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  1. #1
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    Default Smokey mountains questions

    Wanting to start at Fontana in a couple weeks to continue my sectioning. I have some dumb questions if someone can help.
    I know its against the rules but can I use my tent at shelters? I HATE mice.
    Is there anywhere to camp near/at Clingmans dome? It is quite a stretch between shelters.
    Is there a privy at all shelters? If not, where does everyone crap in the mornings?

    sorry for the dumb questions
    Any other tips are welcome,
    I found the permit app stupid. How the heck am I supposed to know exactly what shelter I will make it to? I just took my best guess.

    Thanks

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    I know its against the rules but can I use my tent at shelters? I HATE mice.


    no.....


    Is there anywhere to camp near/at Clingmans dome? It is quite a stretch between shelters.

    no........

    but you'll pass double springs shelter first which is about 2 ish miles from the dome and then mount collins shelter afterwards which is just over 3 and a half miles from the dome...



    Is there a privy at all shelters? If not, where does everyone crap in the mornings?


    not all of them have privies-----i believe russell field and campsite 113 do not have them.....

    dig a cathole that is over 100 feet from shelter and trail and do your business............

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    and make that also 100 feet from a water source....

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    How the heck am I supposed to know exactly what shelter I will make it to?


    it's part of the planning process...

    know your daily mileage and do the math for mileage between shelters and figure it out.....

  5. #5
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittinguy View Post
    I know its against the rules but can I use my tent at shelters? I HATE mice.
    The only hikers legally allowed to setup a tent at a shelter is a hiker on the Thru permit, and the shelter has to already be full. (Your plans do not qualify for a Thru permit).
    If mice are the only reason you want to use a tent, check with the back country office and see if they consider the use of a bivy to be the same as a tent.
    {I'm surprised the question of the use of a bivy inside a shelter hasn't come up before. I've read thru the various rules pertaining to camping in GSMNP, and I honestly can't say what the answer would be.}

    Quote Originally Posted by sittinguy View Post
    Is there anywhere to camp near/at Clingmans dome? It is quite a stretch between shelters.
    Are you kidding? Have you not looked at the back country map to determine where the shelters are located?
    There is one shelter about 2.5 miles west of Clingman's Dome, and another about 3.5 miles east of Clingman's Dome.

    Quote Originally Posted by sittinguy View Post
    Is there a privy at all shelters?
    Best I can recall:
    With Privies - Spence, Double Springs, MtCollins, Icewater Springs, Pecks, Tricorner, and Cosby.
    Without - 113, Mollies Ridge, Russel, Derrick Knob, Silers Bald, Davenport Gap.
    To confirm any shelter in particular, consult the details on the camp site from within "stupid" permit app.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittinguy View Post

    I found the permit app stupid. How the heck am I supposed to know exactly what shelter I will make it to? I just took my best guess.

    Thanks
    Your permit isnt a suggestion. It where you HAVE to stay.
    If youve hiked before on southern AT, you know how far you can hike per day. Its not rocket science. Plan on mileage you can make......

  7. #7

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    Ok. North Carolina —privy. Tennessee, “privy field” (designated area for catholes).

    The ridgerunners make non through hikers tent if the shelter is full, at least they did during March b

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittinguy View Post
    I know its against the rules but can I use my tent at shelters?
    Just a heads-up before you get yourself in trouble with the WB rules, much less the GSMNP rules (you have a problem with rules, I take it?), from the WB User Agreement--

    4. Discussions involving how to commit illegal acts ... are forbidden.
    Best wishes on your hike. I'll be doing the north half of the park from May 3-9, going shelter-to-shelter with a slow group.
    Last edited by Rain Man; 04-15-2019 at 22:46.
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  9. #9
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Sittinguy

    If you are doing sections I recommend AWOL's guide or an app that shows elevation profiles. Mileage also can be deceiving in GSMP doe to the climbs and descents.
    Also take into account weather changes. It can be 10 to 15 degrees colder on the ridges as opposed to Gatlinburg of Cherokee just a few miles away. And the is about twice as much rain.

    Take another look at the "stupid" app. If you click on any of the campsites or shelters in the app is lists the elevation and whether or not there is a privy on site. It's actually a pretty good resource.

    Also if you hate mice hang your entire pack on the cables with a caribiner. Bears sometimes try to shake the cables to dislodge packs.
    And do not eat on the sleeping platform.

    Just some suggestions.
    Last edited by rmitchell; 04-16-2019 at 06:54.

  10. #10
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    Ok. North Carolina —privy. Tennessee, “privy field” (designated area for catholes).

