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  1. #1

    Default Tent in shelter?

    I was day-hiking in the rollercoaster section of the AT today and ran into a few SOBO hikers and I chatted with most of them for a few minutes. They both mentioned using their tents in the shelters when there isn't a tent spot at the shelter. They said that lately the mouse situation has become so overwhelming that they won't sleep in the shelter without the tent.

    Heading SOBO and being behind most thru hikers they are getting most shelters to themselves.

    Is this a normal practice? I'm assuming that when you have shelter mates this is terrible etiquette...?

  2. #2

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    Terrible etiquette, yes.
    Common, yes if theres room. Ive come across it many times.
    Youre not likely to see it in the bubble, but at slower times, plenty.
    But its also first come-first served at shelters, and theres no law against it on AT.

    Cant say it really bothers me, unless it was raining and people wanted in and they were taking up too much space.
    But...a twin tent 56" wide with two people...really nothing to say about it is there? Most people will claim a 3' wide strip of tyvek for their own turf, so unless they claim more per person, it really doesnt pass the so frickin what test in my book.


    I recall at least half dozen tents set up in the overmountain barn one night, downstairs and up, with plenty o room for all.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-04-2016 at 21:35.

  3. #3
    Registered User Grunt's Avatar
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    Normal? NO... does it happen YES, but rarely in my experience. If no one is denied space... OK... I've only had it happen once in 10+ years humpin the AT and it was a family with kids. The weather was questionable and I explained that there were more hikers on the way... they very nicely moved their tent outside. I've heard horror stories about shelter conflicts but I think the proper etiquette is simply to use common sense and don't be a shelter hog and deny other hikers proper space. just saying

  4. #4
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    There is a hiker that was headed Sobo named Mousetrap. He took care of the rodent problem in some of the shelters. We didn't have problems with mice in the shelters he had visited, but the ones he didn't stop in and we did, holy hell, were the mice aggressive and the squirrels vicious. Damn rats!

  5. #5

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    How common is it to arrive at a shelter and have nowhere to tent? How common is it to know in advance that will likely be the case?

  6. #6
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    There are plenty of shelters with bad tent areas. The best way to have advanced notice of this is to do serious research into each location. Have fun, you'll be cross-referencing multiple sources. The upshot is that you don't have to stay at the shelter. You can drop in, check it out, get your water, and move on.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  7. #7
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    The thru-hiker guidebooks usually let you know if there are tent sites at any particular shelter. For the Companion, to which we contribute, if it says "camping" then there are tent sites. If it doesn't say anything, then there probably aren't. Places that don't allow tenting are also marked (e.g., the Partnership Shelter). This is not a foolproof method, nor does it guarantee that you'll get a site, of course.
    Ken B
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Rush- View Post
    There are plenty of shelters with bad tent areas. The best way to have advanced notice of this is to do serious research into each location. Have fun, you'll be cross-referencing multiple sources. The upshot is that you don't have to stay at the shelter. You can drop in, check it out, get your water, and move on.
    Shelters with bad tent areas? It's laughable. Just go a half mile back or a half mile further on the trail and set up your tent. No purpose or sense WHATSOEVER in camping in or near any AT rat-box shelter.

    Putting a tent inside a shelter is the final symptom of shelter-induced entitlement retardation.(SIER). Here's a thought: Backpack the AT and just pretend, just imagine, there's not a single shelter on the trail for your so-called mouse-chewing, rodent-pooping convenience. Man-up or girl-up and avoid the shelter system as you would avoid a hepatitis-laced potato.

  9. #9
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned It's bad etiquette to set up your tent in a shelter. You may arrive at a shelter that is empty but you don't know who else will arrive later looking to use the shelter. I have thru-hiked and have not remembered a shelter area that didn't have tent sights.
    If you plan to stay in a shelter you have to get use to mice. They have found a shelter to be a convenient home, so share it with them.
    Grampie-N->2001

  10. #10
    Registered User mountainman's Avatar
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    Tipi Walter, Well said

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Shelters with bad tent areas? It's laughable. Just go a half mile back or a half mile further on the trail and set up your tent. No purpose or sense WHATSOEVER in camping in or near any AT rat-box shelter.

    Putting a tent inside a shelter is the final symptom of shelter-induced entitlement retardation.(SIER). Here's a thought: Backpack the AT and just pretend, just imagine, there's not a single shelter on the trail for your so-called mouse-chewing, rodent-pooping convenience. Man-up or girl-up and avoid the shelter system as you would avoid a hepatitis-laced potato.
    A distance away from the shelter is a good idea, where its allowable. Some areas don't allow camping outside of the shelter areas, states like MA and CT don't allow camping outside of designated camping areas (some have shelters, some don't). Its up to the hiker to know the rules of the trail where they are and where camping (and fires) are allowed.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    A distance away from the shelter is a good idea, where its allowable. Some areas don't allow camping outside of the shelter areas, states like MA and CT don't allow camping outside of designated camping areas (some have shelters, some don't). Its up to the hiker to know the rules of the trail where they are and where camping (and fires) are allowed.
    But vast areas allow dispersed camping like Georgia, all of NC and TN save for the Smokies, and nearly all of Virginia.

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    and the related question is... set up a hammock in a shelter? It is very tempting to do so when there's rain or snow, or if it is just windy out. and if the shelter is empty, no harm done. pretty much same guidelines apply -- if you do set up in a shelter and hikers arrive, don't even ask -- if anyone shows up, just take your hammock down and move out of the shelter. immediately! In some ways, hammocks are even worse than tents, since the easiest way to hang a hammock is all the way from one side to the other.
    Lazarus

  14. #14
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    The only reason to tent in or near shelters is because its a convenient water source and usually has a privy. Other than that, camp just off the trail. No one really cares as long as you don't leave your charmin blooms about to be stepped in. I'll usually set up my bugnet in a shelter. It acts as a pretty good mouse bivy, unless they mice really want to sleep with me, then they just chew a hole in the netting.

  15. #15

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    [QUOTE=Tipi Walter;avoid a hepatitis-laced potato.[/QUOTE]

    Hmmm? I never knew potatoes could be laced with hepatitis.

  16. #16

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    Set up a tent in a shelter when alone in a severe storm, sure. Otherwise, set it up somewhere else.

  17. #17
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    i'll set up the bugnet in the shelter with the footprint from time-to-time if I know there's not a bubble around me. why not? Its only a few inches wider than my pad. i recall some filthy couple in VA giving me flack for it, then laying out a huge blue tarp taking up an entire half of the shelter and laying out all of his gear and cooking in there.

    basically, if people need a place to sleep, make sure you're not preventing that. otherwise, keep yourself off the mouse poop.

  18. #18
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    Seems like shelters and hostels could be breeding grounds for sickness. I would prefer to avoid both, I don't mind hanging out but when I'm going to sleep I wanna be alone in my tent.

  19. #19
    Registered User BigBlue's Avatar
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    I hiked with a guy that set his tent up in the shelter one night. Mice are a hole in his tent...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    Registered User linus72's Avatar
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    when there are still tent sites around the shelter, and weather is fine its extremely bad etiquette. when there are still tent sites and weather is rainy, its still bad etiquette. encountered two of these people at wildcat shelter last month on a beautiful night, with many tent sites to spare. i also asked them where the bear box and privy were as night was falling fast and they couldn't be bothered to get out of their tents to point me to them, they just sat there getting annoyed with me for asking a basic question and that they had to explain where these were because they didn't feel like getting out for 1 minute to show me. i couldn't see where they were pointing in the dark of the nights and from their tents in the shelter. incredibly rude and entitled hikers. i think they were sobos. too many of these hikers these days.
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