A detailed account of the bear attack at Spence Field

peachpeak on the AT

On April 30, 2016, I started a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I hiked from Amicalola State Park to Fontana Dam shelter in 10 days, covering 15 to 20 miles per day.

On May 10, I hiked from the Fontana Dam shelter to the Spence Field shelter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a distance of about 17.3 miles. On the way, I passed seven or eight hikers who planned on staying at the same shelter as I was. Just before reaching the shelter, I met three AT trail maintainers, who said that the shelter was overcrowded, and I should pitch my tent if I had one. They suggested the field above the shelter (about 200 feet away) as a spot with flat spaces and a good breeze.

The field mentioned by the trail maintainers was a truly beautiful camping spot, and I decided to set up my tent…

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