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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Where to go for an extenxed, solo winter-season trip?

    Sometimes life can throw at you curve balls that you never, ever saw coming. Unfortunately, last week, life saw fit to throw me several of them. But that's not the point of my post. This is: I have decided that the best thing I can do for my sanity is to take a little vacation from my life, and "disappear" into the backcountry for a bit. At least a month. Maybe two. I've done many long trips, and I've done lots of solo trips, but never a long solo trip. And certainly never in the winter. So, while I usually have a hard time picking from a long list of places I'd like to go, I'm having difficulty this time around. Suggestions? Guide books and web searches are fine, but it's also nice to hear from "real" people sometimes.

    I can (theoretically) go anywhere in the continental US, but I am looking to avoid particularly cold temperatures, and extended stays in snow, so this means I'll be staying towards the southern latitudes. Other than that...so long as I don't have to see many other people, I'm game to go anywhere.

    Secondly, while I do have real live winter-weather hammocking gear, it's pretty heavy, so I'm a little hesitant to use it on a trip where I could potentially be on the move a lot. I have a fantastic , and very lightweight two-person mountaineering tent... I don't know. Anybody ever carried their winter hammock gear on a long-distance?

    Thanks.

    -GFY


    PS: Thank you for your concern, but I do not need any cautions and warnings and safety reminders; while bad things can happen to anybody, I have reached a level of experience where I am able to anticipate and prepare for any reasonably-foreseeable emergency. Thank you.
    Last edited by Gary from Yonkers; 10-12-2012 at 09:28.

  2. #2

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    I feel ya, dog!

    No doubt, there will be a flood of cautions coming your way, so do your research and be safe. If I were planning an extended winter trip, I would be tempted to hike the A.T. from Georgia on up starting in November/December. You'll get plenty of colitude, cold temps, some snow, and be able to hit town periodically to resupply.

    I can't speak about deep winter gear (yet!) but I'm researching and experimenting with a 4 lb kit that I hope will get me down to 20*. There are people out there with much more experience that may pipe in.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Head south, like south MS, south AL, North FL. You may have a few cold days, but it will most likely be 80 on Christmas Day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    GFY: Sorry for your pain, brother. +1 on hiking the AT. But, if it were me, I'd start in TN, VA or NC and hike south. Shorter drive for you and--as the winter deepens--the climate will moderate. Go as far as you want, then turn around and head back to your car. As was mentioned, the AT is great for a solo hiker because of the easy re-supply points. Plus, you certainly wouldn't lack for guide books about the trip. Best of luck to you and keep in touch.
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    If you want to avoid the cold, the Florida National Scenic Trail would seem like a good place to go. The southern terminus is in the Everglades, but a lot of people start down in Key West, but that involves a lot of road walk. Depending on how fast you hike, if you're not done by the time you get to the panhandle, you can take the Alabama turn off and hike the Alabama Trail, the Pinhoti Trail, then the Benton MacKaye Trail and then on to the AT.
    Last edited by bear bag hanger; 10-12-2012 at 07:34.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    The OHT 'Ozark Highland Trail' at 165 miles long is a good choice in Arkansas. You won't see alot of people. There is some snow, but doesn't last long. Tim Ernst book is the one to have if backpacking this trail. Its a very peaceful hike.
    http://ozarkhighlandstrail.com/trail-map/

    BlackWolf Thru hiked it last year.
    good luck

  7. #7
    stevebo's Avatar
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    Come on down to GA or AL! Great weather, friendly people, and excellent bbq! (how can you go wrong!) You've got the Pinhoti trail, the Florida trail, the AT etc etc---------hundreds of miles of trails to choose from. Our winters are kind of like a very long late fall or early spring in the North--------great for camping! http://pinhotitrailalliance.org/
    Last edited by stevebo; 10-12-2012 at 07:28.
    “The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”
    Harlan Ellison


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  8. #8
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Texas.

    Come to Texas.

    What I'm getting is that you're looking for a place for a more or less permanent camp---an extended stealth camping trip.

    Palo Duro Canyon

    Big Bend

    LBJ Grasslands

    Sam Houston NF

    Davy Crocket NF

    Each of them offers something different. For trackless back country, Big Bend is it. The Grasslands offers rolling hills and post oak forests. Sam Houston and Davy Crocket offers deep piney woods. Palo Duro offers isolation and natural beauty.

  9. #9
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    NW Arkansas has some incredible trails, and it's the time of year for stomping around. Look into the Ozark Highlands Trail. 186 miles. Great hike. If you make it down and need a couch to crash on, I'll leave a light on for ya. There is also the Buffalo National River and several more miles of trails in and around the Buffalo National Forest. It's amazing. Trees, rock formations, ample water, great weather, and the bugs are mostly gone. ahhhh.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Florida Trail.

    Start at the northern terminus and walk south. You'll have some cool temps until you make the right turn to head south, but it won't be anything too bad. It's a nice trail and resupply is generally a breeze.

    Watch out for the spiders! They set traps for hikers.
    Trust nobody!

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