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zcalla20
10-01-2012, 20:31
Hello, I am currently studying architecture at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The Focus of my thesis is the redesigning of Appalachian Trail Shelters without sacrificing the hiking experience.

Personal experience and research has shown that the existing shelters are in major need of repair, and it is my hopes that the information gathered from this survey will benefit my thesis and provide a resource for the designs of future Appalachian Trail Shelters.

Below is the link to the survey: (estimated time to complete is between 4-8 minutes)

Thank you!


https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=YiaKKZYK25w5o0MtRKpdKA

ParkRat09
10-01-2012, 20:42
All except the Smokies! Well with the exception of Davenport Gap

swjohnsey
10-01-2012, 20:44
I don't agree. While spartan, most of the shelters were in good repair.

ParkRat09
10-01-2012, 20:48
While I can only attest to Shelters in the Smokies I've heard more complaints about uncontrollable things like mice and other people

kayak karl
10-01-2012, 21:00
is this serious. last part of survey???? have you been to a shelter ???


Rate the following amenities by how strongly you agree with their addition in future Appalachian Trail Shelters.*




Strongly Disagree

Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly Agree



Electric Lighting









Heating / Air Conditioning









Electric Outlets









Heated Running Water









Gas or Electric Stoves









Lavatories









Emergency Phones

eArThworm
10-01-2012, 21:04
Electricity?!?!? (See the survey.) You can't be serious.

zcalla20
10-01-2012, 21:04
These are all amenities I feel do not belong in a shelter, however I have spoken with other hikers that feel it is important to have some of these.

While I do not agree with them, I felt it important to get a more collected understanding of what to and what not to incorporate into my designs

Thank you for bringing that section up, I know it is a controversial topic.

yellowsirocco
10-01-2012, 21:15
If I was going to redesign a shelter I would focus more on ease of construction and ease of maintenance. That is if you want anything to ever come of your work. Hiker amenities are the last thing I would worry about. A metal roof and three walls is all you need. That is called heaven in bad weather. Some considerations though: a table to cook on is nice, the longer the overhang the better, someplace to sit other than the sleeping platform is nice. Just keep it simple.

zcalla20
10-01-2012, 21:15
So I have been getting some questions about the contents of the survey, especially in the amenities portion

I feel it important to state that, I personally, do not agree with the addition of these features in any future structures. However with the emergence of structures like the Fontana Hilton, as well as interviews with other hikers, I have heard the suggestion of adding features such as small solar panels to provide eletricity for recharging a hand held gps

Again, these are amenities I do not agree with, but it is not for me to decide what goes into a shelter, it is you... the hikers.

So please, if the idea of adding electricity angers you, let me know... any feedback, positive or negative is beneficial towards my thesis

zcalla20
10-01-2012, 21:16
So I have been getting some questions about the contents of the survey, especially in the amenities portion

I feel it important to state that, I personally, do not agree with the addition of these features in any future structures. However with the emergence of structures like the Fontana Hilton, as well as interviews with other hikers, I have heard the suggestion of adding features such as small solar panels to provide eletricity for recharging a hand held gps

Again, these are amenities I do not agree with, but it is not for me to decide what goes into a shelter, it is you... the hikers.

So please, if the idea of adding electricity angers you, let me know... any feedback, positive or negative is beneficial towards my thesis

yellowsirocco
10-01-2012, 21:16
You need to talk to Bob Peoples.

HikerMom58
10-01-2012, 21:20
^Don't worry about it...they are just asking questions^

yellowsirocco
10-01-2012, 21:28
Again, these are amenities I do not agree with, but it is not for me to decide what goes into a shelter, it is you... the hikers.
Hikers don't actually decide, the ATC does. They have a 'wilderness experience' thing that they try to do. I have heard of volunteer shelter overseers getting in arguments with the ATC about making things too nice.

Hairbear
10-01-2012, 21:33
what no cable tv

rickb
10-01-2012, 21:37
So please, if the idea of adding electricity angers you, let me know... any feedback, positive or negative is beneficial towards my thesis

I don't think there was any anger there. Not sure why you did.

On the other hand that, that section of your survey suggested to me (rightfully or wrongfully) a fundamental lack of understanding about AT Shelters, their place on the Trail and hikers' relationships to them.

