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  1. #21
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    makes i suppose at least a modest amount of sense, but ive seen people do it not in the rain. further, in the rain is when its most inconsiderate to go hogging the shelter, arguably.
    Agreed. Like I said, I only do so during the dead of winter at lesser used sites. Even then I still feel a twinge of guilt about it.

    In the off chance anyone came by I would immediately offer to move the tent out (before they had to ask me).
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  2. #22
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    I always sleep in my tent. I have set it up in a shelter a couple of times. I did so when no one else was around. The shelter did not complain. If you are going to do so, use a free standing tent. Certainly don't use screws as a way to secure your tent. Don't damage the floor of the shelter.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  3. #23
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    Do some 3 season tents collapse under snow load? So maybe getting out of a heavy snow might be what someone might be thinking.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Do some 3 season tents collapse under snow load? So maybe getting out of a heavy snow might be what someone might be thinking.
    That would seem to be one reason for it (if a lot of snow was predicted). The other that comes to mind would be strong winds (using the tent for wind block/warmth with the lean-to providing some extra protection from falling branches).

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabeachman View Post
    I am trying to find a solo tent for the trail. I will most likely be starting in January so don't expect to see too many at first. So I see a lot of people set up tents in shelters when the weather is miserable and they are not putting anyone else out. How important is a freestanding tent in that situation?
    A solo tent that is acceptable to set up inside a shelter is called a "bivy".

  6. #26
    with a case of blind faith
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    I've seen a few narrow footprint freestanding tents in a few shelters. They take up no more space than a bedroll/sleeping pad. No bitching. No lost space(s). Bug nets. There are tents and there are TENTS.

  7. #27

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    Ive seen 3 P in shelters.
    But honestly, its first come, first served.
    Even if its inconsiderate, its not prohibited.
    If it bothers anyone, get over it.
    Thats how some HYOH, roll with it.

  8. #28

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    I have never set up a tent in a shelter, but I have strung up a tarp to create a fourth wall to keep wind, snow, rain

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Even if its inconsiderate, its not prohibited.
    As I mentioned earlier, in New York it is indeed prohibited.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  10. #30
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    I don't see the problem unless you are preventing other hikers from using said shelter. I had a 1P set up in Roan High Knob to keep out of the howling wind and rain, AND to keep the mice from doing calisthenics on my sleeping bag. The couple that slept upstairs set up their 2P. No one else came. What unwritten rule did we break?

    Now, if 3-4 more people came, I make sure they had room, and then I would have gone outside anyway. You can't say it inconveniences someone if no one's there to be inconvenienced.
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  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    That would seem to be one reason for it (if a lot of snow was predicted). The other that comes to mind would be strong winds (using the tent for wind block/warmth with the lean-to providing some extra protection from falling branches).
    Another reason would be because sustained winds make it impossible to set up a 3-season tent outside of the shelter, such as in a blizzard.
    If you do stay in a shelter during or soon after a bad storm and visibility permits, be sure to look for widowmakers that could hit the shelter. Remember that Rufus Morgan shelter was reduced to an 18 inch high shelter a few days after the storm of the century in 1993.

    The good news is you'll probably never encounter a storm bad enough that it makes sense to set up in a shelter in the South. And if you do, there won't be any fighting, etc. over shelter space- when storms are truly bad, everyone out there know that their lives depend on getting along, and no one wants to wake up and discover someone else died during the night.
    Under more normal, plain old cold and wet circumstances, a bivy is a great way to add some extra warmth in a shelter and keep the blowing snow and rain off your bag. Plan on a goretex bivy adding at least 10 degrees F of warmth with the top down. If you're squeezed onto the edge of the shelter or the wind blows snow all the way to the back wall, then zipping up all the way can add even more warmth. I can recall some cold mornings where the folks who were warmest and least motivated to start hiking right away to warm up were in bivies, in a shelter.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    As I mentioned earlier, in New York it is indeed prohibited.
    On state lands. No authority on nps administered land, or private like the Nature Conservancy.
    Arent the only ones on state land the 3 in Bear/Harriman state park?

    I dont know whats sadder , that people do it, or that someone felt they had to write a rule against it. My solo inner that is 24" wide could be construed as a "tent" by some.

    Dope smoking is illegal in most places too. You know how well that works out.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-17-2015 at 21:36.

