

Amanita
05-14-2012, 10:16
Every guidebook I've read states that larger groups should plan to tent it so that they don't fill the whole shelter in one go. I'd point that out and then make a judgement based on their reaction. If they seem friendly but misguided I might squeeze in, but as others have said I don't like the idea of sleeping next to a group of strangers I just pissed off.

WIAPilot
05-14-2012, 10:31
Sorry that we're not living up to your standards. ;-)

LOL I was thinking the same. I think that for many of us, the shelter is a "last resort" - like if you need a paddle instead of your poles. This was a good thread. It helped me to solidify my response, as I really hadn't thought about it before.

max patch
05-14-2012, 10:45
It helped me to solidify my response, as I really hadn't thought about it before.

There is another thing I think that is helpful to think about before starting a thru.

The vast majority of hikers who report to the ATC that they have hiked the entire trail -- hiked the white blazes -- have not. There are many opportunities to take blue blazed short cuts or to road walk sections which are shorter than the trail. So the hiker needs to decide what is important to them -- to hike the entire AT or to hike GA-ME mostly via the AT. What are you going to do when the group you are hiking with decides to take a blue blaze shortcut to get to town an hour earlier? Taking a moment to think about that now may make that decision easier to make when you are faced with it. Be true to yourself and HYOH.

WIAPilot
05-14-2012, 10:57
LOL I am such a "purist" that when another 2013 Class Hiker and I were discussing it, I announced that I would use GPS coordinates to make sure I hiked the entire trail when I took side trips and needed to get back on the trail. He had a laugh because 1. Yes - I do realize how anal I sound LOL and 2. He is a purist who doesn't believe in having GPS's.

It truly is great that WB has a HYOH mentality here.

Cookerhiker
05-14-2012, 11:27
It's also hard for a section hiker to be a purist, or at least you must be conscientious of certain things. I'm sure I ended some section hikes at road crossings and subsequently when hiking the section on the other side of the road, I may have failed to hike across the road itself. Oh, the horror of it all!:rolleyes:

If I was thru-hiking, I wouldn't; I'd forfeit my purist status in Vermont where the trail crosses Rt. 4 - I'd take the old AT, now a blue-blaze, straight down the ridge to the crest of Sherbourne Pass and stop at the Inn at the Long Trail. The AT never should have been re-routed and I'm still not sure why it was. It couldn't have been a landowner issue because the blue-blaze is there.

fins1838
05-14-2012, 11:45
Rock, paper, scissors.

FlyPaper
05-14-2012, 11:59
It's also hard for a section hiker to be a purist, or at least you must be conscientious of certain things. I'm sure I ended some section hikes at road crossings and subsequently when hiking the section on the other side of the road, I may have failed to hike across the road itself. Oh, the horror of it all!:rolleyes:

If I was thru-hiking, I wouldn't; I'd forfeit my purist status in Vermont where the trail crosses Rt. 4 - I'd take the old AT, now a blue-blaze, straight down the ridge to the crest of Sherbourne Pass and stop at the Inn at the Long Trail. The AT never should have been re-routed and I'm still not sure why it was. It couldn't have been a landowner issue because the blue-blaze is there.

Another delicate situation for a purist, you stop at a shelter that has one blue blaze in from the south, and different blue blaze out heading north. Had you not stopped at that shelter, there may be a 10 yard (or 100 yard) section of the white blazed AT you would have walked. Anyone here insist on taking the same blue blaze in/out of all shelters?

max patch
05-14-2012, 12:29
If I was thru-hiking, I wouldn't; I'd forfeit my purist status in Vermont where the trail crosses Rt. 4 - I'd take the old AT, now a blue-blaze, straight down the ridge to the crest of Sherbourne Pass and stop at the Inn at the Long Trail. The AT never should have been re-routed and I'm still not sure why it was. It couldn't have been a landowner issue because the blue-blaze is there.

IIRC the AT was relo'd to move it away from ski area development.

You raise a good example. This is not a "go" or "no go" decision. You can still hike all the white blazes and still go to the Inn (which is a great place to stop) its just going to take longer. Choice is yours. HYOH.

beaudetious
05-14-2012, 12:37
The "new" Roaring Fork shelter N of Max Patch has two side trails to the shelter and I've am guilty of backtracking to the first side trail to make sure I covered the section of the AT in between.

weary
05-14-2012, 12:40
My vote was "other" because it depends on why someone was holding a place in the shelter. If it's a group hiking together and stragglers still haven't showed, I'd set up my tent. If they were just hoping to meet another group at the shelter, I'd insist on my right to a spot. Providing, of course, that there was legitimate available room i.e. I wouldn't insist eight people in a shelter designed for eight, should squeeze over to make room for a ninth person.

coach lou
05-14-2012, 12:47
Is there a glitch in this program.....are we on the " reserved shelter space" thread?

