This past Winter and Spring on the Appalachian Trail have been unusually warm and dry. It was a GREAT boon to early 2016 hikers - but unfortunately the "piper is going to be paid" now in the Summer season of 2016. Namely, many dried up water sources and increased fire hazards.
Already in 2016 - the Appalachian Trail has seen massive fires consuming the Shenandoah National Park section, as well as a few others between Georgia and there.The fire at Hot Springs, N.C. was proven to have been started by an arsonist - HOWEVER - it grew much larger than it would have in a NORMAL (much more wet) early Spring. There was also a fire along the trail just north of TOG and south of Franklin, N.C. earlier this Spring of 2016.
Be aware that you may find water difficult to find in this hot summer weather. F.Y.I. - the shelters are usually built near the most dependable water sources (as well as having steel bear cables and privies here in GA). Even IF you don't want to sleep in a shelter - be aware of this. Take precautions to carry enough water and stay hydrated in the summer heat and if you start a fire - BE SURE IT IS ALL THE WAY OUT when you are done.
Posted on 7/2/2016 at 8:00:00 PM