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  1. #1

    Default Why do some people hate sleeping at shelters

    I have seen quite a few posts, where people bad mouth shelters. I don't get it, I like the shelters on the trail, although I also like setting up my own setup when hiking the smaller trails. The thing I like the most about the shelters is you get to meet tons of people. So tell me if you like or hate the shelters and why please.

  2. #2

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    mice
    snoring
    late arrivers
    early leavers
    somebody pissing off the edge of the platform in the middle of the night
    shelters usually don't happen to be where I am when it starts getting dark and it's time to sleep

    there's more

  3. #3

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    hang with the crowd, then go sleep in the comfort, cleanliness and privacy of your own tent or hammock. pretty simple.

  4. #4

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    I'm the snorer LOL!!! And I know what you mean about the nasty people using the bathroom, I stayed at 1 that the Jon was about 150 yards away and it was raining, some a55 let his kid stand under the awning and Sh1t right next to the shelter. Funny story about mice my nephew had his watch and a sock stolen by mice lol

  5. #5
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    I don't hate shelters, but I am thinking:

    - mice
    - 12 hikers huddled together (despite all having tents/tarps in their pack)
    - snoring
    - late comers
    - littered firepits
    - less than ideal locations
    - inconsiderate hikers
    - crowded

    Why do that when you can camp 0.25 mile down the trail? I think shelters represent safety to hikers to some degree, a man-made structure, so people tend to flock to them. I don't think the amount of people who use the AT and the amount of shelters located along the trail are not related. There are more scenic trails, say in PA, with no shelters, and they are deserted compared to the AT.

    I often camp at shelter locations when it suits me, but I rarely sleep in them, even if I'm the only person there. Probably the most use I get from shelters is handing my pack from the mouse line, that's about it.

    I've seen people go to great lengths to avoid camping along the AT, I don't get it, perhaps they are just afraid of waking up in the rain, but it's no big deal really.

  6. #6
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    hate is a strong word. they just suck

  7. #7
    Registered User fancyfeet's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I like 'em

    I like shelters, too. I often choose to tent at the shelter to have a little more privacy. I like to meet others and socialize a little in the evenings. I hike alone, so sometimes I feel like having a bit of conversation. One of my better shelter memories was learning to play a card game called Blackball with a section hiker guy and a young woman who was on a 3-day weekend from her job on a windjammer ship at the Limestone Spring Lean-To in CT. Best card game ever IMHO.

    Access to water, privy and register, as well as a nice flat floor to play solitaire on are also plusses for me.

    Most of the more common complaints (mice, dirty, overcrowed) have been less of a problem for me as I'm a SOBO/section hiker.

    That said, I like to camp as well, especially if there's a nice spot. Favs include atop Old Blue in ME, on Pleasant Pond Mtn in ME, at Rainbow Lake in ME, a pretty woodland spot by a stream in VT - I zeroed there, under a rock overhang in PA, cowboy camping at Pinwheel Vista in NJ and on Stony Man cliffs in the Shennies.
    If you're in a hurry, why are you walking?

  8. #8

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    Personal safety. Many shelters are too close to roads and the recent postings on the recent alleged assault is a valid call to only use shelters for what they are intended for; brief stops or inclement weather only.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
    Garlic
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    I agree with something Mags told me, that shelters are OK in bad weather and if you have it to yourself. Even then, I have a hard time sleeping on a plank floor when 1/4 mile on you can find a virgin campsite in deep soft leaf duff.

    Last week I came upon a nice little cabin in a semi-blizzard up on the Mogollon Rim (Arizona Trail). The cabin was snug, warm, dry. It was snowing, 50 mph winds, temps dropping into the teens outside. The cabin floor was wood plank with rodent droppings all around. I slept outside, thinking of the couple of lousy nights I tried to sleep in AT shelters.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by McKeever View Post
    Personal safety. Many shelters are too close to roads and the recent postings on the recent alleged assault is a valid call to only use shelters for what they are intended for; brief stops or inclement weather only.
    Many forests ask you not to set up a tent, because every time 1 of us makes camp that is one more spot we have marked. Me personally, I think most of us are responsible, and the little wear we show grows over in a day or 2, but to say they are only intended to be used for brief stops and inclement weather, is the opposite of what I have always been taught. Was I taught wrong?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixdadeadhead View Post
    Many forests ask you not to set up a tent, because every time 1 of us makes camp that is one more spot we have marked. Me personally, I think most of us are responsible, and the little wear we show grows over in a day or 2, but to say they are only intended to be used for brief stops and inclement weather, is the opposite of what I have always been taught. Was I taught wrong?
    I always thought there were set up to centralize things and minimize impact too... and that's turned them into dumps but hey, I like them and even worse, I like privies.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixdadeadhead View Post
    Many forests ask you not to set up a tent, because every time 1 of us makes camp that is one more spot we have marked. Me personally, I think most of us are responsible, and the little wear we show grows over in a day or 2, but to say they are only intended to be used for brief stops and inclement weather, is the opposite of what I have always been taught. Was I taught wrong?
    Some areas have fragile soils or super heavy use so camping regs are necessary. Outside of regulated areas such as National Forests where camping is allowed at large, which is most of the trail, stealth camping far away from shelters and over used beauty spots is encouraged and should become the norm rather than always shooting for a shelter to stay in.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    modern gypsy sloopjonboswell's Avatar
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    you wanna at least see em, 99 reasons why you might not wanna stay are obvious, (too far off the trail, ++people,) usually a good water source nearby.
    hey hey, my my

  14. #14
    modern gypsy sloopjonboswell's Avatar
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    nothing like finding and empty shelter around nine or ten pm.
    hey hey, my my

  15. #15
    modern gypsy sloopjonboswell's Avatar
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    soon you will be dancing with fan dango.
    hey hey, my my

  16. #16

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    I am shocked to see so many people who don't like them. I really like the shelters on the At. I have only had 1 bad experience in 1 which I mention earlier lol. I think other than meeting cool people, what I like most is having a table to cook on that is under a roof. I have a handmade Alcohol jet stove that I love, but unlike the penny stoves you have to set your pot/pan right on the stove, so you need a decently stable and level surface to cook on.

  17. #17

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    Talking about shelters. One of my first hikes was outside of Black mountain NC. We were told the Mountain was called High Windy. At the top was a fire tower, and a great shelter, which had a sliding wooden door, a fireplace, and a deck that jutted right over the cliff. I hiked it again in 2000, and the shelter was gone, does anyone know the name of the mountain, and what happened to the shelter?

  18. #18

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    I don't dislike shelters and you're right, they are usually good hydro stops, places to rest, and a decent place to cook and eat. Then it's time to move on up the trail for a pristine campsite (w/o disturbing vegetation).
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  19. #19
    modern gypsy sloopjonboswell's Avatar
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    if it wasn't for low gap shelter and bsa i would never have hiked the whole thing. shelters are especially cool for first-time a.t. hikers, read the log, make breakfast etc.

    i think everyone would agree that they are helpful for one reason or another. just a part of the experience. except i'm pretty sure lw will still say shelters suck.

    pc
    hey hey, my my

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sloopjonboswell View Post
    if it wasn't for low gap shelter and bsa i would never have hiked the whole thing. shelters are especially cool for first-time a.t. hikers, read the log, make breakfast etc.

    i think everyone would agree that they are helpful for one reason or another. just a part of the experience. except i'm pretty sure lw will still say shelters suck.

    pc
    Nice answer lol

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