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Poll: What type of shelter do you prefer?

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  1. #1
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    Default Yet Another Shelter Poll - Supersize it?

    shelters...

  2. #2

    Default

    I like 'em pretty basic, but also see the value of the muli-storey jobs with covered cooking and picnic spaces.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

  3. #3
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    Default

    Tear them all down especially that rediculously huge $20,000 Peters Mtn. shelter in Pa. No need for that s**t. Make them all 3 sided 10 person shelters if anything.

  4. #4
    Registered User wjseaman's Avatar
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    Default

    Personally, I like the shelters that provide a covered cooking area. It's not much fun to cook and eat in the rain.
    Jack

  5. #5

    Default Tent

    I prefer my tent over a shelter any day! Keeps the mosquitos from buzzing in my ears!

  6. #6

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    Perhaps we could replace all the shelters with simple picnic pavillions....

  7. #7
    Registered User Trailjockey's Avatar
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    Default Shelters

    I have to cast my vote for the pavillion idea. But I`m sure during foul weather you would wake up in the morning with hiker bodies littered all over the tables.
    But again it sure would be nice to have a reasonably dry place to cook when it`s raining or snowing.
    IN VINO VERITAS

  8. #8

    Default

    No shelters needed.
    Warren Doyle PhD
    34,000-miler (and counting)
    [email protected]
    www.warrendoyle.com

  9. #9
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Default

    I prefer to sleep in my tent. BUT, I love to be able to fix dinner under the cover of a nice roof, with a table so I don't have to hunker over (it hurt's me back).

    So, even though I no longer stay in shelters, I voted for the ones with a covered picnic table

    Doctari.

  10. #10

    Default

    Nantahala style rocks, particularly because where they are, there are hordes of users in the winter/spring rains who can sleep on/under/around the covered tables when the platforms are taken.

    I could live without em and I see better uses for $ than to build new fancy ones, but since shelters are already out there, I'm happy to be opportunistic and use em when it rains.

    The newer big ones remind me of the razor blade # craze. I figure one of the trail organizations will airlift in a 4-story one one of these days to up the ante.

  11. #11
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    Default

    I have found that my 'need' for a shelter has been and still is variable. When I started my thru-hike I was relatively inexperinced at backpacking and I felt safer (or something like that?) in the shelters. I was somewhat delighted by the newer and more creatively designed shelters. I still like the variety factor. Nowdays, it is the exception when I stay 'in' a shelter. When it is severly cold, wet and/or a serious storm is brewing it is advisable to stay in the shelter-- I think that is their primary function, for safety. They are great landmarks, places for lunch breaks and a great place to met up with the other backpackers on the trail. On rainy, windy and/or nasty days they are a sight that inspires comfort because you know they will provide relief from the elements. I think they add more to the trail and trail experience than most of us realize... they in the very least give us a recognizable place to associate our memories with. Show someone who has hiked the trail a picture of your tent site and they will usually just look, but show that person a picture of a shelter and they will often tell you a story of their time at that shelter... and that my friends has a touch of something magical.

    Youngblood

  12. #12
    Registered User uphillklimber's Avatar
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    Default

    My take on the shelters is pretty basic. I like the shelter for the purpose of sheltering me from the elements. It is a great place for all to gather and chat and make friends. If there are people there, I'll likely set my tent up. I don't particularly want to disturb them. Most times, you won't be able to keep me awake anyways. If some one smokes, I'll rue the day i decided to sleep in the same shelter as that person. Besides, the ground is often times much softer than the wooden shelter floor.

    So back to the issue here. Keep the shelters, plane 3 sided with a place to cook if it's raining.
    lovin' life,
    Bob

  13. #13
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    Default

    I'm with uphill, keep shelters plain and 3 sided to accomodate up to 10. First come, first served. All others tent or whatever. And from this day forward, build no more shelters. There are way too many over-sized ones as it is.

  14. #14
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    I'd rather see our precious trail club money spent developing/rehabbing tentsites within a couple hundred yards of existing shelters, than build more shelters.

    This way, a large number of hikers can take advantage of the amenities shelter areas typically offer (water source, privy hopefully, place to cook, socialization possibilities if you want, fire ring where allowed, maybe a place to protect food from wildlife outside the actual shelter) without causing scores of impromptu campsites to continue to spring up along the trail. Concentrate the use to a relatively small area.

