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Fenway
07-13-2019, 15:27
Greetings, all. New to the forum. Have sights set on early March start from Springer. Would be grateful to hear tales from other NOBOs who set off in early March. (I'm a slow, but steady, hiker who probably needs the extra weeks to make Katahdin before weather shifts.) Thank you, all.

Flounder940
07-14-2019, 20:34
Nighttime temps into the teens and single digits until mid to late April, snow, sleet, ice, lots of other people starting in March so the trail,shelters and tent spots will be crowded. "Early" March some Hostels along the way may not be open yet.

Slo-go'en
07-14-2019, 21:19
Go read the journals of early March starters at trailjournals.com That's your best source.

March can be harsh. Starting in March may not buy you any extra time as progress is influenced more by weather and short hours of daylight then by the terrain.

Not much you can do about overcrowding. Might be a good thing so many start in March and end up dropping out before long. If everyone started in April it would be really crazy.

Fenway
07-15-2019, 09:31
Many thanks, Slo-go'en. Excellent point about the shorter daylight inducing fewer miles. It's something that is often lost in discussions about an early spring start.

gbolt
07-16-2019, 08:33
Great post Slo! I would add that Bubble one is Hikers starting February 15th through March 3. A great time to head out is March 4 - 14, Tuesday through Thursday. Less overcrowding and easier to work around bad weather all the way to the end. Yet you are ahead of the Big bubble the entire way. Surprisingly, I was caught off guard by the overcrowding caused by SOBOs in July. Slow but steady will get you to Katahdin anytime you chose during the months of August or September. Look for my Journal in 2018. I was 58 and looking back, wouldn’t change a thing.