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  1. #1

    Default Cooking at Shelters

    I know that for everyone who has hiked the AT, this will seem dumb, but do most of you cook dinner in one of the camp areas at a shelter and then tent elsewhere?

  2. #2
    Registered User Monkeywrench's Avatar
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    Most people cook dinner at the shelter, then either sleep in the shelter or camp adjacent to the shelter.
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    Allen "Monkeywrench" Freeman
    NOBO 3-18-09 - 9-27-09
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    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeywrench View Post
    Most people cook dinner at the shelter, then either sleep in the shelter or camp adjacent to the shelter.
    My experience as well.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    —SPANISH PROVERB

  4. #4

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    Many shelters have a picnic table which is used for cooking on. Some shelters have a place along an outside wall for cooking. If neither of these options are available or if it's raining out, most cook inside the shelter.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    mountain squid's Avatar
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    If I am eating dinner at the shelter I'll likely be staying there (I can't recall a time when I didn't). There have been a few times when I ate before getting to the shelter and then hiked to the shelter and camped. But those were usually longer mileage days when I would arrive at the shelter after dinner time.

    See you on the trail,
    mt squid

  6. #6

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    I almost always cook diner where I sleep, regardless if it's a shelter or just a camping spot.

  7. #7
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    I usually camp near shelters then cook at the shelters picnic table. I hike alone all day long and it's the only way to get social interaction,shoot the bull and catch up on the latest news etc.

  8. #8

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    As I'm planning on camping away from shelters, I was planning on stopping at a shelter for dinner (if I'm by one near dinner time), chatting with other hikers, looking through the register and then hiking on a couple of miles further til my body says its ready to stop for the night. But I'm from out west where such things are more common, especially in bear country.

  9. #9
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    I almost always tent or hammock, but I plan my daily mileage more or less around ending at a shelter. The picnic table for cooking and eating is a pretty good deal, as well as reading the register, doing a crossword, and seeing other humans. Alot of times I make a little fire in the fire pit, which can be surprisingly enjoyable after a day of hiking. Also, after dinner, all I really want to do is watch the sun set and go to sleep, so I would struggle with the concept of hiking on and getting all sweaty again. Shelters usually have a water source, too, so that makes them a nice place to spend 12 hours.
    "Ain't nothing like the smell of tofu and high-dollar wine"

  10. #10

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    I'm one of those who tend to cook and eat at or near the shelters because that's often where the water is. (and I like to read the journal)
    But then move on.
    The first and last hour of sun for the day is my favorite time to be hiking.
    More wildlife, less people on the trail.

    I like to walk until dark and then sleep wherever that happens to be.
    I've even slept right on the trail already. (yeah, yeah, i know it's against the rules, but who's finding me?)

    As my wife would say: Up to you!
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    I've even slept right on the trail already. (yeah, yeah, i know it's against the rules, but who's finding me?)
    Umm, that can be dangerous up in Maine/NH or Vermont. Moose often use the trail as a highway and you don't want to have a moose step on your head while laying in the middle of a trail !!! Of course, deer and many other critters also use the AT highway at night. That's why it's advisable to at least move off the trail by a few feet.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #12
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    More often than not, I'll cook and eat dinner at a shelter. About half the time I'll set up a tent within 1/4-mi. of the shelter....but never sleep in the actual shelter. Other times, I'll get water there but after dinner I'll hike on until just before dusk and set up the tent in a good place (look for one or more of these: level as possible/views/near stream or spring).

    Of course, bad weather will necessitate being more flexible but I hardly ever sleep inside a shelter.
    Last edited by Skyline; 06-06-2012 at 11:55.

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    Registered User SunnyWalker's Avatar
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    Yes. Although I usually stop at a water source to make my dinner . Then I move on after and keep hiking and later find a camping (sleeping) spot.
    "Something hidden. Go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" (Rudyard Kipling)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyWalker View Post
    Yes. Although I usually stop at a water source to make my dinner . Then I move on after and keep hiking and later find a camping (sleeping) spot.
    I agree. It's nice to get the water filtered where you're cooking; chat with hikers at the shelter; jot a note in the register; then hike a little more and sleep soundly not listening to mice scurrying around your head or someone in the vicinity snoring. I leave the smell of food/cooking at the shelter; some part of my subconscious makes me think I'm safer from bear/mice when I'm not sleeping where I'm cooking.
    …speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee… –JOB 12:8

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Umm, that can be dangerous up in Maine/NH or Vermont. Moose often use the trail as a highway and you don't want to have a moose step on your head while laying in the middle of a trail !!! Of course, deer and many other critters also use the AT highway at night. That's why it's advisable to at least move off the trail by a few feet.
    How's this? new1232.JPG
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  16. #16
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    That looks like 200mm from trail.

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    OK, can't resist.............I'LL BE THE BIG BAD BEAR

    Cooking at the shelter, in the shelter, picnic table, whatever.

    Remember guys, I can smell for like 5 miles.......................FIVE MILES

    There's NOT A LOT OF GREAT FOOD IN THE WOODS.................RIGHT?

    I am big, hungry, I smell too, (get over yourselves), be my size and try to fill up every day...on friggin berries, right! BS on that!!!

    You are cooking pasta, ramen noodles, peanut butter, beer(yum), beans, whatever..................smells awesome to me and all of my buddies

    Mice, chipmunks, skunks, possums, raccoons, porcupines, bears...............and you bitch that we show up at the shelters????

    Then you hang your leftover food just out of our reach?

    Come on, play fair this year!

  18. #18
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    I have a hard time making myself take long enough breaks so if I'm bringing a dehydrated meal I will sometimes prepare it during a break and then it will be nice and ready to eat when I get to my final destination. If I'm not cooking food at night I pretty much graze all day and don't really have a big meal at the end of the day.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

  19. #19
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    Ya'll are missing THE most important part about a shelter.......the privy!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Del Q View Post
    OK, can't resist.............I'LL BE THE BIG BAD BEAR

    Cooking at the shelter, in the shelter, picnic table, whatever.

    Remember guys, I can smell for like 5 miles.......................FIVE MILES

    There's NOT A LOT OF GREAT FOOD IN THE WOODS.................RIGHT?

    I am big, hungry, I smell too, (get over yourselves), be my size and try to fill up every day...on friggin berries, right! BS on that!!!

    You are cooking pasta, ramen noodles, peanut butter, beer(yum), beans, whatever..................smells awesome to me and all of my buddies

    Mice, chipmunks, skunks, possums, raccoons, porcupines, bears...............and you bitch that we show up at the shelters????

    Then you hang your leftover food just out of our reach?

    Come on, play fair this year!
    Seriously??? Thats classic... Thanks

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