    The ridgerunners make non through hikers tent if the shelter is full, at least they did during March b
    Actually if you are hiking north out of Fontana you are in North Carolina until the ridgeline at Shuckstack. Then the trail literally strattles the TN/NC line for the most part through the park.

    The privy fields are on the SW portion of the park. Shelters north on Newfound Gap have outhouses .

    As to ridge runners, I thought it was the other way around. That hikers with permits specific to a shelter got priority and thru hikers were supposed to tent if the shelter is full.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Just a heads-up before you get yourself in trouble with the WB rules, much less the GSMNP rules (you have a problem with rules, I take it?), from the WB User Agreement--



    Best wishes on your hike. I'll be doing the north half of the park from May 3-9, going shelter-to-shelter with a slow group.
    so we've progressed to asking one single straightforward question about as to whether or not something is allowed is "discussing illegal acts."? seriously?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmitchell View Post
    As to ridge runners, I thought it was the other way around. That hikers with permits specific to a shelter got priority and thru hikers were supposed to tent if the shelter is full.
    yup

    seems to me lately from some posts on here there may be a ridgerunner or two who is making up their own rules. doesnt surprise me.

  13. #13
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    OP, my only shelter experiences have been in the Smokies, and it wasn't that bad to be honest. Embrace the suck, enjoy the experience.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    so we've progressed to asking one single straightforward question about as to whether or not something is allowed is "discussing illegal acts."? seriously?
    OP started with "I know its against the rules" and seems to be asking for a way to get around the rule because he doesn't like it. But the "rules" he is talking about are rules for a National Park... rules that have the backing of Federal Law. So to "break" one of these rules is to commit a Federal Crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    yup
    seems to me lately from some posts on here there may be a ridgerunner or two who is making up their own rules. doesnt surprise me.
    Are they "making up their own rules", or trying to dynamically deal with complex situations?

    At the moment, the only post regarding ridgerunners that seems to run contrary to the rules is the claim above that a ridgerunner was making regular permit holders tent near the shelter when the rules say they are required to be in the shelter. But we have not been given the full details of the situation. After all, I could see the above situation and consider it appropriate if a regular permit holder shows up after dark (with a tent), and the ridgerunner has already worked out which thru-hikers are tenting and which thru-hikers are staying in the shelter. After all, if the shelter is overflowing and everyone has a tent, it doesn't matter which person tents and which stays in the shelter when it comes to trying to preserve the environment, but it can make a HUGE difference in "keeping the peace" if a rude person shows up late and "demands" their assigned spot.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    so we've progressed to asking one single straightforward question about as to whether or not something is allowed is "discussing illegal acts."? seriously?
    I read it as "I know it's against the rules" not as "Is it against the rules?" If I read it wrong, I apologize.
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  17. #17
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    I read it as "I know it's against the rules" not as "Is it against the rules?" If I read it wrong, I apologize.
    You didn't read anything wrong. The OP clearly stated he knew tenting at shelters was against the rules.
    The only reason I didn't issue a warning similar to your's is because he didn't overtly ask how to get around the rule, he stated why he wanted to be able to tent, and I had a suggestion that MIGHT provide him with what he wanted.

  18. #18

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    It comes down to, they have rules for a reason. The reason being that the shelter, icky as it is, is there to reduce negative impact on the trail, by concentrating all the hiker damage into a single area. Surely, you can put up with an icky shelter for the night to contribute to preserving the beauty of the park in a very high use area?

    The alternative is to hike a less popular section of the trail, or a different trail, where your tenting preferences can be accommodated/absorbed by nature more easily.

  19. #19
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I find the "rule" is a bit outdated a well (but it's there and we must follow it). I haven't been to all of the shelters on the AT in the Smokies (only speaking of shelters along the AT, not any other trails in the park), but there are plenty of tent sites around each one that I've run across. Not sure why they are so hell bent on who stays where, as long as they're in the confined area and not stealthing somewhere out of those areas along the trail somewhere. Just my opinion, roast me on rules and regs if you want. I do stay in the shelters when sectioning as required and was lucky to have tented on my thru, but I can see where the OP is coming from.
    As for the morning poo, yes get away from the shelter and do your business how you see fit. LNT, obviously
    Shelter and shelter areas, there are plenty along the way and around Clingmans Dome to choose from. Weather changes drastically around this area so hopefully no matter which one you choose, you'll get a good view the top of the Dome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    OP started with "I know its against the rules" and seems to be asking for a way to get around the rule because he doesn't like it. But the "rules" he is talking about are rules for a National Park... rules that have the backing of Federal Law. So to "break" one of these rules is to commit a Federal Crime.
    i see what you're saying but i guess i read it as an awkwardly phrased attempt at clarity.

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