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Southern Trip Planning
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Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

Southern Trip Planning on 05/13/2013 11:53:49 MDT Print View

Howdy all!

I am hoping to get some advice about a trip I am planning. I'm starting to second guess myself.

I want to spend a week in each... Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. The only time I have available to do this is the month of August. just wondering if folks from that area can clue me in to weather and bugs for that time period.

I will be walking/hiking/busing from place to place. My plan was to take a 50 degree down quilt and a gatewood cape, but maybe I need synthetic because of moisture and bug/snake protection?

I look forward to any and all info and advice.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Southern Trip Planning on 05/13/2013 12:01:38 MDT Print View

Tn in August? Go high. The AT ridge of the Smokies would work. I just got back from the Slickrock/Citico Wilderness on the Tn/NC border and it was really nice. A lot like the Smokies with fewer crowds and restrictions. The Roan Highlands of northeast Tn would be a nice high hike too. I normally backpack with down in the area.

Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

southern trip on 05/13/2013 12:58:02 MDT Print View

I will not actually be on trail. Although the concept stays the same. I plan to walk from town to town on back roads, then bus to the next interesting area and walk some more. As you can see, I don't have a set itinerary yet. I'm hoping to find museums and music festivals and experience small town life. Camping will be in campgrounds or bivouacking where possible or with permission.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Southern Trip Planning on 05/13/2013 13:53:12 MDT Print View

Ah, no mountain time? Terrible time to visit the southeastern US. It will be hot. It will be humid; humidity that you never see in Socal. There will be bugs. You're going to be hot and sweaty and slapping bugs. My advice would be to spend as much time on the lakes and rivers as you can.
As far as music, the festivals are earlier in the year because August is pretty nasty. Nashville and Memphis almost always have some music though.
If you have any flexibility in timing, I would do it in a different month. September and October are great. April and May are beautiful.
As far as your concerns camping, the biggest concern should be the humidity/heat. Bugs are a little problematic then too. Snakes would be the least of my concerns. Don't get me wrong; we have plenty of snakes. They mostly leave us alone though.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Southern Trip Planning on 05/13/2013 18:50:39 MDT Print View

" It will be hot. It will be humid; humidity that you never see in Socal. There will be bugs. You're going to be hot and sweaty and slapping bugs."


No-see-ums and mosquitos will be in full force along with 85% humidity, not only in TN but the whole Southeast region. Bring DEET & sunscreen. It's cake other than that.


SE in august on 05/13/2013 19:38:17 MDT Print View

Think 80F for the overnight low with 95% humidity, and you will be close.

Literally, you will be sticky, and sweaty, and wont be able to fall asleep till 1am when it finally cools off enough.

50F quilt is overkill. Try a sheet.

In a heat wave, it could be 90+ at midnight, with 100% humidity.


A cool front might bring mid 70s at night, best case.

Ive camped with it 85F and darn near 100% humidity at midnight October

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/13/2013 19:45:15 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: SE in august on 05/13/2013 19:57:24 MDT Print View

While not the SE, Missouri has similar summertime conditions. High heat, high humidity, lots of bugs. In Scouts when we camped year round I used to just take a cotton sheet. Even sleeping on top of a sleeping bag is too hot plus you stick to the nylon. You want to have something between you and the surface of the sleeping pad too. You'll stick to that as well.

For me summertime is for day trips to places with swimming holes and canoe trips. Lots of people are tougher than I am though and hike year round though. Its just a matter of what amount of discomfort you can tolerate.

Also, there will be lots of ticks. IME permethrin works better than anything at minimizing how many you get crawling on you. Its best to check yourself often to catch them before they bite on.


august on 05/13/2013 20:22:27 MDT Print View

Our scouts dont even camp locally in Jun, July, August. Far too unpleasant.

May and Sept arent all that great either, but at least have a decent chance for temps to dip into 60s at night.

Of course I grew up doing it, we just didnt know better I reckon.

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/13/2013 20:24:59 MDT.

Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

Thanks! on 05/21/2013 11:04:18 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for your insights. It does confirm my fears. Although it is a trip I wanted to take, i would like to enjoy my vacation instead. I'm thinking I will be going back to the northwest again this year.