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The applicability of the equipment list goes beyond 3-day trips in Seneca Creek.  It may be replicated successfully for almost any springtime trip in the southern Appalachians (e.g. Appalachian Trail, Smokies, Blue Ridge, Shenandoah, etc.), maybe with little tweaks to comply with local regulations or requirements.

  1. Your Own excursion objective; along with
  2. The environmental and route conditions.


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For the month of May, a nearby weather channel in Canaan Valley reports average high and low temperatures of 68 F and 42 F. Our location is a little bit higher (3,000 to 4,800 feet), and therefore cooler. The same weather station reports 6.1 inches of rain in May, and also Spruce Knob should receive just a little bit more.

  • Daylight. Because we re only 6 months away from year’s day we ’ ll have ample daylight. The dirt trails can become helpless. In the lower elevationswe’ll be calmed with a thick hardwood canopy. At high elevationswe’ll find shield spruce. The understory is not overly dense. Trails will be primitively signed, at least at the use corridors that are higher. Visibility will be quite limited, besides for your occasional meadow.
  • Sun vulnerability. Between the shrub canopy and rainfall that is likely, sun exposure is a concern.
  • Water availability. Topographic maps portray ongoing and regular streams and springs, except atop ridgelines.
  • Problematic wildlife. We found no reports of bear/human food conflicts. Rodents could be an issue at campsites.
  • Biting insects. It’s. Mosquitoes will be out but manageable. A street is more than just a few miles off, but this really can be a gently populated place — we ’ re several hours from the nearest medical centers, and we won’t have cell service.
  • Natural dangers. In heavy rains, Seneca Creek will swell.
  • Backpacking gear list: West Virginia in May

    Seneca Creek