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  1. #1

    Default Hanging in the Smokies?

    My wife and I are both hammock hangers and are hiking the southern half of the AT (Springer-Harpers Ferry) starting this Spring. We'll probably be entering the SMNP about mid April. We don't plan on sleeping in shelters with the possible exception of some freaky weather. We are bringing UQs only...no pads other than a possible sit pad.

    I'd like to know if we will have problems finding places to hang near the shelters in the park. We know that's a busy time for hikers passing through. I have considered using pads in the park and bouncing our UQs to the end of the park. This would allow us to go to ground (shudder) or sleep in a shelter if we can't find appropriate spots to hang.

    Suggestions/advice?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User SmokeEater's Avatar
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    If you plan on following park regs then tenting or hanging is not allowed outside the shelter in the park. Search this topic in WB.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeEater View Post
    If you plan on following park regs then tenting or hanging is not allowed outside the shelter in the park. Search this topic in WB.
    I thought I read if the shelter is full (most likely that time of year) then tent camping/hanging is allowed in the immediate area of the shelter. No?

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    if you started your hike 50 mi or more from the park(or 5 days?) or say you did

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    if you started your hike 50 mi or more from the park(or 5 days?) or say you did
    That's my understanding. We're starting at Springer and going to Harpers ferry so we will meet that criteria. My real question is...are there enough trees available to hang from near the shelters or is there a high probabability we may have to go to ground?

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    I hiked the park a couple of months ago and can't remember many shelters where you would have trouble finding a place to hang.

  7. #7
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    What if weather is freaky, you going to be in the shelter without a pad? What if hiker volume is freaky and the shelter isn't full?
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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    here's what i did... i hope it is useful. i normally use an underquilt, but for my time in the smokies i bought and carried a neoair, thinking if i had to sleep on the wood platform, i could. i share your distaste for that solution. i was "only" a section hiker, so i did register for shelters. at each shelter i had no problem hanging my hammock in the covered eating area toward the front of the shelter. it does take three things: 1 some pretty crafty hanging skills -- wouldn't try it if i didn't have a clue -- there was often a hanging point elevation difference to compensate for, 2 patience -- i always waited until people were done with cooking... in a way, i think some preferred having more sleeping room on the shelter floor cause the crazy hammocker wasn't taking up important space, 3 enough politeness and wit to not piss anyone off. I did try to get an official ruling from rangers, and they tended to be somewhat negative to neutral about using a hammock in the shelters, but i think that is a better bet than hanging outside the shelter unless the shelter is absolutely full. for what its worth, if i were to return i would just bring the underquilt... i do have anarchist tendencies, however, so i don't think i'd ever go back... i prefer less regulation, but i digress!
    Lazarus

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    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    ample trees - rangers I've met in there are cool - as long as you are trying to abide by the spirit of the rules -- other may have different experience

  10. #10

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    Hmmm...thanks for all the good advice. I'm leaning toward bringing a pad system through the park, which will work both in the hammock and on the ground or shelter. I may or may not bounce my UQ ahead...although trusting it to the USPS is a scary proposition at best. The Neo Air is also a good idea as it's light and relatively low volume. I suppose I could carry the whole kit and kaboodle but I'm not all that thrilled with that either. I guess between now and then I'll bone up on the regs.

    Thanks again

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    I went throught there a couple years ago in late April, waited until the shelter filled up each night and hung my hammock near the shelter. No problem.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefduffy View Post
    I went throught there a couple years ago in late April, waited until the shelter filled up each night and hung my hammock near the shelter. No problem.
    That sounds like a good strategy. After reading through a mind numbing ten page post on camping regs in the park from 2009 I not only have a serious headache but thoughts of skipping the entire section have seriously entered my head. Yellow blazing anyone?

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    The 50 mile rule only means you do not need reservations to stay in the shelters. It does not exempt you from having to stay in them. You are only allowed to sleep outside the shelters if they are "full." Getting there late would help ensure that depending on when you are travelling through.

    I would recommend going to the forum on shelters on this site. For each shelter there is probably multiple pictures posted that should give you a good idea of your ability to hang.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

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    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    the shelters in the smokies are very easy to hang in. i would suggest you use straps not whoopies as you may ge stuck in a 12' section. start here http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=260689 every shelter i hung in.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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    Registered User birdygal's Avatar
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    Good to know I am taking a pad, I will make sure get to them really late as I would get no sleep on the ground

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    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdygal View Post
    Good to know I am taking a pad, I will make sure get to them really late as I would get no sleep on the ground
    can you read. you can hang in shelters. hang in front over hang if you must. ditch the pad, YOU are a hammocker or your NOT. i got 300 nites on trails and never to the ground. you just have to learn to hammock or KISS ann take a tent.,



























    = nites on trails. nex
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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    Registered User birdygal's Avatar
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    I read it and if I had to do that I may as well sleep on the ground , I still won't get any sleep with a bunch of snorers, I use a pad in my hammock its not like I am taking it just for that

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    What if weather is freaky, you going to be in the shelter without a pad? What if hiker volume is freaky and the shelter isn't full?
    Dude...if it's that freaky...I'll be the one standing up in the back corner of the shelter.

  19. #19
    Backing Back into Backpacking
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    How committed are you to doing the AT through this section? You could do the BMT and might have better luck, less traffic less hassle, same regs as I understand them.
    The key to success in achieving a goal is focusing not on how far you have to go, but rather how far you have come.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    you can hang in shelters. hang in front over hang if you must.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1azarus View Post
    i had no problem hanging my hammock in the covered eating area toward the front of the shelter.
    I don't mean to start an argument, and I'm willing to listen to how this might be okay. But my first impression is that a hammock and a tent are comparable for many things, including putting one up in a shelter.

    Putting up a tent in a shelter is considered rude and a "no-no." Seems to me putting up a hammock in a shelter is no different. Right now I've got to think it's rude and a no-no, especially in a crowded GSMNP shelter.

    I've been in one so crowded that hikers had to sleep on the ground under the overhang, but one could step over them. A hammock? Can't step over. So midnight runs to the privy, or trying to use the picnic table under the overhang? Big problems with a hammocker there.

    That said, maybe I'm picturing what y'all mean wrongly. So, am willing to consider why hanging a hammock anywhere in a crowded shelter isn't just as rude as a tent in the same spot. (and I am assuming neither the hammock nor the tent would have a rain fly up)

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