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  1. #41
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    In addition to the compelling reasons offered already in this thread, in favor of bringing a tent, there is also the unfortunate reality of Lyme disease carrying ticks. This is truly worth taking precautions for. I've seen a case of this, it is quite common on the trail, several hikers contract it each year, and if you can't fit into the shelters every night you would do well to consider a shelter in which you can zip up which will serve as a barrier to ticks. In any event get some information about Lyme disease. You can search this website. Then you can make an informed decision about whether you wish to go without a shelter when aware of the possibility of Lyme disease carrying ticks. My 02 cents. Don't want to scare you unnecessarily, but avoiding this really awful disease is worth a few precautions.

  2. #42
    Registered User middle to middle's Avatar
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    I am thinking of the sniffers that come around at night. I just used a tarp and slept on the ground and was awakened many times by possum or coon sniffing right in my face. No problem just makes the tent more desirable.

  3. #43
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I can't imagine going on a backpacking trip without a shelter. I see people do it and they seem to be happy and unconcerned but it blows me away. I guess because I don't think about staying at shelters - when I stop if there's a shelter there it's by accident and not by design and I'll generally keep going a ways to get away from it.

  4. #44
    Registered User garbanz's Avatar
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    Ive done the LT in both directions with a tent. Yes there are shelters --some of which will be full, some will have loud partying hikers, others are old and leak. Best to take a tent. There's a ski lodge you can stay in too. The LT is a big challenge not to be taken lightly!

  5. #45
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    As others have pointed out, bring some sort of personal shelter. There are many reasons for this: You'll sleep better, warmer, and bug-free in your tent. You might not make it to your intended shelter by day's end, maybe the trail is tougher than you thought, or bad trail conditions slow you down. You don't want to be in the position of HAVING to get to the next shelter. Or there's this: Maybe when you get there, the shelter is full up. Or maybe it contains people you don't want to spend the night with, maybe they're creepy, maybe they're born-again Cub Scouts or whatever. If you don't have a tent, you're stuck with whoever else happens to be there. And then, what if you get hurt, turn an ankle or whatever? Or maybe a friend does. Well what if your intended shelter is nine miles away? You're kinda screwed. Or what if you pass a swimming hole, a waterfall, a beautiful campsite with a view, etc? With your own personal shelter, you can stop and stay wherever you want; if you're shelter-dependent, you have no choice in the matter, you have to keep going. In short, for all sorts of reasons, carry a personal shelter of some sort, and if you don't, well don't automatically assume you have a "right" to a shelter spot, or the that someone will "move out" to make room for you. They won't. Shelters are first-come, first-served, regardless of whether or not one is carrying a tent or tarp. It is up to individual hikers to carry the appropriate gear that they might need, and they should never inconvenience or trouble other hikers because of carelessness or laziness. Hikers have to be self-efficient out there, and this absolutely applies to personal night shelters.

  6. #46

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    Can't imagine not having one. Sometimes can be your only protection from fierce bugs.
    Just ignore it

  7. #47
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    Check ebay too. I just picked up a brand new seam sealed SMD lunar solo for 157$, and it only weighs 26oz. with stakes. That's well worth the peace of mind IMHO. I live right next to the long trail, and do day and overnight hikes on pretty much the whole northern section often enough to know I wouldn't want to chance it.

  8. #48
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    What about a bivy ? light and fairly cheap.

  9. #49
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    What about a bivy ? light and fairly cheap.
    If you use a bivy during the summer in New England you won't get rained on, but you'll probably be wet from sweat and condensation when you wake up in the morning. I'd go with a light tarp before I'd ever consider a bivy (and I'm not a tarp-guy). In some respects, a hammock is about the most flexible option for Vermont or the 'dacks because there are trees everywhere and it's sometimes difficult to find flat places that are large enough for a tent or tarp.

