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  1. #1
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    Default winter thru-hike

    Having done the A.T. back in 2008, and loving winter hiking, I am now thinking of doing a winter hike of the A.T..

    Starting in Nov or Dec.. Heading North.

    Not looking to use hostels this time around, more just keep in the woods and hike through.

    Looking to see if anyone might be interested in joining me. Must be use to and comfortable with cold weather hiking.

    Anyone that might be thinking they would be up for it, let me know.

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    Okay, Oct - March, just had a person say they would be interested in that time frame.

    Anyone that might be interested, let us know, even if it might be for a different time frame, nothing set in stone.

    All are welcome, as long as you are knowledgable in cold weather camping.

    - Rick

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    I have done most of the AT in winter, you are under - researching/ overlooking a few things:

    with no hotel/ hostel stays and no chance of outdoor bathing, how do you think you and your gear will smell after a few weeks? - are you going into town to resupply that way?

    the trail "goes away" in winter in areas of significant snowfall - branches bend down and the "tunnel" that is the trail is a few feet tall

    Baxter park is closed in march


    if you want a challenge with a more realistic chance of accomplishing it, start a soho before the park closes - just about the same oct - march time frame

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I have done most of the AT in winter, you are under - researching/ overlooking a few things:

    with no hotel/ hostel stays and no chance of outdoor bathing, how do you think you and your gear will smell after a few weeks? - are you going into town to resupply that way?

    the trail "goes away" in winter in areas of significant snowfall - branches bend down and the "tunnel" that is the trail is a few feet tall

    Baxter park is closed in march


    if you want a challenge with a more realistic chance of accomplishing it, start a soho before the park closes - just about the same oct - march time frame
    So, you're not interested in going?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post
    Having done the A.T. back in 2008, and loving winter hiking, I am now thinking of doing a winter hike of the A.T..

    Starting in Nov or Dec.. Heading North.

    Not looking to use hostels this time around, more just keep in the woods and hike through.

    Looking to see if anyone might be interested in joining me. Must be use to and comfortable with cold weather hiking.

    Anyone that might be thinking they would be up for it, let me know.
    To be technical, a "winter" hike should be completed in winter. Not fall thru spring or any other combination.

    Either way, the idea sounds like fun. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktaadn View Post
    To be technical, a "winter" hike should be completed in winter. Not fall thru spring or any other combination.

    Either way, the idea sounds like fun. Good luck.
    A thru that includes the calendar winter months is a winter thru hike to me. Especially since a 90 day thru in only the winter would be nearly impossible.

    That said, I'd be inclined to go SOBO starting in September, and take my sweet time after clearing northern New England.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Have spent some time during the winter "in the great outdoors" with the US military, and truly enjoy winter camping. But the gear necessary for the AT journey might be 40% heavier in winter(?) Not to mention the low daily miles when the really deep snows occur. It certainly would be a tough challenge!

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    Bathing is done the same way I did it during my 1st thru hike, heat up water in my camel back, hang from tree, get butt ass naked, soap up hose off, dry off put on clean sleeping clothes. Change into hiking clothes in morning.
    I bath every 2 or 3 days during my original thru hike. And being winter, sweating is not that big of an issue as it is in warmer months. I always kept a clean change of town clothes. I would bath by the side of the road before hitching, ask Peanut, she thought I was nuts for showering on the trail and before hitching rides. No worries on hygen.

    I do not want to use hostels. So no issues there.

    Larger winter pack, more food storage, less town stops, no issues there.

    The Park will be closed, I just have to kill time hiking another trail til it opens, then come back........no job, no time limits, no issues.

    So are you going or just attempting to point out jumped to conclusions about my planning ?


    I love winter hiking, been plenty of times in the Adirondacks in negative 15 degrees.

    My winter pack is around 40 pounds, 46.5 with snow shoes, ice axe, and crampons.
    Last edited by wrongway_08; 05-13-2013 at 01:17.

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    Feral Bill, have thought about SOBO, but just like the scenery and challenge in the North better, as a ending point.

    But nothing is out of the question at this point

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    A thru that includes the calendar winter months is a winter thru hike to me. Especially since a 90 day thru in only the winter would be nearly impossible.

    That said, I'd be inclined to go SOBO starting in September, and take my sweet time after clearing northern New England.
    Just because you think a winter thru hike is "nearly impossible" doesn't mean that you get to make up something different and call it a winter thru hike.

    Your suggestion of starting a hike in the summer (or very early fall if starting at the end of Sept) and then taking your "sweet time" would not be considered anything other than a regular thru hike in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post



    So are you going or just attempting to point out jumped to conclusions about my planning ?

    reread the first line of my post - are the conclusions jumped to, or are you stuck on romantic ideas/ looking for a reason to ignore them?

    lets put it this way: have you used your intended methods for at least a monthlong period, while accomplishing the daily/ weekly/ monthly miles needed?

    as far as being interested in the trip, that brings up another flaw in reasoning for the premise of this thread: "hooking up" with a stranger over the internet for a multi-month off season trip - the chance of keeping a similar pace long term is near zero

    so my answer is, if I was to attempt a winter through, I would plan it independently or with a previous hiking companion, certainly not a stranger

    if you have any interest in using sense or logic for trip planning try to find flying brians triple crown journal for the nonexistence of the trail in winter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktaadn View Post
    Just because you think a winter thru hike is "nearly impossible" doesn't mean that you get to make up something different and call it a winter thru hike.

