View Full Version : Fall Hiking: Hotsprings to Springer?

Filadelfia Greenberg
10-10-2008, 15:27
Well, looks like I'll be finishing the last 200 or so miles of the trail this year instead of next. I'm going to be hiking SoBo from a little north of Hot Springs all the way down to the southern terminus. Anyway, I'll be leaving in three days, but I've never hiked this late in the year before, and I'm worried about my cold-weather gear. Presently I've got a cold-weather underarmor longsleeved shirt, gloves, A toboggan hat, a hooded north-face rain jacket, Synthetic thermal leggings, and a Marmot zip-up fleece. My sleeping bag is an old slumberjack. I'm not sure what it's rated to (probably a 40 degree bag) and I have a 10 degree synthetic bag-liner. This stuff managed to keep me warm through the whites this year (Sleet and hail in August). Will it continue to work for me in the Smokies?

10-10-2008, 22:12
The temps in the higher areas of the Smokies runs 12 to 15 degrees colder than Knoxville. It sounds like your equipment should be fine, your bag might be a little light but that can be solved with your liner and some clothing. I would rather carry a little more bag and just lay under it than not have enough and be cold all night. Everyone is a little different when it comes to comfort zones.

A bigger concern would be water. I just hikes most of the AT through the park and water can be found at almost every shelter. Even the ones considered dry have some water down the watershed according to the ridge runner, however conditions are changing and those water sources could be gone any day. They did get some good rain on Wednesday but I would not have expected it to make in changes in the springs.

Do your research on the water and be prepared to carry some extra if you have to.

10-11-2008, 20:35
There should be some SOBO's floating around.


10-12-2008, 16:41
Need a warmer bag for sure. At least a 20 degree bag.

10-12-2008, 17:03
I'd say that your clothing should be adequate through mid-November if you don't encounter unusually cold weather (the record low for Hot Springs and Hiawassee on 11/15 are both 10F, recorded in 1969). However, I would definitely swap out your bag for a 15- or 20-degree bag.

10-19-2008, 11:03
I just got done with the GSMNP section and I think your clothing is going to be just fine. I do agree with them a different bag would be nice. I did have a few nights on and around clingman's that it was pretty damn cold, 32. Have a great hike.

10-19-2008, 11:04
I also saw more bears this trip to the smokies than I ever had. A few of the shelters closed do to bears.