- Oct 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm #3561702
Plan on doing a section of the Roan highlands in the last week of November and could use some input on gear choices. I have hiked the whole section from Hot Springs to Erwin over the summer but obviously conditions could be quite different on Mt Roan in late November/early December.
Weather not permitting I plan on hiking north towards the Grayson highlands or hiking in North Georgia/blood mountain area.
https://lighterpack.com/r/6m3i9-just clothing and Big 3Oct 29, 2018 at 4:49 pm #3561704
Will, I couldn’t get your list to open. I’ve spent time on Roan that time of year. It can be really nice. Or it can be a cold, rainy, sufferfest. Regardless, the Roan section is short enough you could always bail if it gets really nasty.
There are no special requirements here. You’ll want a rain-worthy tent or tarp. WInd can be an issue on the balds, but there are plenty of sheltered areas to block the wind.
A 20 degree quilt will probably do the trick, but look at the forcast before you go.
Take a good rainjacket and a light fleece that time of year.Oct 29, 2018 at 5:01 pm #3561705
OK, I just figured out how to open it. It looks like more than enough warmth and weather protection with one possible exception – your pad could be a little light, depending on conditions. That’s more warm clothing than I would take, but fine if you don’t mind carrying all that. I assume you are doing a single night out, right?Oct 29, 2018 at 5:08 pm #3561706
Probably 2 nights, I’ll drop some of the clothing like the worn midlayer and the sleep clothes but still take the Kodiak.Oct 29, 2018 at 5:39 pm #3561709
Will, I just noticed the boots too. Have you walked mileage in those? Those could be blister makers. There is really no reason to need more than trail runners on that section, and your feet will likely thank you. I would recommend staying away from gore-tex shoes too. Hope it’s a great trip.Oct 29, 2018 at 5:47 pm #3561711
I have and mostly just want to actually use them besides just at ranger school as they are pricy but unless I see daily temps at carvers gap in low teens I’ll opt for trail runners.Oct 29, 2018 at 10:57 pm #3561740jimmyjamSpectator
@jimmyjamLocale: Mid Atlantic
Don’t park at the 19E trail head. They have had a bad problem with break-ins there for years. Park right down the mountain at Mountain Harbor B&B Hostel for a small fee.Oct 30, 2018 at 6:48 pm #3561840Brett ABPL Member
I agree that wind/rain protection would be the biggest concerns since there are some long stretches where your totally exposed. I sleep cold so I would want a warm pad that time of year. Maybe supplement with a GG Thinlight. Otherwise, you should be good to go.
+1 on parking at Mtn Harbor. Shuttle to Iron Mtn Gap for a 2-night hike, staying at Ash Gap or Roan High Knob the first night and Overmountain the second. If starting at Carvers Gap, you should have no problem getting back to Mtn Harbor with just 1 night on the trail.Oct 30, 2018 at 8:03 pm #3561848
I got granted 4 day passes for both Veterans Day and thanksgiving. Any other recommended options for a 2-3 night trip, conservatively would say covering 15 miles a day. I’m at fort benning and would say Erwin is about as far as I’m willing to drive.Oct 30, 2018 at 8:43 pm #3561852
Cohutta Wilderness, Slickrock, Smokies, Pisgah Forest, Linville Gorge, any AT section, Grayson Highlands if you are willing to go a little further. Plenty of good southern Appalachian hiking within striking range.Oct 30, 2018 at 10:51 pm #3561865Brett ABPL Member
If you don’t mind staying in the shelters, the section of the AT in the Smokies going South-bound from either Newfound Gap or Clingmans dome (saves you the climb up from the gap) to Fontana dam is awesome. I did it in late October a few years ago and it was absolutely beautiful. Going south-bound, assuming you start at Clingmans, your stiffest climb will be getting up Briar Knob. Other than that short, stiff climb it wasn’t too bad. Some great views, Shuckstack fire tower…great hike and definitely doable in 3-4 days. Just be sure to check on the status of water and closures due to bear activity.
I thought the AT sections from Davenport Gap to Hot Springs and Hot Springs to Erwin were great as well and either of those should meet your time constraints.Oct 31, 2018 at 12:35 am #3561885
Thanks for the advice. Turns out I am getting a four day veterans day, thanksgiving and in late December. I plan on hiking sections of the smokies and roan highlands in mid and late November and probably north Georgia in late December. Reasoning is that I have winter layers and sleeping bag but lack any snowshoes, micro spikes, stove system for melting snow that I assume would be required or advised in the smokies or Roan highlands by late December.Oct 31, 2018 at 7:26 pm #3562042
You usually need none of those hiking the Smokies or Roan in December. I regularly do a January trip in southern Appalachia and have never needed any of those. The springs and creeks are virtually always running. The snow only occassionally gets deep enough that snowshoes are needed.Oct 31, 2018 at 8:07 pm #3562053
In that case I’ll start getting permits, should be able to hike all of the smokies section over Veterans Day weekend and thanksgiving week.Oct 31, 2018 at 8:30 pm #3562054
Just check your weather report to make sure no major snowstorms are blowing through and you should be good any time of year.Nov 3, 2018 at 9:41 pm #3562537
Any advice on footgear choices? The forecast for the 9th shows cold and rainy conditions suitable for trail runners and either goretex or neoprene socks but the temps are predicted to dive into the teens Veterans Day weekend. I think that effectively rules out goretex boots/mids or insulated boots as they will wet out the first day.
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