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  1. #1
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    Default Clothing for SoBo thru hike

    I plan on starting a SoBo thru hike in June of 2011. I have done many section hikes over the past 10 years, but they have all been in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. What can I expect as far as whether conditions in the north? More importantly, what Brand/model/type of jacket and raingear should I pack. Thanks

  2. #2
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    All synthetic layers is the way to go, some folks are starting to switch over to merino wool in place of polypro but I find that it takes longer to dry. I cant recomend down for anything as it inevitably will get wet. At a minimum a bug net for your head that fits over your hat, many folks use bug suits. A bug net to sleep under is not super effective when the critters are thick, usually a tent with screens or at a minimum a bug bivy may keep you sane. Zip off pants have their use, in June in Maine the temps can and will range from 35 to 70 F over a few days.

    Bring enough gear so that you can cover all of your exposed skin if it gets cold. I find carrying a lightweight balaclava takes up a lot less room and is warmer than an equivalent fleece hat when used with a baseball type hat on top of it. I can throw in a pair of fleece gloves with the balaclava and still take up less room than a standard fleece hat. By the way my baseball type hat is also nylon, a normal cotton hat takes a lot longer to dry.

    Raingear is great for hanging around a shelter or acting as a wind block on a wet and windy day. I havent found anything that keeps me very dry while hiking. At a minimum look for something with good pit zips and a good fitting hood.

    Usually the weather warms up and drys out by the end of June but the mosquitoes will be out unitl mid July.

  3. #3

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    Should Down be avoided for a SoBo starting around June, then? (sorry to hijack a bit).


    What insulation is about equivalent in weight and insulation to down?
    Thru Hiker in Planning.

  4. #4
    Registered User wcgornto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edvvard View Post
    Should Down be avoided for a SoBo starting around June, then? (sorry to hijack a bit).


    What insulation is about equivalent in weight and insulation to down?

    No synthetic material is as lightweight and compressible as down for the equivalent temperature rating.

    I hiked SOBO with two down sleeping bags last year ... a thirty degree bag from Katahdin to Daleville, VA and a fifteen degree bag the rest of the way. I hiked with down because it is lighter and compresses smaller than synthetic.

    I endured lots of rain, particularly in New England in June and July (I started on June 14). My sleeping bag never got wet, even though the inside of my pack was wet from time to time. I kept it in a water resistant compression sack (no such thing as water proof) which was in turn within a plastic garbage bag.

    I carried a very lightweight, compressible down jacket from Erwin, TN the last 330 miles. I carried this just in case for the trip through the Smokies in November. It was never cold enough for me to wear it, but it did make a nice pillow.

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