To my way of thinking it would be better to rewrite your survey in a way that might help you get that understanding-- before thinking of possible answers.

MuddyWaters
10-01-2012, 21:37
what people need in a shelter is a privy, bear cables, covered cooking area/benches, and a roof that doesnt leak..much..

Slo-go'en
10-01-2012, 21:41
I'd go for having wind powered water pumps and solar powered battery chargers in shelters :) Heat and air conditioning would be nice too, now that I think about it.

Seriously, shelter design is an interesting subject. I've spent many an hour studying the way a shelter was built - while waiting for it to stop raining... It's hard to beat the original three sided log lean-to for simple and functional. The current Georgia shelter design is I think a very good optimization of the original lean-to design.

Now that matterials can be flow onto site, there are some pretty fancy shelters on the trail. I think it is a mistake to get too fancy, as the cost of matainance will eventually become an issue.

Sarcasm the elf
10-01-2012, 21:43
I don't think there was any anger there. Not sure why you did.

On the other hand that, that section of your survey suggested to me (rightfully or wrongfully) a fundamental lack of understanding about AT Shelters, their place on the Trail and hikers' relationships to them.

To my way of thinking it would be better to rewrite your survey in a way that might help you get that understanding-- before thinking of possible answers.


Agreed, I thought the survey questions implied that it was time to upgrade the shelters.

In my experience, people that want these sorts of upgrades do not make up the majority of hikers and have a mentality that is at odds wi the majority of the people that use the trail.

cabbagehead
10-01-2012, 21:52
Here are some features I would like to see in future shelters.



I would like there to be more space where people can't sleep. Sometimes the shelters get crowded with sleeping people, and there's no space to put my stuff.
smaller shelters
more nails sticking out of walls
more cans on the strings where you put your food, or more metal boxes
Outlets are nice as long as they don't require maintenance. This isn't for all shelters, and it's not a priority.
polyurethane glue
better signs pointing to the shelter
If it's on land that is protected for a few hundred years, it should usually be made of permanent materials.


I would also like to see more blazes. These are more important than shelters. Lots of blazes and no shelters would be fine.

Drybones
10-01-2012, 22:04
These are all amenities I feel do not belong in a shelter, however I have spoken with other hikers that feel it is important to have some of these.

.

Those that believe these amenities are important are those that sit on a couch in front of a TV. As far as I'm concerned the shelters are not needed.

swjohnsey
10-01-2012, 22:15
There are already a couple of shelters with electrical outlets . . . of course they ain't connected to anything.

jakedatc
10-01-2012, 22:24
From the ones on the Long Trail I liked the Stratton Pond shelter style with bunks and a loft. I also liked the double layer lean to's/camps like Spruce Camp and Imp shelter (NH not LT but that style)

the only "amenity" i really got spoiled with was the 4 sided Lodge/camps, just nice to have 4 walls and a door sometimes. other than that.. roof that works

Donde
10-01-2012, 22:27
I think of Mountaineer ( Bob is pretty much the Chuck Norris of the AT) and Jim & Molly Denton as pretty much the perfect shelter designs. Bear poles covered cooking area, plenty of sleeping space. That being said with a handful of exceptions ( dicks dome, and the one 11 miles north of hot springs with the gaps in the floor) even the most spartan shelters are fine. Give my regards to SCAD, I hope the coeds are still regularly earning their Ranger Panties.

attroll
10-01-2012, 23:00
I merge all three threads into this one thread/topic. No double or triple posting allowed.

Carl Calson
10-01-2012, 23:30
the shelters in new york were terrible. building into the side of a boulder is a quick way to wet everything and rotten floors. otherwise, shelters should be simple and have a fake electrical outlet every now and again.

Don H
10-02-2012, 08:10
It would be a great improvement if we could just get a privy at each shelter! Concentrating groups of hikers at one place without providing a privy is just wrong. The end results are predictable and obvious.

Drybones
10-02-2012, 08:33
As far as I'm concerned the shelters are not needed.

I will have to confess, that big red barn at Overmountain sure was nice after walking 20 something miles in the poring rain, the trail was either a flowing stream or ankle deep mud, cold wet, tired, was nice to get out of the rain.

Tipi Walter
10-02-2012, 08:43
These are all amenities I feel do not belong in a shelter, however I have spoken with other hikers that feel it is important to have some of these.

