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Chasebrooklyn
04-16-2017, 23:52
I'm starting May 1st from Springer. What should I be expecting for the average night time temperature lows from Springer through the Smokies...

Does it typically go below freezing?

I'm not really worried about the day time lows because so long as I'm moving, I'm warm. It's the evening that kills me. I'm a cold sleeper, so I really want to make sure that I bring enough cold weather clothing, in addition to my already warm bag and pad.

Also, since I'm starting in May, should I bring a coat? I was planning on just bringing a heavy fleece, in addition to my thermal baselayers.

scope
04-17-2017, 00:08
No, not below freezing probably at all. Likely that you'll be around upper 40s to mid 50s norm. Certainly, watch the weather because there is a possibility of 30s lows before mid-month. Smokies might be a bit more of a crapshoot before Memorial Day.

4eyedbuzzard
04-17-2017, 00:19
Average lows for the MONTH of May are 39F - but those temperatures includes the latter and warmer part of the month.
The median (as many above as below) MONTHLY low is 25F. Typical range of MONTHLY lows in past years are 17 to 30F. These are the low temperatures you should expect to encounter at some point during the month, likely only for a few nights in the beginning of the month, but you should be prepared for them.
Recent coldest temp recorded during May is a low of 17F in 2004.
This all taken from Mt. LeConte weather data at 6493 ft ASL

4eyedbuzzard
04-17-2017, 00:22
Add to above, temps in Blairsville GA will run about 10F warmer than GSMNP the same time of year.

The Cleaner
04-17-2017, 01:12
On 5-10-11 I was at the Overmountain Barn shelter where the temp dropped to 36*. Add 30-40 mph winds across the open high balds there and it was cold.

Deacon
04-17-2017, 06:55
I'm starting May 1st from Springer. What should I be expecting for the average night time temperature lows from Springer through the Smokies...

Does it typically go below freezing?

I'm not really worried about the day time lows because so long as I'm moving, I'm warm. It's the evening that kills me. I'm a cold sleeper, so I really want to make sure that I bring enough cold weather clothing, in addition to my already warm bag and pad.

Also, since I'm starting in May, should I bring a coat? I was planning on just bringing a heavy fleece, in addition to my thermal baselayers.

Just be very cautious in the Smokies. They're called the Smokies for a reason.

While it's not likely you'd experience freezing nights, you may experience thick fog, which can be just as penetrating as freezing temps. I've experienced a combination of fog, wind, and rain, that I have not experienced anywhere else, except in the Smokies. This can be a deadly combination.

So you want to have enough warmth to allow for this. I would want a 20 degree bag for night in the Smokies.

HooKooDooKu
04-17-2017, 09:41
Climate data for GSMNP indicates that average seasonal temperatures for May is a hi/lo of around 80/50 in the valleys and around 55/45 on top of the mountains.
Typical temperature fluctuations are at least +/-10 around these seasonal averages, but heat/cold waves can easily push these averages by +/-15 and more.
As an example, I've been told that it has snowed up at LeConte Lodge at one time or another in every month of the year except July and August.

Chasebrooklyn
04-17-2017, 10:45
Thanks for the prompt and very helpful information.

My bag's EN rating is 0 degrees, but I always add 30 degrees to the EN rating due to my cold sleep issue. Also, my sleep pad is an R6.

I'll be sure to bring extra layers and a fleece for sleeping. Not worth the risk.

Yeah, ultralight hiking will never be an option for me... except for when I'm in the desert.

Rain Man
04-17-2017, 12:26
For the GSMNP, you might like this site, especially the link for the "Monthly graph of temperature & precipitation averages" near the center of the page under the heading "Climate & Past Observations"?

https://www.outragegis.com/weather/grsm/

Venchka
04-17-2017, 19:21
Thanks for the prompt and very helpful information.

My bag's EN rating is 0 degrees, but I always add 30 degrees to the EN rating due to my cold sleep issue. Also, my sleep pad is an R6.

I'll be sure to bring extra layers and a fleece for sleeping. Not worth the risk.

Yeah, ultralight hiking will never be an option for me... except for when I'm in the desert.