    Your suggestion of starting a hike in the summer (or very early fall if starting at the end of Sept) and then taking your "sweet time" would not be considered anything other than a regular thru hike in my opinion.
    a "regular through hike" is pretty tough to define, I do not think any 2 have ever been identical

    a late sept / oct - march sobo would give the most of the aspects/ challenges of any winter trip:
    over 90% solitude on the trail, even staying in shelters
    leaves off views
    greatly reduced services/ businesses available
    some reduction in availability of water sources
    cold weather water crossings
    increase in gear weight
    most of the snow / ice challenges and beautiful scenery


    what is unlikely with this schedule:
    need for snowshoes - and the potential for long periods of low mile days
    having to be evacuated
    having to get off the trail / reroute for more than a couple days waiting for improved conditions

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    a "regular through hike" is pretty tough to define, I do not think any 2 have ever been identical

    a late sept / oct - march sobo would give the most of the aspects/ challenges of any winter trip:
    over 90% solitude on the trail, even staying in shelters
    leaves off views
    greatly reduced services/ businesses available
    some reduction in availability of water sources
    cold weather water crossings
    increase in gear weight
    most of the snow / ice challenges and beautiful scenery


    what is unlikely with this schedule:
    need for snowshoes - and the potential for long periods of low mile days
    having to be evacuated
    having to get off the trail / reroute for more than a couple days waiting for improved conditions
    You forgot no bugs, snakes,or excessive heat
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    You forgot no bugs, snakes,or excessive heat
    ...and reduced number of Griswolds. Reason enough to go during that time.

    Wayne
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    Yea George, I have. Only been backpacking since I was 8 years old.

    Anyways, why is there always a person who tries to point flaws out or act like the original poster does not know their own limits?

    No reason to worry, I know all about winter hiking.......like I said, negative 15 degrees........does not bother me.

    But this thread is not "hey guys, not sure if I am ready to hike a winter thru hike........let's talk my winter creds."

    This thread is "hey guys, I am doing a winter hike, anyone interested in going?"

    Sooooo.......if we could keep it on topic. Yea......that'd be great.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post
    Bathing is done the same way I did it during my 1st thru hike, heat up water in my camel back, hang from tree, get butt ass naked, soap up hose off, dry off put on clean sleeping clothes. Change into hiking clothes in morning.
    I bath every 2 or 3 days during my original thru hike. And being winter, sweating is not that big of an issue as it is in warmer months. I always kept a clean change of town clothes. I would bath by the side of the road before hitching, ask Peanut, she thought I was nuts for showering on the trail and before hitching rides. No worries on hygen.

    I do not want to use hostels. So no issues there.

    Larger winter pack, more food storage, less town stops, no issues there.

    The Park will be closed, I just have to kill time hiking another trail til it opens, then come back........no job, no time limits, no issues.

    So are you going or just attempting to point out jumped to conclusions about my planning ?


    I love winter hiking, been plenty of times in the Adirondacks in negative 15 degrees.

    My winter pack is around 40 pounds, 46.5 with snow shoes, ice axe, and crampons.
    Hey Wrongway... I remember following you on your 2008 thru-hike. My daughter was hiking that year. (Strange Habit) I remember Peanut, Lady Cluck, Samson, Creek Diver, Shelter Monkey, Snake Whisperer and Pacer just to name a few... I also remember that you could handle snakes really well....amazing. Do you still have the dog Erwin that you picked up in Erwin, TN. Sorry to thread drift.... but I remember you.

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    Hello! Yes, I still have Erwin .....you can check out our latest adventures here,

    http://travelpod.com/members/road_tripper

    We had a GREAT group that year, I miss them.

    What have you been up to?

  19. #19

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    Cool! I'm just hanging out on WB ALOT, lol but am really busy right now getting stuff together. Doing a short hike (9 days) with my daughter & hubby.

    Thanks for the link... that's so cool that Erwin is still with ya... he looks great!

    Hope you can get some peeps interested in hiking with ya. Winter hiking could get interesting... Tipi (on here) is a huge fan but be prepared to be hauling a pretty big pack. It's great to connect with you again. Good luck with everything!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post
    Yea George, I have. Only been backpacking since I was 8 years old.

    Anyways, why is there always a person who tries to point flaws out or act like the original poster does not know their own limits?

    No reason to worry, I know all about winter hiking.......like I said, negative 15 degrees........does not bother me.

    But this thread is not "hey guys, not sure if I am ready to hike a winter thru hike........let's talk my winter creds."

    This thread is "hey guys, I am doing a winter hike, anyone interested in going?"

    Sooooo.......if we could keep it on topic. Yea......that'd be great.
    Just curious - are you afraid doing winter hike alone? If not, why not to accomplish this heroic goal first and then announce to the world: I did it!

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