While I do not agree with them, I felt it important to get a more collected understanding of what to and what not to incorporate into my designs

Thank you for bringing that section up, I know it is a controversial topic.

Other hikers want electricity? Are they nuts? Just stay at home then and sleep in the carport. This project is a good example of the Engineer mentality in full bloom.


Here are some features I would like to see in future shelters.



I would like there to be more space where people can't sleep. Sometimes the shelters get crowded with sleeping people, and there's no space to put my stuff.
smaller shelters
more nails sticking out of walls
more cans on the strings where you put your food, or more metal boxes
Outlets are nice as long as they don't require maintenance. This isn't for all shelters, and it's not a priority.
polyurethane glue
better signs pointing to the shelter
If it's on land that is protected for a few hundred years, it should usually be made of permanent materials.


I would also like to see more blazes. These are more important than shelters. Lots of blazes and no shelters would be fine.

Having more space where people can't sleep sounds like a good idea too. Zero space.

Outlets are nice? This is nuts.

Monkeywrench
10-02-2012, 08:46
I would like there to be more space where people can't sleep. Sometimes the shelters get crowded with sleeping people, and there's no space to put my stuff.


Your stuff goes in your backpack.

Lone Wolf
10-02-2012, 08:46
no more shelters should be built and they should start tearing some down. thin them out. one every 15 miles or so.

forrest!
10-02-2012, 08:48
I have always thought that we need fewer shelters. Just tent platforms with bear poles or cables, a privy, and a water source - that's all that is needed. The shelters are just a crutch...

HikerMom58
10-02-2012, 08:51
There are already a couple of shelters with electrical outlets . . . of course they ain't connected to anything.

I was in one of those shelters with the fake electrical outlets... let me tell ya.. it messed with my head for a minute!! :-? It was great!! LOL!

OzJacko
10-02-2012, 08:52
How about premade mouse holes with little guillotine blades???

HikerMom58
10-02-2012, 08:57
I have always thought that we need fewer shelters. Just tent platforms with bear poles or cables, a privy, and a water source - that's all that is needed. The shelters are just a crutch...

I'm all about crutches... :D I'll be interested in seeing the final design. I hope the OP can share it with us. My daughter is a licensable architect. She would have loved doing this project, herself.

peakbagger
10-02-2012, 11:32
Over the years of sectioning I saw several overly complex architectural masterpieces that looked great but werent particularly usesful. One of the shleters off of the Blue ridge parkway was quite and impressive building withe a leaky roof as the NPS had decided that wooden shakes were required. There were extensive entires in the register on where one or two spots in the entire building would not be subject to leaks.

I did like the sites in Northern VA that had the seperate covered cooking pavillion and fire ring. It shifted the social area away from the shelter.

Getting the shelter up off the ground in the air with an open space underneath seemed to cut back on folks stuffing trash under the floors and seemed to cut back on the critters. It might be a bit cooler than a shelter that is right on top of the ground but it sure seemed to keep the shelters easier to keep clean.

1azarus
10-02-2012, 11:57
...hey, I'm a practicing hiker architect, (notice the order of importance...) and I teach architecture at a local prep school. want some feedback? send your design to HikermomKD for her daughter's review -- and send it to me, too. or, as others suggest, let us all look! what fun...

Drybones
10-02-2012, 15:25
How about premade mouse holes with little guillotine blades???

Good one...now what about the bears...and please do something about the snoring.

moldy
10-02-2012, 17:20
Too bad they moved this thing here. This is a hot button issue and you would have 200 hits by now. Few people come here

HikerMom58
10-02-2012, 17:29
...hey, I'm a practicing hiker architect, (notice the order of importance...) and I teach architecture at a local prep school. want some feedback? send your design to HikermomKD for her daughter's review -- and send it to me, too. or, as others suggest, let us all look! what fun...

Awesome... great suggestion!! I see that hiker architect in order of importance... LOL!! I already mentioned this thread to my daughter 2. :)

HikerMom58
10-02-2012, 17:29
good one...now what about the bears...and please do something about the snoring.

amen!!!!!!!!!!!

yellowsirocco
10-02-2012, 17:33
Other hikers want electricity? Are they nuts? Just stay at home then and sleep in the carport. This project is a good example of the Engineer mentality in full bloom.

engineers would realize the rediculousness of electricity at shelters. this is bad design in full bloom.

