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  1. #1

    Default Anyone else starting on Jan. 1st?

    Hey all, I'm new to this whole forum thing, but I figured I'd register on here to get some support and advice I'm starting my first thru hike on January 1, 2013. Gonna be freezing, I know. Crazy? Maybe. But I'm going to do it, and I'm going to get to Maine. I have a pretty good idea what I'm getting myself into, and I've got my mind set on it. Any tips/advice? Mainly, is anyone else planning on being on the trail any time in January? Cheers.

  2. #2

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    Lots of old threads on this. Here is one:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...ing+in+January
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  3. #3

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    My advice, since you asked, is to start in the spring and finish in the fall instead of starting in winter and finishing in summer.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifle View Post
    .... I have a pretty good idea what I'm getting myself into, and I've got my mind set on it. Any tips/advice?... .
    Does your "pretty good idea" include the black flies and mosquitoes of Northern New England? A January start from Springer puts you at the peak of bug season up there.

  5. #5

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    There's usually a New Years eve party on top of Springer, so at least you woun't be alone the first night. There will probably even be a few who also start a through hike then, but it will get real lonely, real quick after that.

    Unless you have already spent a significant amount of time hiking and camping in the cold, you really don't have any idea what your getting into. And if you have, then there probably isn't much any of us can tell you about it. Seeing that most people who start on Jan 1st usually don't last more then a couple of weeks out there, good luck to ya. Georgia isn't bad, but once you get into NC it will be a much harsher world to deal with.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    If the weather turns really cold,say nitetime temps near 0*,you may have to rethink your food supply.At that temp a lot of food items will freeze solid as a rock and will be useless....

  7. #7
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Snow, very cold, isolation, short days, unless you have done it don't say you have a pretty good idea what to expect. Tell that to the hiker in chest high snow drifts rescued in the Smokies.







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    You're close to the trail head -no harm in givin' 'er a try.
    Just be smart enough to bail if you get in over your head.
    Of course we're all curious as heck as to how you've acquired your "pretty good idea".
    I'm contemplating a short section in the South in Jan 13 if the forecast is not horrendous. I may start at Neel's Gap 2nd-3rd weekend.
    Happy Trails.

  9. #9
    Registered User q-tip's Avatar
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    Strongly suggest you do some test hikes with your gear kit. It is far too late to get help if something doesn't work. In my experience, all of my rain gear failed at 13,000 ft. in India, hail sideways---I was with guides, but in serious trouble. With respect to cost--winter hiking gear can get very expensive, and you will need the best if you are going alone. Later may be kinder.....

  10. #10

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    You need to do a lot of careful planning and be prepared to hike in a lot of cold weather and snow. good luck and happy hiking. RED-DOG

  11. #11
    Registered User Tundra's Avatar
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    I would strongly suggest gore-tex paclite for your rain gear. I don't trust anything but gore-tex for the winter. Make sure you regulate your temperature. Sweating in freezing temperatures can be dangerou at best. You need loose layers and you'll constantly be adjusting for comfort and safety. You will need designated clothes for camp only. A set of long johns, socks, hat and gloves. I also use a layering system for gloves. I use thin, synthetic liners for hiking and a thicker warmer set for camp and tent. I also carry and love my Mountain Laural Designs e-vent rain mitts. One ounce of amazingness. My glove layering system weighs 3 ounces and have kept me warm and dry during some pretty damn cold and wet winter days here in Alaska. My winter sleep system consists of a 35 degree, down, Western Mountaineering Highlite with a silk liner AND a Mountain Laural Designs 38 degree, synthetic quilt. I sleep on a small, 3/4 length therm-a-rest neo on top of an 1/8 inch Gossamer Gear thinlite pad. This system keeps my warm and is very versatile for changing conditions. I use cuben fiber dry bags to protect my down bag, quilt and clothes. They each get a separate drybag to ensure down stays dry. With a little care and cautiousness my sleeping kit, clothes and tent are gaurenteed to be dry (if i put them away dry)and ready when I need them. This system has worked for me. Let me know if I can offer anything else. Oh, and I sleep with damp trail clothes in between my sleeping pads to help dry them but to mainly keep them from freezing.

  12. #12

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    Read the pdf guidebook at WINTERCAMPERS.COM

