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View Full Version : When do you PREFER to hike?



SGT Rock
09-27-2002, 21:57
We have a thread about when you hike, but when do you prefer to hike. I find that isn't always the same time.

EarlyRiser
09-27-2002, 22:07
seceret answer number F, always

highway
09-28-2002, 10:43
The heat of another summer is dying, my gear is all packed and my feet seem to want to shuffle along to the mountains somewhere. Fall, for me, is when the wonderlust inside me decides to burst into the open, and I get the strongest yearning for ambling in the mountains. I can't really explain it, don't even want to, just want to answer it!

Kerosene
10-20-2002, 20:57
So where was everyone when I was out in central Virginia last week? Over 6 days I encountered: 1 Springer to Harpers Ferry long-distance hiker
3 SOBO thru-hikers running behind schedule
a pair of 200-mile NOBO section hikers
a thru-hiking couple who started NOBO from Reeds Gap, VA in April and were almost done after flip-flopping to Springer NOBO
2 SOBO flip-floppers
1 4-day section hiker
a handful of day hikers
That was it. I'm not complaining, but I know there's a lot more traffic out there in the warmer months.

novhiker
10-24-2002, 11:04
Fall is best. The bears are fat and happy, the trees have shed some leaves for better views, and the bugs are minimial.:)

RagingHampster
12-02-2002, 14:33
I've only been hiking for about a year, but so far my favorite time to hike is winter, and for these reasons:

1.)No Bugs (Skeeters or ticks).
2.)No need to worry about Water (abundant snow up where I live).
3.)Carry perishable foods unchecked. Steak & Chicken Cacciatore every day.
4.)Cold out & Dry Air. Just unzip to cool down, or zip up to warm up. Can't do that any other season.
5.)Not a Boyscout troop in site.
6.)No leaves, even sub-treeline hills sometimes have views.
7.)Bears are hibernating.

There are sonmethings I dislike:

1.)When temperature drops below 0 and there is a windchill. I like 0-30* Weather with a gentle breeze.
2.)Going #2, my ass gets real cold (fall is best season for this).
3.)Fluffy Powder more than a foot deep. I use both 6-point crampon's (when there is a few inches of icey hardpack), or my snowshoes when it's 6" or more of powder. Fluff sucks. I just sink to the ground.
4.)Frozen snicker bars. I have to stick them in smelly places to warm them up before eating.

Jumpstart
12-02-2002, 15:10
Winter, defintely. I live near the Whites, so my MAIN reason is evident:

1. Backcountry skiing potential
2. No crowds
3. No bugs
4. The trail isn't smooshy with mud..if anything it's smooshy with snow
5. No crowds
6. The Randolph Maountain Club huts are a super-cheap alternative to tenting in the snow
7. You can carry an incredible feast and not worry about spoiling
8. No crowds
9. The views are better
10. There's something hardcore about waking up with a frozen water bottle
11. More excuses to zip the bags together
12. Canadian Jays stick around in the winter and will eat right out of your hand
13. No crowds
14. Good training, carrying all that winter weight
15. NO CROWDS

DebW
12-02-2002, 17:47
I agree with Jumpstart. Winter is the best. Just did my first skiing of the season on Thanksgiving day behind my house in Mass. Looking forward to the Whites next weekend. I agree with all of Jumpstarts reasons except:

10) How can your water bottle freeze inside your sleeping bag?

11) Never worked for me. Couldn't shut out the drafts in a 2-body bag.

2, 5, 8, 13, 15) Less crowded than summer, but a lot more crowded than it was 20 year ago. Plus, a large fraction of the winter hikers in the Whites these days are going without snowshoes and postholing the trails! Unfortunately, the trails get so much use these days that people can get away without snowshoes, but leave occassional postholes and are floundering up to their wastes if they step off the trail. Poor ettiquet and potentially dangerous.