The desert will fool you. Freeze your behind off just as often as the Smokies.
Ok, sounds like your 0 degree bag isn't really a 0 degree bag. I understand sleeping cold, but you're carrying the weight off 2 bags just to be comfortable in the Teens. Can you give us some details of your bag? Fill type and weight of fill? Top loft or total loft? Brand and model? Total weight?
Perhaps you just think that you sleep cold because your bag is really cold. Your pad is fine.
Wayne


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error
04-17-2017, 20:57
EN ratings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_13537) are in Celsius. So 0 degrees (and you didn't say which rating that was) is the freezing point.

Venchka
04-17-2017, 21:22
EN ratings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_13537) are in Celsius. So 0 degrees (and you didn't say which rating that was) is the freezing point.

Oh dear. That explains a lot. However I did have a North Face Hightail 3S for 3 days. The EN temperature numbers were in Centigrade and Fahrenheit. However, in the conversion process they rounded the Fahrenheit temps down. That and several other reasons conspired to make me return the bag.
Sleeping bags are all about the details.
Wayne


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Venchka
04-17-2017, 21:53
If this is your bag, you are a COLD sleeper.
http://www.gearinstitute.com/hiking/item/the-north-face-inferno-0
Good luck.
Wayne


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Venchka
04-17-2017, 21:59
Ps: Low temperature occurs in the wee hours of the morning. Usually about sunrise. Evening temperatures are generally quite comfortable compared to low temperatures.
Wayne


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rafe
04-17-2017, 22:35
I'm guessing in three weeks time (a moderately quick hike from Springer thru the Smokies) you'll get a handful of nights below freezing.

Venchka
04-17-2017, 23:10
I'm guessing in three weeks time (a moderately quick hike from Springer thru the Smokies) you'll get a handful of nights below freezing.
The kind of nights/mornings that folks in Texas dream of. I think we had about 6 this winter. 12 degrees was the coldest. My 20 degree bag and wool underwear were fine.
Wayne


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daddytwosticks
04-18-2017, 07:11
Memorial Day weekend 2013 at Siler's Bald shelter just north of Winding Stair Gap, NC, there was frost on the ground one morning. Last year in mid-May at Walnut Mountain shelter south of Hot Springs, NC, it was 32 degrees and very wind one morning after a front went thru. Be prepared for cold fronts to push thru the south and drop the temp significantly this time of year. :)

JC13
04-18-2017, 10:07
If I remember correctly, May 15th 2016, it snowed 3-4 inches in the Smokies. The further north the worse it was, recall many vloggers complaining that they had sent their cold weather sleep systems home.

Venchka
04-18-2017, 10:53
There's a reason why the Smokies support vegetation also found in New England and Canada.
ELEVATION!
Wayne


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TRaBlzerSushi
04-18-2017, 11:53
Hey I sent a you a msg.. Im actually just going to start from new york and go Nobo, have a safe trip man! Goodluck

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PennyPincher
04-18-2017, 12:03
I started from Springer last Wednesday. Sent home my bag liner and a mid weight layer 3 days later.

Chasebrooklyn
04-18-2017, 14:59
The desert will fool you. Freeze your behind off just as often as the Smokies.
Ok, sounds like your 0 degree bag isn't really a 0 degree bag. I understand sleeping cold, but you're carrying the weight off 2 bags just to be comfortable in the Teens. Can you give us some details of your bag? Fill type and weight of fill? Top loft or total loft? Brand and model? Total weight?
Perhaps you just think that you sleep cold because your bag is really cold. Your pad is fine.
Wayne


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It's definitely a zero degree bag... Fahrenheit.

The North Face Inferno. 800 down fill. It weighs 3lbs exactly. It's very warm bag, but like I said, I'm a very cold sleeper so for me I wouldn't want to use it below 32degrees, unless I had some extra warmth base layers and fleece. Which is what my original post was about.

I'm 5'11" at 150lbs.... My body just doesn't produce heat when I'm stationary. I've used plenty of other bags in the past rated for 20 degrees and they just don't cut it for me. I freeze. I'd probably get TNF Inferno -40degreee bag for anything that actually goes down to zero degrees.

Chasebrooklyn
04-18-2017, 15:01
EN ratings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_13537) are in Celsius. So 0 degrees (and you didn't say which rating that was) is the freezing point.

Since we're in America, and talking about the AT, I think it's fair to assume I'm using Fahrenheit.

