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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    08-26-2019
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    Default Section Hike June 2020

    My bff and I are planning our first section hike starting in Damascus (Nobo) early-mid June next year. My question today is about gear.

    What degree rating should our sleeping bags be?

    Puffy or no?

    Bear bag size for 2 or 3 people or should we each have our own? (Her son may join us. He's done a section hike before but didn't have a canister or bag).

    Any general weather tips?

    TIA
    Last edited by ghetto-okie; 10-21-2019 at 21:54. Reason: Removed an emoji

  2. #2
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    01-11-2015
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    Willis, Virginia
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    That s a great time to hike in SW VA ... I live in that general part of the state. As to weather, and temps ... the days are usually fairly moderate, and the nights cool in the mountains but not cold. It is hard to predict, but some rain is certainly likely but not certain. You need to be prepared for hot and cool weather, and for dry and wet conditions. But then again that is about the same description as OK in June.

    I wouldn't bring a puffy for that section in June .... but some do.

    I would only bring a 50 degree bag unless the forecast is for cooler than average temps ... but I suspect most would bring a 30-40 degree bag.

    I would bring my lightweight rain gear, rather than my heavy rain gear that I use on April hikes in SW VA.

    Beyond that, since it is a section hike ... watch the 10 day forecast for the Mt. Rogers area to fine-tune your gear.

    As to Bear Bag ... it has been a number of years since I did that section ... but my memory is that many of the shelters had bear poles to hang. There have been and increase in bear/human interactions in recent years ... but if you take reasonable precautions you should be fine.... I'm sure many others can and will give you more recent information about bear issues.

    Have fun ... it is a GREAT section, especially through Mt. Rogers and the Va Highlands.

    Turtyl



    Quote Originally Posted by ghetto-okie View Post
    My bff and I are planning our first section hike starting in Damascus (Nobo) early-mid June next year. My question today is about gear.
    What degree rating should our sleeping bags be?
    Puffy or no?
    Bear bag size for 2 or 3 people or should we each have our own? (Her son may join us. He's done a section hike before but didn't have a canister or bag).
    Any general weather tips?
    TIA

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Pilot, Virginia
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    Turtyl's advice was spot on regarding gear. I can update the bear situation, however, since my daughter and I just finished our 2019 thru hike...

    The only bears we saw on the entire A.T. were in the section you are hiking. Many are quite adept at pulling down hangs. Most shelters in the Grayson Highlands now have bear boxes. I would strongly recommend planning to camp where these are located or consider taking bear canisters. (BTW, Ursacks are OK for mice but do not work for bears.) Once a bear has figured out bear hangs your only hope is that they are busy getting someone else's food instead of yours. In my opinion, formed by first hand experience, it is not possible to hang your food and keep it safe in this region, even if you follow PCT hang methods perfectly. Some hikers make it through with no issues. I met far too many that didn't.

    We averaged one day of rain for every three days we hiked. Expect rain. The problem with rain gear during the summer is that on long climbs sweating becomes a problem even with hi-tech fabrics like Goretex. It does little good to keep the rain out if you are getting soaked from within. I would not hike the A.T. again without packing a good trail umbrella.

    Bear problems aside, this was one of our favorite sections of the entire trail. Enjoy!

  4. #4

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    Plenty of bear boxes near Grayson these days.
    Can’t say how full they’ll be but at least they are there.



  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Did this section from Pearisburg to Damascus last July-August. Hot and humid during the days, but not excessively, nice and cool at nights. A few thunder storms but you dry-up very fast. Bring extra pair of underwear, socks and shirt to change. No bear, no mice problems in shelters. Did not see any bears for that matter. Nice views from Mt Rogers/Grayson highlands and beautiful sunrise from Chestnut Knob shelter. Plenty of re-supply and hostels options. Water was not an issue. Do not miss the Settlers Museum near Atkins.
    P.S. I don't know how far north will you be going, but if you stay the night in Chestnut knob shelter, bring enough water with you, there's no water there.
    Last edited by stephanD; 10-22-2019 at 10:10.

  6. #6
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    Thank you!!!!

    I live in Oklahoma where the weather is bipolar that time of the year but my friend lives in California. I'll start looking for rain gear.

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