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  1. #1

    Default Micro spikes.....yes or no

    On Thursday the 2nd I set off on the Approach trail after a long flight from the UK.
    In my packed rucksack is a fine set of Ice Trekker Diamond grippers but what I'm seeing from the weather forecasts and the You Tube videos it appears to be pretty mild around Springer.
    I'm not going light weight but also don't want to carry something I'm not going to use.
    I could also buy some if the temperature drops.
    So do they stay in the pack or or are they being unloaded.
    First post , thanks for everything I have learnt from you all just reading this forum
    Cheers
    Scotty

  2. #2

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    It is highly unlikely you'd need them this year. By all indications, it will be a very warm spring and a very hot summer.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3
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    Agreed. Very unlikely that you would need them based on the last month and the upcoming weather forecast. Waste of weight and pack space.

  4. #4
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Tough call, we're starting on the 9th of March and have the same question.

    I'm guessing we won't use them at all, and almost certainly right for at least the first week, given the current longer range forecast.

    We might have a bounce box along though, and if we do, we'll put them (microspikes) in the bounce box, first stop, Hiawassee, meaning we'll assume Springer->Hiawassee we won't need them. We'll also include a few warmer things in this bounce box, again, assuming we can get by for 5 days w/o them. We plan on waiting until March 7th to make the call (for a March 9th start for us).

  5. #5
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    Each year is different. I was wishing I brought my MicroSpikes in 2013. I started on 3/21/13. I definitely needed them off & on until 4/8/13. I saw a couple of people get hurt on falls coming down Clingmans' Dome on 4/6/13. That was like a bobsled run.

    Hopefully, you won't need them. But, you never know. Your call.
    2013 AT Thru-hike: 3/21 to 8/19
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    Default Micro spikes.....yes or no

    Flip a coin, then do the opposite. You'll probably curse your decision either way.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    In the case of what could very well be an essential piece of safety gear, "Better to have it...." Anything else is dumb.
    3/21 is my birthday. The east coast always gets slammed by at least one blizzard a week either side of my birthday. Been doing it since forever. I keep track.
    Wayne


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    betting on and banking on are two very different things.

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    I seem to only need microspikes when I don't have them and vice versa.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  10. #10

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    Ok. So possible blizzards and a cold snap coming.
    Better to have it and not need it , than not have it and need it!
    Their staying in.
    many thanks

  11. #11
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 212scotty View Post
    Better to have it and not need it , than not have it and need it!
    Normally I am not a fan of this type of analysis, which quickly leads to a hundred pound pack weight.

    However, starting March 2 it's still going to be winter for another month of six weeks in the Southeastern mountains. I'd bring them. Nothing like trying to hike down a steep trail on the north side of the ridge when it's a sheet of ice.
    Ken B
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    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    My advice is to mail them - and possibly other cold weather items - to Fontana Lodge and send them back after you exit the park. GSMNP is the last place you want to be hiking without spikes if there's snow/ice/slush everywhere.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

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    I'll be hiking south (MeGa) this year and expect to arrive in the southern portion of the trail in winter. Maybe November or December. Is there any reason that you seasoned and experienced hikers might take microspikes along for the southernmost section of trail in winter; would they be just extra unneeded weight? Much ice to deal with?
    humor is the gadfly on the corpse of tragedy

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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleep View Post
    I'll be hiking south (MeGa) this year and expect to arrive in the southern portion of the trail in winter. Maybe November or December. Is there any reason that you seasoned and experienced hikers might take microspikes along for the southernmost section of trail in winter; would they be just extra unneeded weight? Much ice to deal with?
    I did a section of GSMNP in December 2012 and the weather went from 60 Deg and rain to 19 in less than 24 hours. The stream that was the trail turned into shear ice. So, data point of one, I was sure glad I had them because I probably would still be at tri corner shelter.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  15. #15

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    I pulled a 17 day trip in January and just got back from a 19 day February trip in the mountains of TN/NC and brought my spikes both times and didn't use them on either trip. I did bring my Voile snow shovel on both trips and used it often in January to dig out tent sites. Point is, even in ice you can get by without spikes if you're willing to get on your butt at times and slide down the trail. I call it the Bung Abseil.

  16. #16
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    It's rained up here in North Georgia for the last couple days with severe storms due in an hour or so. Those storms are forecast to drop up to an inch with some freezing nights to follow.

    I've been second guessing my spikes since we left Amicalola on Sunday, but they'll stay in my pack until at least Hot Springs. If 12 ounces is too much weight to bear in order to provide a safety margin, I need to rethink what's in my pack.

    PS- I sent some gear home today, but the spikes stayed.

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  17. #17

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    You can use them for other purposes if there's no ice. Defending yourself against bears, opening your pepperoni sticks in cold weather, etc

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