View Full Version : How low can you go?

08-15-2006, 00:21
Well, I have never backpacked on the East Coast but I hear there is a lot of rain normally. What I don't here about is how cold it gets. Does anyone have some kind of idea what the average might be the first couple of months?:banana

08-15-2006, 00:31
When do you plan on leaving and from where?

08-15-2006, 06:10

this link has the information you are looking for. the page also has other links about weather.

hope this helps. good luck.

The Old Fhart
08-15-2006, 08:14
Keep in mind that you never seem to hit the average. In 1998 when I left Springer it rained 23 out of the first 28 days(ok, 2 solid days were snow). From Waynesboro, VA to Kent, CT I think it rained 3 times. What most people from the west coast don't take into consideration is the high humidity on the A.T.. I spent 3 days in Lone Pine at the end of my JMT hike where it was 110 and almost no humidity and that didn't feel as bad as 85 and high humidity on the A.T..

Time To Fly 97
08-15-2006, 10:09
You never know what the weather will bring. Plan for cold nights on the GA balds (occasional 20 degree nights), light snow and wet slush in the Smokies, many chilly nights with frost in the morning.... You warm up when you start hiking. The wind feels cold. Be prepared for everything.

I don't mind being a little cold - wakes me up. For hiking in this weather, I use:

Breathable shell top and thin nylon wind pants (Red Ledge, etc.), mid-weight capeline bottoms, marmot dri-clime shirt, hat and light fleece (100 weight) gloves to start (your hiking poles will be cold), optional fleece (200 weight) jacket if it is windy/colder. If it is raining or wet snow, I switch the wind pants with shell pants and use my waterproof overmitts if it is windy/colder. I always hike with gaitors on, but usually they are just loose around my boots until I need them.

Plan to bundle up in your sleeping bag once at camp when it gets cold - use your sleeping bag instead of extra clothing layers here. On colder nights, sleep with a nalgene bottle filled with boiling hot chocolate to really warm up your sleeping bag - sip the hot chocolate later in the night watching the stars. : )

It is a lot colder in the Whites and this is where you need more cold weather options like heavy fleece (300 weight) jacket and mittens.

Happy hiking!


08-15-2006, 12:30

08-15-2006, 14:03
Thanks for all your responses. I plan on leaving mid-late March Nobo and was planning on taking a 40degree synthetic bag.

Time To Fly 97
08-15-2006, 14:09
You may be more comfortable with a 20 degree bag....if your clothes are wet, etc.


08-15-2006, 14:20
in mid march, temps in GA can dip into the low teens (late feb. single digits) i go with a 0 that time of year. the rating of a sleeping bag doesn't mean that you'll be comfortable at that temp, just alive.

08-15-2006, 14:28
I just finished thru-hiking the JMT this year. I started in early July when there was still a lot of snow and I think I had 3 clear nights the whole trip. There was consistent rain, hail, thunderstorms, and low temps this year (very unusual for the Sierras). Anyway my point is that I used a 30degree down and stayed very warm in shorts (commando) and a nylon shirt. I dont think dropping 10 degrees (same brand) and wearing more clothes is going to hurt. I might get cold on a couple of rare nights, but oh well. :)

08-15-2006, 14:46
Thanks for all your responses. I plan on leaving mid-late March Nobo and was planning on taking a 40degree synthetic bag.

No way! You need at least 20 degree for that start. You could switch later on, maybe. But my dh had his lafuma 40 degree and he was cold in the low fifties until he put his rain gear on.

I'm going with a 15 degree as my start is March 1st.

Time To Fly 97
08-15-2006, 16:02
Hi Nano,

The AT is COMPLETELY different from the JMT, which in my opinion is easier to hike than the AT. All this advice is pretty right on. Up to you though!!

Happy hiking!