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  1. #1
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    Default SOBO Hike starting Sep 2020

    Start of Sep this year I will be starting a SOBO thru hike of the AT I have hiked before however I am a first time thru hiker and this will be my first time in the US so I am hoping to find a hiking partner (yeah long shot I know). I am aware that there are people out there who have put off or not done a thru hike because of fear of hiking alone and while I will be starting in Sep regardless I feel it would be beneficial of having the moral support/companionship of another hiker. Due to work commitments I am not able to monitor replies to this thread as often as I would like so if this sounds like something you may be interested in please email or private message me through my profile.

  2. #2
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    SOBO starting Sept 1? 1st time hiking in the US? 1st time thru-hiker? Most SOBO's start June 1 thru July 1 and finish before winter is in full effect down south. Why is Sept 1 a problem? Depending on your pace, you could hit early winter type weather in the White Mountains in NH and also in VT even in early October. Even if you get by that, at a typical 5 month pace you'll hit the higher elevations in the southern Appalachians in winter conditions. As you go, days will be shorter, temperatures will be getting colder, hiker type seasonal businesses and such will be closed, etc. - all of which leads to carrying a pretty heavy pack as well (heavier gear/clothing, more food, fuel, etc.) Unless you can complete this hike in 4 months (at an 18mpd average pace) which is really tough, not just physically, but also due to short daylight hours, you may want to be open to flipping south once getting through VT if you aren't on pace to get through the southern Appalachians before winter conditions hit there. Seriously, you may want to reconsider the overall plan for this hike, or set lower expectations if you don't have experience hiking the AT during the timeframe you suggest. It's not impossible - there are a few people who have thru-hiked the AT in the dead of winter (much "worse" than your timeframe). But the only one I know of had previously thru-hiked the AT and other 2000+ miles trails in normal season, knew the AT well, and had at least some experience hiking in winter conditions - not a 1st time in US, 1st time thru-hiker. You're kind of on the edge of those conditions. You may well find a companion for sections of your hike - but they will almost certainly be section hikers, not thru-hikers. Trying to be politely realistic here... Best of luck!
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-01-2020 at 12:16.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the feedback completely open to flipping south or even turning my thru hike into a section hike if necessary should the conditions become too bad. However if I can hike I will I'm planning for the roughest conditions at present.

  4. #4
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david653 View Post
    Thank you for the feedback completely open to flipping south or even turning my thru hike into a section hike if necessary should the conditions become too bad. However if I can hike I will I'm planning for the roughest conditions at present.
    I edited the post above after you replied to add a a few thoughts. But yeah, remain flexible. A lot of it will depend upon pace and the weather.

  5. #5
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    Your feedback is great exactly the stuff I needed to know completely agree on your point about being flexible I'm also prepared to change my gear drastically if needed although my current pack is 4 season and over the next 7 months will be contacting and researching resupply locations extensively to identify closures that would effect my resupply strategy. Although not foolproof anything I can do to give me any advantage even a slight one I'm going to go for.

  6. #6

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    Sept/Oct is a great time to hike Maine and New Hampshire. Most days. You can expect 2 days of rain out of every 5 or 6 with a transition day on either side. Usually a cold rain. Depending on where you are during the rainy days, it can be an inconvenience or it can be life threating.

    Once into November, all bets are off. The weather starts to seriously go down hill. The short hours of daylight starts to become a problem.

    You would need to start Sept 1st to have a chance. Weather is the wild card.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  7. #7
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    Sep 1st start is the plan so far I'm staying at the appalachain trail lodge the day before getting a shuttle to Katahdin campground the lodge also do a pack shakedown too so any suggestions they have for improvements to my pack can be heeded.
    Last edited by david653; 02-01-2020 at 14:21.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by david653 View Post
    Sep 1st start is the plan so far I'm staying at the appalachain trail lodge the day before getting a shuttle to Katahdin campground the lodge also do a pack shakedown too so any suggestions they have for improvements to my pack can be heeded.
    Of course, it's easier to remove items then to add them. These had best be items your willing to throw away, as sending anything back home maybe be a problem. The trail lodge might do it, best ask.

    But your heading into winter and a long ways from home, so you need to start out with everything you might need. That tends to make the pack weight creep up significantly.

    We have cold nights and warm days for most of the fall in Northern New England. Camped high on a clear night it can get into the low 20's by dawn. Rainy days are often windy and raw. The cold and wet cuts right to the bone. Sucks the heat right out of you. These are the things you need to be prepared for.

    The sunny days with the brilliant fall colors and the stunning views makes up for all the hardships.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9

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    Hi David.
    Check out the SoBo forum here on WB, The 2020 SoSBo Guide to Baxter and Katahdin, and join the 2020 SoBo Facebook group to meet your fellow southbounders.
    Have fun!
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  10. #10
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    Thank you already bookmarked the guide really useful will check out the forum and fb group didn't actually know that one existed

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