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  1. #1
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    Default sleeping in shelters

    Can someone provide some insight into some practical issues having to do with sleeping in shelters? First off - I am guessing that sleeping bags would be positioned perpendicular to the shelter opening with head against back wall and feet towards opening on shelter. Is that the case? Also if there is driving rain which is coming into outer edge of shelter floor, does everyone usually have some tarp with them to keep feet end of bags from getting drenched?

  2. #2
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    been years since i slept in a shelter but i slept with my head near the opening. mice won't run over your head then. don't ruin a nice day of walking by sleeping in a dirty wooden box with 10 others. makes no sense

  3. #3
    Registered User Boudin's Avatar
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    If you must stay in a shelter, I agree, head out.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by everyman View Post
    Can someone provide some insight into some practical issues having to do with sleeping in shelters? First off - I am guessing that sleeping bags would be positioned perpendicular to the shelter opening with head against back wall and feet towards opening on shelter. Is that the case? Also if there is driving rain which is coming into outer edge of shelter floor, does everyone usually have some tarp with them to keep feet end of bags from getting drenched?
    Some shelters have the tarps up. In the Smokies they have the tarp up in most. Some are inclosed shelters. Most of the time, you dont have to worry about the rain because of the awning over the shelter
    I agree with the others, dont wake up with holes in your pack and food bag. Shelters are breeding ground for filth.

  5. #5
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    If forced into sleeping in a shelter I would suggest sleeping on the top shelf if applicable. Less likely to get a Nalgene spilled on you in the middle of the night. Yes I have seen it happen.

    Don't sleep in the same direction as the people next to you. Choose someones stank a$$ feet versus their germ filled pie hole to lessen likelihood of getting whatever illnesses they may have.

  6. #6
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    I agree with LW, but having spent the first half of the 35 years I have been hiking in shelters there are a few things to know. 1) All shelters have mice. Hang your pack and put up with them. 2) I've seen head out and head in positions in shelter. I have no preference. head in more mice/ head out rain issues. 3)be clean, this goes for food and washing being away from shelter 4) learn to be a tolerant person (you will need it) people arrive late/leave early/snore or worse. I love shelters for breaks and for that rare emergency. Otherwise, find a nice camp site.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldwide View Post
    If forced into sleeping in a shelter I would suggest sleeping on the top shelf if applicable. Less likely to get a Nalgene spilled on you in the middle of the night. Yes I have seen it happen.

    Don't sleep in the same direction as the people next to you. Choose someones stank a$$ feet versus their germ filled pie hole to lessen likelihood of getting whatever illnesses they may have.
    Another justification, shelters suck

  8. #8
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    ...don't ruin a nice day of walking by sleeping in a dirty wooden box with 10 others...
    That may be the best piece of advice ever given on WB!
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  9. #9
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Shelters serve one good purpose when I'm hiking.

    If you've tented near a shelter and if it's raining in the AM, they provide a place to more conveniently pack up in the morning. Not a necessity, but a welcome reprieve from rain.

    Other than that, I'm tenting 99% of the time. Rain or not.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldwide View Post
    If forced into sleeping in a shelter I would suggest sleeping on the top shelf if applicable. Less likely to get a Nalgene spilled on you in the middle of the night. Yes I have seen it happen.
    Er ... what was in that Nalgene?

  11. #11
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    Overwhelming feedback is NOT to sleep in shelters. I find this interesting because I am following TrailJournal entries for 2009 and it reads like the majority have been using shelters. Maybe this is because they are mostly newbies who don't have the knowledge/experience that you folks so far have brought on this issue or maybe it is due to difficulties this early on in the hike down in GA/NC/TN where they are dealing with snow/lots of rain.

  12. #12
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    1) Head in means not getting your face stepped on in the night.
    2) Hang packs always, with all zippers part open (minimizes rodents eating through pack fabric to get inside
    3) Try to get a wall. Mousier but better space
    4) Cover bottom of sleeping bag with rain cover at night if it is wet
    5) Use earplugs
    6) Keep boots/shoes next to you
    7) Hang food away from shelter

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

  13. #13
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    Good point weasel. Open those zippers. I learned this after a mouse ate his way in and did not have sense enough to use this perfectly good hole to exit. he ate another one...
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Weasel View Post
    1) Head in means not getting your face stepped on in the night.
    2) Hang packs always, with all zippers part open (minimizes rodents eating through pack fabric to get inside
    3) Try to get a wall. Mousier but better space
    4) Cover bottom of sleeping bag with rain cover at night if it is wet
    5) Use earplugs
    6) Keep boots/shoes next to you
    7) Hang food away from shelter

    TW
    8) setup tent/hammock/tarp/bivy. don't worry about steps 1-7

  15. #15
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by everyman View Post
    Overwhelming feedback is NOT to sleep in shelters. I find this interesting because I am following TrailJournal entries for 2009 and it reads like the majority have been using shelters. Maybe this is because they are mostly newbies who don't have the knowledge/experience that you folks so far have brought on this issue or maybe it is due to difficulties this early on in the hike down in GA/NC/TN where they are dealing with snow/lots of rain.
    I would think its just a very vocal minority. But all the reasons against are nonetheless true. I sleep in shelters, but I also carry a 5x8 tarp and a tyvek groundcloth, both for an alternate shelter or to go over and/or beneath my sleeping pad/bag. I normally sleep head in, slightly warmer, less breeze.

    If my wife is with me, then I tent.

  16. #16
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    I can handle the mice, but being a very light sleeper all of the noise leaves me feeling like I never slept in the morning.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by flemdawg1 View Post
    I would think its just a very vocal minority.
    Agree. Been my observatioms that despite this thread, most hikers use the shelters, and most of those have their head against the back wall. I tent unless I'm the only one there.

  18. #18
    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    If you just want to spare yourself the extra weight of a tent or tarp, the go for the shelter. Unfortunately, you will probably have to share it with someone like me who stays up too late drinking Irish whiskey and sharing a bunch of "no *****, there I was" tales with whatever unfortunate soul is still up to listen to them and then proceeding to snore all the rest of the night like a Longshoreman.

  19. #19
    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    I sleep in shelters quite a bit. Head pointed towards the open end of the shelter, hang my pack on a rope with a tuna can upside down about 18 inches from my pack. Usually hang food outside in a tree in a water proof bag.

    I have a pad that I sleep on with my sleeeping bag and have never used any thing to keep dry while in the shelter as the overhang is enough to keep me from getting wet.

    Do not mind mice but sometimes the company can be a litttle strange and on occaision I have run into groups of people coming in from a road to spend the night. That can be a blessing and a curse as it can improve food selection but also they tend to be loud.

    I do a lot of hiking in the Smokies and staying in shelters is required.

  20. #20
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I always slept with my head in. Never had mice in my head and never heard them either with ear plugs.







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