Don H
10-02-2012, 18:55
Boot Dryers! that's what we need at each shelter!

Bags4266
10-02-2012, 19:15
Side plastic windows, very simple not expensive

Wise Old Owl
10-02-2012, 21:02
There are already a couple of shelters with electrical outlets . . . of course they ain't connected to anything.

yea but they could be ...Pennies on the $

Rain Man
10-02-2012, 21:10
Over the years of sectioning I saw several overly complex architectural masterpieces that looked great but werent particularly usesful. One of the shleters off of the Blue ridge parkway was quite and impressive building ....

I'm guessing you might mean Bryant Ridge Shelter. Yes, impressive. I stayed there and loved it.

Thanks for the survey, OP. Food for thought, even if some ride their hobby horses. ;)

Rain:sunMan

.

turtle fast
10-03-2012, 03:39
Shelter design that decreases regular service needs is great as well as using durable materials. Some of the stone sided shelters looked like they would last a hundred years and some of the cinder block shelters built in the 60s looked solid. The stone sided shelters made of locally sourced rock were more pleasing to the eye than cinder block or plywood shelters, though realizing that this type of stone building takes a lot of volunteer hours to build and why good design would be necessary.

peakbagger
10-03-2012, 07:23
A good idea that unfortunately didnt pan out was the MATC concept of installing translucent panels in the roofs of shelters. It really brightened up the interiors, unfortunately the plastic got brittle after a couple of years and the roof leaked. They have been replacing the translucent panels with steel for a couple years.

Bags4266
10-03-2012, 08:19
Yes I would not want any holes in the roof due to leaks. However, I was at a new shelter in the whites recently that had translucent panel on a side wall. Its amazing on how much brighter it made the shelter.

snifur
10-03-2012, 09:34
too many freakin prissys out there want it their way. look, just 3 walls and a roof. no floor. dirt, the way it was originally intended. if the roof leaks, stick a branch in it. windows, really? listen, it does not matter what is done to improve the shelters. people are going to destroy them. it happens fast too. ignorance and irresponsibility and time are why some shelters are in poor shape. there should be a survey on improving ignorance, irresponsibility. too many freakin pansy prissy britches running up and down the A.T.

Lone Wolf
10-03-2012, 09:39
too many freakin prissys out there want it their way. Look, just 3 walls and a roof. No floor. Dirt, the way it was originally intended. If the roof leaks, stick a branch in it. Windows, really? Listen, it does not matter what is done to improve the shelters. People are going to destroy them. It happens fast too. Ignorance and irresponsibility and time are why some shelters are in poor shape. There should be a survey on improving ignorance, irresponsibility. Too many freakin pansy prissy britches running up and down the a.t.

:d..............

Tipi Walter
10-03-2012, 09:48
listen, it does not matter what is done to improve the shelters. people are going to destroy them. it happens fast too.

If this were only true. Destroyed shelters? And yet they still exist.

Rain Man
10-03-2012, 09:59
too many freakin prissys out there want it their way. ... too many freakin pansy prissy britches running up and down the A.T.

... and sitting at their keyboards, wanting everyone to hike it all their way? There's plenty of dirt and plenty of trail without shelters for those who don't want to avail themselves. No need for anyone to call names, whine, or snivel.

Rain Man

.

Monkeywrench
10-03-2012, 09:59
listen, it does not matter what is done to improve the shelters. people are going to destroy them. it happens fast too.

No kidding. It's really discouraging when you and your hiking club put in all the effort to raise money, get all the bureaucratic paperwork done and approved, buy the materials, organize the work crews, and etc to build a new shelter or replace/repair an existing shelter, then clueless dip-**** hikers come along and carve their names into the wood, write juvenile graffiti everywhere, tear up bunks and tables for firewood, leave trash everywhere, and generally show they have no respect for the effort you expended on their behalf.

snifur
10-03-2012, 10:18
Monkeywrench, i feel for ya. plus 1 on your comment and that my friend is the point. well said.

HikerMom58
10-03-2012, 11:53
Yes, I agree with Monkeywrench and snifur... But that't the way of the world. Architects (in training) might be able to design shelters that address this prob. all these things are useful info... remain optimistic for the OP. As hikers what do you want the shelters to look like, provide etc...dream big or keep it simple- whatever...

