Originally Posted by Doctari
Don't like the weather while in the smokies, just wait a minute, it'l change.
Last time I was there in March, I think the low was around 38 or so ONE night. The rest of the time it didn't get below 45(ish). The wind can be fierce along those ridges so the wind chill while walking may be a consideration. I have seen snow on the ground in June, even though the average temps stayed 50 or higher, that was NEAT! Walking in snow (small patches, 50' was largest) in a kilt & tee was fun. I even made a snowball & threw it at a tree.
Wouldn't worry too much about bears that time of year at that altitude* & would check with the rangers about bear spray, it MAY be illegal in the national park. I have been hiking there for 50 years, never had an issue with backcountry bears, just the ones the tourons feed. So I got to add a "Plus 3" to the leave the bear spray at home.
Funny, there is saying just like that about the weather up here in Cleveland.
Thanks for the temp advice. I think I'll do some test hangs in the backyard and see how far I can push my 40F quilts. I'll already be bringing light base layers and some clothing options for changing weather while hiking in the day. So I can always put on some extra layers at night. I'll also be bringing my Cuben tarp with doors so wind chill at night shouldn't be too bad. Yeah I'm skipping the mace. Thanks Doctari.