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  1. #21
    Registered User mirabela's Avatar
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    I'd strongly advise against going without any kind of supplementary shelter. The tarp is a viable option and lighter than the tent, but don't go with nothing. I've seen a good many of those shelters stuffed to overflowing, and in some *wretched* weather, too.

  2. #22

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    A decent tarp weighs about a pound. Even if you are in a shelter, a driving rain can make you glad to have it.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  3. #23

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    Thanks everyone, looks like I'm going to bring the tent unless I can afford a lightweight tent or tarp.

  4. #24
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    plan for the worst, hope for the best... at least bring a tarp

  5. #25
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    sometimes you get to a shelter and pick up bad vibes, or someone makes incredible sleeping noises. and it's a bit late to move to the next one, or it's raining. nice to have the option to move out to a tenting area.

  6. #26

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    People do get by without a shelter - it doesn't make good sense to me, but it certainly happens. I've brought shelter (usually a hammock, sometimes a tent) every time I've been overnight on the LT and will do the same this year. You're just too vulnerable to bad luck without a shelter. I've done 3 E2E trips and each time taking shelter was well worth the weight - even without taking into account the added security of knowing that in an emergency, you don't have to hike miles to reach shelter for the night.

  7. #27

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    Done 3 E2Es on the LT and never saw a full shelter....but always gone in September-October when there's less traffic out there. For the last 100 miles we only saw 6 hikers and no one at the shelters. My wife prefers the tent so I carry it....and it's a lot heavier than 2.5lbs.

    BTW....isn't 2.5lbs is light for a tent? My bug hut and tarp weigh over 3lbs.

  8. #28

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    Trail weight for the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 - a great little tent is 2lb 2oz which really can fit 2 people. It is pricey.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by pedxing View Post
    Trail weight for the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 - a great little tent is 2lb 2oz which really can fit 2 people. It is pricey.
    it is small for two people.comfortable for me and my pack, little room for anything else.

  10. #30
    Registered User Alpine Bomber's Avatar
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    You can probably count on being able to make it to a shelter every night on the LT, but keep in mind carrying a shelter is a safety precaution as well. Beyond the full shelter possibilities already discussed, if you were to get injured and couldn't make it to a dry place for the night then having something is pretty important. You might consider a minimalist bivy. At under a pound, it's definitely better than a 2.5 lb tent, but if something should happen, you have a backup.

  11. #31
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    There are probably cheaper options but the zPacks pocket tarp sounds good for someone planning to only use a shelter rarely or in emergencies:

    http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/hexamid_pocket.shtml

    4 ounces for the tarp and guylines. 8.3 ounces including a cuben groundsheet and stakes.
    HST/JMT August 2016
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  12. #32
    Registered User Damn Yankee's Avatar
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    I would never say any question is stupid as I would also say not taking your tent would be stupid. Maybe not very advantageous to a hiker for many reasons like... being able to set up quick in case of rain, storms and other environmental reasons. Also as mentioned, shelters may end up being to far apart, too close, undesirables(for lack of better word(maybe Creepers or something like that might be more appropriate, as well as alone time(quietness) not tied down to the trail and can sleep further off trail and many, many safety concerns. At least care a tarp of some type or ultra light tent. Myself? I would never go anywhere without a form of way to get out of the elements, food or fire starter and basic first-aid, water of course. Good luck

    "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
    Isaiah 55:12

  13. #33

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    Insects would bite you hundreds of times with no tent. Even a tarp will not protect you from biting insects. Some shelters have a resident homeless man spending a week in them.

  14. #34
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    I've had very little problem with insects on the LT, sort of the least of my worries. Especially that late in the season. But I'd recommend a tent, to deal with cold rain. Lots of decent, inexpensive solo tents these days, 2 lbs. or less is not difficult to find or afford. Much more freedom with a tent. Shelters are fine but you don't want to be tied to them.

    In my experience so far with the LT north of Rte. 4, full shelters are not usually a problem... seen it happen once or twice.

  15. #35
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    I can't imagine going into the woods without some type of shelter on my back, even just a light weight tarp or a sheet of plastic. That being said based on the anticipated scenario I will adjust my shelter, e.g. instead of a tent, carry just a lightweight tarp in the smokies due to the shelter requirement for section hikers. In this case even though I know most likely that I'll be in a shelter I still want the ability to shelter myself should the need arise. I have a Zpack solo for just such occasions....lot of piece of mind for 10oz.

    Cuben tarps weigh a few ounces and the cheaper sil nylon tarps are not that much heavier. A a minimum I'd stuff one in my pack with a little dynema and maybe a stake or 3.

  16. #36
    Registered User MamaBear's Avatar
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    When we did the LT last year, we used the tent three times from MA to Rt. 4, twice due to the shelters being full - we were in competition with the AT thru's for space and actually didn't mind tenting. The third time was due to the mosquitos, and the tent was a better option. On the section from Rt. 4 to Canada, we didn't use the tent at all. In fact, we downsized our tent from a 2 person to a roomy 1 person (we're both small people, at this point) for the second half, to save a little carry weight. There are plenty of shelters and less hikers in the northern half.

    That said, I would recommend at least carrying a tarp and knowing how to set it up to provide yourself some shelter in the event you get stuck in a bubble for a few days or are out when there are college groups/boy scouts/etc. Depending on timing, in August, you might run in to larger groups, like college orientation trips.
    LT 2013, AT NOBO 2015, MSGT 2016, PCT 2017/2018

  17. #37
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Bring at least a lightweight tarp.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaBear View Post
    When we did the LT last year, we used the tent three times from MA to Rt. 4, twice due to the shelters being full - we were in competition with the AT thru's for space and actually didn't mind tenting. The third time was due to the mosquitos, and the tent was a better option. On the section from Rt. 4 to Canada, we didn't use the tent at all. In fact, we downsized our tent from a 2 person to a roomy 1 person (we're both small people, at this point) for the second half, to save a little carry weight. There are plenty of shelters and less hikers in the northern half.

    That said, I would recommend at least carrying a tarp and knowing how to set it up to provide yourself some shelter in the event you get stuck in a bubble for a few days or are out when there are college groups/boy scouts/etc. Depending on timing, in August, you might run in to larger groups, like college orientation trips.
    During my LT thru last year in June-July, I encountered Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops for three consecutive nights at shelters in the northern sections. They took over the shelters completely.

    Many of those shelters have a side trail that leads down to a parking lot, so there is fairly easy access.

  19. #39

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    Was there a reason an almost year old thread was suddenly resurrected to reply to people who may not even know the thread is active again? Just wondering.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    Was there a reason an almost year old thread was suddenly resurrected to reply to people who may not even know the thread is active again? Just wondering.
    Somehow eight of the last ten responders failed to notice.

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