  13. #33
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Only time I ever set my tent up in a shelter was in Baxter state park. Happy I did since I spent the night weathering hurricane Arthur. Good times.

  14. #34
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    I've set up my tent in shelters a number of times. Did anyone know? No, because I was the only one there. Hello, hiking on the AT during hunting season and in the winter.

    I was using a Tarptent Virga I, which can be shaped into a sort of bivy for added protection from the wind and blowing snow. I have also strung it across the front of shelters during severe rainstorms to keep some of the water out.

    Yes, it is the height of jerkiness to occupy more than one sleeping space if anyone else shows up. But if they don't, it's all yours.

    Extra cord can be helpful when rigging up rain and snow protection. Needless to say, there's never a good enough reason to damage the shelter by driving nails in it, or whatever.

    A freestanding tent is the shape it is. It's much harder to make it smaller, or use it as a tarp to block rain and snow. Both of those things are easier with a non-freestanding tent.

    It is also quite true that shelters are, in general, colder than tenting on the ground, especially if you are clever about picking a protected location with good leaf litter on the ground.

    Being considerate of others is the only rule that really makes sense to me.
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  15. #35
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    I've setup my tent IN a shelter many times. Only once was there someone else(other than my hiking partner) staying in the shelter and he said he had no problem with it. Advantages of doing this include but are not limited to, it's dry, it's level, it's smooth, I don't need to put shoes on to walk around it, I'm out of the rain/snow/hail/wind/falling branches, I have easy access to hooks and shelves to hang gear. Do I need to go on?

    Yes, I would recommend a free-standing tent.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktaadn View Post
    I've setup my tent IN a shelter many times. Only once was there someone else(other than my hiking partner) staying in the shelter and he said he had no problem with it. Advantages of doing this include but are not limited to, it's dry, it's level, it's smooth, I don't need to put shoes on to walk around it, I'm out of the rain/snow/hail/wind/falling branches, I have easy access to hooks and shelves to hang gear. Do I need to go on?

    Yes, I would recommend a free-standing tent.
    Everything you mentioned are the perks of staying in a shelter, you could have omitted "setting up a tent in the shelter", and your statement would have still made sense lol
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Everything you mentioned are the perks of staying in a shelter, you could have omitted "setting up a tent in the shelter", and your statement would have still made sense lol
    Not advocating setting tents up in shelters. I have done it a couple times... when I was alone. I stay away from shelters more often than not. However, an advantage of a tent over sleeping outside a tent is that critters have a harder time running across your face if you are in a tent. That would be especially important if you choose to set up a tent in a rodent shed. I don't like sleeping in shelters. However, if I do and if no one is around, I am setting up my tent to keep the mice off me.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  18. #38
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Everything you mentioned are the perks of staying in a shelter, you could have omitted "setting up a tent in the shelter", and your statement would have still made sense lol
    So I needed to add that 'all of the normal advantages of using a tent also apply' for you to get it?

  19. #39

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    I sleep in my tent, on top of my bed, in my home..everynight. Keeps dust off of me
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  20. #40
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash Berserker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabeachman View Post
    I am trying to find a solo tent for the trail. I will most likely be starting in January so don't expect to see too many at first. So I see a lot of people set up tents in shelters when the weather is miserable and they are not putting anyone else out. How important is a freestanding tent in that situation?
    Personally, if I think I might stay in a shelter I'll carry a bivy (I have a lightweight Mountain Laurel Designs Soul bivy for that purpose). I wouldn't base any part of a tent selection on setting it up inside a shelter. Should you happen upon an empty shelter, which is not uncommon during the off season, you can likely rig up a non-freestanding tent in it as long as you have some extra guy line.

    On a side tangent/soapbox note, setting up a tent in a shelter just doesn't make a lot of sense in my opinion. If you are the only person there, then I guess have at it and do whatever you want. I've seen people setting up tents in shelters in the middle of the day when other people were still rolling in, and it was clear it wasn't going to rain. That's just not cool. Sure there's not a regulation that says you can't do it (except for apparently in NY per other posters), but come on...really? Why not just get off trail and stay in a hotel then? I have to agree with the venerable Lone Wolf on this one where he's stated many times that the shelters should all be torn down. I'd be in favor of doing that and putting in some more tent pads. Alright side tangent/soapbox over...resume regular Whiteblaze chatter.
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