Jumpstart
12-03-2002, 06:47
Hi Deb,

Water bottle forze solid only once...we spent the night on the Lion's head trail going up Mt. Washington in Mid-February. It was 20 below zero in the VALLEY that night, no idea how cold it was in our tent but we figured it was probably about 25-30 below at least. Everything froze. Water bottle, food, FEET! :-)

Kerosene
12-22-2002, 13:58
floundering up to their wastes
I just love the typos that pop up on this site!!! :D

Peaks
12-24-2002, 08:38
Originally posted by Kerosene
I just love the typos that pop up on this site!!! :D

Is that another way to say that you are in deep doo-doo?

slabfoot
01-20-2003, 09:48
...cabin fevers setting in, let me out!

Forrest Phil
01-24-2003, 18:20
All of the seasons have their merits. Any tough day hiking is better than a good day of working. I love winter because of the serenity in the woods. I like the starkness of the landscapes asnd views. And, you can carry perishable food. That is a very good thing.

gravityman
01-24-2003, 19:28
The thing that gets me about winter hiking is the extra hours sitting around in the dark. I just can't sleep for 16 hours like my wife can. She loves it... Me, I perfer the long hours of early summer... That way I can nap in the middle of the day and hike late. I hate the heat though!

Gravity Man

Uncle Wayne
01-25-2003, 02:32
Spring and Fall works best for me. I will quickly admit I'm not a cold weather camper anymore. I really admire you folks who can sleep in a hammock in low teens or single digit temperatures! Or even a tent in those temps. Through December of 2000 I had a camped in a tent at least one night per month for 128 consecutive months and some of those were brutally cold, to me anyway. I've slept out in some cold weather but never endured the conditions Jumpstart mentioned and the coldest I can ever remeber being in a sleeping bag was 15 degrees.
My hat's off to you guys who can do that. I truly admire you and enjoy your stories.

Jaybird
02-08-2004, 11:21
So where was everyone when I was out in central Virginia last week? Over 6 days I encountered: 1 Springer to Harpers Ferry long-distance hiker
3 SOBO thru-hikers running behind schedule
a pair of 200-mile NOBO section hikers
a thru-hiking couple who started NOBO from Reeds Gap, VA in April and were almost done after flip-flopping to Springer NOBO
2 SOBO flip-floppers
1 4-day section hiker
a handful of day hikers
That was it. I'm not complaining, but I know there's a lot more traffic out there in the warmer months.


YO Kerosene:

ck out the poll results....you shoulda only seen 6 hikers! hehehehehehe! ;)



i enjoy hiking anytime...but if i have my druthers....spring (temps in the 50s & 60s) or fall (temps in the 50s, 60s)....but, i do get out in the winter (recent hiking in the 14 degree weather) & in the summer:
(last year i hiked one dayhike in the 90+ degree range!) :p


see ya'll Up the trail!

bulldog49
05-20-2005, 15:03
Winter camping rocks!

neo
05-21-2005, 07:48
i wanna hike all the time,but middle tn to hot and buggy in summer,so i hike in higher elevations in the summer

DLANOIE
05-29-2005, 18:25
I love hiking in the winter time just for the challenge. The cool thing though is that you can hike any trail any time of year, but each time you go back to that trail, it will be different! In February my wife and I did a day hike in the Whites. We made it to the pond we were hiking to. We decided to explore a little and walk around the pond. We had to cross a small runoff covered by a "snow bridge", I went first then my wife. She fell through the snowbridge to about her waist. I hadnt laughed for more than 5 seconds when I too fell through! So needless to say the walk back to the car was a sloshy one even though we laughed about it the whole way! I hate the potholes left by others in the winter too, but Im so used to them that I dont even really care anymore. The best is when noone has hiked the trail in weeks and you get to sorta blaze your own path. Just make sure you packed your compass just in case!:sun

Crazy Larry #1
05-29-2005, 18:35
i like late summer on into late fall and late winter on into early summer............wanderer

Crazy Larry #1
05-29-2005, 18:40
it does as long as you have access to off trail services. i know for a fact that you are not saying this from long term experience, especially in extreme freezing temps on a day in and day out basis.


tell them dogsledders that race to the pole every year that winter camping rocks and see what kind of response you get.....

wanderer

Winter camping rocks!

fiddlehead
06-23-2005, 22:06
Depends on the trail. for the AT it's winter for sure. No people and the views are there. I did the smokies in 2002 in Jan and guess how many overnight hikers i saw in the whole NP? only me and my hiking partners! we had great clear days too.

