View Full Version : Favorite Books on Thru Hikes

11-30-2014, 18:00
I know this has been posted before but here we go again:
What are your favorite books written by thru hikers describing their experience.

Thanks... BrotherAL

11-30-2014, 18:35
MANY hours of enjoyment. One of the first and still be best collection. The essence of long distance hiking, not so much a how-to.


11-30-2014, 19:03
Yeah that massive 2-volume set that Lyle linked to is a classic, though dated. Of the somewhat more modern stuff I really enjoyed the Barefoot Sisters' "Southbound" journal. And Jan Leitschuh's Long Trail Journal ("The Ordinary Adventurer").

12-01-2014, 07:53
Yes rafe ! I've read these recent books and the 2nd one by Barefoot sisters. I'm trying to get a list together for a friend who's taken an interest in hiking the Appalachian Trail. I also liked AWOL, Skywalker, Just Passin' Thru, & Bryson's humorous book.

12-01-2014, 08:08
I can't say I've read one I didn't like, but I haven't read them all. The James Hare 2 volume set is probably the best just for the variety of experiences and to see of how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. I also really liked "In Beauty May She Walk." It's one thing to read about relatively fit and healthy young men hiking the trail, but reading about a middle aged woman hiking the trail gives me hope that I will be able to one day. I certainly hope that didn't sound offensive as it wasn't meant to but I can't think of how to word it better.

12-01-2014, 09:27
I kinda like all the Skywalker books on his thru hiking experiences; I think those are my favorites.

12-01-2014, 10:08
I liked "and then the Hail Came" which is free and has gotten a lot of publicity in recent years. It was written by George Steffanos of Connecticut in the early 80's I think and then uploaded to the internet 15 or 20 years later, when he came upon it. It's about a young man going through some things on the trail. He still hikes the AT regularly in CT. You can find this book online very easily, and it's free

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12-01-2014, 11:56
How do I find the Skywalker books, AWOL, James Hare 2 volume set?

TJ aka Teej
12-01-2014, 12:21
Start with Walking With Spring.

12-01-2014, 12:46
How do I find the Skywalker books, AWOL, James Hare 2 volume set?

The James Hare anthology has been out of print for a long, long time. Best bet for finding it is on eBay, a used-book store, or your local library. It was published by Rodale Press in 1975.

12-01-2014, 13:06
I found AWOL. http://www.theatguide.com

I found James Hare Anthology Rodale Press. http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/hiking-the-appalachian-trail/author/hare/

I found Skywalker. http://skywalker-pct.com/appalachian-trail-book/

I found the others, so far. It is Winter. I need a "good read".

12-01-2014, 22:50
James Hare 2 volume set?

i have a few sets that i have collected off ebay and other places........

as a kid---i remember seeing these on the shelf at the bookstore-----as an adult----i regret not buying them back then as before internet daze, these were hard to find in used book stores........

02-03-2015, 11:21
There is a great book called the 1000 mile summer by Colin Fletcher. It is not about thru hiking the AT specifically, but it is good nevertheless. It is about his 1958 hike from Mexico to Oregon in the Sierra mountains. He taught the benefits of going as light as possible, so he could be considered a pioneer of lightweight backpacking.

Just Bill
02-03-2015, 12:20
All of Colin Fletchers books are worth a read.
Barefoot Sisters and Skywalker books are decent, usually pop up on sale or free.
PerryMK's posts have generated a dozen plus books that I will one day read when time allows.

I'm pretty burned out on "journal books" myself.

I know these are not "thru" specific, but nothing like a little love, romance, adventure and inspiration to whet your appetite and get your buddy out into the woods.

Disco's book is a good general trail story collection (not a journal, but the trail experiences of a triple crowner)

A fantastic book, though more about the Northwoods and canoe country-

There are also many great public domain books easy to read with Kindle, Ipad, Android;
Twain, James Fennimore Cooper, Horace Kephart, Earnest Seton, and many more. Typically you can find the whole collection of works from all these classic folks for free.

And of course, I'm partial to this one-

02-03-2015, 13:09
Becomming Odyssa and The Barefoot Sisters S and the N, were good reads. Gator Gump's "Sometimes the Appalachian Trail is.... " gets the Testostorine flowing again...lol and one of the best, if you don't mind a slight religious/spiritual slant, is Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman.

Just for pleasure reading is the two book series Digger A Stolz "Stumbling Thru: Keep on Keepin On".

Right now I am in Vermont with Steffanos "and Then the Hail Came".

02-06-2015, 21:56
Into the Wild... by John Krakauer

The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless

02-07-2015, 20:20
It's not written by the hiker, but I just finished "Grandma Gatewood's Walk." Extraordinary story. And, unlike the trail journals/books out there, this one was reported/written by a professional writer. It makes a difference.
(p.s. I got to read it for free - borrowed from the local library :cool:)

02-07-2015, 21:04
I read the same book, also Free from the local library. Living in Ohio, I often hike the Grandma Gatewood Trail. At Old Man's Cave they have a small visitors center that has some pages written by her in her handwritting. It was cool after reading this book written by a writer that had access to all of her handwritten documents and conversations with family members. It is an awesome read about a unique individual that will alway's be part of the Appalachian Trail Lore.

02-08-2015, 21:53
It's been a long time, but I remember thinking that David Brill's "As Far as the Eye can See" was pretty true to my experience back in '91.