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  1. #1
    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Default Shelters To Avoid In The Off Season

    I thought that this would be a good subject having just experienced this. Some shelters are party hangouts and jamborees on weekends and should be avoided by campers.

    The Ed Garvey shelter had 2 young adult groups (approx 12 people) & 1 girl scout troop IN IT with 3 boy scout troops tenting around it. Needless to say I camped across the trail and far away from them (illegal in Maryland). So much smoke and the endless screaming.
    Hey, I was a scout many decades ago but in this enlightened age, don't they teach responsibility and respect to others and to nature.
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  2. #2
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Weekends

    I'd say that almost every shelter has the potential for crowds by the weekend hikers. Not just Scouts and youth groups, but also the party crowd. Friday and Saturday nights are the peak nights. And, around Labor Day, you get all the college crowd.

    Historically, Scouts have a bad reputation among thru-hikers. Just how "bad" scout groups are depends on their leaders. Locally, Leave No Trace has been pushed with Scouts. And, in fact, I have some very good stories about meeting Scout groups on the trail during my thru-hike.

    Like everywhere else, carry a tent so you camp elsewhere if necessary.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaks
    Historically, Scouts have a bad reputation among thru-hikers.
    I always thought it was just the opposite. Scouts almost always carry too much high class food. I always talk to them to see if they are close to getting off the Trail. If it's the next day or the day after I stay with them and you get enough to skip at least the next town stop. You hit enough Scout Troops you never have to leave the trail. In addition, all the bears, mice and dogs go after them. Scouts are the best.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    The Ed Garvey shelter had 2 young adult groups (approx 12 people) & 1 girl scout troop IN IT with 3 boy scout troops tenting around it. Needless to say I camped across the trail and far away from them (illegal in Maryland). So much smoke and the endless screaming.
    I was hiking out there a week ago. There were no scouts at the shelter. However the next morning we probably passed 30+ people before we made it to Gathland. The following day we saw 85 people (we counted this time) within the 1.6 miles between Pine Knob Shelter and Annapolis Rocks. Most were scout troops. All had decided to camp at A. Rocks due to the eclipse.

  5. #5
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Smile AT shelters, Scouts

    Hi, on the topic of shelters to avoid, I guess any shelter that you can get to from a road and is less than a couple of miles can become invaded by others. Fortunately we don't have a AT cop to keep things in order. If others are at a shelter and you don't agree with what's going on, move on.
    As far as scouts are conserned I met a group of Boy Scouts from New Port News, VA in the Shenandoahs. It was a pleashure to spend the night with the group at the shelter. They were well behaved and polite. When I arrived, with another hiker, they were ready to leave the shelter to us. It was a trail experience that I will always remember.
    Grampie-N->2001
    Grampie-N->2001

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Fowler
    Hi, on the topic of shelters to avoid, I guess any shelter that you can get to from a road and is less than a couple of miles can become invaded by others. Fortunately we don't have a AT cop to keep things in order. If others are at a shelter and you don't agree with what's going on, move on.
    Excellent wisdom. Any shelter that's easy for you to get to is ALSO easy for everyone else to get to.

    Scout group behavior is a reflection/extention of the groups leader(s).

    Rhetorical question: How many folks who complain about poor experiences with Scouts have ever done anything to help the situation? If you're knowledgeable about the outdoors and backpacking, why not offer to do a talk/demo to a local Troop or Venture Crew? Or contact your local Council or District offices -- they're always short of qualified people to assist in outdoor leader training sessions; you could work the the leaders and help train them if you didn't want to deal with the kids.

    Why not do something to help the boys learn proper outdoor behavior instead of leaving it to the far-too-few qualified people while all your do is complain?

  7. #7
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with Deeddawg, scout group behavior is highly influenced by the group leaders. I'm pretty observant of these group situations (I was/am an Eagle Scout) and a knowledgeable, conscientious, involved scout leader who takes kids out with regularity tends to have a much better behaved troop. That's not to say that the kids won't be kids and make a mistake or get a little loud at times, but they won't destroy the campsite either.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  8. #8
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Default

    I too was an Eagle (class of 77) with bronze and a silver palm...however a few years ago I sent my Eagle back as I disagree with some policys held by the Boy Scouts now,,,the are highly influenced by thier leaders..such as oliver north that the local council here had speak to scouts ...along with other policy decisions that have been made.....
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smokymtnsteve
    I too was an Eagle (class of 77) with bronze and a silver palm...however a few years ago I sent my Eagle back as I disagree with some policys held by the Boy Scouts now,,,the are highly influenced by thier leaders..such as oliver north that the local council here had speak to scouts ...along with other policy decisions that have been made.....
    I was class of 75 and it was bronze then gold then silver palms -didnt get silver.
    I wasnt complaining of the scouts but of all large groups that ruin others' time on the trail.
    I did stop one troop who were just behind me and explained to them about trail manners, ie respect for others, repect for nature and respect for themselves.
    After getting Eagle I joined an explorer post that ran a troop of disabled, disturbed and unmanageable kids that other troops refused to take. We taught them to behave better than if they were home. Some people let 'Normal' kids run wild and become animals when out camping.
    Leave no trace- should include the noise pollution.
    my apologies to the responsible groups.
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  10. #10
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Default

    decades ago for me too...
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Fowler
    . Fortunately we don't have a AT cop to keep things in order.
    Grampie-N->2001
    Actually we do have AT cops- National Park Service Rangers, Maryland State Park Rangers, etc. all gun toting,
    If we could only get them to actually patrol the trail once in a while.
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    Leave no trace- should include the noise pollution.
    I take it one step broader -- LNT means doing nothing which will reduce someone else's enjoyment of the woods. Wanna be loud and run around? That's why we have outings to scout camps. When I have boys out on the public trails, they will act like young adults and be respectful of others enjoyment of the outdoors.

  13. #13
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    Default Return to subject

    The subject of this thread is "Shelters to Avoid;" tho the thread seems more devoted to bitching about Boy Scouts. To return to the subject:

    I'd avoid Governor Clement near Killington in Vermont as it's on a road gets frequent night visits from ATV-riding local idiots.

  14. #14
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Default governor hickville

    Jacks right on. Seriously, don't stay here. I arrived there in late afternoon intending to spend the night. I was creeped out by the rolled out sleeping bag and pillow, but no person. The shelter itself is a nasty old stone one similar to the old smokies shelters. I pushed on up to Cooper Lodge (haha yea much nicer).
    Needless to say, the rest of my friends stayed back at ole' govnor clement. They were woken up twice by two different groups of people. The first were chased out by Southern Yankee in his boxer shorts. They left but shot a rifle in the air when they left. Later high school kids came to party. This place is right on a dirt forest road. I certainly wouldnt want a car to pull up while I was sleeping. Kinda like when the cops come to check on you at Dalhgren campground
    I had heard the GMC was trying to find away to block off this road to vehicles somehow. Hope they find a way to suceed.
    There are a lot of nice shelters around (minerva hinchey, clarendon, cooper-kind of and the new Churchill Scott. Plan accordingly
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  15. #15
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    Default Gov Clement shelter

    Passed this shelter on my LT SOBO after spending the night at Scott shelter with the ridge runner. GMC has checked into cutting off road access to Clement, but under some law in the state the road cannot be blocked from public access due to other legitimate activities which take place in the area. Also, there are plans in the works to remove Cooper Lodge as they did with Tamarack shelter back in the early 80's which was about a mile or so south of Cooper. When I stopped at Clement for water there was some sketchy guy in a truck there and he made a point of letting me know that other "trucks" were coming for the night. It's too bad since Clement is the oldest surviving shelter in Vermont.

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