For the CDT i like the spring as i get to see the Elk wondering who i am because they haven't seen a human since Oct. they are very curious at that time and you can get really close. I've heard them talking to each other already!

For the sierras, i'll take Oct or May because there is very few people out there and the ones who are, are usually very experienced hikers. I'll always remember one time i was on the JMT in August and when some other hikers saw my small (GO-lite breeze) pack, they looked at each other and said "he must be day hiking, but how did he get so far from any trailhead?" I just kept my mouth shut and let them wonder.

For the Himalayas, i prefer the winter time because the air is much clearer so the views are much better. Plus of course the masses aren't there at that time.
I usually prefer to be almost anywhere when it's off season, except leech season in Nepal, or wintertime in the Arctic circle.

wacocelt
06-23-2005, 22:40
I'll take Maine in July all year round!

stupe
06-23-2005, 23:44
It's nice to see that there are many other masochists who enjoy winter camping. It's beautiful in the woods in winter, and it's a test of your physical, mental, and spiritual toughness. Coyotes mate in February, and sound like old time police sirens at night.
Spring is nice because although it's muddy, you can see and smell the woods waking up from winter sleep, critters coming out, and it's the best time to find shed antlers.
Summer is great, it's bugs and sweat and bugs but it's also packing lighter and bugs and swimming and bugs and fishing and bugs and blue berries and bugs and going into town to have cold beers and get away from the bugs.
Fall is nice, warm days and cool nights, acorns rain from the trees, maples turn red, beeches turn yellow, oaks turn brown, deer get pre rut sassy, and you start to hear guns in the distance because hunting season is coming.
Steve McQueen once said, " I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth". I can honestly add, " and in any season". Agree?

Cookerhiker
06-28-2005, 11:35
For most of the AT, anytime but the middle of summer unless you really enjoy heat, humidity, and mosquitos not to mention views obscured by haze. I've only winter-camped for 2 years now but discovered I thoroughly enjoy it despite the short daylight hours for all the reasons mentioned - serenity, clear views through denuded trees, no crowds, no bugs, ability to pack perishable food. Also, I found descents in moderately deep snow much easier on the knees (of course, ascents are more difficult). Biggest challenge in winter is losing the Trail in deep unbroken snow, especially in some of the open areas. I had this problem in SW Virginia this past winter.

Spring's rewards are the wildflowers, birds, pleasant temperatures. Spring may generally be wetter but one never knows. I hiked 3 days in Mass. in April and experienced dry 80 degree temperatures. And late Fall - mid-October to late November - may be the best time except watch out for slipping on thick layers of newly-fallen dry leaves or stumbling on the small rocks and roots they cover!

jackiebolen
06-28-2005, 18:19
My answer is: when there are no mosquitoes. Mosquitoes make me so, so crazy and I really hate them a lot! They seem to love me for some reason. I started in GA in Feb. and even though it was cold and snowy at times, it was much more enjoyable than the hot, humid bug-infested states called CT, NY and MA.

Footslogger
06-28-2005, 18:27
I find that the strongest urge to hike hits me on my way to work in the morning.

'Slogger
AT 2003

Tin Man
06-28-2005, 20:00
I find that the strongest urge to hike hits me on my way to work in the morning.

'Slogger
AT 2003

Amen to that. My brother and I Nextel each other every morning with the question, "how many days"? We count down the days to our annual Fall section hike.