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  1. #1
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    Default Why do you stay at shelters?

    I don't stay at the shelters and I feel like I am in the minority. I know the most logical reason for staying at a shelter, but I was curious why so many people schedule their daily hikes from shelter to shelter.

    Do you stay at shelters? Why or why not?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by modiyooch View Post

    Do you stay at shelters? Why or why not?
    hell no! why would anyone?

  3. #3
    Registered User Bearpaw88's Avatar
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    I used to...
    Not anymore. They are full of mice and worse smelly dirty hikers

    Only if the weather is reallllly bad do I stay at a shelter.

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  5. #5

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    I don't! They are nasty, noisy, rodent infested and smells of dirty hikers.

  6. #6
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    I have a shelter in my backyard. Film at eleven.


  7. #7
    Registered User Fat Man Walking's Avatar
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    Default I do stay at shelters but.....

    I don't stay IN shelters. I hang a hammock.

    Due to job responsibilities, the only time I get on the trail is the last week of July, first week of August. My experience and where I am currently on the trail has been that springs are most unreliable. And, I am the type that likes a fair amount of water at the end of the day and to start the next. Shelters typically have water close by and are more reliable.

    That said, I would really rather stealth camp more but, until I can find a more reliable way to determine what springs are flowing and which are dry, I am going to err on the side of caution.

    Oh and I have tried to get that information here but, it usually results in the thread getting hijacked to discuss the controversy du jour.

    Oh Well.........
    "Like the confluence of two streams, dreams & reality are joined, flowing as one. I know how lucky I am." - Cody GA-ME 2010

  8. #8

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    I suppose mostly because their there. They just happen to be conveniantly located and are a natrual goal. They usually have a reliable water source and a picnic table to sit and cook at and a fire ring. Most of the social mingling on the trail happens at shelters. That doesn't mean you actually have to stay in one, tenting near-by is always an option. Which is what I often do, just to have a good nights sleep!
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Man Walking View Post
    I don't stay IN shelters. I hang a hammock.

    Due to job responsibilities, the only time I get on the trail is the last week of July, first week of August. My experience and where I am currently on the trail has been that springs are most unreliable. And, I am the type that likes a fair amount of water at the end of the day and to start the next. Shelters typically have water close by and are more reliable.

    That said, I would really rather stealth camp more but, until I can find a more reliable way to determine what springs are flowing and which are dry, I am going to err on the side of caution.

    Oh and I have tried to get that information here but, it usually results in the thread getting hijacked to discuss the controversy du jour.

    Oh Well.........
    Personally, I'm picky about my water and research the water before I go. There is a document somewhere that lists water and its source. I tend to want to fillup at springs and taps only. I carry a filter but rarely use it. I also cross check that document with the companion.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Shelters are easy, especially if it's raining. They usually have water nearby, and privies, and flat places to set up a stove, and a bench to sit on, and a roof over the cooking area. If I've been walking by myself all day, it's fun to have people to talk to in the evening.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Shelters are easy, especially if it's raining. They usually have water nearby, and privies, and flat places to set up a stove, and a bench to sit on, and a roof over the cooking area. If I've been walking by myself all day, it's fun to have people to talk to in the evening.
    I do all those things, except I tent a little way away so I can sleep without the nonsense of the banjo-playing mice staying up late and the gotta do the miles, early-rising smilie mice stomping all around.

  12. #12
    Registered User Summit's Avatar
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    I often camp near a shelter for the same reasons already given: reliable water, privy, social aspects, nice location (Tray Mtn comes to mind). But I only sleep in them if it has been an all day nasty rain and tent spots are mud puddles. Bottom line: if I'm in the mood for social interaction, tenting near a shelter is generally the place to be. If I'm in the mood for solitude, I avoid them.

  13. #13
    ECHO ed bell's Avatar
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    I grew up backpacking everywhere down here but the AT. Shelters are rare in the S.E. when one backpacks on trails other than the AT. Much more freedom to be had and self reliance needed when you don't consider shelters as the destination when you go backpacking.
    That's my dog, Echo. He's a fine young dog.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed bell View Post
    I grew up backpacking everywhere down here but the AT. Shelters are rare in the S.E. when one backpacks on trails other than the AT. Much more freedom to be had and self reliance needed when you don't consider shelters as the destination when you go backpacking.
    Yeah, I saw my first shelters in the Adirondacks and wondered ***? Checked it out and backed away quietly when I saw the voodoo little warning signs that look like an upside-down tuna can with a line run through them.

  15. #15
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    What Marta said, exactly.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Shelters are easy, especially if it's raining. They usually have water nearby, and privies, and flat places to set up a stove, and a bench to sit on, and a roof over the cooking area. If I've been walking by myself all day, it's fun to have people to talk to in the evening.
    I agree with all of the reasons that Marta states. I only stay inside the shelter when it is mandated (e.g. Smokies). Instead, I choose to hang my hammock nearby the shelter. This affords me comfort, relative privacy, and seclusion from shelter noise and mice. It also allows me to use what I see as the positives of many (not all) shelter sites (table, privy, reliable water source, etc.).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    What Marta said, exactly.
    And I'll second (or third) that emotion.

    But I have a question for the OP (modiyooch): Why solicit other people's opinions on this subject? Would the responses affect your own behavior or decisions on the trail?

  18. #18
    ECHO ed bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flush2wice View Post
    I have a shelter in my backyard. Film at eleven.
    I'd like to see that pic!
    That's my dog, Echo. He's a fine young dog.

  19. #19
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    I am going to start camping more. But I loved Mountaineer Falls & Bald Mountain Shelters on my last section hikes.

    The mice were too smart to come out of their holes into the freezing cold wind to bug me.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  20. #20
    ECHO ed bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Shelters are easy, especially if it's raining. They usually have water nearby, and privies, and flat places to set up a stove, and a bench to sit on, and a roof over the cooking area. If I've been walking by myself all day, it's fun to have people to talk to in the evening.
    Save the bench and the alone parts, I got all that covered. I can understand the folks getting lonely.
    That's my dog, Echo. He's a fine young dog.

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