View Full Version : Cold temperatures for Sobo's?

05-20-2007, 20:07
What would the lowest temperatures to expect if I start SOBO in ealry June? Coming from Canada, I don't think I have the same definition of what "cold" is as Americans do. I'm debating if am going to need any cold gear at all. :-? suggestions?

Appalachian Tater
05-20-2007, 20:18
When would you expect to finish? What do you consider "cold gear"?

05-20-2007, 22:06
My goal is to finish in approximately 6 months. I'm debating if I need to bring things like long-underwear, and I have yet to buy myslef a jacket, which I'm not sure how warm I need.

05-20-2007, 22:25
It can get fairly cold. I was just talking with Johnny Swank and Hammock Engineer about that this morning at Trail Days. J.S. and I agreed that SOBOs don't ever need what I'd call summer gear. In the summer we're in Maine and NH and Vermont, where it can get cold at night, or even during the day. (It was below freezing in the Whites last August when I was there. There were a few spectacularly unpleasant rainy days with highs in the 40s and 50s.) By the time you get south of Vermont, it's fall. In October and onwards, you need to be prepared for temps down into the teens. It probably won't be that cold very often, but it will happen a few times. In the grand scheme of temperatures, 50 degrees and raining isn't "cold," but it's not shorts and T-shirt weather, either. We had a nice run of warm weather in December last year, with nighttime temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Three days later, it was zero Fahrenheit with high winds.


Appalachian Tater
05-20-2007, 23:48
I kept long underwear and a wool cap all summer for cold nights and to have something warm and dry to change into. To me it was emergency gear as well as comfort gear. Came in handy many times. It was very cold and wet in the Whites even in July/August.

05-21-2007, 07:25
Frosty nights can go into mid-June some years here in Maine. If it were me, I would bring some light cold weather gear such as a fleece jacket and a rainproof shell with longjohns for overnight. It snowed in the Kathadin region last weekend.
Some extra warmth for those damp and cool days for a couple extra pounds to carry are worth their weight in gold.
Temps can range from the 20's to 70's in June here.

the goat
05-22-2007, 13:15
you'll be colder in georgia than you'll be in maine. those southern mountains are pretty frigid in the winter time. i remember my drinking water freezing frequently and icicles forming in my beard on occasion.

hammock engineer
05-22-2007, 13:21
Marta, I'm glad I had that talk you and J.S. I was debating about carrying my 50 deg summer bag before that.

I think you two said it best when you start out with your fall gear, and carry it until you pick up your winter gear.

05-23-2007, 15:13
AlbertaHiker23, I thruhiked ME>>GA August 1990-May 1991. Don't underestimate the potential for cold winterweather on the AT. I grew up mostly in Ohio and experienced plenty of winter storms that blew down from Canada. Simply living there doesn't make you immune to frostbite and hypothermia. I had plenty of winter weather on the AT in Virginia, including a few days of -20 F weather + plus winds high enough to make walking tricky. So the wind chill factor was much colder than -20. In those conditions, the sap freezes in the trees (sounds like rifle shots) and exposed skin begins to freeze immediately. I was glad to have a -20 rated sleeping bag. The trail is pretty much deserted in the winter and I usually stayed in shelters. I carried a tarp that I strung along the front of the shelter to keep more heat in. Didn't mess with building fires. Cooked from my sleeping bag on my Optimus Svea 123r stove. Totally reliable, but I noticed that fuel consumption tripled in the winter. I'd recommed doing some winter backpacking in Canada to get familiar with operating in cold temps.

05-24-2007, 02:19
you'll be colder in georgia than you'll be in maine.
Good to know, I'll definetly have something planned for that. Thanks for the information everybody.

05-24-2007, 04:29
I hit well below Zero.

05-24-2007, 07:35
What are some more opinions on what it will be like Temp wise for ME and NH for a start at the end of June.

hammock engineer
05-24-2007, 09:42
The sobo's I talked to at TD said there where nights in the 50's on average. Some where in the low 40's some where hot. But then you are in the whites where you need cold weather gear year around. Then after that you are into the fall and need the colder gear. After that you pick up your winter gear.

I am lucky with my hammock. I can use the same gear for 30-60. All I have to do is hang the underquilt a little lower.

Johnny Swank
05-24-2007, 09:48
I'll echo what Marta said about our conversation about weather. I had several nights at or around 40 degrees even in July. Going over Mt Washington the weather was 38, raining, with gusty winds. Of course 4 days later it was 95 degrees. I tried not carrying some of my fall gear, but soon had it mailed to me. I switched to my winter gear around mid-november, as i was already getting heavy frosts everyday and occasional snow. Finished Jan 11, and didn't see the ground for the last 200 miles because of ice and snow. It was damn cold for me that winter, and I think I took 379872 hot baths the first night after I was done.

To make a long story short, I'd plan on about 35 degrees being possible through Maine. Temps around 40 degrees, with rain and wind, are absolute misery.

05-25-2007, 19:08
I am hiking katahdin the 2nd and heading SOBO on the 3rd. I am bringing long underwear and a fleece.