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Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 01 2019 12:16 pm
by gardener
Hello,

I've done a search on this forum about the SOBO experience and am not finding a lot of information. That easily could be my fault. In any case, I'm planning to do hike around October 1 and I've got some questions:

**How's the water this time of year and how much water do people usually carry. I did the Appalachian Trail in 2018 and usually only carried a liter, but there was water water everywhere.

**What is the weather typically like? Is there a lot of rain in the fall? Also, how cold can it get?

**Any really good links about going South on the AZT?

Thanks in advance,

Gardener
Philadelphia, PA

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 03 2019 8:50 am
by sandyfortner
October is a great time to start generally. So far, we are having a pretty good winter, which helps the spring NOBO hikers and also fills reservoirs and regenerates springs. But for the SOBO fall hikers, a good summer monsoon season is what really helps. So - stay tuned. Pretty much figure on carrying 3 liters. Of course, a lot depends on how many miles you can cover in a day - more miles = getting to more water sources each day. Also depends on how much food you're re-hydrating, your personal conditioning, temps, etc. You're from the cold, so nights at the northern end probably will seem balmy to you! Ha! But you shouldn't hit anything below the 40s at night generally. The desert areas will be great that time of year. Maybe a tad warm for you during the day = more water, sun umbrella, more breaks, but nights will stay in the 50s. Have you also joined up on the FB Arizona Trail Class of 2019? Good resource. Most of our rain is over by Sept., both around Flag and here in the Valley. But last October was WET. So, as we all know, Mother Nature can do as she pleases!

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 04 2019 5:55 am
by gardener
@sandyfortner

Thanks for the response. On the Appalachian Trail I averaged 20 miles a day. Frankly, I can't imagine terrain more difficult than that, so I hope to match that on the AZT, maybe with slower going around the Grand Canyon. Will take your advice on the sun umbrella. Do you think I can reliably resupply every 80 to 100 miles? Are there usually reliable water sources every 10 or 15 miles?

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 04 2019 2:55 pm
by sandyfortner
@gardener
I would say yes to resupply - as long as you're flexible and 15 miles, maybe in a few places, 20 between reliable water. But, you may find unexpected happy surprises and find water where you didn't think you would. Be sure and get the app. It's 10 bucks and is a great resource. You'll be able to check water and other resources plus use it to navigate.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 04 2019 7:08 pm
by gardener
Thanks, Sandy. Will get Guthooks.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 11 2019 6:33 am
by gardener
Is Lyme disease a big issue on the AZT? It's huge on the Appalachian Trail.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 11 2019 12:35 pm
by Tough_Boots
@gardener
Nope.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 20 2019 5:18 pm
by gardener
@sandyfortner
Sandy,

Do I need to cache water? When I look at the water situation coming from the Utah border it, frankly, looks pretty grim. And, if I do need to cache, how do I go about that?

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 21 2019 12:04 am
by sandyfortner
Well, watch our weather - maybe you'll need to cache some, but maybe not. Last fall was pretty wet. This year so far has been good also. Some people come out a week or so early and cache, some get others to cache for them, and some just rely on ATA boxes and natural sources.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 21 2019 2:57 am
by gardener
Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Feb 21 2019 3:01 am
by gardener
@gardener
Mountain out of a molehill regarding the water issue, that is...

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Apr 03 2019 4:17 pm
by jmagro
I have just realized my Spring 2019 AZT hike has become my Fall 2019 AZT hike. I've always planned for a SOBO trip and am keeping that plan for the fall. I agree with @sandyfortner, it will be wise to watch how the monsoon season plays out. Monsoon activity will likely be the biggest factor in deciding the exact date I'll start. Tentatively I'd like to start early enough in September to make it home by Halloween, but we'll see.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Apr 03 2019 5:24 pm
by gardener
I'm looking at a start date of September 25th. That sound sane?

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Apr 03 2019 11:32 pm
by jmagro
@gardener
I believe the official monsoon season dates are June 15th through September 30th. I'd say its probably sane to plan for the 25th.
You might want to consider a membership to the Arizona Trail Association website to help you in research and planning. There is a lot of data and information available to members regarding trail conditions, water, resupply stops, etc., well worth the small fee, in my opinion.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Apr 04 2019 2:52 am
by gardener
I'm a member and have the guide book and the app. Happy trails and thanks for the info.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Jun 19 2019 6:59 am
by sahunter
I'm looking at an early-mid October '19 SOBO trip and have most issues tentatively figured out - except clothing. What kind of temperatures will I likely experience thus how much cold weather stuff should I plan on carrying?

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Jun 20 2019 7:47 pm
by sandyfortner
@sahunter
Great time to start SOBO. Up north the days are generally balmy right about then - nights are cool, especially for us desert rats (I see you're from Tucson), but generally not freezing temps. By the time the temps really dip, you will be nearing the desert. Of course, when you get south, you'll have the sky islands. Depending on your pace, you may be able to hike high during the day, when temps should be in the 60s and 70s, and then sleep low, where temps may dip into the 40s by November, but it'll always be warmer at low elevations such as Italian Trap than if you wind up sleeping up on Mica Mountain. If you wind up sleeping up on Lemmon, in the Rincons, Wrightson or the Huachucas, you may very well hit freezing temps by the time you get there in mid to late November.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Jun 21 2019 1:54 am
by gardener
@sandyfortner
Gardener jumping in. A question about water caches. I notice on the facebook page that trail angels (I assume they're trail angels) seem to always be resupplying water caches, especially on the southern portion of the trail. Is this what they do (as opposed, say, to the Appalachian trail, where it would be pointless)? And, can you depend on these caches?

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Jun 21 2019 7:11 pm
by sandyfortner
@gardener
We do have some spectacular trail angels who do their best to get cache boxes near them filled / empties retrieved. Often a hiker will contact trail angels and ask if water can be cached for them with name and date on the bottles, or the hikers go ahead of time and cache for themselves. Generally these are reliable BUT we unfortunately have had situations where designated water was taken by someone else. So, best to 1) plan ahead for your caches. 2) keep an eye on the app for water updates and, most importantly 3) have a plan in case you arrive at a water source and your water is gone. Oh, and always offer your trail angel reimbursement for the water they buy for you and gas money for their time and travel. It's usually not asked, but always appreciated and helps the trail angel help the hikers.

Re: Fall 2019 SOBO thru hike

Posted: Jun 22 2019 5:27 am
by gardener
@sandyfortner
Thanks, Sandy.

Do you live along the trail?