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  1. #1
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Default Shelter Experiences

    Received the AT Journeys magazine today. Found the article "How to Bring Your Best to AT Shelters" very interesting.
    Ive had my fair share of the good, bad and ugly shelter experiences.
    Please share some of the more memorable shelter experiences you have had,

  2. #2
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, the Southern half (where most thru prospects are) wasn't as bad as expected. Up North, I found more and more shelters with trash and objects left behind that hikers didn't want to carry any more. As a thru hiker, you can tell these were thru hikers as well on their way to figuring things out, or at the end of the journey just leaving items behind for others to clean up, just left stuff. Discusting. I was truely discusted and see where Baxter and other park authorities are targeting thrus. Otherwise, most shelters were fairly clean and had a good experience abotu 50% of the time I actually styaed at them.
    - Trail name: Thumper

  3. #3
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I thought the best shelters were in Pa. It seems they were having a "best shelter" contest or something. Seriously.... hanging flowers and porch swings?!?
    - Trail name: Thumper

  4. #4
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    Angry These two guys made this shelter stay "memorable"


  5. #5
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    Multiple snakes dangling from the rafters at the Trimpi Shelter during a lightning storm.
    Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Had a hiker this fall that seemed to get pleasure by agitating me beyond my limits . First she tells me as I arrive that she really wanted to have the shelter to herself and suggesting that I could hike to a nearby shelter --lol Im not kidding!! So she is annoyed by my presence! When its hiker midnight she decides to spread her gear all over the shelter , then she starts talking on her phone inside the shelter for a long time before getting out her pad and reading pretty much most of the night with her light on. I asked her several times if she would please turn her light off and she either ignored me on gave me a smart ass answer why she could do what she wanted.
    Before day break I had had enough and started packing my gear on with my bright white light on ---she then wants to confront my behavior and what was wrong with me!!
    Half a day later a hiker bud behind me tells me that she wrote in the shelters journal that some crazy guy in the shelter had scarred her with his rude behavior!
    You just gotta love it!! lol
    Last edited by tawa; 01-28-2018 at 16:39.

  7. #7
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I get the ATC journal, too. If you hadn't started a thread, I would have. Although a lot of what was in the journal article has been written about and agonized over many times in this forum, it's a good idea to bring it to the forefront as the hiking season begins.

    My main complaint is the snorers. No matter how hard I screw in an ear plug, it doesn't block out the racket they make in a shelter. The thing that perplexes me is they know they snore, so why do they torture other hikers and stay in shelters? I have yet to see a logical answer to that one.

    You want shelter stories? How about this. The Eagle Nest Shelter in Pennsylvania on September 27 last year. There is myself and two other hikers, a couple, at the shelter. First, they are eating in the shelter, which is not good. Since the shelter is already contaminated, I boil some water for my Mountain House dinner and move away from the shelter to eat it. Then the two tell me they are going to put up Hammocks for the night, but they will leave their food in the shelter. I hit the ceiling and told them no way. I offered to hand their food with mine, but they declined. After much back and forth, they begrudgingly hung their food on their own. They tied it to a tree trunk about 6 feet off the ground. I wish I had shot a picture of it. I don't even believe it.

    So, there was the Peter Mountain Shelter incident a few days earlier. Two hikers came into the shelter at 2:15 AM - that's morning. You would think they would go right to sleep but no. They built a fire and had a meal while engaging in an animated discussion. More than an hour later, they moved to the second level to setup their sleeping bags. They moved around with their headlamps on white light full strength. I had to tell them to get their light off me. Unreal.

    And if you don't believe hikers setup tents in hammocks in shelters, then you should go hiking with me sometime. I realize I'm not perfect, but I wouldn't do these things or some of the other things I've seen in shelters.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  8. #8
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Okay. I read your journal. You got me beat.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  9. #9

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    Laid down to take an afternoon nap at the Punchbowl shelter and woke up to a swarm of honeybees on me just hangin out. This experience led me to become a beekeeper some years later.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    I thought the best shelters were in Pa. It seems they were having a "best shelter" contest or something. Seriously.... hanging flowers and porch swings?!?

    Seasonal flowers at those shelters.

    Frankly amazing.

  11. #11

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    It is gunna have to be a real miserable day these days for my to stay in a shelter...I would have to say my favorite shelter times have been at the Barn...I enjoy social time and cooking at the shelter, but I also enjoy retreating to my own personal space of my tent when its bed time.

  12. #12
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Best shelter experience (of the ones involving other humans) - see my post from 2 years ago.

    Worst shelter experience - Icewater Spring Shelter in the Smokies. Brief version: crazy old guy hiked up from the road, roaring drunk by the time he got there, stays up late ranting and raving about politics (even though no one else engaged), nearly burns the place down trying to start a fire, finally passes out late and snores loudly the rest of the night (and well into the morning).
    It's all good in the woods.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    You want shelter stories? How about this. The Eagle Nest Shelter in Pennsylvania on September 27 last year. There is myself and two other hikers, a couple, at the shelter. First, they are eating in the shelter, which is not good. Since the shelter is already contaminated, I boil some water for my Mountain House dinner and move away from the shelter to eat it. Then the two tell me they are going to put up Hammocks for the night, but they will leave their food in the shelter. I hit the ceiling and told them no way. I offered to hand their food with mine, but they declined. After much back and forth, they begrudgingly hung their food on their own. They tied it to a tree trunk about 6 feet off the ground. I wish I had shot a picture of it. I don't even believe it.

    So, there was the Peter Mountain Shelter incident a few days earlier. Two hikers came into the shelter at 2:15 AM - that's morning. You would think they would go right to sleep but no. They built a fire and had a meal while engaging in an animated discussion. More than an hour later, they moved to the second level to setup their sleeping bags. They moved around with their headlamps on white light full strength. I had to tell them to get their light off me. Unreal.
    I don't know what it is about PA Shelters (probably the proximity to the roads), but I have seen lots of daffy behavior. I arrived at the William Penn Shelter just before dark one hot summer day. I had never actually seen the shelter in person so I wandered down the path to check it out. I was greeted at the privy by two individuals who told me that "the shelter was full and that I would need to tent". "No problem," I say "I just want to see the shelter. Heard it was a cool two-story jobber." That was apparently also unacceptable. I don't recall the exact words, something about girlfriends and privacy, but I took the hint and walked off. I stayed far down the trail towards the spring that night, but was awoken late at night by the sound of shoveling. I didn't check, but it sounded like one of them was digging a ditch down by the spring. Some midnight tail maintenance, if you will.

  14. #14

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    I've had many bad experience at shelters in the 50 years I've hiked the AT. Many were when locals moved in and behaved badly.

    The most recent one was arriving late, in pouring rain, at the shelter just south of the summit of Big Butt Mtn in NC. A local family had set up shop, complete with a wounded hound dog from a fight with a bear (at the same shelter). An angry Mom, kids, babies, and a howling dog. I made the mistake of suggesting that the shelter was for AT hikers, and angry Mom told me there weren't any hikers on the trail this late in the year (October), which clearly was an irrational statement. So they started grilling up smelly meat that would draw the angry wounded bear! My wife and I just tucked into bed and tried to ignore them. In the middle of the night a noisy motorized 4 wheeler arrived to pick up the wounded hound dog. What a mess. We rose before light and got out of there fast.

    Really, I prefer to avoid shelters and tent in glorious peace!

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