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  1. #1

    Default Low temps for a NOBO, Mid April start

    Just curious what low temperatures to expect/prepare for on a NOBO on the CDT with a mid April start. Research seems to say low to mid 20s. Any experience or advice. I know that there could be colder days, but can handle a few nights outside the norm. Advice appreciated. My gear has worked OK down to 15-17 degrees.....cold night but not miserable. Just wouldn't want to do it a lot without warmer gear.

  2. #2


    We used a 20 degree bag for most of our NOBO hike. In mid-September we switched to 5 degree bags. (We finished mid-October.) We were cold occasionally in northern NM and southern Colorado, but for the most part we were okay. We hiked in snow from Cuba to the San Juans, but it was mostly gone by mid-June. We hiked in a low snow year.

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Upper East Side of Texas


    Watch the snow patterns for the whole CDT before committing to a NOBO hike. Or have a Plan B and funds available to flip and flop around late season unusual snowfall. 2015 was an unusual year. Low snow in Glacier NP. Enormous May snowfall in Colorado. NOBO hikers were flipping to Wyoming & Montana.
    Keep an eye on the trail ahead.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Youngstown, OH


    Used a 20F Western Mountaineering Ultralite all the way. Would supplement with down sweater if needed.
    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16; GET 17-18

  5. #5


    I wouldn't worry so much until you get to the Gila NF.
    Then you will go up in elevation to probably hit snow.
    Then there will be some on top of Mt Taylor most likely.
    If you don't sleep up there (or just down the north face), you should be OK for NM except for the Gila possibly, with a 20 degree bag.
    I lot can depend on your age, weight, (fat people sleep a lot warmer than us skinny people), sleeping pad, and keeping it all dry.

    Now, once you hit Cumbres pass (CO border) you will probably sleep in some snow conditions.
    Personally, I would want a Thermorest or equivalent for southern CO as I normally only use a blue pad.
    When I was 48, I did the whole trail with a 20 deg. bag. ( I did add a micro-fleece liner for southern CO and was glad for it)
    Now, that I'm 67, I would require a zero deg. (I'm still the same skinny guy, but circulation is not as good I guess as I sleep colder now)
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

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