    http://www.wintercampers.com/winterc...inter-camping/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra View Post
    I would strongly suggest gore-tex paclite for your rain gear. I don't trust anything but gore-tex for the winter. Make sure you regulate your temperature. Sweating in freezing temperatures can be dangerou at best. You need loose layers and you'll constantly be adjusting for comfort and safety. You will need designated clothes for camp only. A set of long johns, socks, hat and gloves. I also use a layering system for gloves. I use thin, synthetic liners for hiking and a thicker warmer set for camp and tent. I also carry and love my Mountain Laural Designs e-vent rain mitts. One ounce of amazingness. My glove layering system weighs 3 ounces and have kept me warm and dry during some pretty damn cold and wet winter days here in Alaska. My winter sleep system consists of a 35 degree, down, Western Mountaineering Highlite with a silk liner AND a Mountain Laural Designs 38 degree, synthetic quilt. I sleep on a small, 3/4 length therm-a-rest neo on top of an 1/8 inch Gossamer Gear thinlite pad. This system keeps my warm and is very versatile for changing conditions. I use cuben fiber dry bags to protect my down bag, quilt and clothes. They each get a separate drybag to ensure down stays dry. With a little care and cautiousness my sleeping kit, clothes and tent are gaurenteed to be dry (if i put them away dry)and ready when I need them. This system has worked for me. Let me know if I can offer anything else. Oh, and I sleep with damp trail clothes in between my sleeping pads to help dry them but to mainly keep them from freezing.
    that trail name, that address. i'd take his advice!
    Lazarus

  14. #14
    Registered User brian039's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra View Post
    I would strongly suggest gore-tex paclite for your rain gear. I don't trust anything but gore-tex for the winter. Make sure you regulate your temperature. Sweating in freezing temperatures can be dangerou at best. You need loose layers and you'll constantly be adjusting for comfort and safety. You will need designated clothes for camp only. A set of long johns, socks, hat and gloves. I also use a layering system for gloves. I use thin, synthetic liners for hiking and a thicker warmer set for camp and tent. I also carry and love my Mountain Laural Designs e-vent rain mitts. One ounce of amazingness. My glove layering system weighs 3 ounces and have kept me warm and dry during some pretty damn cold and wet winter days here in Alaska. My winter sleep system consists of a 35 degree, down, Western Mountaineering Highlite with a silk liner AND a Mountain Laural Designs 38 degree, synthetic quilt. I sleep on a small, 3/4 length therm-a-rest neo on top of an 1/8 inch Gossamer Gear thinlite pad. This system keeps my warm and is very versatile for changing conditions. I use cuben fiber dry bags to protect my down bag, quilt and clothes. They each get a separate drybag to ensure down stays dry. With a little care and cautiousness my sleeping kit, clothes and tent are gaurenteed to be dry (if i put them away dry)and ready when I need them. This system has worked for me. Let me know if I can offer anything else. Oh, and I sleep with damp trail clothes in between my sleeping pads to help dry them but to mainly keep them from freezing.
    Everything this guy said plus you'll probably want to bring some sort of entertainment for the 4-5 hours of being in your tent since it gets dark at 4:30. Also bring $1-2,000 dollars extra money for waiting out storms in hotels unless you have some sort of support system in place.

  15. #15
    El Sordo
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    all of the forest service roads in NC are gated and locked until mid March. That means no shuttles available except at highway crossings.
    Dyslexics Untie!

  16. #16
    John B's Avatar
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    Tundra, would you explain more about your glove set up for camp. What kind of thicker gloves or mits? You use the Mountain Laural e-vents more as a wind block? My hands always get so damned cold that they hurt and I can't move fingers enough even to use a lighter.

    " I also use a layering system for gloves. I use thin, synthetic liners for hiking and a thicker warmer set for camp and tent. I also carry and love my Mountain Laural Designs e-vent rain mitts. One ounce of amazingness. My glove layering system weighs 3 ounces and have kept me warm and dry during some pretty damn cold and wet winter days here in Alaska."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifle View Post
    Hey all, I'm new to this whole forum thing, but I figured I'd register on here to get some support and advice I'm starting my first thru hike on January 1, 2013. Gonna be freezing, I know. Crazy? Maybe. But I'm going to do it, and I'm going to get to Maine. I have a pretty good idea what I'm getting myself into, and I've got my mind set on it. Any tips/advice? Mainly, is anyone else planning on being on the trail any time in January? Cheers.
    hell yea man im starting then too

  18. #18
    Registered User Tundra's Avatar
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    John B,
    I just noticed I listed my glove system at 3oz. I wish, it actually weighs 8oz. My e-vent rain mitts are great in rain, snow and wind. I use either my OR versa liners or the e-vent rain mitts while hiking; it really depends on the temperature and weather. If its raining, snowing, blowing, cold or any combination I'll wear both. I keep the thicker OR gripper gloves with my dry camp clothes. If its wet or raining i'll set up camp immidiately and do most of my camp chores in my liners and mitts while I'm still warm from hiking. This system seems to keep me pretty warm and dry. I always have dry gloves. If its really cold but dry ill set up camp in the gripper gloves. If it's really, really cold I'll wear the liners, gripper and e-vent. I just really like being able to adjust for different weather, chores and neccessity.

  19. #19
    John B's Avatar
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    Tundra, appreciate the info. I'm going to copy your glove system. thanks.

  20. #20

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    That's awesome. What's your trail name? I intend to do the approach trail to Springer. If you'd like it'd be great to start with someone for a jump start on motivation. I love solitude, but I sure wouldn't mind some company every now and then, especially in the beginning. What do you say?

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