I would like a shelter to:

-Provide protection from bad weather- be able to withstand lightening strikes and blow downs.
-Provide natural light
-Provide a sheltered place to build a fire in cold weather (design the fireplace to be self contained in regard to smoke and stray sparks) Also, design them to allow for drying wet clothing.
-Build the shelter out of a material that is highly resistant to destructive forces such as ones already mentioned. :) (human destruction :( )
-When choosing the material for letting in natural light make sure it is resistant to fogging and natural things "growing" on it. (like moss etc..)
-Lots of hooks for hanging packs and places to keep hiking boots, off the shelter floor. Design the boot holders for optimal drying purposes.

I like the 3 sides and a roof design, don't change that.
Having an enclosed privy is nice with lots of natural light.

I believe in keeping the shelters simple but well built with a lot of thought & design put into the material of the structures. I think we need to keep the shelters as a safe haven along the trail but not too much of a "crutch" so that we still feel like we can survive with everything we need on our back for a while in the woods. For those who appreciate shelters, we like them for all the things they represent to us, personally.

I'm sure I could think of other things but that's it for now... good luck with the project!! :)

turtle fast
10-03-2012, 11:54
I was always dismayed to see graffiti on the walls of shelters, did not your parents or parent raise you right? I yelled at a kid once for attempting to carve on a wall of a shelter, he looked at me as if he had never been yelled at before. I feel for the trail clubs and members like Monkeywrench who pour blood, sweat, and tears into these projects and see wanton destruction of property. For every one idiot, you have hundreds whom do not destroy or alter a shelter...unfortunately you never hear from them.

Tipi Walter
10-03-2012, 14:58
No kidding. It's really discouraging when you and your hiking club put in all the effort to raise money, get all the bureaucratic paperwork done and approved, buy the materials, organize the work crews, and etc to build a new shelter or replace/repair an existing shelter, then clueless dip-**** hikers come along and carve their names into the wood, write juvenile graffiti everywhere, tear up bunks and tables for firewood, leave trash everywhere, and generally show they have no respect for the effort you expended on their behalf.




I would like a shelter to:

-Provide protection from bad weather- be able to withstand lightening strikes and blow downs.
-Provide natural light
-Provide a sheltered place to build a fire in cold weather (design the fireplace to be self contained in regard to smoke and stray sparks) Also, design them to allow for drying wet clothing.
-Build the shelter out of a material that is highly resistant to destructive forces such as ones already mentioned. :) (human destruction :( )
-When choosing the material for letting in natural light make sure it is resistant to fogging and natural things "growing" on it. (like moss etc..)
-Lots of hooks for hanging packs and places to keep hiking boots, off the shelter floor. Design the boot holders for optimal drying purposes.

I like the 3 sides and a roof design, don't change that.
Having an enclosed privy is nice with lots of natural light. :)

Wow, you guys need to re-evaluate your connection to backpacking and to the woods. For the hiking clubs, I say don't bother keeping the 70 year old system of AT shelters alive---we've done it for 70 years, let's try 70 years without shelters to balance it out. I think hiking clubs would be better off dismantling all the shelters and letting the "clueless dip-**** hikers" fend for themselves. Why not? It works on the BMT and in the Cohutta and Big Frog wilderness areas, and it works in Dolly Sods and for most of the Mt Rogers and Snowbird backcountry.

I guess for some backpackers the security teat of the quasi-Indoor Life still appeals, thus the need for protection and comfort as repesented by the man-made edifice of a trail shelter. But the last thing some of us want to see is another rat box and human cleverness-induced carport as we've seen enough Rat Boxes in town and at home and on the drive to the trailhead. Backpackers who drool over shelters are sort of like RV drivers who call what they do Camping.

HikerMom58
10-03-2012, 15:15
I respect your opinion about the way you view your way of backpacking but I don't like being compared to RV drivers who call what they do camping. Or one that drools over shelters being called Rat boxes. I can understand your view point- no problem. But when you insult others when they don't line up with your way of thinking, then, that's a real problem for me, with you, when you say those things about me and others. You can respectfully disagree but leave off the insulting statements....please. I'm saying this to you in the kindest possible way. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Monkeywrench
10-03-2012, 15:23
Wow, you guys need to re-evaluate your connection to backpacking and to the woods. For the hiking clubs, I say don't bother keeping the 70 year old system of AT shelters alive---we've done it for 70 years, let's try 70 years without shelters to balance it out. I think hiking clubs would be better off dismantling all the shelters and letting the "clueless dip-**** hikers" fend for themselves. Why not? It works on the BMT and in the Cohutta and Big Frog wilderness areas, and it works in Dolly Sods and for most of the Mt Rogers and Snowbird backcountry.

