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  1. #1
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Default Maine Nostalgia - log floors

    Sometime around 1979-80, my husband and I were backpacking in Maine along the AT and spent a night in a shelter. Don't remember where it was, but I remember the shelter floor. It was made of whole tree limbs about 2-4 inches in diameter. Imagine trying to sleep on that! I had a therma-rest and managed to sleep by blowing it up hard. Others were not so lucky. I understand the shelters all have flat floors these days. Anyone else experienced log floor shelters? When did the last one disappear?

  2. #2
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    10 years ago there were still a few in the 100 mile wilderness. Don't remember the shelters but remember the logs. HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

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  3. #3
    Administrator attroll's Avatar
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    No DebW there are some shelters in Maine that still have those floors. If I remember we call them the baseball bat design.
    AT Troll (2010)
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  4. #4
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Baseball Shelters

    I think the only one now with the baseball bats is Poplar Ridge Shelter, built many years ago by the Field family, and still lovingly maintained by Dave Field., past chairman of the ATC

  5. #5
    Administrator attroll's Avatar
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    Rainbow Springs shelter is another one that still has the baseball bat design as of this year also.
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  6. #6
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Even with the uneven floor I have the fondest memories of that shelter. I went up over the hill, sat and had a wonderful water massage in the rocks, then a dip in the pool. Came back to the shleter sitting and listening to the rain on the tin roof... That was 10 years ago and I was with my husband and 10 year old son. Hammock Hanger
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

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  7. #7

    Default Poplar Ridge baseball bat floor

    We "enjoyed" the baseball bat floor at Poplar Ridge last summer. With a Thermarest it was actually OK.

    When you get to this spot, make sure you read the humerous Q&A written by Dave Field which is stuck in the register. It tells about the floor, about the "deacon seat" and about lots of fun stuff. Check it out.

    Pb

  8. #8

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    The third, and final<g>, lean-to with log floor is Hurd Brook.
    Hmmm... might be way MEGAs hike on by!
    Teej

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  9. #9
    Thru-Hiker Grimace's Avatar
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    Don't know if you all care or not, but I though you might want to know why they were made with that design. Way back in the early CCC years of the AT, caretakers manned these shelters. Everyday they would go cut branches of fir trees to line the floor. I really have no idea what I'm talking about, but I'm sure about the fir branches thing. I guess it wasn't such an environmentally sound idea.
    Grimace ME->GA '01
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  10. #10
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    Default Chairback Gap Lean-to

    The floor in the Chairback Gap Lean-To is made of flat lumber but the "baseball bat" floor is still underneath the dimensional lumber. This is the only case of a baseball bat floor not being removed before replacement.

    The way balsam boughs were used, as explained in the Poplar Ridge Lean-To register by maintainer David Field (who built that baseball bat floor with his sister in 1960), was that the first hikers of the summer would lay down a bed of all new boughs, occasionally new hikers would add new boughs as needed and the bed would stay in place until the next summer when it would be renewed again.

  11. #11
    Just Passin' Thru.... Kozmic Zian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebW
    Sometime around 1979-80, my husband and I were backpacking in Maine along the AT and spent a night in a shelter. Don't remember where it was, but I remember the shelter floor. It was made of whole tree limbs about 2-4 inches in diameter. Imagine trying to sleep on that! I had a therma-rest and managed to sleep by blowing it up hard. Others were not so lucky. I understand the shelters all have flat floors these days. Anyone else experienced log floor shelters? When did the last one disappear?


    Yea, dare called 'Baseball Bat' Shelters...by the Ole' [email protected]

  12. #12
    Registered User walkin' wally's Avatar
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    Default Boughs on "Bats"

    The idea of using boughs to sleep on goes back to the times when people roamed the woods and wanted a slightly more comfortable place to sleep than directly on the ground. Boughs were gathered and placed on the ground to form a "bed" so their blankets could be placed on top. The boughs were placed in such a way as to keep the arc of the bough pointed upward, lessening the possibilty of getting stuck by the ends of the boughs.
    I imagine it would not be wise to collect boughs nowadays with all the people using the trails etc.
    Some hikers I have met have slept on the baseball bats without a pad at Rainbow Stream lean-to. I think they are a tough bunch.

    Walkin' Wally

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