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Re: Trail pecking order?
On Fri, 5 Apr 1996, Peter H. Fornof wrote:
> > It should be noted that although there should be no determined
> >requirements, I would hope that a weekender with a tent might give up there
> >spot in a shelter to a weary thru-hiker. I certainly would never ask nor
> >expect it, and come to think of it, it probably wouldn't even occur to
> >someone to offer. Oh well, just a thought.
> >Horus, GA>ME96
> I can see your point of view, but I'm going to run into this situation next
> week in the Smokies. I made shelter reservations 30 days in advance for 3
> shelters in the Smokies. Now I know there will be hordes of thru-hikers
> there. I'm hiking with several people (3) from the Tag Team (BP/AOL). Should
> we sleep on the trashy floors, or outside with the possibility of getting
> fined by rangers and give up our spaces to the thru hikers? We will be out
> for 4 days, so this is a little better than just for a weekend, but the only
> difference between me and you is that you are lucky enough to have the time
> to do a thru hike.
> I have given my shelter space to thru hikers in the past, when I was out for
> a weekend. However, my plan this time is to sleep in the shelter and let a
> thru hiker use my tent. I really don't want to get fined. I don't think the
> rangers will fine thru hikers.
> By the way, a friend reports that they had 19 people in Silers Bald Shelter
> in the Smokies last week (sleeps 12) and that the floors were covered with
> trash from weekenders. Also, some 25 bags of trash were outside the shelter.
> Sounds like I'm going to the Staten Island landfill instead of the
> wilderness. Oh well, hope your thru hike goes well and that those
> "weekenders" give up their spaces willingly.
Another thought on this topic: As a past thru-hiker (1991) I think it is
totally unreasonable to think other hikers 'should' give up their
shelter space for a thru-hiker. Thru hikers ARE priviledged to have the
time and money and freedom in their lives to do THE trail!! Not only
that, but there are so many people a thru-hiker meets who are so willing
to go out of their way to be helpful and kind (that old Trail magic!),
and we don't need all the good stuff!!
A personal example may illustate this. Two summers after my thru-hike, I
worked for the AMC in the White Mountains, and saw how a few thru-hiker
with a bad attitude who expected to be treated better than the other
hikers in the Whites really gave ALL thru-hikers a bad name most of the
folks working in the backcountry of the Whites! I found this to be
really regretable, as most of the backcountry folks and the thru-hikers
are great people, with a lot in common. Yet there is a great deal of
tension and name-calling on both sides.
. . .something to think about.