View Full Version : Needing info/advice for section hike.

01-05-2014, 10:10
Hello all... I'm a new member to WB, and first let me tell you all how much I enjoy this site. I am a 43 yr old father of 4, though 2 are grown and married w/children. I have a 18 and 10 yr old left at home. I have aspired to hike the AT for years, but family life/work were more important priorities. I am finally getting close to a point in life that I can actually start seriously planning (instead of dreaming) a section hike. A thru-hike is still out of the question for many more years. As of right now, I'm still over a year away from actually starting my section, but that gives me time to train/get right gear/research for a section hike. My plan is to take 3 weeks vacation and start from Springer Mtn and hike to Fontana Dam Visitor Center. I'll have 21 days to complete this, though I know it will not take that long! My tentative start date in May 11, 2015. I chose this date for several reasons. 1, I'll be behind the thru-hiker bubble, 2, I'm hoping that the temps will be to the point I can just use a summer type sleeping bag, vs a cold weather bag, 3, I'm hoping the young greenery will still allow very good views. My youngest, who by then will be 12, will accompany me. Any input/advice/suggestions would surely be appreciated. Thanks.

01-05-2014, 10:40
Well.. hello GCHiker... welcome!

Thanks for ur introduction! Sounds like a good plan. :) Hang out with us, you'll be all set for ur hike in 2015.

01-05-2014, 10:47
1. Yes the bubble will be ahead of you. The trail will be far from deserted.
2. Usually a 40 degree bag will be fine at this time and this location. Bring your down jacket and sleep in it if needed.
3. Early in your hike at higher elevations you will find good views.
4. Camp in or near shelters so your son will be around others. Stay overnight at some of the hostels, he will like that.

01-05-2014, 10:49
sweet hike!! some beautiful scenery in there

01-05-2014, 10:51
First, welcome to WB. Lots of very good advice can be found on here!
Temp. wise, early May is probably too early to just take a summer bag. Temps. from year to year will vary, but I think it would be rare that you'd be able to hike that stretch at that time of year and not hit very cool, or cold temps. especially at night.
21days should be more than enough. Taking your son will be a great experience for both of you. Let him set the pace and and make the time to enjoy the hike. At that age (at any age), there is a lot to see and appreciate while hiking the AT!

01-05-2014, 15:25
Thanks for the well wishes and advice. This site is very helpful for planning and gear selection!!!!!!!

01-05-2014, 15:32
I started may 18 2012 with a 40 down bag I was never to cold. Bring a jacket and expect to get wet every day.

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01-05-2014, 17:59
Welcome to Whiteblaze! Your plan is a good one. Three weeks is the right amount of time to plan, though you may finish sooner than that. May is a beautiful time to hike. Do keep an eye on the weather, as it can still get chilly at night. (We had below freezing low temps in June in Georgia one year.) I'd certainly plan for lows dipping into the 40s, anyway.

Our daughter was 12 when we did this section.

01-05-2014, 23:12
One other thought about when you will be leaving: Because you will be behind the hiker bubble, avoid at all cost the outhouses at the shelters. They will be well used by May, just practice leave no trace when using the woods. Some would also say avoid the shelters themselves, but they can be a great place to meet and have conversations with other hikers.