    Tentsites near shelters IMO should not be right next door, but at least a hundred feet away and preferably more. The best tentsites usually involve some labor to create/maintain--and here is one hiker's definition of a "best" tentsite:

    •are nearly level left to right
    •slope very slightly downhill head to foot
    •are as free as possible of rocks
    •are absent hazards from above that endanger camper safety
    •are large enough to accommodate more than ultralight solo tents
    •are identified by a site map at the shelter, discreet signage at each site, or are obvious/easy to find even in high summer
    •have erosion control systems like better sections of trails do--appropriate to each site
    •(only in the most extreme situations should these be wooden tent platforms)

    For significantly less labor than a new shelter takes, and almost NO money, a dozen or more of these kinds of improved sites can be put into service. The more desirable a tentsite is, the more likely it will be used.

    The mega-shelters that have been built since the late '80s are (for some) impressive to look at, and represent works of pride for those who participated in their planning and construction, but enough is enough.

    Where new shelters must be built to fill in large gaps between existing shelters (or to replace those that have neared the end of usefullness) I'd vote for something like the Nanatahala-style with space for perhaps 8-10 sleepers and a small covered cooking/eating area that everyone including nearby tenters could use.

    Re: the Nantahala-style shelters: I'd like to see something more creative designed regarding the cooking/eating area to make them very undesirable as an additional sleeping area so they will be available when folks want to cook/eat. One idea: a couple rows of narrow benches to sit on (too narrow for sleeping), with a narrow counter built around the perimeter with something narrow/small to sit on in front of the counter space for cooking and/or eating (maybe something like a bunch of stools created from a large downed tree--definitely not something useful for sleeping). The available "walking around" room would be designed so as not to provide wide or long spaces for sleeping bags.

  15. #15
    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf
    Tear them all down especially that rediculously huge $20,000 Peters Mtn. shelter in Pa. No need for that s**t. Make them all 3 sided 10 person shelters if anything.
    I agree that I dont like big shelters but they do have their place on the AT.
    We should make a few more and tell all the groups and partiers that they have to stay there and leave the rest of the shelters alone!!!
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  16. #16

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    Skyline,

    Have there been any developments in the discussion we had a while ago over on the PATC forum about new "official" campsites in SNP away from the shelters (aka huts) to perhaps permit easy camping between the huts for those times when one wants to go a few miles further but not the full distance to the next hut? I know we haven't talked about it in a while but I still think it is a good idea - for example possibly putting tent sites in at the old Sawmill Run shelter site.

  17. #17
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Rain

    Almost any shelter looks very good on a rainy evening.

  18. #18
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hog On Ice
    Skyline,

    Have there been any developments in the discussion we had a while ago over on the PATC forum about new "official" campsites in SNP away from the shelters (aka huts) to perhaps permit easy camping between the huts for those times when one wants to go a few miles further but not the full distance to the next hut? I know we haven't talked about it in a while but I still think it is a good idea - for example possibly putting tent sites in at the old Sawmill Run shelter site.

    If you recall that discussion, most involved with it were underwhelmed with the idea. It hasn't gone anywhere. I have mentioned it in passing to a couple of backcountry rangers. They just rolled their eyes.

    The thing is, SNP used to have almost twice as many A.T. overnight huts (plus some away from the A.T. like in Riprap Hollow). And SNP used to have significantly more side trails. I've never heard a credible reason for why the huts or the trails were discontinued.

    The most common theme seems to be that they disappeared in the early '80s coinciding with the Ronald Reagan/James Watt assault on the National Park Service's budget. But that was 20 years ago, and was a temporary situation--not an actual "reason" based on anything other than politics. Why has there been such ongoing resistance to re-establishing at least some of the huts and trails?

  19. #19
    Registered Loser c.coyle's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf
    Tear them all down especially that rediculously huge $20,000 Peters Mtn. shelter in Pa. No need for that s**t. Make them all 3 sided 10 person shelters if anything.
    The locals call it the "wind tunnel". You can still stay at the original Earl Shaeffer Shelter 100 yards north. Room for three very friendly hikers.

  20. #20
    Jaybird's Avatar
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    Default shelters...

    i've done some pretty rustic camping & hiking in my time....so, after walking/hiking/backpacking in a torrential downpour all day....any shelter will be a welcome site to me.

    if i have my druthers....a good, ol' fashion 10-12 person, 3-sided, shelter is good enuff fer me!







    see ya'll UP the trail!
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

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