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Dick writes:
>I haven't hiked the AT (yet), so maybe I'm missing something.  Please,
>what is this attraction to shelters?  Ones I have stayed in are not
>always immune from the elements, sometimes smelly and dirty and prone
>to unwanted animal visits.  I'd much rather be in a tent or under a

Smelly and dirty?  I haven't seen a shelter yet that is dirtier than me
after a week of hiking.  At the end of yet another long day of hiking, day
after day, when you smell and can't get much dirtier, it's a lot easier
just to roll into that shelter than to go throught the process of setting
up a tent.  The shelters I've had the pleasure to bed down in have been
a-okay- I have no complaints.  (the mice keep me company  :-).  On an
extended trip, putting up the tent every night gets real old real fast.
Convenience.  Laziness... But that's just me.  There's the old standby,
"hike your own hike," or my favorite:  Whatever floats your boat! :-)