  10. #50
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    I'll second the hammock idea if you're a back sleeper. I tried my hardest to make a hammock work but in the end just couldn't do the back sleeping thing, and I tried bridge and gathered end hammocks. Stubblejumper was certainly right about not having a problem finding a place to hang though. Also with a hammock you'll probably end up carrying more weight than a tarp and bugnet.

  11. #51

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    Here's the real reason to pack a tent. So you don't get caught in the sheet, no shelter, and have to call for rescue

    Imagine the thread that will start. You'll be mocked mercilessly, and will earn a new trailname for life.

  12. #52
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    I hike the LT as often as possible, and I love using shelters when I can..... but the main reason for having your own shelter, is avoiding someone who you may be weary of, or suspicious of.......... Generally you can just hike ahead, but without a shelter of your own........ you may not be able to do that.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmaduke View Post
    I hike the LT as often as possible, and I love using shelters when I can..... but the main reason for having your own shelter, is avoiding someone who you may be weary of, or suspicious of.......... Generally you can just hike ahead, but without a shelter of your own........ you may not be able to do that.
    Tenting spots on the Long Trail are sparce and hard to find. Tenting spots at or near most shelters are sparce or non-existant. While it is a good idea to carry a tent or other personal shelter "just in case", more then likely you will never use it. Of course, the one time you might need it would make it worth lugging it all that way.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  14. #54
    Registered User mirabela's Avatar
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    Tenting spots at or near most shelters are sparce or non-existant.


    True, many shelters have limited tenting options around them, and a few have none at all -- but at least half have good prospects. In between, if you're resourceful, you can find viable tenting options in *most* of the intervals between shelters. There are a few notable exceptions -- Butler to Taft being one of the more obviously difficult ones -- where options that are physically reasonable, ethical, and legal are scarce or non-existent. In general, it's easier to tent south of Lincoln Gap than north of it. The toughest places to set yourself free of the shelter system are the aforementioned Mansfield stretch, and the miles from Laraway north to Jay, where the corridor of public land is very narrow much of the time.

    Still, some type of personal shelter is essential.

  15. #55
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    I have tented next to a few LT shelters, south and north of Rte. 4. Some of them have limited tenting opportunities. Others are a cinch. Just like the AT. About the only think I've found odd is the prevalence of fully-enclosed shelters, which are rare on the AT. In a few places there are tent platforms, like in the Whites.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by mirabela View Post
    [/COLOR]
    The toughest places to set yourself free of the shelter system are the aforementioned Mansfield stretch
    If you got caught camped atop Mansfield, you'd be in a heap of trouble! You get caught stepping off the narrow trail corridor, your in a heap of trouble. If it's not rock, you best not step on it!
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    If you got caught camped atop Mansfield, you'd be in a heap of trouble! You get caught stepping off the narrow trail corridor, your in a heap of trouble. If it's not rock, you best not step on it!
    Unless you leave Butler shelter at dawn and traverse the whole thing before you see another soul.

    mansfield_dawn.jpg

  18. #58
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    This fall I hiked the LT sobo. Did not take a shelter, simply because we started Oct. 18th. Finished Nov. 6th. Never shared a shelter with someone I didn't know (some AT friends shared a few nights here and there with me). It can technically be done, but would only be realistic with late start date. Could always make a tyvek tarp, just in case a shelter was full.
    "... I know it is wrong, but I am for the spirit that makes young men do the things they do. I am for the glory that they know." --Sigurd Olson, Singing Wilderness.


    AT '12, LT '13, CT '14, PCT '15

  19. #59
    Registered User mirabela's Avatar
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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.


    It's a relevant question for lots of people, year after year. I don't see the harm ...

  20. #60

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    Yeah you should take shelter but you could bring a poncho and use it as a rain jacket and emergency shelter when you need it, though north VT could get pretty cold when it rains and, as others have mentioned, it's better to be self sufficient out there so you don't inconvenience someone else; alot of people can be dicks about stuff like that.

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