I guess for some backpackers the security teat of the quasi-Indoor Life still appeals, thus the need for protection and comfort as repesented by the man-made edifice of a trail shelter. But the last thing some of us want to see is another rat box and human cleverness-induced carport as we've seen enough Rat Boxes in town and at home and on the drive to the trailhead. Backpackers who drool over shelters are sort of like RV drivers who call what they do Camping.

Not sure who you are including in "you guys", but count me out. It's been a number of years since I've slept in a shelter as I prefer swinging in my hammock out in the fresh air. But as a member of a maintaining club (Connecticut Section of the Green Mountain Club) that is responsible for 12 miles of the AT / LT in Vermont and 2 (until recently it was 3) shelters, repairing damage inflicted by selfish people over and over again gets old fast.

I personally agree that the trail would be better with fewer shelters, but they are a long and much-beloved tradition and not likely to go away anytime soon. Maybe someday.

TNjed
10-03-2012, 15:34
Earl Shaffer and grandma gatewood and tons of other people didn't need that crap and neither do we. If you're on the trail you are there for a reason. If you need electricity and hot running water stay in gatlinburg and stick to day hikes

Drybones
10-03-2012, 18:09
Can't believe no one's asked for a hot shower.

snifur
10-03-2012, 19:11
hot shower??? i have grown to love the cold water bathing. i find myself still splashing water from the sink and bathtub. a hot shower seems eccentric. i guess its only a matter of time before a request is made to have tp supplied at all trail privys too. that would save a lot of weight that hikers dont have to carry.

kolokolo
10-03-2012, 19:39
For those groggy hikers in the morning - a sign back at the A.T. indicating which direction is NOBO and which is SOBO.

cabbagehead
10-03-2012, 23:06
fire places that discourage large fires

People should wear clothes instead of polluting.


More space where people can't sleep

I like to store my pack in the shelter and sleep outside. I don't like it when shelters are crowded with sleepers.


more advanced materials and polyurethane glue
nails in walls
more metal cans on the strings

Another Kevin
10-04-2012, 06:33
For most of the Trail - and all of the Adirondacks - it's really hard to improve on the classic Adirondack lean-to. It can be built from materials found on-site (although that takes extensive planning, to mark suitable trees, fell them, and prepare and season the logs, split the shakes, finish the puncheons, and so on). It has a raised puncheon floor - much needed when snow is melting and the shelter interior would otherwise be knee-deep mud. If cedars are available for the roof, it lasts many years with comparatively little maintenance. particularly if the logs are tarred. The three-sided stone firepit reflects heat into the shelter: invaluable when a party is caught unexpectedly by snow in September or May. It doesn't have to be right on a highway - it can be far enough back to discourage abuse from the local kids.

It won't work in Harriman, because a log shelter wouldn't last a summer what with the locals horsing around. (It used to have some. What remained of them was burnt intentionally by the parks department.) I don't know what to do about Harriman.

My suggestions of things to keep in mind for shelter design are simple.

Face it away from the prevailing wind, especially at the high elevations. Having the wind blow cold rain and snow into the shelter is nasty. Having it blow smoke from the firepit into the shelter is obnoxious. Having it blow sparks from the firepit into the shelter is a disaster waiting to happen. (In the Adirondacks, it might actually be better to face it side-on, so that it won't look into the teeth of a Northeaster.)

On that subject, provide a water bucket. I'll happily fill it on arrival and empty it when I leave. In Harriman, just build the damned thing of stone. (I'm not swearing - 'damned' is precisely the correct term for the destination of Harriman shelters.)

Provide it with a privy. (Once again, I don't know what to do about Harriman, where the locals would use the privy as a garbage can. That's why the privies were taken out of Harriman - they were killing the maintainers with the removal of you-know-what-stained trash.)

Keep it, the water source, and the privy far enough from each other to avoid major problems. Put up signs directing to water source and privy if it isn't obvious. (Think about whether it will still be obvious when there's fresh snow in December or flourishing brush in July.)

