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  1. #41

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    IMG_20160502_112455419.jpg

    This is a field of "magical surprise" flowers I encountered on the way up Clingman's Dome. Just turned a corner, and surprise, there they were. Now imagine that two months earlier a bunch of folks had decided, hey, I think I'll just tent under those trees and avoid the crowds and noise and mice, I bet those scrubby little plants will even be soft. No one will care, no one will notice. I hardly think the flowering plants would have survived that.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    And it aint the first person to cop an attitude about the regs here. Doing so identifies you in unfavorable way .
    You have a problem with differing opinions? I say it is you that is copping an attitude. There is not a thing wrong with debating the advantages of rules, discussing improvements, problems, inefficiencies, etc. Nor is it inappropriate to say he doesnít like a rule. Countless hikers, including David Miller (AWOL) have done the same regarding the smokies.

    Treating these rules like a religion and judging people on how much they like them is just bizarre. Itís not like he comes across as some punk kid who looks for rules just so he can break them.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    So again, it's not pigheaded to ask, to clarify, or to want a pleasant experience, but it is if you maintain that you specifically are entitled to that experience at our expense.
    The OP did no such thing. There is a lot of delusional and mean thinking going on here. Lol.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    The OP did no such thing. There is a lot of delusional and mean thinking going on here. Lol.
    Please don't quote me in part. That sentence was part of an overall statement, that supported itself. It wasn't meant to stand apart.

    In fact my entire statement, speaks for itself. There's an element of questioning in the center of my statement. That's why I used the word "if." It invites the OP, or anyone really, since it's a public forum to to clarify should they think I might have misjudged them.

    You aren't the OP, you have no idea what was happening in his head, anymore than I do. I get it, rules make your free spirit sad, but don't take that out on me. Some rules make me sad as well, but not the ones that allow millions of people to share the same space responsibly.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    check with the back country office and see if they consider the use of a bivy to be the same as a tent.
    {I'm surprised the question of the use of a bivy inside a shelter hasn't come up before. I've read thru the various rules pertaining to camping in GSMNP, and I honestly can't say what the answer would be.}

    I just spoke with the Backcountry Office at GSMNP. Single person bivvies are allowed in the shelters as long as they take up no more room than a sleeping bag/pad and do not hang.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  6. #46
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    Thankyou gentleman. This has been very helpfull and enlightening. I am going to skip it. So all of you worried about a rough rule breaker can relax. Davenport gap will be my next start point. If I can manage to stay in shape I can do a September trip. Its Very hard to exercise here in Central Florida in the summer. I have alot going on at work anyway, my son is turning 18 on May 4th, my 25th wedding anniversary is next week. So I am all good.
    Sorry to start such a sore subject.

    Thanks to those who understood.

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    "I hiked the whole AT, but I skipped the smokeys."

    "Why did you do that?"

    "I don't like mouse crap in my hair."

    Maybe if the day comes that you really are done except for the Smokeys you'll just invent a creative new use for a head net or something and get on with it.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    You have a problem with differing opinions? I say it is you that is copping an attitude. There is not a thing wrong with debating the advantages of rules, discussing improvements, problems, inefficiencies, etc. Nor is it inappropriate to say he doesnít like a rule. Countless hikers, including David Miller (AWOL) have done the same regarding the smokies.

    Treating these rules like a religion and judging people on how much they like them is just bizarre. Itís not like he comes across as some punk kid who looks for rules just so he can break them.
    "I know its against the rules but can I use my tent at shelters? "

    1 . It against the TOS of this site to discuss , facilitate, or promote illegal activities.

    2. Its not a discussion about the rules, its a discussion about .. potentially breaking them. Reread the OPs question.

    3. Most people here recognize the concessions gsmnp already makes for AT long distance hikers. They dont have to do any of that. In fact, i find it hard to believe it is even legal for a national park to give a group of users priveleges. Breaking rules...is not in the best interest of the AT, and its users


    4. No one's judging someone on whether or not they like a rule. Nobody likes the rules. Judging comes when they propose to violate it.... The vast majority of people here follow the laws, and understand why they're in place.
    Most here have followed them without issue. Its pretty simple. Its only for 4 or 5 nights. Much ado about nothing.

