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  • Too cold to hike?

    Is there such a thing? Do you have a minimum temperature beyond which you wouldn't go out for a long hike? Just wondering what people's thoughts are.
    Love all wilderness!
    Trying to hike and XC ski as much as possible.

    ADK 46/46 still not official.
    W 27/46

  • #2
    It all depends...... (says the guy who has ridden 8 miles on a bicycle on a windy -37 day.)

    It ain't the cold, it's the wind...
    Guinness: Goes in brown, comes out yellow.

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    • #3
      I hiked the Santanonis last winter during a cold spell and I didn’t know the temperature beforehand. It was a beautiful sunny day. I did keep an extra layer on and wore mittens for most of the hike, but the only real issue I had with the cold was my camera freezing up. I found out after the hike that the temperature at the trail head that morning was in the negative teens °F. I’m glad that I didn’t know that before the hike, I may have felt the cold more.
      I've changed, or cancelled hikes because of high summit winds and severe weather, but not yet because of the cold.
      ADK 46er 7350W
      Catskill 35er #2339
      ADK Firetowers 26/28
      ▲RWMS▲

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      • #4
        I don't care too much about the temp. I do care about high winds and the amount of moisture in the air. Too wet or too dry causes a whole bunch of issues.


        "It's not the cold it's the humidity" - Abe Lincoln / Mark Zuckerburg
        Be quick - but don't hurry. -John Wooden

        Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. ~Dan Bennett

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        • #5
          Been on hikes -30 at start, ill say that's my limit! Takes till noon to warm up and starting at 5am it's a hard mental game getting the body moving. And keeping it going.
          ADK 46-R #6750W
          CL-50 - #51
          CATSKILLS- 9/39
          NPT Complete 7-6-13

          Hiking photos

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DelawareMike View Post
            Is there such a thing? Do you have a minimum temperature beyond which you wouldn't go out for a long hike? Just wondering what people's thoughts are.
            Its totally subjective. My dad will go out in stuff that I wouldn't even consider going out in and then call me names and cast aspersions on my manhood. Personally I draw the line around 10 or 15 below (F). 20 below or less is just too uncomfortable for me. Add any wind to that and it gets dangerous real fast in addition to being super uncomfortable.

            Originally posted by pete_hickey View Post
            It ain't the cold, it's the wind...
            Thats almost the same as its not so much the heat, but the humillity.

            Or something like that.
            Adopt a natural resource. Give back.

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            • #7
              It's never too cold! The colder, the better. It keeps the flatlanders out of the woods.

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              • #8
                Until I can afford those $500 heated mittens, I'm afraid 15 degrees is my limit, my fingers freeze even with mittens, even when my core is warm:(
                As defined by Nietzsche in "Conquistadors of the Useless"; "The secret of knowing the most fertile experiences and the greatest joys in life is to live dangerously"

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                • #9
                  I've been on summit in -10 windchill and that didn't seem to bad except I was underdressed for that occasion. Had I put on snow pants, jacket and face ask it wouldn't have been that bad. I had time to take some photos without gloves on before fingers started to hurt. I'd definitly venture to a summit if colder than -10. I've went to work in long johns and work pants in that temp. As noted by others, wind does suck. I wouldn't linger above the treeline
                  ADK HP 46/46 ADK HPW 13/46 http://www.idratherbehiking80.blogspot.com/ My photos "There's no such thing as failure who keeps trying, coasting near the bottom is the only disgrace." - John Popper

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                  • #10
                    The coldest I've ever camped out in was -30 in the White Mountains. Fortunately, the snow was so deep that the lean-to we were in was completely buried.

                    As for hiking... below 10 degrees, I start to get major icicles on my mustache and beard. If it gets cold enough, my entire face can freeze over. I've gone on hikes where it took half an hour to thaw my face out afterwards before I could open my mouth more than a little bit again.

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                    • #11
                      -16F temperature at the trailhead (Cannon Mt., NH) with some decent winds were the conditions that created my current avatar after a couple hour hike. As long as it's fun, there is no temperature threshold for me.
                      “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir

                      "Not the kind of "fun" you have to force yourself to remember you're supposed to be having, but the kind where you realize for the last half a day you've had this idiot grin on your face that you just can't seem to shake." -Mirabela

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vieWseeker View Post
                        Been on hikes -30 at start, ill say that's my limit! Takes till noon to warm up and starting at 5am it's a hard mental game getting the body moving. And keeping it going.
                        -30??

                        I have done a lot of winter hiking and backpacking on some cold, cold days and have never seen -30 in my hiking years.... Lowest I have seen is -15/-20 at the trailhead.
                        Snickers
                        I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
                        -Maya Angelou

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                        • #13
                          I've never seen -30 either, maybe -20 on the coldest day of the year in Potsdam. I think I woke up once at the Flowed lands lean-to around -10.

                          Since moving to TX, I can't tolerate much below 60.....or above 110.

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                          • #14
                            -18 was the lowest we've been out in...twice....Sewards and Macomb/E/S from Clear Pond..as long as I kept Judy moving we were fine...there was no stopping anywhere

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
                              The coldest I've ever camped out in was -30 in the White Mountains. Fortunately, the snow was so deep that the lean-to we were in was completely buried.

                              As for hiking... below 10 degrees, I start to get major icicles on my mustache and beard. If it gets cold enough, my entire face can freeze over. I've gone on hikes where it took half an hour to thaw my face out afterwards before I could open my mouth more than a little bit again.
                              You're Beck Weathers, aren't you?
                              I might be kidding...

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