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  1. #1
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    Default Planning a southbound thru-hike in August

    Hey everyone! A couple friends and myself are planning a southbound thru-hike of the AT in mid to early Aug of 2011. I was wondering if anyone who has made the hike could tell me what to expect as far as weather conditions or any other miscellaneous things I may need to know along the way (suggested packing lists etc....) Any answers and advice are welcome and much appreciated. Thank you all.......

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    2000 miler Doc's Avatar
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    Northern New England will be perfect then but add four or five months and think about what the Smokies and other southern mountains will be like at that time of year. Be prepared for very cold temps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickens87 View Post
    Any answers and advice are welcome and much appreciated. Thank you all.......
    With that starting date it would help if y'all were fast.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

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    what about hammocking vs tenting? I would really like to go the hammock route because of the weight difference. i'd love some feedback on what people think about both options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickens87 View Post
    what about hammocking vs tenting? I would really like to go the hammock route because of the weight difference. i'd love some feedback on what people think about both options.
    a hammock setup usually is a few more oz's then a tent??
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickens87 View Post
    what about hammocking vs tenting? I would really like to go the hammock route because of the weight difference. i'd love some feedback on what people think about both options.
    With the hammock the cold air can encircle your entire body. As posted above they are also often heavier then a tent by the time you add the ropes and under quilts. But in their defense I have never used one so I am no "expert".
    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

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    Default SOBO starting in August?

    I had a long conversation with "Dean" at Dick's Dome north of Front Royal over the weekend. He did a SOBO thruhike starting in August back in '96. He said he spent the first 30 days straight, yes, 30 days, in the rain in Maine/NH. He also said he didn't reach Springer Mtn until February and spent the last 2 months hiking through snow in the Smokies. Prior to that he said there was snow on the ground for the length of the Snennies. He said if he had a do-over he'd start in early July to avoid the weather extremes north and south. Just passing this along...

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    You cant pick a much better time to go through Maine in August and the white mountains in early September. I would suggest leaving as close to August 1st as you can. If you delay going through the whites to late September by leaving Maine later in August, you will need to carry more gear for 4 or 5 days as the weather can really cool down up on the ridge. Some of the AMC huts also could be closed for the season later in September.

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    well i'm really looking forward to starting in august. so would any of you suggest hammocking on this sobo thru-hike?

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    Dickens87, I recommend the Hennessey Hammock with the supershelter or don't go the hammock route at all. It is basically a hammock with an undercover and over cover which helps keep you warm. Everyone who said the hammock weighs more, its not true. My hammock is the HH Hyperlight at 1 lb 10 oz (a bit more with upgraded tarp), and add another 1 lb when hiking with the Supershelter in really cold weather. I use the undercover to keep the mosquitoes from biting my body through the bottom of the hammock (a savior in swampy areas).

    My advice, do your research. Look up tent vs hammock facts. For my needs, hammock all the way.

  11. #11
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    For me, the hammock becomes heavier than the tent when nightime temps drop below about 40. With a tent you can take advantage of the ground as insulation; not so with a hammock.

    Also, on a SOBO hike you'll have the shelters pretty much to yourself for a lot of your hike. If you're set up for tenting (i.e., have a pad), you can take advantage of that. Using shelters cuts way back on the setting up and breaking down camp, and you avoid having to pack a wet shelter day after day. In fact, while it's a bit risky, more than a few SOBOs have sent their tents home in the fall, when the Trail empties.

    As a southerner, don't think "summer" when you think about August in Maine. It'll be downright chilly at night. You should have a warm hat and gloves with you, right from the start.

    Bring lots of food for the wilderness. You might get through it in four or five days, but if it takes you longer than that, you'll need food to make it fun.

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    Dickens, I am planning on starting September (yes, September) first, and I suspect we will have similar pack lists, with mine being a bit more for the cold.
    Look forward to seeing you on the trail if we cross paths (dunno if you have mid-August in stone or if you are doing it a bit later)

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    Wow man! a September start? I feel like I'm pushing it starting in August haha. Which way are you heading nobo or sobo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickens87 View Post
    Wow man! a September start? I feel like I'm pushing it starting in August haha. Which way are you heading nobo or sobo?

    SOBO; if I were to go NOBO during this time frame I would have to do over 2,000 miles in a month and a half's time; Baxter Closes October 15th for camping

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaSteve View Post
    SOBO; if I were to go NOBO during this time frame I would have to do over 2,000 miles in a month and a half's time; Baxter Closes October 15th for camping
    hahaha yea i guess that makes since huh! well good luck in your travels and maybe i'll see ya on the trail sometime!

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    i would be interested in knowing what you've chosen for shelter. are you going to use a tent, hammock or just use the shelters provided on the trail?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickens87 View Post
    i would be interested in knowing what you've chosen for shelter. are you going to use a tent, hammock or just use the shelters provided on the trail?
    I want to get into hammocking, considering the comfort of staying in one for the entirety of the trail, but I also understand I will be facing freezing temperatures. It is possible to sleep comfortably in one, but just need to continue my research on this forum and its sister, hammock specific, forrum.

    The shelters will come in handy, the ones that are still open during the winter, some are closed to my knowledge during this time. They certainly should be quite empty, the ones that are closed though!

    How about yourself?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaSteve View Post
    I want to get into hammocking, considering the comfort of staying in one for the entirety of the trail, but I also understand I will be facing freezing temperatures. It is possible to sleep comfortably in one, but just need to continue my research on this forum and its sister, hammock specific, forrum.

    The shelters will come in handy, the ones that are still open during the winter, some are closed to my knowledge during this time. They certainly should be quite empty, the ones that are closed though!

    How about yourself?
    I've really been considering going with a hammock myself. I've found a supposed 4 season insulation system made by hennessey hammock. It's probably what I'll end up going with if I decide to hammock. You should check it out. Just google hennessey hammock 4 season super shelter.

  19. #19
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickens87 View Post
    I've really been considering going with a hammock myself. I've found a supposed 4 season insulation system made by hennessey hammock. It's probably what I'll end up going with if I decide to hammock. You should check it out. Just google hennessey hammock 4 season super shelter.
    4 season LOL find somebody that bought this and liked it. waste of money.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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