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  1. #1
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Default What Does It Cost to Build a Shelter?

    Just curious. Does anyone have an idea what it costs to build a shelter on the AT. And I'm talking about a nice one with a porch and capacity of 10 - 16 hikers like the one in the below image (That's the Whiskey Hollow Shelter construction crew in the picture). I did a search and could not find any posts on the subject.

    Whiskey Hollow Shelter.JPG
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  2. #2

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    i used to work for a trail club which built shelters on a section of the AT in new england.

    50-75k, with a lot of volunteer labor and donated labor. (we had some timberframe builders who would donate their time sometimes).

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    forgot to mention, that was over 10 years ago. so costs are likely higher?

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    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Do that include environment impact study?
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-12-2018 at 12:47.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  5. #5
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikeandbike5 View Post
    i used to work for a trail club which built shelters on a section of the AT in new england.

    50-75k, with a lot of volunteer labor and donated labor. (we had some timberframe builders who would donate their time sometimes).
    I figured it would be high but that's still kind of a shock. I imagine one of the higher costs is getting materials and tools to a remote spot. When I was at the Whiskey Hollow shelter last year, a huge, locked tool box was still on site. I could only see using a helicopter as a means of getting in and out.

    Percentage wise, what do you think the breakdown between material, labor and transport to locate everything to the shelter site is? BTW - thanks for the reply.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  6. #6

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    Where does this money generally come from?

    i would like to contribute as I have enjoyed shelters and the Appalachian trail for my entire life. I pay my federal taxes, am a member of national parks ( have an annual park pass). No state tax in Florida other than increased sales taxes. Can’t cough up entire cost, but would contribute to AT shelters and also bringing forth other eastern trails and their maintainance as AT is currently being loved to death.

    Hike on!

  7. #7

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    The shelters are typically funded by the maintaining clubs who do specific fundraisers. On occasion I expect that someone may leave funds in their will that are restricted to building something and those funds are directed to the capital improvement budget. Most of the recent shelters I am aware of in the whites are prefabbed offsite by paid crews and then flown in via helicopter to be assembled by paid crews. I dont think a lot of volunteers get to actually participate in the actual construction. There is plenty of support work acting as "mules" to bring smaller equipment to the site.

    A prior poster mentioned environmental impact study. I expect that there are lot of "soft costs" that the clubs had to spend before they even have budget. The rules are the clubs need to design as fully ADA accessible unless the club can prove that there is no way to do so. It doesn't matter if its in an inaccessible location due to the trail bed, its still needs to be baselined as accessible.

  8. #8

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    It sounds funny that they are handicap accessible, but actually I and a few others have difficulty haulin my tired arse and stiff limbs up onto some of those platforms.

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    I imagine one of the higher costs is getting materials and tools to a remote spot. When I was at the Whiskey Hollow shelter last year, a huge, locked tool box was still on site. I could only see using a helicopter as a means of getting in and out.



    when they redid the ones in GSMNP, thats how they got the materials into the site........by helicopter....

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    Quote Originally Posted by kestral View Post
    It sounds funny that they are handicap accessible
    Page 10 of this document covers the history.

    This document lays out the design guidelines for accessible shelters and privies.

  11. #11
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    The new Speck Pond Shelter, a lot of the material was flown in by helicopter. The caretaker there, Moose, said it was something like $.75 a second to fly in material.

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    For comparison sake Tiny Houses of similar footprint but including amenities like enclosed windows and locking doors, small fridges, washer/dyer, 2-3 burner alchy or propane stoves, solar power banks, batteries, sinks, small showers or Japanense style soak tubs, etc have been built for half that.

  13. #13
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    Whiskey Hollow cost extra because the roof sheeting was stolen before they got it up. There is a jeep track right up to it. The guy at Bears Den was full of info. about it as he worked for the club that built it. Costs are donated club by club so pick the section you want to help and donate to that club.

  14. #14

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    I find that number pretty shocking as well.

    That's just pressure treated lumber, not hand hewn timber framing.

    Either way... talking out of my ass mainly as helicopters and environmental impact studies are not part of my daily construction

    Guessing the OP might want to set his sights on donating a privy if that's where you're going, lol.

    At those prices... I might be able to afford a fire ring or bear pole one day.

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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Guessing the OP might want to set his sights on donating a privy if that's where you're going, lol.

    At those prices... I might be able to afford a fire ring or bear pole one day.
    I was thinking of a provision in my will - that is if I don't outlive my money. You know what would be really neat? To fund an entire structure and have it called the "Slapshot Shelter" or "Slapshot Privy" (my trail name). Yeah, I know. The height of hubris, but everyone wants to leave something to be remembered by.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  16. #16
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I find that number pretty shocking as well....... Guessing the OP might want to set his sights on donating a privy if that's where you're going, lol.
    Not sure how flush the OP is, but perhaps he could start a movement by building something like this famous effort in the DWG.

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/199...ndent-outhouse

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    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    Occasionally, if the right relationships are in place, helicopter operations can be carried out by local military units as part of their training operations. They have to stay currant in things like mountain operations and long line work if that's part of their mission requirements.

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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Not sure how flush the OP is, but perhaps he could start a movement by building something like this famous effort in the DWG.

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/199...ndent-outhouse
    That privy cost more than my house.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  19. #19
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    I was thinking of a provision in my will - that is if I don't outlive my money. You know what would be really neat? To fund an entire structure and have it called the "Slapshot Shelter" or "Slapshot Privy" (my trail name). Yeah, I know. The height of hubris, but everyone wants to leave something to be remembered by.
    The Speck Pond shelter I mentioned was funded by a hiker/outdoors person. There was a sign posted on the building, but I failed to get a good picture of it about his children building it in his memory.

  20. #20
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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