Shelter or Tent?

Appalachian Trail shelters and tents

Most hiking trails don’t provide shelters. The Appalachian Trail and The Long Trail (Vermont) have many shelters.Hiking and tenting on long-distance trails

They are convenient, but a tent, especially for sleeping, has advantages.

Privacy – You aren’t a stuffed sardine when it gets crowded.

Warmth – A tent with a rainfly is warmer than an open shelter.

Better Sleep – You are not poked, or kicked, or outsnored.

No Mice – Those critters can drive you nuts!

So why choose a shelter to sleep in?

Convenience – Less hassle. No need to unpack and set up a tent; no need to dismantle and re-pack the tent in the morning, possibly in the rain.

Clothesline – Many shelters have them already. Easy to rig up, or simply hang garments from nails and hooks provided. Clothes are protected from outside weather.

Ease – Can sit and lean against a wall to read, journal, contemplate (I’m sore, I’m tired, I wish I had a pizza and beer.)


2 thoughts on “Shelter or Tent?

  1. A literal sardine story for you… once at a shelter on a snowy night, many hikers huddled into the shelter for warmth — who wants to pitch a tent in a snowstorm? About 12 of us were crowded in there. There was a bear line, luckily, because recent bears had been spotted. A girl in the shelter got comfy in her bag and then wanted a midnight snack. She opened a can of sardines. The smell was overwhelming. Sheesh. Even without bears around, don’t eat sardines in a shelter. Didn’t sleep a wink all night. I would generally choose a tent over a shelter any time, except in event of a snowstorm or hurricane.


    • I also remember being stuck with a dozen others in a shelter during a snow storm. The place looked like a bomb had hit it. I didn’t get much sleep, but remember everyone talking about hot food like pizza and fries, etc. Glad no one had sardines!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s