20 responses

  1. Ray Anderson
    March 7, 2011

    This is a good comparison of shelters on the LT vs the AT. I agree that there is less traffic on the LT, and that may explain why the Long Trail shelters are in better condition.

  2. Elizabeth Burke
    June 23, 2012

    When you did you do the hke (May? June? July?). How were the bugs in the evening? Without a tent, didn’t you get eaten alive by mosquitos?

    Thank you.

  3. Guthook
    July 19, 2013

    Agreed 100 percent! The Green Mountain Club also does an amazing job at maintaining and renovating their shelters, which helps keep them less decrepit than some others. The newly rebuilt shelters, or the ones that were renovated in the past ten or fifteen years, all seem so sturdy and clean.

    The crowds at some AT shelters are really the only major negative. But even on the AT, it depends on your timing. This spring and summer I’ve had many nights alone at what would normally be popular shelters on the AT. If you pay attention to when the hiker bubble is, and avoid the most popular shelters on weekends, you can almost always avoid shelter crowds.

    • Philip Werner
      July 19, 2013

      yup-they are really pleasant. Some even have windows!

  4. Marco
    July 19, 2013

    Good to hear that the Long Trail shelters are OK. I have started planning for that trip, but because of a recent injury, had to delay my start till August 9/10 or there’bout.
    The GG Murmur, which worked so well on the NPT, will give way to the GG Miniposa. That pack has a couple stays and a better hip belt for the food load I will be carrying. This is about 24lbs of mostly high density foods for 21days out. Of course, I may stay an extra week or so. I can get by on 1.1pounds per day. My belly says I have plenty of reserve! My base pack will go down a bit with the acquisition of a new stove from Roger Caffin (Backpackinglight.com,) perhaps about 7.5 pounds with another pound and a half in fuel.
    Mice? I thought these were a staple food on the AT? Yes, I have heard that the Hanta Virus can be stirred up by sweeping. I am glad to hear they are not prevalent.
    Anyway, some strange looking shelters. I am used to the typical ADK Lean-to. Your pic’s do not show that.
    Thanks, Phillip! You run a good site.

    • Philip Werner
      July 19, 2013

      Jim – once you get north of the point where the AT and the LT diverge, the LT shelters get really nice – almost like summer cottages. I think Corliss Camp was probably my favorite.

      Wow – an unsupported hike of the LT. That is a challenge, but I’m sure you will do fine. I think Gutook tried that last year.

  5. Mazzachusetts
    July 19, 2013

    Great info Phil, this trail is at the top of my list and your Long Trail trip posts are a huge help. Does the rain calm down in the fall or is it always wet?

    • Nate
      July 19, 2013

      I’m interested in this as well. Looking at a thruhike starting in mid september. I usually hike in mesh trail runners, but am considering something more water resistant if it’s likely to be rainy and chilly.

      • Philip Werner
        July 19, 2013

        Nate – I would strongly advise you to keep the mesh trail runners. I hiked the LT in leather boots and was miserable. It is just too wet. I never wear boots anymore except for bushwhacking and winter (and I hike a lot).

    • Philip Werner
      July 19, 2013

      Not necessarily-you still need to worry about hurricanes. Of course any later than September, all the rain starts turning to snow. I spent the coldest night of my life (using 3 season kit) on the LT in October.

  6. Mark Warren
    July 19, 2013

    I know the shelters of the LT only too well. There is a being that haunts the Spruce Peak shelter, not far from Manchester. It is known to many as Moby Mouse. He keeps hikers awake, even on the coldest winter nights. If exhaustion sets in, even for a moment, he seizes the opportunity to gnaw his way through anything between him and good quality chocolate. He never takes enough to reduce the weight of a pack; just enough to ruin the chocolate. Over the past ten years he has eluded my harpoon, traps and poison, but I am going to keep going back until I can one bring home his lifeless corpse and mount it for hanging over my bed. (I keep forgetting to tell my wife I plan to do that.)

  7. sleeps with nature
    July 20, 2013

    To sleep in a shelter that is pre made? Is that what being in touch with ones elements is about? I don’t think so, but that is one’s opinion. Easy yes those shelters may be, and that is the way most take. Sleep 35 days in a bivy sack and you will appreciate life a bit more my friends.

    • Philip Werner
      July 20, 2013

      You’ve obviously not backpacked the long trail. There’s too much rain to sleep in a bivy sack/under a tarp every night. Even the most hardened tarpers are driven underneath the shelter of a roof periodically, including me. HYOH. :-)

      • Second Hand
        July 21, 2013

        I spent about three years using a bivy as my primary shelter. About 2 years ago I started using shelters on the AT for a variety of reasons. I can honestly say I feel more connected with nature sleeping in a lean-to as opposed to a bivy. Bivy’s are so confined, and on a hot summer night then can be suffocating!
        Sleeping in the open air under a shelter is much more rewarding!

      • sleeps with nature
        July 21, 2013

        Bivy, tarp, tent, tipi use them all. Sorry I go to nature to be alone or with my friends. Sharing with others I did not learn in pre-school. Yes I do HMOH, but I would underline the word OWN. Hearing life stories, what one does for a living, or how much they miss their wife has been done in before in “shelters”. It ain’t fun. Plus I can tell you just about every time in a shelter I have been asked. “Can I borrow X?”

        So don’t get hung up on the word bivy.

      • Second Hand
        July 21, 2013

        The social aspect of shelters is an entirely different animal! While I generally enjoy meeting like minded people on the trail, and I even enjoy the life stories, I have been chased from more then 1 shelter by “bad roommates.” The biggest colporate being boy scouts!

        My comment was more regaurding the connection to the elements in a lean-to vs a tent, bivy, or hammock. I enjoy sleeping in the open air and that’s what an AT lean-to provides. I also did a lot of cowboy camping out west which was exhilirating

  8. Barry
    August 13, 2013

    The appeal of a 4-wall shelter to me would be if there’s a bear resistant latch on the door. I just saw a Youtube video about a bear that visited a shelter on the Appalacian Trail several times in one night. I’m thinking of making hiking a hobby but I’d be a little scared to sleep. My shelter mates might not like my string of cans across the entrance that would warn me to grab my pepper spray.

  9. mr.coffee
    April 14, 2014

    a black bear no more dangerous than a mouse,
    unless you get between her and the cubs.

    • mr.coffee
      April 14, 2014

      anyone want to join me the first 3 weeks of june this year (2014)
      for a thru hike of the LT

      • Eric
        July 8, 2014

        Did u finish. I can go end of August.

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