Put a broom in it. I'll be happy to sweep if I'm the last one out - if there's a broom. (Once again, I don't know what to do about Harriman, where a broom would be firewood within a week.)

Some sort of table or shelf out of the rain, for organizing small things, is nice to have. (Ever needed to replace an eyeglass screw, sew something, unclog a stove jet, or change a headlamp battery on a not-quite-level shelter floor?)

Provide bear cables, bear poles, or bear boxes, in bear country. I can do a proper bearbag hang, but it's really nice not to have to, and nice to be able to set up without worrying that a late arrival won't know how.

A sleeping loft if the shelter gets crowded enough to need one. A shelter that's that crowded so distresses me that I wind up spending the night in tiers. (sorry, couldn't resist!)

Monkeywrench
10-04-2012, 07:41
Can't believe no one's asked for a hot shower.

That's been done - Partnership Shelter.

peakbagger
10-04-2012, 07:43
One cold spring in VA, I did appreciate that the shelters tended to be on the east side of the ridge facing the general direction of sunrise. Awfully nice in the AM to wak up with some sun in the shelter and a little bit of sun can really warm things up quick.

Lauriep
10-04-2012, 08:23
ATC's guidelines for locating and building shelters and campsites can be found on the policies page of our website at www.appalachiantrail.org/what-we-do/trail-management-support/volunteer_toolkit/trail-management-policies (http://http://www.appalachiantrail.org/what-we-do/trail-management-support/volunteer_toolkit/trail-management-policies).

If you have any serioucomments for ATC, send them to Tom Banks, chair of the Trail & Camping Commttee of the Stewardship Council, at RangerTWB@aol.com. Besides, I'm on vacation and will soon be hiking, then at The Gathering.

Laurie Potteiger
ATC

BackpackerGreg
06-30-2013, 16:24
Hey, zcalla20!

Although my graduate thesis relates to the A.T., its underlying theme (under-participating demographic groups) differs from yours. Nonetheless, I would like to see your survey. Since your link has closed, I had hoped you would not mind sharing your survey with me.

Thank you...


--Greg

Ezra
06-30-2013, 17:33
I second the motion for no new shelters, dismantle a few.

T.S.Kobzol
06-30-2013, 22:40
Dismantle shelters, improve privies instead if you have to maintain a campsite.

sent from samsonite using tapioca 2

scooterdogma
07-01-2013, 06:46
Wow, I went to take part in the survey and it has already reached the allotted number of participants. There must be a lot of night owls on whiteblaze. Here are my suggestions to improving the new shelters;

I would like a shelter to:

-Provide protection from bad weather
-Provide natural light
-Provide a fireplace in the center, open to both sides, so more people can dry their wet clothes.
-Lots of pegs for hanging packs.
-Large covered area for a table and benches, some of us do like to socialize.
-The option of using shelters are not... oh, wait, we already have that design :D

I like the 3 sides and a roof design.
Having a partially enclosed privy is nice.

A thoughtful, well designed building is a thing of beauty. Kudos to everyone who has ever planned, built or maintained those structures.

scooterdogma
07-01-2013, 06:50
Ha, I should have looked at the first post ....2012 <----need more coffee, lol

RED-DOG
07-01-2013, 07:05
I agree with Lone Wolf they should be thinned out to one every 15 to 20 miles apart.

Jeff
07-01-2013, 08:14
I wonder how maintainers would spend their time if they didn't have to build and repair shelters. Would much rather see more water bars, puncheons and switchbacks than shelters.

q-tip
07-01-2013, 09:54
A good broom.....

Dogwood
07-01-2013, 15:27
Laurel Gap Shelter in GSMNP DOES NOT need to be redone! It was recently redone.

Dogwood
07-01-2013, 15:29
I agree. Thin out the AT shelters. Focus on the remaining ones or build new ones in those same sites or better sites.

RED-DOG
07-02-2013, 07:07
I agree with Lone Wolf they should be thinned out to one every 15 to 20 miles apart.
and make the old shelter sites campsite areas, I would like to see more designated campsites, and more actual trail maintenance instead of trying to re-build or re-place shelters

Bags4266
07-02-2013, 16:56
I agree with campsites, with picnic tables. That would be much cheaper than a shelter