In my reading of the adventures of others along the Appalachian Trail, it seems like most thru-hikers spend most of their nights on the trail in shelters. These three-walled structures provide a roof overhead and a refuge from bad weather. They also provide an abundance of mice. The shelters are often filled with campers and sharing the refuge with 15 other people is not very appealing to me. At the end of a full day of hiking, I can hardly stand my own stink let alone the smell of a dozen others. Pitching my sleeping bag in the same small room with lots of other odiferous hikers and several families of mice does not bring to mind the elements of a sound night’s sleep. So I plan to spend most of the dark hours on the trail in my tent.
I purchased a Big Agnes Flycreek UL2. I have been using it for several months now and have spent a few nights sleeping in the backcountry. Not only is it lightweight (just over 2 pounds) but it is very simple to set up and tear down. One three-section frame, ten stakes, and a rain fly make this tent a quick 15 minute set-up. It is designed to be a 2 man tent, but I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone except my wife. It is perfect though for one 60+ year old man and his gear.
I love this passage in the Psalms, “If you make the Most High your dwelling…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against the stone” Psalm 91:9-12. Those phrases are not highlighted in my Bible, but they sure jumped out at me.