Chasebrooklyn
04-18-2017, 15:03
If I remember correctly, May 15th 2016, it snowed 3-4 inches in the Smokies. The further north the worse it was, recall many vloggers complaining that they had sent their cold weather sleep systems home.

I promise you, that will not be me!!!!!

BuckeyeBill
04-18-2017, 15:26
I see you mentioned your sleeping pad had a R6 rating. Could you post what type it is? Also you have to remember that you only get warmth from the top of your sleeping bag. The part you lay on is being crushed, therefore losing most to all of its insulating value. You are therefore relying on your pad for the bottom insulating quality. This is one of the reasons i switched over to a hammock. Top and bottom quilts don't get crushed. I even use the top quilt when i do occasionally tent camp. I carry a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XThrem pad to sleep on when tenting.

Chasebrooklyn
04-18-2017, 21:11
I see you mentioned your sleeping pad had a R6 rating. Could you post what type it is? Also you have to remember that you only get warmth from the top of your sleeping bag. The part you lay on is being crushed, therefore losing most to all of its insulating value. You are therefore relying on your pad for the bottom insulating quality. This is one of the reasons i switched over to a hammock. Top and bottom quilts don't get crushed. I even use the top quilt when i do occasionally tent camp. I carry a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XThrem pad to sleep on when tenting.

Yes, I know.

Exped Down Mat UL Winter: Long Wide. R6

tflaris
04-18-2017, 21:27
atweather.org


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Venchka
04-18-2017, 21:32
It's definitely a zero degree bag... Fahrenheit.

The North Face Inferno. 800 down fill. It weighs 3lbs exactly. It's very warm bag, but like I said, I'm a very cold sleeper so for me I wouldn't want to use it below 32degrees, unless I had some extra warmth base layers and fleece. Which is what my original post was about.

I'm 5'11" at 150lbs.... My body just doesn't produce heat when I'm stationary. I've used plenty of other bags in the past rated for 20 degrees and they just don't cut it for me. I freeze. I'd probably get TNF Inferno -40degreee bag for anything that actually goes down to zero degrees.
Good luck. Everyone is different. I hope you have a great hike.
Wayne


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DownEaster
04-25-2017, 16:26
It's definitely a zero degree bag... Fahrenheit.

The North Face Inferno. 800 down fill. It weighs 3lbs exactly. It's very warm bag, but like I said, I'm a very cold sleeper so for me I wouldn't want to use it below 32degrees, unless I had some extra warmth base layers and fleece.
The heat-sensor mannequins used in the EN tests are clothed in one layer of long underwear and a hat, so "extra warmth base layers" are already figured into the temperature ratings.

A couple of pieces of advice that might help you stay comfortable:


Eat something just before going to sleep, because your body needs fuel to generate warmth.
Start warm. Get into your bag and do a few push-ups and crunches before zipping up all the way. Your resting metabolism will take a long time to warm up your bag and the air inside. Your active metabolism will warm things up in a jiffy.

Chasebrooklyn
04-26-2017, 11:14
Start warm. Get into your bag and do a few push-ups and crunches before zipping up all the way. Your resting metabolism will take a long time to warm up your bag and the air inside. Your active metabolism will warm things up in a jiffy.



Yeah, but then I'm suddenly awake/alert again, and can't fall asleep.

Francis Sawyer
05-01-2017, 09:15
It doesn't take below freezing temps for hypothermia. Regardless of what temps you can expect or what temps are the norm or what some smartphone app says remember the motto of the BSA "Be prepared".

glenlawson
05-02-2017, 18:02
The OP may get a little chilly at the end of this week (May 4 - 7). The forecast for the Georgia Mountains has some lows around 35 F with rain and wind chill around 25 F. Some elevations may experience a little snow, but the situation of wet wind chill will have most layering up before bedtime.

Dogwood
05-02-2017, 20:01
It's overkill to be tenting through GSMNP using a 0* bag during your timeframe even using Rain Man's High Country weather link.

Another good weather link for GSMNP is: https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Clingmans-Dome/forecasts/2025

OR, get NOAA's forecast for Clingmans Dome historical weather during your time frame for being in GSMNP. It's your highest elevation on the AT through GSMNP. It's a better weather location to research as a prep jumping off pt than Newfound Gap. CD is 1500 ft higher than NFG equating to an about 5* colder location.