    Last but not least.
    Gsmnp has a bit of a history with bears and shelters. Several shelters must be closed every year for periods of time.
    Lots of bears lots of hikers lots of food
    People sleeping in shelters not only minimizes impact, but it also minimizes the risk of adverse interactions with bears looking for food in the shelter vicinity.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-17-2019 at 20:29.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    3. Most people here recognize the concessions gsmnp already makes for AT long distance hikers. They dont have to do any of that. In fact, i find it hard to believe it is even legal for a national park to give a group of users priveleges. Breaking rules...is not in the best interest of the AT, and its users
    its not so much for a specific group of users as it is for a specific part of the park. the rule about having to hike 50 miles on either side of the park is strange but also effectively unenforceable. i mean what if i started 50 miles south of the park, went through the park but then decided to bail at max patch? they going to track me down and fine me?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    its not so much for a specific group of users as it is for a specific part of the park. the rule about having to hike 50 miles on either side of the park is strange but also effectively unenforceable. i mean what if i started 50 miles south of the park, went through the park but then decided to bail at max patch? they going to track me down and fine me?
    Again, shouldn't be discussing how to get around the rules...

    But the reason for the 50 mile rule is to differentiate between AT thru hikers, and the people just hiking the park because the thru permit doesn't require shelter reservations of fixed dates like the other permit.

    But on the question of being unenforceable, we've said it here in the forum before and I'm going to say it again... people breaking the rules will only lead to more rules.

    In this case, the park is already getting over burdened from legit AT thru hikers. I expect in about 5 to 10 years, the park is going to start limiting the number of AT thru permits issued. If illegitimate hikers add to the burden, rule changes will come faster and harsher.

  11. #51
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    Ahem. The OP already said he's going to skip it. I endorse that decision. If the restrictions and obvious over use of the AT turns a hiker off to that area...so be it. In the event I ever thru the AT again I would seriously consider bypassing the park myself. It was, hands down, my least favorite segment of the trail.

    This wonderful trail has several sections that truly suck to hike through and endure, all in the interest of saying, "I did the whole darn thing...even the really crappy parts." Since my completion I vow to not hike in that fashion again. If it's not suited to my liking, I don't hike it.

    The GSMNP loyalists and protectors of all regulations are completely justified in their pursuit of keeping things good for the masses.

    Next time I see the smokies it will be on loop hikes based from a parking lot. Y'all can have the AT portion.

    Discussion about breaking laws....give me a break.

  12. #52
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    I wonder if the ATC might ever consider the Benton MacKaye Trail as blue blaze alternate through GSMNP?

    Only one shelter on that route and one wouldn't necessarily have to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Again, shouldn't be discussing how to get around the rules...

    But the reason for the 50 mile rule is to differentiate between AT thru hikers, and the people just hiking the park because the thru permit doesn't require shelter reservations of fixed dates like the other permit.

    But on the question of being unenforceable, we've said it here in the forum before and I'm going to say it again... people breaking the rules will only lead to more rules.

    In this case, the park is already getting over burdened from legit AT thru hikers. I expect in about 5 to 10 years, the park is going to start limiting the number of AT thru permits issued. If illegitimate hikers add to the burden, rule changes will come faster and harsher.
    not really discussing how to get around the rules, just pointing out perhaps better rules are needed to accomplish the mission. just as you point out that breaking the rules will lead to more rules, i suggest so will trying to solve the problem with crappy rules that can't be enforced.

    it would never get that far of course, but can you imagine a court proceeding in which the national park service attempted to collect a fine on a hiker who they discovered only hiked 40 miles beyond the boundary of the park instead of the required 50? thats some serious weird jurisdictional issues i'm sure. and what sort of unplanned circumstances allow a hiker to legally stop? injury obviously, if you physically can't hike you can't hike, but what about bad weather? if theres a major storm forecast for the next day so i decide to call my hike off a day early i'm now subject to an NPS fine even though i'm 35 miles outside the park?

    i was replying to a post questioning the legality, so to speak, of the rules in place. i wasn't suggesting breaking them.

  14. #54
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    The better GSMNP hike for tent camping is taking the BMT.

