Be it ever so humble...One of the most interesting aspects of hiking the AT is the shelter system. There are approximately 300 shelters along the length of the Trail, all intended for use by hikers, both long- and short-term. While the size and design of shelters varies, most are simple wooden structures, enclosed on three sides, with a sleeping platform that'll accommodate about six people. Hike in, roll out your pad and bag, and make yourself at home.
|Taking a break at a typical AT shelter (the Tom Floyd Wayside, 2010).|
|Staking my claim at Hurricane Mountain Shelter, 2013.|
Tenting tonight...It's not wise to count on shelters for your nightly accommodations. While plentiful, shelters aren't always evenly spaced, so you may find yourself having to go further or fewer miles than you'd planned if you're committed to staying in one. And there's no guarantee there's going to be space when you get there. That's why most hikers carry a tent, tarp, or hammock with them.
|My tent (a Henry Shire TarpTent Moment) drying out after a couple of wet days in 2013.|
|Morning coffee in the tent, near Mt. Rogers, VA, 2013.|