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  1. #1
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    Default cold weather gear needed for upcoming erwin to springer hike?

    hello all.
    i'm leaving sept. 22 for erwin tn, and going to hike from there down to springer mountain, probably getting done the latter part of october sometime. should i be expecting any very cold and or wet weather? i've never spent any time in those mountains. here's what i was planning on bringing clotheswise:

    lightweight long underwear top and bottom
    medium weight fleece pullover
    beanie
    lightweight gloves
    pants and a t-shirt
    rain jacket
    rain skirt (plus knee-high gaiters? or maybe i should bring my rain pants?)
    socks and underwear

    does this seem reasonable for the time of year? i might should add that i'm a floridian and not particularly cold-tolerant. anyhow, thanks in advance for any input or advice.

  2. #2
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Welcome to WhiteBlaze! During this time of year you may see temps in the 30's or lower but not for an extended time.This also is the seasonal change and you may see some rainy and very cool days.The damp & cool days can chill you fast if it's windy too.Just be sure to keep a dry set of camp clothes.I live just north of Hot Springs and it has been dry here lately and some water sources may be running slow or even dry.Always ask hikers traveling north how's the water where they have been.Leave me a note at Jerry's Cabin shelter as I'm the caretaker there,it's 26 miles north of Hot Springs.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I'm pretty cold tolerant and that's right at my minimum, especially for the Smokies in early October. I'd want one more layer to put on, probably my lightweight down vest, for cold evenings and mornings in camp. I'd also bring something to wear over my base layer while hiking on chilly, windy days -- I like a lightweight wind shirt, though you can wear your rain shell, as lots of hikers do that.

    That is a great time to hike this section.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #4
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    I agree about being on the edge with regards to adequate core insulation. I'm also cold blooded. Important question: do you have an adequate sleeping bag to dive into if chilled in the evenings?

  5. #5
    Registered User gwb's Avatar
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    I will be hiking the same section around the same time. My list looks like yours plus a down jacket and a light/mid weight hiking shirt. I don't like to get cold... I saw the high temp on Mount LeConte today was 41 degrees.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Hmmm, I'm pretty cold tolerant and that's right at my minimum, especially for the Smokies in early October. I'd want one more layer to put on, probably my lightweight down vest, for cold evenings and mornings in camp. I'd also bring something to wear over my base layer while hiking on chilly, windy days -- I like a lightweight wind shirt, though you can wear your rain shell, as lots of hikers do that.

    That is a great time to hike this section.
    Agree completely with this post. You could get by with the down jacket/vest IF you hike then go to bed immediately. If you plan to hang around then the vest would be helpful. Also agree with wind shirt. Best 2-3 oz. of weight you can carry.

  7. #7
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    hello again,
    i do have a nice warm sleeping bag, also my pants are a warmer sort of polyester, not the hiker-nylon pants. but, i'll still add an extra layer or two to my top half. maybe a warmer shirt plus my down vest. i'm a leisurely sort of hiker and will definitely want to linger some mornings or evenings in camp. looking forward to my trip, leaving a week from today.
    thanks for the advice,
    ben

  8. #8
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    Layering is really the key. However, if you have very good rain jacket and pants, your list looks about like mine for this time of year, or even early spring. You do need a good bag or bag layering system. My rain jacket is a very light weight, very breathable shell, with hood and I utilize it as soon as I stop hiking in cold weather. Bring a good hat, even a balacava, and sleep with it on. You can take it on/off while hiking, as the temps dictate. I've even slept in my rain jacket and pants, when I've been caught in cold weather with ultralight summer sleep gear.

  9. #9
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    Since weather in the higher elevations (Roan Mtn, Smokies, etc) can turn bad quickly and winter conditions are possible (not probable), I'd suggest that you also be prepared to wait out a storm if necessary. You might need extra funds for a few days in a hostel, and phone numbers for shuttles to get off the trail.

  10. #10
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    In 2011 on Oct 8th I was section hiking north of Damascus it dropped 6" of snow overnight. It very possibly could do the same (and has) in the Smokies in October. Bring an extra layer. I like the windshirts myself.

  11. #11

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    Agree with the comments above. Frogg Toggs ultralight rain suit will keep the wind off if you and Costco (and also online) has a lightweight down vest from the brand 32 Degrees. It is only around 30 bucks. ThT is a lot less than something of high quality, but should totally suffice for your needs.


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    Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right--Henry Ford; The Journey Is The Destination

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