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  1. #1
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    Red face Earliest Start Time Going NOBO

    What's the earliest that people can start going NOBO? Does anyone ever start in January or early February?

  2. #2
    Leonidas
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    Anytime, multiple people in 2017 started Jan 1. Some even started in late December. The issue becomes how fast you move. If you get to Katahdin before it opens, what are you going to do?
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  3. #3

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    The issue really is how well you tolerate cold, wet, icy hiking - dangerous conditions, sickness, and accidents take out several early starters every year. Read their journals & see if you want that.

  4. #4
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Many will start November/December if weather is friendly to avoid the crowds and to jump start before the real cold weather hits.

    Then jump off for the holidays and snow/ice.

    Others will use this time to start a Flip Flop.

    Just wear your Blaze Orange as well.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  5. #5
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaslDasl View Post
    What's the earliest that people can start going NOBO? Does anyone ever start in January or early February?
    It is illegal to hike in North Carolina in January. But if you really take your time on the first 80 miles to the border, you can spend all of January in Georgia.

  6. #6
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    It totally depends upon your winter hiking skills...

    I've got a relative (collage age at the time) that started the day after Christmas so that he could finish some time in June. He was successful, but then his dad had been teaching him winter hiking skills in places like GSMNP for years.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    It totally depends upon your winter hiking skills...

    I've got a relative (collage age at the time) that started the day after Christmas so that he could finish some time in June. He was successful, but then his dad had been teaching him winter hiking skills in places like GSMNP for years.
    Yes. Your ability to adapt to the weather conditions is most important.

  8. #8
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Met a guy on the trail today near Gooch Gap that is just now starting his NOBO. Not for me, but with the proper gear and enough cash for zero days you can start anytime.

  9. #9

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    Do people start in Jan + Feb?

    Yes, but should you?

    Probably not. Lots of disadvantages to starting early and not many advantages.
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  10. #10
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    It is illegal to hike in North Carolina in January.
    Something doesn't sound quite right about that - can you elaborate?

  11. #11
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    mid Feb is a reasonably practical start, if you do decent milage/ few days off and have average to lucky weather, a mid June finish is realistic

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaslDasl View Post
    What's the earliest that people can start going NOBO? Does anyone ever start in January or early February?
    People have started at midnight on jan.1. That early enough for you?

    Usually dont make it. Often babbling something about cold, frostbite, finger damage etc by time reach Va.....if make it thru smokies.

    Prolly just wusses though........
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-15-2017 at 00:35.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    It is illegal to hike in North Carolina in January. But if you really take your time on the first 80 miles to the border, you can spend all of January in Georgia.
    In the entire state??

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Viking View Post
    Many will start November/December if weather is friendly to avoid the crowds and to jump start before the real cold weather hits.

    Then jump off for the holidays and snow/ice.

    Others will use this time to start a Flip Flop.

    Just wear your Blaze Orange as well.
    I've contemplated a fall Springer start (September-ish) with a holiday break, putting the spring launch point or eventual Flip-Flop finish around Hot Springs (give or take, of course.)

    It's all a calculus of potential weather, seasonal services, and what you're willing to tolerate.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    mid Feb is a reasonably practical start, if you do decent milage/ few days off and have average to lucky weather, a mid June finish is realistic
    My son has a college buddy who started Feb 15 this year and finished in 130 days. (100 mile wilderness took him 3.5 days) He was #66 on the registry at Baxter and finished the latter part of June. He's a recently graduated college swimmer, so his level of conditioning was a bit above average.

  16. #16

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    Anyone who can survive the bugs and possible high water issue in Maine in mid May to mid June deserves extra points . A southerner once commented to us in the Mahoosucs in May that he had hiked all over the US for many year and only in the Mahoosucs did he contemplate heading down to the road and heading home.

  17. #17
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    The short daylight hours is a issue.

    Old Goat and Check Six started a through hike in late December or early January six or eight years ago. Their Trail Journals blog was interesting to follow. The intense cold and short days really got to them. I think they eventually gave up in the Nantahalas.

  18. #18
    Registered User Fireplug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    It is illegal to hike in North Carolina in January. But if you really take your time on the first 80 miles to the border, you can spend all of January in Georgia.
    Where did you get that info? Can you post your source please

  19. #19
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireplug View Post
    Where did you get that info? Can you post your source please
    From the same source that says tomorrow is the earliest one can start a NOBO hike.
    Or maybe the day after.
    The important, real world question, is how early can you finish a NOBO hike?
    The answer: It depends. Research is the key.
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  20. #20
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    People have started at midnight on jan.1. That early enough for you?

    Usually dont make it. Often babbling something about cold, frostbite, finger damage etc by time reach Va.....if make it thru smokies.

    Prolly just wusses though........
    Hilarious! This bring back fond memories of my first sub-zero Boy Scouts Klondike camping in Michigan. Froze my ass off but believe me...got it right on the next one!! And yes, felt like a wuss on the first one,

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