Between Hot Springs, NC and Erwin, TN on the Appalachian Trail norovirus has been adding to the challenges backpackers already face. Jenna shares about the misery she and other hikers have had to deal with. I experienced a similar illness at Speck Pond Shelter in Maine during my A.T. hike of 1985.
There is an outbreak of the Norovirus on the trail this year, which has afflicted probably a quarter of the hikers in this area. I can now say with certainty that the only thing worse than a vomiting bug, is getting one while backpacking twenty miles from the nearest town. I spent most of the night nauseous, nine hours with symptoms, and days weak and exhausted. I will never again complain about being sick at home, with washing machines and showers and toilets. Being sick in the woods is extremely unpleasant. I walked less than ten miles the first day, then slept for twelve hours of the deepest sleep I’ve had on the trail. I’ve been getting better, day by day, but I can’t quite shake the fatigue. I have been hiking slowly and shorter miles. All I can do is take it one day at a time.