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  1. #1
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    Default Mid to Late July SOBO Start

    Due to finishing up Grad School, I am going to have to push my start back a month to sometime in July. The only major effect that I can come up with about starting later is finishing later. I am not too worried, I should be able to finish by Christmas.

    Will there still be other SOBO's starting around then, or should I except to have more alone time? I might end up missing more of the black fly, so that would be a plus.

    Am I missing anything? Is there going to be anything different logistically, or am I worrying about nothing?

  2. #2

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    Well you won't be out there alone. There will be other sobos starting that late. But you should know ahead of time that a sobo hike is much more isolated then a nobo hike, esp if you dont start w/ the 'pack'

    However, missing the black flies is a very appealing aspect of starting late.

    Just be prepared to hit very very cold temps down south, esp at higher elevations. good luck.

  3. #3
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RITBlake
    However, missing the black flies is a very appealing aspect of starting late.

    Just be prepared to hit very very cold temps down south, esp at higher elevations. good luck.
    Thanks for the advice. I have a warm bag and plenty of warm clothes that can be mailed to me if needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by RITBlake
    Well you won't be out there alone. There will be other sobos starting that late. But you should know ahead of time that a sobo hike is much more isolated then a nobo hike, esp if you dont start w/ the 'pack'.
    As long as I see a few people. I like the idea of not being in the pack of NOBO's that I keep hearing about, but I also don't want to go for weeks on end without seeing anyone. If I get to lonely I could always carry a volleyball, draw a face on it, call it Wilson, and make it my hiking partner.

  4. #4
    Registered User bulldog49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammock engineer
    Due to finishing up Grad School, I am going to have to push my start back a month to sometime in July. The only major effect that I can come up with about starting later is finishing later. I am not too worried, I should be able to finish by Christmas.

    Will there still be other SOBO's starting around then, or should I except to have more alone time? I might end up missing more of the black fly, so that would be a plus.

    Am I missing anything? Is there going to be anything different logistically, or am I worrying about nothing?

    I would view the "alone time" as a plus along with missing the black flys. You will encounter folks along the way, NOBOs and section hikers.

    The weather in the south at the end of your trip will be no worse then the weather encountered by NOBOS at the start of their trip.
    "If you don't know where you're going...any road will get you there."
    "He who's not busy living is busy dying"

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammock engineer
    If I get to lonely I could always carry a volleyball, draw a face on it, call it Wilson, and make it my hiking partner.
    haha, honestly though a sobo hike is hardly as isolated as people make it out to be. In 5 months of hiking there was probably no more then 5 days where I went the whole day without seeing anyone. There will always be weekend hikers, section hikers, and other sobo thru hikers out ther and you are bound to run in to someone. You will certainly spend some nights alone in a shelter but thats actually a pleasent experience. As sobos, once you pass the nobo herd, you kind of have this feeling that the trail is all yours. It makes for nice walking.

  6. #6
    Section...future thru...whatever Crafty's Avatar
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    Default Late Start

    I'm shooting for an early July start to my hike but I have a lot of responsibilities to take care of between now & then so may be a little later getting going, as well. It's good to know that there are others in the same boat. I was a bit worried about the weather shutting me down before I could finish the route so I would appreciate any local info on trail conditions down south in December or so. Are the trails passable, with snowshoes if need be? Are hostels, campgrounds, stores, etc., still open at that time of year?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MandoMike
    I was a bit worried about the weather shutting me down before I could finish the route so I would appreciate any local info on trail conditions down south in December or so. Are the trails passable, with snowshoes if need be? Are hostels, campgrounds, stores, etc., still open at that time of year?
    Don't worry about the weather down here in the winter. One of the reasons I'm going SOBO (starting in early July this year) is because I've already hiked the AT in GA, NC, and TN in all of the winter months and know that November and December are mostly excellent. It's cold at night, but the days, though short, are frequently perfect for hiking. Snowstorms do occur, but usually melt away pretty quickly. Be prepared to hunker down and wait out some bad weather, but it will probably pass within a day.

    Some of the campgrounds close up for the season, but you should still be able to find what you need. You'll probably find plenty of shelter space in the Smokies, for instance. Do wear blaze orange, and you might want to take a couple of days off at the start of gun deer season.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  8. #8
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    but the days, though short, are frequently perfect for hiking...
    I didn't mind the short days so much, but the nights were way too long!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickboudrie
    I didn't mind the short days so much, but the nights were way too long!
    Lots of reading material and good light source(s) have helped me during winter sections hikes. I'm planning to do the same thing this fall.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

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