    Could also mix and match incorporating the AT but not limiting your party to it. Get wet. Take the Eagle Crk Tr up to the AT or continue on the Lakeshore to Hazel Ck Tr. Take the AT to Mt Collins shelter and the Sugarlands Tr. Take a man way over to Chimney Tops. Head up Alum Cave Tr to Mt Leconte. Take the Boulevard back to the AT. See some GSMNP shart! Grab some you time. Make it interesting rather than narrowly limiting yourself to the mouse traps and ridiculous hub bub of a hike always having to be centered around the AT as if the AT is the center of the hiking world! Save the AT for the yahoos. Get the AT highlights without it all having to be about genuflecting to the AT death rattle "experience." Now you're carrying a tent, wanting to use a tent, and you're jamming yourself into a corner by having to stay in the rat boxes, not being able to sleep in your tent You're doing this to yourself. No one is making you do this.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    The better GSMNP hike for tent camping is taking the BMT.

    Could also mix and match incorporating the AT but not limiting your party to it. Get wet. Take the Eagle Crk Tr up to the AT or continue on the Lakeshore to Hazel Ck Tr. Take the AT to Mt Collins shelter and the Sugarlands Tr. Take a man way over to Chimney Tops. Head up Alum Cave Tr to Mt Leconte. Take the Boulevard back to the AT. See some GSMNP shart! Grab some you time. Make it interesting rather than narrowly limiting yourself to the mouse traps and ridiculous hub bub of a hike always having to be centered around the AT as if the AT is the center of the hiking world! Save the AT for the yahoos. Get the AT highlights without it all having to be about genuflecting to the AT death rattle "experience." Now you're carrying a tent, wanting to use a tent, and you're jamming yourself into a corner by having to stay in the rat boxes, not being able to sleep in your tent You're doing this to yourself. No one is making you do this.
    Exactly. Or pick up Benton MacKaye (Lakeshore Trail) at Fontana and connect to Noland Creek , Pole Road, and Newton Bald. At Smokemont then hitch to Cherokee and resupply. Then continue across Newfound Gap Road to pick back on Benton MacKaye or Hughes Ridge to Peck's Corner and the AT.

    There are 800+ miles of trails other than the AT in GSMNP.

    One can think out of the (rat) box.

    I would think the ATC should sanction this and consider it a "thru hike".

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmitchell View Post
    Exactly. Or pick up Benton MacKaye (Lakeshore Trail) at Fontana and connect to Noland Creek , Pole Road, and Newton Bald. At Smokemont then hitch to Cherokee and resupply. Then continue across Newfound Gap Road to pick back on Benton MacKaye or Hughes Ridge to Peck's Corner and the AT.

    There are 800+ miles of trails other than the AT in GSMNP.

    One can think out of the (rat) box.

    I would think the ATC should sanction this and consider it a "thru hike".
    Who cares what ATC thinks

    But its not AT. Why not skip gsmnp alltogether
    For that matter, why not skip the crappy 1/2 of the AT and hike much better places.

    And long distance hikers need to make reservations for every campsite in gsmnp....which the AT allows for not doing.... .even though all have smart phones and plenty of service....and theres locations to print too..and any experienced hiker can adhere to a schedule to be where they need to, and when.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-18-2019 at 07:05.

  17. #57
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    Just to clear things up for the multiple comments on a BMT alternate. According to the BMT and ATC groups at the AT kickoff, the BMT is now an approved alternate that counts towards a 2000-miler completion.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

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    Quote Originally Posted by JC13 View Post
    Just to clear things up for the multiple comments on a BMT alternate. According to the BMT and ATC groups at the AT kickoff, the BMT is now an approved alternate that counts towards a 2000-miler completion.
    this is the second time someone (perhaps the same someone) has made this statement lately, and about the billionth time someone on this forum has made such a claim about "so and so said such and such is allowed."

    i want to see proof. what one person said to some other group of people means little. people make stuff up. even people who seem to be acting officially.

  19. #59
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    In 1977 I hiked from Springer to Roan Mt. I had to stop in Fontana and get a permit for the GSMNP from the ranger. He told me where I would be staying each night. So in my opinion the rules in the park have evolved in favor of the "thru hiker". The AT thru the GSMNP is a totally different experience than the BMT thru the park. I think it is pretty extreme to skip the AT through the GSMNP because you don't want to sleep in a shelter. There seems to be a vocal minority of shelter haters on this site. I prefer to tent but do use a shelter on occasion. I think the AT shelter is as iconic as the white blaze. There was (and still might be) a shelter as an exhibit in the AT museum.
    More walking, less talking.

  20. #60
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    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https...gseMAhn-nHciiE

    Saw this in the ATC facebook page yesterday. GSMNP hike on the AT one of the 25 best hikes in the world.
    More walking, less talking.

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