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  1. #1
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    Default ME/NH July and August weather and flies

    Hi folks,

    I'll be starting my Sobo hike July 22nd and I have two questions about the weather/flies in Maine/New Hampshire at the end of July and August.

    I'm between a 30deg bag and a 20deg bag for my hammock pod system. The weight savings is about 7 ounces if I go with the 30, but I've heard that nights in ME/NH can be brutal earlier in the season. Do the nights tend to warm up later in the summer? I truly hate being cold at night but, as I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to ditch my ultralight down jacket, I'm inclined to try and save weight with my bag to balance it out.

    Also, regarding black flies...Do they tend to not be as bad around that time? I've read the horror stories about the hundred mile wilderness flies but I'd rather ditch the head net and just go with light deet and long sleeves/pants, if I won't be completely miserable. My hammock has a built in net so I'll be covered at night.

    Luke


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  2. #2
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Black flies wont be so bad then. 30* bag will probably be fine until the middle of September, depending on where you end up in that time frame. You should be fine.

  3. #3

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    mosquitoes might bug you for a bit, but should improve as you go

    You'll get a good amount of warm nights and I'm sure a mix of cooler ones later in August. That 30 will be good if you're also bringing your down jacket

  4. #4
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    I expect you are a bit overkill on the sleeping bag for July August. Black flies not an issue by July. Mosquitoes might be around at dusk. Biggest issues are the crowds.

  5. #5
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    put it this way: there is no time of the year when seasonably normal conditions will make hiking easier in ME / NH than August

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Black flies wont be so bad then. 30* bag will probably be fine until the middle of September, depending on where you end up in that time frame. You should be fine.
    Good to know. I'm guessing bags are one of the more common pieces of gear to switch out mid-hike?


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    mosquitoes might bug you for a bit, but should improve as you go

    You'll get a good amount of warm nights and I'm sure a mix of cooler ones later in August. That 30 will be good if you're also bringing your down jacket
    I'm pretty tolerant of mosquitoes. I grew up in a swampy part of Florida where mosquitoes are abundant pretty much year round, and they never seemed to bother me.

    I think I'll start with the 30 and see how it goes.


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  8. #8
    Registered User AngryGerman's Avatar
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    Blackflies are mostly gone by then however... Deerflies oh those deerflies can be troublesome for some and mosquitos can be nasty in the low lands around water. If you have a gnarly beard you may find wolf spiders rappelling from it in the morning if you hammock and the likes. There is a lean-to early in the 100 from Big K that is always loaded with mosquitos. It's surrounded by still water pockets, creeks and so on that just makes it a breeding ground for mosquitos. Stay away from those areas and you will be fine. If I camp next to lakes and streams it's not where the water is still if you catch my drift?!!! Visit the Permethrin thread; I just posted my tried and true natural solution to bug deterrent in there and I always enjoy the 100 and Maine as well as NH that time of year. If I have plans to hike in late July through Aug. I go to Maine and NH but I digress.

    30* sleeping bag/quilt is sufficient that time of year depending on what your style of shelter is and what you sleep in. For instance; I hammock and use a 30* top quilt and if it gets chilly I use my UL air mattress under me to keep the chill off the back. I carry that air mattress because I sleep in shelters at times; sleep in huts; stealth under the stars and so on. I do not go to an underquilt or heavier sleeping bag until November-ish. There are other ways to keep your hide warm with a 30* bag/quilt that doubles up uses so you are not carrying extra stuff!!!

    Get that gear list finalized! Visit some of the UL threads and some of those SOBO threads! IMHO; SOBO is the only way to go!!! If this is your first time in Maine I'd recommend loafing as much as you can to get the full experience! Visit those resupply option threads so you're not loaded down with food and you can spend two weeks in the hundred if you really want to or 5 days. HYOGDH!
    "I choose to carry very little, but that little is chosen with care." Earl V. Shaffer

  9. #9
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    Someone mentioned Deer Flys, they can be real annoying and they occasionally take quite a bite. Deet and Picardin do not seem to bother them. They are out on hot calm days and can really screw up berry picking. They tend to circle and land on the highest object so wearing a hat is important. There are Deer Fly traps that consist of sticky goo on one side and a regular adhesive on the other to attach to the top of the hat that does seem to trap them. Usually if you are moving they aren't major issue but can be nasty at lunch unless you find a breezy spot.

    They are pretty easy to kill. My method is to hold one hand up in the air stationary, they will tend to land there and then I slap them with my other hand. Folks working in the woods will coat the top of hardhat with tanglefoot. The flies land and get stuck.

    There is a larger version of the Deer Fly out in the woods, I don't know what others call them but I call them moose flies. They are quite a bit larger and when they land you know it. They are much larger than a house fly. Out of general principle I usually swat them away.

    I do totally agree with Angry German's post, Maine is not the state to be in rush. Sure there are some long potentially wooded sections but they are interspersed with all sort of special places. There really is nothing like it south of Vermont. Nobos always seem to be in rush once they leave Gorham NH and miss out on the best hiking state on the AT.

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