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  1. #1
    Registered User P-Train's Avatar
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    Question Full Shelter Question:

    Couldn't find my answer in any threads....

    On my section hike in the GSMNP - I will have made a reservation for about six shelters to stay in.
    What if when I get there they happen to be full and I didn't bring a tent?

    A.) I should bring a light tent anyway just in case

    B.) Squeeze in somehow

  2. #2
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    Always carry your own shelter, just in case.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-Train View Post
    Couldn't find my answer in any threads....

    On my section hike in the GSMNP - I will have made a reservation for about six shelters to stay in.
    What if when I get there they happen to be full and I didn't bring a tent?

    A.) I should bring a light tent anyway just in case

    B.) Squeeze in somehow
    always carry shelter. but if it's full ask one of the thru-hikers to give up the space. they're suppose to

  4. #4
    Registered User P-Train's Avatar
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    So in general it's fine to pitch at the shelter when full? Probably just off to the side on a flat area where I can find one.

    Thanks.

  5. #5

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    Yes, but if you prefer the shelter make your preference known and whoever if there without a reservation (prob a thru hiker) needs to leave. And yes, always carry a tent.

  6. #6
    Section Hiking Knucklehead Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-Train View Post
    So in general it's fine to pitch at the shelter when full?
    For section hikers, no. If you have a reservation, you're supposed to use the shelter itself. Thru hikers (those whose hikes begin>/= 50 miles before the park entrance and ends >/= 50 miles after the park) may only tent if the shelter is full.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  7. #7
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    i wouldn't worry too much about rangers messin' with you. they don't hike and won't be at shelters. i would just tent

  8. #8
    Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Hell get someone to make you a Cuben Fiber Tarp... And a Bug net. Why would you want to give up Freedom from Snoring, Midnight belching, 3 AM Piss Runs, And of course-Methane Funky Blowouts....

    Don't forget the guy with the Ukelele or Air Guitar that can't play...

    Remember your ear plugs....
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  9. #9
    Registered User P-Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Hell get someone to make you a Cuben Fiber Tarp... And a Bug net. Why would you want to give up Freedom from Snoring, Midnight belching, 3 AM Piss Runs, And of course-Methane Funky Blowouts....

    Don't forget the guy with the Ukelele or Air Guitar that can't play...

    Remember your ear plugs....
    Awesome. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    Never being down there...do I understand that in GSMNP you cannot stealth hang, tarp, or cowboy 200 feet off and out of site of the AT??? I'm sure this is another multiple page thread itself.

  11. #11
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    We were just north of Clingmans Dome a couple years ago, and the shelter was slam full, plus a couple through hikers. There was a ridge runner staying the night, and he absolutely forbid anyone to set up tents. The through hikers asked about cowboying it, and the RR didn't care so that's what they did. After about 2am I would have given anything to have been with them. It was a double decker shelter, and everytime someone rolled over or moved or anything you got woke up. Nothing like spooning with 14 people you don't know. Wise Old Owl is right. Shelters are cool, but not all the time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach lou View Post
    Never being down there...do I understand that in GSMNP you cannot stealth hang, tarp, or cowboy 200 feet off and out of site of the AT??? I'm sure this is another multiple page thread itself.
    Right you are. Though in spite of the express terms of the WhiteBlaze User Agreement, you will find folks advocating illegal acts, such as Lone Wolf's post. My understanding is that you need a "back country permit" to camp anywhere other than in shelters in the GSMNP. You might be confusing the GSMNP and the Shenandoan National Park rules about camping 200' away from the trail? My advice is go to "the horse's mouth" and ask the ranger office if you want to know the intricacies of such rules.

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  13. #13
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Right you are. Though in spite of the express terms of the WhiteBlaze User Agreement, you will find folks advocating illegal acts, such as Lone Wolf's post. My understanding is that you need a "back country permit" to camp anywhere other than in shelters in the GSMNP. You might be confusing the GSMNP and the Shenandoan National Park rules about camping 200' away from the trail? My advice is go to "the horse's mouth" and ask the ranger office if you want to know the intricacies of such rules.

    RainMan

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    Thanks Rain Man. Not this summer, maybe next. I've always steered away from there because of the amount of visitors it gets, but all these wonderful pictures and tales of adventure from this web site will
    get me and the Mrs. down there soon enough.

  14. #14

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    Go when there is a forcast for rain. Half of those with reservations made months in advance will not show up, and since they never bother to cancel, frees up a lot of space.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach lou View Post
    Never being down there...do I understand that in GSMNP you cannot stealth hang, tarp, or cowboy 200 feet off and out of site of the AT??? I'm sure this is another multiple page thread itself.

    It Is..... We can't discuss Steath Hangs - its a dirty word.


    Intersesting above Post Slo-Go'en
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  16. #16
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    FYI, because tenting isn't allowed at GSMNP shelters, you're not going to find nice tent sites around the shelters like you do at other AT shelters. I never did have to tent at any shelters in the park. But at one shelter that was starting to get full in the evening, we scouted for tent sites just in case. We ended up deciding that we would just sleep on the ground in the big open area in front of the sleeping platforms instead of tenting. That area looked nicer than anything around the shelter.

  17. #17
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    It Is..... We can't discuss Steath Hangs - its a dirty word.


    Intersesting above Post Slo-Go'en

    Seems to depend on the Ranger -
    I and several others were not permitted to camp in the Smokies until the shelter was full - and yet I also couldn't guarantee a spot in the shelter as I was thru -hiker and half of the 'reserved' spots had not shown up , by mid-afternoon.
    There was a ranger there and he was fine with hammock hangers, understandably because there was much less ground disturbance, but to a tired hiker who just wanted to lay his bag down and find a spot to rest up for the day,either inside or out, it was truly a pain in the backside....
    And then to top it off, he didn't want anyone to use the fireplace...due to the collection of firewood setting a bad example for the few that might go overboard and damage the living trees.
    Those reservists never did show up by nightfall so we stayed in the shelter - perhaps they're should be an earlier cut-off time for the 'reservists' to show up by.

  18. #18
    Registered User Danl's Avatar
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    This came out of the "Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Companion Book." The way I read it is thru-hikers , between Mar 15 and Jun 15 are not required to make reservations for shelters and if the shelter is full they can tent camp at or near the shelter but must use the bear cables.. I could not find this on their website anywhere so I sent them an e-mail for clarification.


    "SHELTER POLICY- Park regulations require that you stay in a shelter. While other backpackers must make reservations to use backcountry shelters, thru-hikers are exempt from this regulation, and, from Mar 15 to Jun 15, four spaces at each A.T. shelter are reserved for thru-hikers. If the shelter is occupied by reservation and four thru-hikers, however, additional thru-hikers should tent close by and use the bear cables. Because only thru-hikers are permitted to tent camp at shelters, the burden is on them to make room inside shelters for others who have reserved space."
    I start out the Day with nothing and by the end of the Day I still have most of it.

  19. #19

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    You can fit more people than the stated capacity in the GSMNP shelters, easily. There used to be wooden slats dividing the individual spaces, but they've been removed. Some of the REI guides in the area are known to be real jackasses to thru-hikers. Politely ask the group if they can shuffle over a bit and tell the guide to call a ranger if they care so much. They have no authority whatsoever to kick anyone out of the shelter.

  20. #20
    lemon b's Avatar
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    I always carry a tent, only do shelters in bad weather, and will always give up a spot for anyone going further then I. Not rules just the manners I was taught.

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