Can you hike Appalachian Trail in winter?

Can you hike Appalachian Trail in winter?

For many, winter can be the ideal time to take a hike on the Appalachian Trail — or pretty much any trail! Leafless trees allow for miles-long views, the cool air keeps the crowds at bay, and there isn’t much that is more satisfying that sipping hot cocoa next to a hot campfire (in a designated fire ring, of course).

What gear do I need to hike in the snow?

Winter hiking gear checklist

  • Beanie or headband.
  • Neck gaiter.
  • Polarized sunglasses.
  • Gloves or mittens.
  • Synthetic underwear/sports bra.
  • Base layer top: wool or synthetic.
  • Base layer bottoms: wool or synthetic.
  • Insulating mid-layer: down or synthetic jacket or fleece.

What supplies do I need to hike the Appalachian Trail?


  • Backpack (big enough for a bear canister, where mandated)
  • Pack raincover.
  • Small daypack (optional)
  • Tent suited to terrain, with guylines and repair sleeve.
  • Tent footprint (optional)
  • Sleeping bag suitable for wet weather and anticipated temperatures.
  • Sleeping pad.
  • Whistle (plus signaling mirror)

What do you need to hike in winter?

When starting a hike in winter, you’ll probably be wearing gloves, a hat, long sleeve jersey, long underwear, boxer jocks, hardshell or softshell pants, a fleece pullover, a hardshell jacket, warm socks, insulated boots, and high gaiters.

What is the most difficult section of the Appalachian Trail?

Several sections voted most difficult were also among the favorites: The White Mountain National Forest, Southern Maine, and Baxter State Park/Mt Katahdin were all ranked most difficult and were hiker faves. Some sections, like Northern PA (rocks on rocks on rocks) were among the toughest and most disliked.

What temperature is best for hiking?

The perfect hiking temperature is probably 50-ish. But the perfect temperature for sitting around camp in the evening is a little higher, maybe 65. And the perfect sleeping temperature is a little lower, maybe 40.

Is it harder to hike in snow?

You will likely be walking slower than usual in the snow and ice. The more snow and ice, the longer the hiking time. The western-facing side of a mountain, for example, will have ice and hard snow for a longer portion of the day since it is shaded longer from the sun.

How cold is too cold to hike?

Learn more here! For the average person not experienced in cold weather hiking, it’s not safe to hike below 40 degrees. Hiking below 40 degrees requires specialized knowledge of wilderness survival, including an understanding of how to stay warm and how to avoid hypothermia and frostbite.

What to pack for the Appalachian Trail in the summer?

In the summer, hikers can have a lighter pack by carrying a summer sleeping bag and also mailing home other cold-weather clothes and gear. In terms of down or synthetic sleeping bags, both types have their own list of pros and cons. The Appalachian Trail does tend to be humid, damp, and overcast.

What kind of shoes to wear on the Appalachian Trail?

Hiking shoes: In terms of boots I recommend the Salomon X Ultra series, and for trail running shoes, the Salomon X Missions. Outfit to wear while hiking: Columbia offer good quality and affordable hiking shirts and pants. Rain jacket: The Marmot Precip Jacket is excellent. Top base layer : I like Smartwool base layers.

When is the best time to hike the Appalachian Trail?

Hiking the Appalachian trail varies significantly from Summer to Winter. The summer months of your thru-hike are hot and you won’t have to carry as many layers as usual.

How big of a backpack do you need for the Appalachian Trail?

As long as you’re not an extremely heavy packer, a 50-liter backpack should be enough capacity for all the gear you need for your thru-hike. If you’re really into ultra-light backpacking, you may be able to use an even smaller backpack.

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