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Thread: Seasons?

  1. #21
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    We have an upcoming hike in the Linville Gorge (NC). Reports say that a bridge is washed away, and you have to be prepared to wade or even SWIM across. If I'm going to swim, I'll take late summer.

    Most of the time spring and fall are the best times. But if the weather is moderate, even mid-winter is a good time to hike, though short days are a problem. Interestingly, it wasn't all that long ago that I came to the realization that the fall season and winter season have exactly the same amount of daylight. Likewise the spring and summer seasons have the same amount of daylight. What's different is the amount of heat.

  2. #22

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    I did a lot of my sections in September and October. I find weather patterns are more stable in the fall. Spring hikes are nice for green and did 6 weeks in VA one spring (April 1st south from the south gate of SNP for 6 weeks just missing the NOBO bubble) but in general spring weather patterns are less predictable, more days of rain less days of sun. Hard to beat the middle Atlantic in the fall except water is PITA, most of the AT is on a ridge and those water sources dry up so it means tanking up and carrying water farther some days.

  3. #23
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    One thing I don't like and sets up for a very dangerous situation is leaves on the trail especially wet leaves covering up rocks, roots etc. Making you slow down alot especially on downhills. Some of us here know all about ankle breaks. Not mentioning no names.

  4. #24
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    Definitely fall. Maybe just bad luck, but when I did section hikes in the spring I kept getting hit by late season cold fronts that dump 35 degree rain on you all day. The shorter days don't bother me - I've never been able to hike for 12 hours, and I enjoy spending the evenings curled up in my tent with a good book.

    Summer and winter are day hiking seasons for me. In summer, by "day hiking", I mean done by noon.
    It's all good in the woods.

  5. #25
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    October-March. no bugs, no snakes, no heat, less humid, less dehydration/sweating, better views, fewer crowds, mostly empty shelters and hostels, more solitude.

  6. #26
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    For some reason, I've never been able to comfortably read in my tent for more than half an hour or so. If I could read for longer, fall and winter hiking would be a lot better. Maybe I need to get some sort of camp chair or some support to be able to lean against in my tent. I recently got a Copper Spur UL1 that I haven't used yet. So limited space but enough headroom. I do listen to audiobooks in my tent but I much prefer reading. I can read for hours at a time if comfortable.

  7. #27
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    Reading being my #1 sparetime occupation, i never found a good way for reading when hiking. I'll get uncomfortable and aching within an hour and thats it. In winter, while I have a very good sleep system, I'll get cold while reading within minutes.
    So when winter hiking, I'd hike slowly but at a steady pace pretty much the whole daylight time, and then resort to make camp in the dawn. All the necessary camp chores are way more time consuming in winter, so it might take up to 2 hrs until I'm well fed and cosy in the bag. This might be around 7-8pm, and I will fall asleep by then.
    My body aprecciates 10-12hrs rest and sleep, when hiking.

  8. #28

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    Early spring hiking for all the obvious reasons, I like to camp during the fall archery season.
    "What brings no benefit to the hive brings no benefit to the bee" Marcus Aurelius

  9. #29
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    Being from GA and hiking into NC/TN, I just love October. September tends to be a transition month with a definite edge off the heat but still high humidity. November can be really cold, but otherwise like October. Feb/Mar can be ideal on the trail as its starting to warm up... or not.

    I guess my favorite time to hike the trail is late May-early June when the weather is consistent, thunderstorms are frequent but not yet regular, its warm enough during the day to get wet from a storm and like it, its cool enough at night to need some real insulation, and the days are longer - which for me, means I can sleep in late on mornings (hammock) and still get a good long hike in (no stopping at 4pm for me).
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  10. #30
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    Late summer through mid fall, best time in so many places. We basically hike (or bike) all of September and October, somewhere. Some years we get lucky and create a trip Down Under and we double our late summer/early fall time in March and April.

    Pros: cooler, more stable weather. those pesky thunderstorms are mostly gone ( a big deal out here in CO). No bugs to annoy you. Fewer people, most places.

    As said, one down side is the shorter days. I can read up a storm in the tent though. The mornings are the toughest, waiting for at least some daylight before getting out of the tent.

  11. #31
    Registered User Tim Rich's Avatar
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    Fall through Spring for me, I agree the longer nights make me restless and can seem even longer, but during our sections of the Ouachita Trail, we began to routinely get up, eat breakfast and get an hour or so of hiking in before daybreak. The spider webs are plentiful through there, but the thousands of spider eyes reflecting back at you from the forest floor are like diamonds. When I was younger, I would only night hike out of necessity (to make it to a shelter, or to get an early start to meet our itinerary), but I now enjoy seeing the day begin while I'm out on the trail.

  12. #32

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    June thru August is only if I want to torture myself.

    September to November, March to May are prime season to backpack.

    December to March is prime cabin camping in PATC cabins w my kids!

  13. #33
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    Are there any PATC cabins that you’d recommend? I’ve thought of booking one several times but never have. Seems ideal for a winter trip in SNP. Would be nice to have a cabin for those 14+ hour nights.

  14. #34

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    Find one near where you want to hike and book it. Super easy and totally awesome wood stoves!

    Probably my favorite is either Sugar Knob because it’s so remote, or Rosser Lamb because it fit all my people.

  15. #35
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    Now that I'm a father of three, I overnight in any and all conditions since it's so rare for me to get the chance. Heck, my first trip this year was an supposed to be the annualMLK weekend meetup that some of you may remember being discussed years ago here. After the forecast deteriorated the "meetup" turned into me hiking into Brassie Brook Lean-To in CT by myself and suffering out a -7f night. It turned into good type-II fun though.

    1C630904-4481-4A36-B949-C98870E86282.jpg
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  16. #36
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    Mr. Elf, you either camped on an asteroid or you posted your photo upside down.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    Mr. Elf, you either camped on an asteroid or you posted your photo upside down.
    It's an ongoing issue with posting photos to BBS sites from an iPhone. I've never figured out a solution to it.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    It's an ongoing issue with posting photos to BBS sites from an iPhone. I've never figured out a solution to it.
    I would say get an Android, but some of mine still end up sideways.

  19. #39
    Registered User Tim Rich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Are there any PATC cabins that you’d recommend? I’ve thought of booking one several times but never have. Seems ideal for a winter trip in SNP. Would be nice to have a cabin for those 14+ hour nights.
    We stayed at Pocosin Cabin, really enjoyed it, it was cold and the stove/fireplace was nice. Good view down the valley. It's pretty popular due to its proximity to Skyline.

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