It's my guess you're not going to be cowboy camping out in the open in the altogether through GSMNP so bag temps are only a starting point in sleeping soundly.

Dogwood
05-02-2017, 20:17
Although snow falling is closely correlated with temp dependency it is not the only thing that determines if snow can be experienced. Snow falling - the existence of snowflakes - not necessarily snow accumulation - has been recored in atmospheric temps in the high 40*'s not that uncommon on the east coast. It's not that uncommon for AT NOBO thru hikers to experience falling snowflakes in temps above 32*.

Dogwood
05-02-2017, 20:20
Thanks for the prompt and very helpful information.

My bag's EN rating is 0 degrees, but I always add 30 degrees to the EN rating due to my cold sleep issue. Also, my sleep pad is an R6.

I'll be sure to bring extra layers and a fleece for sleeping. Not worth the risk.

Yeah, ultralight hiking will never be an option for me... except for when I'm in the desert.

Uber is having a cut rate deal for UL hikers saving you money. :D

Chasebrooklyn
05-06-2017, 15:52
Been feeezing in the Smokies the past couple days. 441 opened up today for a few hours, but then closed again due to snow and ice. Most hikers are holed up in Gaitlinburg.

It's too cold for me to hike and no way would I try to camp out up there. I went up to Clingman's earlier today. The snow and wind were brutal. It must have been 30-35 degrees, without windchill. I dont understand how anyone could enjoy that, but hey, everyone is different.

At least two dozen hikers are holed up at Fontana Hilton waiting for it to pass. Thats a 3 day wait, at least. What a bummer.

I think I'm going to head home and try again on June 1st. I take no pleasure hiking in such cold weather. I'm fine dealing with hunger, bad food, fatigue, misquitoes, sun burn, heat, etc... that stuff doesn't really bother me. But the cold does and there is not a gear solution for me. All the warm gear can do is help retain heat my body is producing, but if my body is not producing any heat, then it's all for naught.

Venchka
05-06-2017, 16:52
July.
Be safe.
Wayne


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4eyedbuzzard
05-06-2017, 20:37
I'm starting May 1st from Springer. What should I be expecting for the average night time temperature lows from Springer through the Smokies...

Does it typically go below freezing?

I'm not really worried about the day time lows because so long as I'm moving, I'm warm. It's the evening that kills me. I'm a cold sleeper, so I really want to make sure that I bring enough cold weather clothing, in addition to my already warm bag and pad.

Also, since I'm starting in May, should I bring a coat? I was planning on just bringing a heavy fleece, in addition to my thermal baselayers.


Been feeezing in the Smokies the past couple days. 441 opened up today for a few hours, but then closed again due to snow and ice. Most hikers are holed up in Gaitlinburg.

It's too cold for me to hike and no way would I try to camp out up there. I went up to Clingman's earlier today. The snow and wind were brutal. It must have been 30-35 degrees, without windchill. I dont understand how anyone could enjoy that, but hey, everyone is different.

At least two dozen hikers are holed up at Fontana Hilton waiting for it to pass. Thats a 3 day wait, at least. What a bummer.

I think I'm going to head home and try again on June 1st. I take no pleasure hiking in such cold weather. I'm fine dealing with hunger, bad food, fatigue, misquitoes, sun burn, heat, etc... that stuff doesn't really bother me. But the cold does and there is not a gear solution for me. All the warm gear can do is help retain heat my body is producing, but if my body is not producing any heat, then it's all for naught.You started May 1 and are already at GSMNP? You are either a real speedster or did you just jump up the trail a bit to see conditions? But yeah, anything above a gentle breeze and the cold just cuts right through you without full winter gear. There's a big difference between going out for several hours in the cold and wind and rain and ??? but being able to retreat to heated shelter vs. having to live outside in the elements 24/7.

HooKooDooKu
05-08-2017, 21:54
The last week shows just how much temps can vary this time of year in GSMNP.
One week ago, day time highs in the lower elevations were upper 80's. Fast forward a week and the upper elevations have night time lows below freezing.

scope
05-09-2017, 14:16
Been freezing in the Smokies the past couple days...

Assuming you didn't start anywhere on 5/1?