Don’t Stay in SHELTERS on the Appalachian TrailAug 20, 2022
hi everyone my name is tara aka candy mama and today i'm going to tell you why you shouldn't sleep in lodges on the
trail. Full disclosure when I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2019. These
shelters, however, I slept in them much less towards the end of the hike for multiple reasons that I'll address later in this video. I am not here to criticize anyone for choosing to
stayin a shelter and I recognize that. Staying in one has many benefits: A shelter offers quick setup and breakdown of sleeping materials, which means more time on the
trailand less time at camp. falling trees and branches what happens in my opinion one of the main benefits is you meet people much more easily sure you can pitch your tent near the shelter but I think there are a lot of conversations that happen when you p the people
shelterslike do you know what kind of sleeping pad that is or something that happened in the night like a mouse or someone snoring each structure is built differently in a different area of the trail with different people maintaining it i think you you need to decide if you will stay in the shelter when you get there each shelter is different as i said each tent site is different i pitch my tent in an absolute downpour i think the cons of staying in a shelter far outweigh the pros before i get into that i would like to ask everyone to please like comment subscribe and turn on those bell notifications it only takes one click yalzen to help and encourage thank you creators like me as always thanks for the support i feel like i'm saying a lot shelter i'm going to separate the reasons into two categories we're going to have people we're going to have animals or other living things so let's start with the people hiking to a shelter, you never really know who will stay in it or who will climb up a bit later, if you're done with the hiker you have a good idea based on who. it's hiking around you weekend warriors boy scouts hiking section or guys who are a little unlucky whose wife kicked him out of the house that happened yes we met a guy who got kicked out of his house for his wife and she was staying at the shelter those are some of the people you are likely to meet in a shelter too this means you will be sleeping amongst strangers and that makes me feel very vulnerable before committing to a shelter I usually I evaluate. those I didn't know obviously I would do this in a way that wasn't weird or flashy just ask a couple of questions about your life and your hiking or backpacking trip plans and I know you all did this but in your own way so I know what is it I know it's not strange no one comments they say it's weird because I don't think it is I think it's safe there was once however asking a couple of questions helped us determine that we weren't going to stay in a shelter because the the guy that was there was mentally unstable in 2019 james jordan killed ronald s sanchez jr aka fort at a campground on the
appalachiantrail about two weeks before that incident we met james jordan at a shelter i have a video explaining that whole situation and i will link it above anyway after spending 15 minutes talking to Jordan we found he was very mentally unstable and we didn't want to stay in the shelter with him.
We decided we would pack up our things and hit the trail even though it was hailing and raining, we stayed in our tent on a lighter note, although you may meet some nice-seeming people who can snore very loud, who may have a very noisy sleeping pad or being able to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom while we were at the fontana hilton shelter there was a hiker there i wont name who was snoring so loud literally guys his snoring sounded like the horn of a truck it was unbelievable how loud his snoring was sleeping pads no matter what space like the technology equipment companies use it will make some kind of noise and there are a couple of people tossing and turning while sleeping on their things are sleeping mats neglected on their mats at the shelter and that is going to be a lot of noise to ignore for a light sleeper some moch hikers on the appalachian trail wake up early or some get to a shelter a bit later which you know can wake some people up if the noise from people wasn't bad enough you also have to worry about a silent virus which is passed on among hikers who haven't washed in days.
I had to wait about 30 minutes because the maintenance guys were blowing leaves around my apartment but we got back we go during my trek of three we got caught in a freezing rain storm in the smoky mountains and conditions were getting really dicey thankfully we found a shelter and there were a couple of people there at the end of the night we were exceeding the capacity limits of the shelter when we left the shelter the next morning we were fine but as the following days progressed one by one in our family, we got sick from a common hiker virus called norovirus.
Norovirus causes inflammation of the intestines and stomach, leading to vomiting and severe diarrhea. when having contact with an infected person contaminates the surface or food and water, most people on our tram got norovirus except smiley who is a strict camper and didn't stay at the shelter that night so yeah that's really gross and it really stinks when you get there. norovirus and it's usually spread in shelters lastly with a shelter and people don't have a lot of privacy but you can expect that when you're in the shared community space so it's huge but I mean it's just common sense there's no privacy, okay, let's move on to the next category, being any other living thing like animals, reptiles, insects, rodents, you are outdoors and you can. expect to run into all sorts of critters and critters of all varieties including food hikers like free food and easy shelter there are dancing bears that live near shelters because they know people will stay there and there will be plenty of food there which usually tries to get you away from those shelters but sometimes you can't escape them like the Old Orchards shelter in Grayson Highlands, that specific shelter had a serious bear problem and me and my friends spent about two hours trying to scare this one away bear that had just lingering like walking around the camp and trying to find food that shelter even had bear vaults which are those big metal bins that hikers put their food in but still that bear was present at that shelter is just trying to find an easy snack but even if you camp around the shelter you will still have those issues with bears so it's not so much a pr shelter issue if you want to avoid bears i would just try to stay away from shelters in general, the real problem critters are not the big bears, but rather small mice and rats that live in and around shelters, in my opinion the Mice are the biggest problem in shelters, even if you do everything right, like hang the food on a tree or put it in a bear vault, get every little crumb out of your backpack and put all your smelly stuff in that bear bag that hangs from a tree will still bother you personally i remember sleeping in shelters and mice running through my sleeping bag multiple times at night once during a section walk a mother mouse and her babies decided my friend's bag that was hanging by the way she was hanging i decided it would be a great nesting ground for her and her babies it was really gross i am an enlightened i am reluctant to tell you a story but i heard this terrifying story once or someone wasn't the real person i don't know who it was but a hiker was about to go to bed so they put on some lipstick then went to bed i woke up and a mouse was biting its lip it's so gross Mice and rats also carry a lot of diseases and their poop can dry up to dust and that's a very easy way for viruses or diseases to spread through the whole air.
Generally the very idea that mice or rats being a problem in a shelter really annoys me. Snakes, spiders, and insects were less of a problem in the shelters. There were times when there were spider infestations in shelters like the one I talked about in Virginia or snakes just hiding. in little cracks in the shelters but honestly the mice were the biggest problem ok so that was it those were my reasons why i dont think i will stay in another shelter anymore and why i think you guys you should probably reconsider staying in a shelter uh people and animals i can already say the word i will reiterate that there is nothing wrong with people staying in shelters but i think you should consider the pros and cons of each specific situation and with the specific conditions far from the guidebooks and the shelter logs have great reviews on each individual shelter from previous backpackers.
I would read those reviews and inspect the shelter for yourself before committing to staying in one. I hope this video has been useful to you. If it was, please let me know in the comments below. To hear what you have to think, do you think the cons of sleeping in a shelter outweigh the pros? Do you think otherwise? Thanks to everyone who watched the end of the video. commenting on a mouse emoji don't forget to like and subscribe if you found this video helpful if you want to know what's going on in my life outside of youtube you can follow me on facebook tiktok and instagram i think that's all for now guys thanks a lot to see them, happy walks.
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