ATMountainTime
05-14-2012, 13:17
I don't stay at shelters.

But, if I did, I would have to mess with that person. I'd use one of my favorite Roddy Piper quotes, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and Im all out of bubblegum.:banana

Dang dude, you brought in the movie They Live into a backpacking forum....VERRRY NIIICCEEE (in my borat voice)

Montana Mac
05-14-2012, 19:10
Another delicate situation for a purist, you stop at a shelter that has one blue blaze in from the south, and different blue blaze out heading north. Had you not stopped at that shelter, there may be a 10 yard (or 100 yard) section of the white blazed AT you would have walked. Anyone here insist on taking the same blue blaze in/out of all shelters?

......Yes!

hikerboy57
05-14-2012, 19:36
first come first served. that being said, unless its pouring raining, i very rarely sleep in shelters.noiise, mice, bugs. tenting is better.

Sarcasm the elf
05-14-2012, 20:02
Every guidebook I've read states that larger groups should plan to tent it so that they don't fill the whole shelter in one go. I'd point that out and then make a judgement based on their reaction. If they seem friendly but misguided I might squeeze in, but as others have said I don't like the idea of sleeping next to a group of strangers I just pissed off.

You bring up a good point. I might talk tough about pushing my way past someone who is claiming to have "reserved" shelter space for their friends, but I would definitely size up the situation first and then use a bit of tact. I don't think I'd get much sleep in a shelter full of strangers that are mad at me.

rjprince
05-14-2012, 23:44
I believe that the only place you can (and must) reserve a space at a shelter is in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park where reservations are required (except for four spaces per shelter reserved for "thru hikers" -50 miles and +50 miles each side of GSMNP).

Other than that, I avoid shelters. Have had mice chew holes in my stuff a few times, that was enough.

rocketsocks
05-15-2012, 00:07
Is there a glitch in this program.....are we on the " reserved shelter space" thread?Nope,Yo-Yo'n blue blaze trails,but why I don't know.

Dirty Nails
05-16-2012, 23:40
OTHER: It's simple...I do what my dog does. I sniff around a bit, circle, then lift my leg and mark my territory!
Just be glad I can't lick myself.:p

GolfHiker
05-18-2012, 09:49
When it comes to shelters on the AT, everyone has opinions, which is fine. I sense a pretty strong anti-shelter bias among most Whiteblazers. Seriously, in over 30 years of AT hiking, I can honestly say I have never seen this situation, and maybe naively thought everyone else treated shelter living as I do, first come, first served, no discussion, and hope you brought a tent. As for how to handle, use good judgement & don't take more space than you are entitled to.. sweet dreams.

MyName1sMud
05-18-2012, 10:36
I'd let them keep it.

Don't want to sleep around some people that might cut my throat in the night.

Blue Jay
05-20-2012, 16:49
Seriously, in over 30 years of AT hiking, I can honestly say I have never seen this situation,

Me either. I think you are more likely to find a shelter filled with clowns honking their noses and discussing how to find extra long hiking shoes or Yeti shaving.

Sarcasm the elf
05-20-2012, 16:59
Me either. I think you are more likely to find a shelter filled with clowns honking their noses and discussing how to find extra long hiking shoes or Yeti shaving.


In that case they can definitely claim the shelter for the night, I'll keep walking :banana

rocketsocks
05-20-2012, 17:08
In that case they can definitely claim the shelter for the night, I'll keep walking :bananaClowns can be a scary thing,documented,why is that?

bfayer
05-20-2012, 18:48
When it comes to shelters on the AT, everyone has opinions, which is fine. I sense a pretty strong anti-shelter bias among most Whiteblazers. Seriously, in over 30 years of AT hiking, I can honestly say I have never seen this situation, and maybe naively thought everyone else treated shelter living as I do, first come, first served, no discussion, and hope you brought a tent. As for how to handle, use good judgement & don't take more space than you are entitled to.. sweet dreams.

I have run into it, and several times. It annoys me as much today as it did 30 years ago. I left junior high school a long time ago and shelters are not the school cafeteria.

When it has happened to me I have just said "Well I am here and they are not, so lets just make the best of it".

The good news is the overwhelmingly vast majority of people I have met hiking are good people, that are great to be around and more then willing to help each other and share when asked.

The few that were not, well, they don't like me much.

gunner76
05-20-2012, 19:10
Rock, paper, scissors. Don't forget Lizard, Spock.

I would ask to see their reservation. :cool:

As I use a hammock I can't see myself using a shelter except to stop and eat or chat with someone unless there was a major storm.

Blue Jay
05-22-2012, 13:59
Don't forget Lizard, Spock.

Damn I forgot how it goes. Lizard bites Spock, Spock steals Scissor.....Rock hits Lizard, I HAVE to know