Reddit Reddit reviews The Barefoot Sisters Southbound (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail)

We found 4 Reddit comments about The Barefoot Sisters Southbound (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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4 Reddit comments about The Barefoot Sisters Southbound (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail):

u/DSettahr · 12 pointsr/AppalachianTrail

> Would starting off one or two weeks earlier make a big difference?

You'll be at the tail end of the SOBO bubble. An August 1st start will likely have you finishing sometime in January, if you keep up an average pace. Getting through the White Mountains (and the Greens) before cold conditions set in likely won't be a huge challenge, but other areas to be aware of include southern VA and the Great Smoky Mountains portion of the AT. Early season snow-storms are possible in both of these areas, and if you're not prepared to at least zero until conditions improve, such a situation at higher elevations in the south could prove dangerous if not fatal. For a taste of what a late-season SOBO is like, I'd suggest reading the Bearfoot Sisters' first volume chronicling their yo-yo- Southbound.

To be clear- I don't think that your time frame adds a considerable about of additional challenge to the already considerable challenge of a thru-hike general, but it does add some level of additional difficulty nonetheless, and you'll want to be prepared for cold conditions accordingly. Don't assume that Summer (or even early-Autumn) conditions will follow you south- unless you're a super hiker capable of finishing the trail in 2-3 months, cold weather conditions
will catch up with you sooner or later as your work your way south.

Will starting 1 week earlier make a difference? Probably not. Will starting 2 weeks earlier make a difference? Maybe... Maybe not. Climate and weather are pretty variable, and 2 weeks may or may not be enough time to stave off the worst of the cold weather. I'd say starting a month earlier would definitely make a considerable difference in the conditions you experience towards the end of your hike. If you can swing 1-2 weeks without burning bridges at your job that you'd rather not burn, I'd say go for it- but if keeping your post-hike employment opportunities open is dependent on you seeing your job through until the end, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I'm going to be hammocking. Should I get a TQ and UQ for summer weather (40º rated maybe) to keep the weight down and switch partway through, or stay with the TQ and UQ that I have the entire time.
> Will a Palisade 30° TQ and 20° Wooki be warm enough, or conversely, too warm for parts of the season?

Those bags are good to start with. Even August can see nighttime temperatures approaching freezing at higher elevations in the Mountains of the northeast. If you carry quilts rated to only 40 degrees I can pretty much guarantee that you'll regret it sooner rather than later.

However, you will also need to switch to an even warmer setup at some point during your hike. If you're still in the Whites (or the even the Greens) when September comes rolling around, I'd think about securing at least a bag liner if not switching to a warmer setup entirely. After the the Whites especially you'll probably be able to breath easy for a few hundred miles until you start hitting higher elevations again in the south. By the end of your trek, you'll probably want want a sleep setup rated to the teens, if not something in the 0-10 degree range, especially since you won't have the added warmth of a tent.

Do I have enough clothes for layering? I've got a down jacket but no fleece. Add a fleece layer for fall?

I don't think you'll need both a down jacket and fleece to start out with, or for the first month or so on the trail, but you'll want extra layers sooner or later for hanging out in camp/sleeping in during particularly cold nights. Like /u/SongBirdUL says, have extra warm layers ready to be mailed to you when needed.

I would suggest adding a pair of long underwear (tops and bottoms) to your setup. You probably won't ever want them for hiking in (barring a possible snowstorm in the south) but you'll be glad to have them for sleeping in sooner or later. I'd say you should even start with them- August won't be that cold overall but there will probably be 1 or 2 nights even early in your trip when you're camped high up and you'll be glad you have them.

You'll want pants to hike in sooner or later. Instead of a pair of shorts, you might look into zipoff/convertable pants to have the functionality of both without substantial added weight.

You can probably ditch the bug net. Come August, bugs in the northeast are reduced in most places. The few that are still out and about will be killed by frost before long. (It's light enough that it's probably worth carrying until you're sure you no longer need it, though.)

I would let your rain pants double as wind pants rather than carrying both.

You can ditch the trowel. You'll probably stay at established tent sites and shelters most frequently, and nearly all of these have outhouses or composting toilets (remember not to pee in them!). When stealth camping, it's usually not hard to find a stick to dig a hole with. (BTW, you have the trowel listed twice on your list.)

I would also consider at least a lightweight sleeping pad. As the Autumn progresses, and the backcountry grows quiet and cold weather becomes more frequent, staying in shelters and lean-tos is going to become more and more desirable. You'll almost certainly have at least some cold, wet nights down south where the prospect of setting up your hammock and tarp in the rain is pretty unattractive when there is an empty and dry shelter nearby. EDIT: I see you haven't ordered the hammock yet- if you get the Double Blackbird XLC, it will add some additional weight to your setup (although the lightweight double is only 6.5 ounces heavier than the single), but you can slide a sleeping pad in-between the two layers. This would allow you to use the pad for added warmth in your hammock in addition for comfort in any of the shelters.

Keep in mind also that canister stoves lose efficiency in colder weather. They start to lose efficiency around freezing temperatures, and as the temps approach 0 degrees they can cut out entirely. This may not be a huge issue for you, depending on how quickly you move and the weather you encounter. You can also keep the canisters in a jacket pocket during the day, and sleep with them at night, to keep them warm prior to use to help minimize the impacts of the cold. If winter finds you with substantial mileage remaining, though, you might look at getting a canister stove with an inverted canister design, or an alcohol stove with a primer, as alternatives for increased stove efficiency.

EDIT: One other suggestion- You'll rarely have a campsite to yourself during the first month or so of your trek, but sooner or later you're likely going to experience some serious alone time. Give some thought now to how you're going to deal with that. A light-weight E-Reader with a ton of books preloaded is not the worst idea. There will be other long distance hikers out and about even late in the season, but you may find that it will take some effort on your part to find a solid group to hike with. You'll know who is ahead of you from log book entries, however, catching up to a group that is only 3 or 4 days ahead could require big mile days on your part over the course of even a week or longer.


I hope this helps. Good luck!

u/vtandback · 9 pointsr/AppalachianTrail

Have you heard of the barefoot sisters? Isis and Jackrabbit yo-yo hiked the AT barefoot! (ME>GA>ME). They have a book about their journey, might be worth checking out.

u/WavesofGrain · 3 pointsr/AppalachianTrail

The Barefoot Sister's book is pretty good. Also check out As Far As the Eye Can See by David Brill. These two come highly recommended by both me and the trail legend Ernie from Sunnyside Inn in Hot Springs NC, a veritable wealth of knowledge about all things AT

u/tikcuf12 · 3 pointsr/AppalachianTrail

The Barefoot Sisters hiked a good portion of their SOBO trip with a family with several small children, one of whom was carried the entire way. So it's doable, but as has been mentioned, it'd be hella tough with a lot of extra considerations.