I'm planting my feet firmly on the trail mid-March 2013 at Springer (I'll be hiking the approach trail, too), and I would really prefer to hang for the entire trip.
I'm aware that there are going to be times that I won't be able to and have to go to ground, but I wanted to know from any AT thru'ers here that could shed some light on the pros/cons, and why they ultimately chose to hang over taking a tent.
Thanks in advance.
As long as you are comfortable with setting up and taking down your hang in bad weather, should have no problems. If you use a pad rather than an UQ, you could even go to ground in a shelter occasionally with reasonable comfort. In the Smokies, you are supposed to stay in the shelters unless they are "full". In theory, if you hang outside a non-full shelter, you could be fined by a ranger. In practice, I doubt this would actually happen.