Traveling with all of your possessions on your back instills a deep appreciation for the weather. What is it doing now, what is it going to do later, how long will it last...
Be it heat or rain or snow, knowing is part of the battle. Knowledge lets you leave your campsite with the right gear on or accessible and your pack protected.
During our last hike, Mike learned about a website many AT Hikers use for weather, ATWeather.org. The website is simple: choose either the AT or the PCT, choose a state, then choose a shelter.
As we were wandering around online we also found the Appalachian Trail Database. It is a little old, but still functional. It has listings of Waypoints that give great information when clicked, including a link to a weather forecast. There is also a map that displays the shelters, features and towns along the trail.
This stuff was great. Amazing. But as a geographers by trade, they left us wanting for more. We looked around and could not find anything.
So, we made our own files. We used the CSV file of waypoints from the AT Database and some crafty linking and KMZ assembly to create an interactive file that lets you click on any shelter to get information about the shelter and links to weather data that are displayed in the same window.
We have also created specialized KMZs which work on mobile devices. Just download the file and open it in Google Earth. Tap any location for the forecast, or use the GPS to locate yourself on the trail and see the nearest shelter. Check out our brand new sparkly Weather page to get all the info!