Friday, December 12, 2008

To Shelter or not to Shelter

Shelters along the AT are wonderful structures, they provide a dry place to stay in case of rain or in case you just don't want to set up your tent. Some hikers even forgo carrying a tent and hike from shelter to shelter.

The shelters are often constructed using various construction techniques and materials and some are really amazing. This one is located at Deep Gap in GA and is a timber frame structure with a loft. The large deck on the front was a real plus for cooking.

The shelters are not without their problems--they can be colder than a tent, they sometimes get crowded, but the biggest problem is "rodents of unusual size".

These shelters quickly become the perfect home for rodents--food scraps inadvertently left behind by hikers, shelter from the weather, and usually a relatively close water source. You can hear them in the middle of the night chewing on wood, nuts, other items--running back and forth across the structure--and in extreme cases running off with watches, compasses, and other items.

This shelter atop Blue Mountain had an interesting rodent control method--a cat. There is a cat that has made the shelter it's home, works great for the cat (plenty to eat) and it works great for rodent control. The only downside was instead of listening to rodents all night long...we listened to the cat meow.


Ellie Hamilton said...

Well, hey Croc! I'm glad to have found your blog (via Google search for "Hiking in Crocs"). I'm starting from Springer April 1, headed for Maine. Wanted to for 45 years, since I was 15.

Can't wait to read your whole blog... I'm away from home at present w/ spotty computer access but gotta read you!

Kweku and Laura said...

I think you chose your named based on Meghann's AWESOME crocs... (I am a closet fan.)

Chris said...

Ellie, Thanks for the read...I am presently taking a Christmas break but will get back to blogging in January. Are you thru hiking?