View Full Version : Trail Guide Years

02-03-2006, 18:23
Do new trail guides and maps come out every year? If so, are the newest ones this year already out? If not, when?

02-03-2006, 18:28
Wingnuts guide for 2006 is already out and I think to remember having read the new companion will be coming at 02/09.

I doubt that maps are updated every year but I may err on this.

Jack Tarlin
02-03-2006, 18:34
Maps and Guidebooks seem to get re-done once or twice a decade, depending on how many changes or additions need to be made; how much money the local Trail Club has on hand to finance a new edition, etc. In some cases, where they have been very few changes in the Trail in terms of re-locations, new shelters, etc., the maps might not change for quite awhile, or when they do, the changes will be minor. On other occasions, the changes are dramatic: The Pennsylvania maps were re-done a few years ago, for example, and the improvement is startling. Likewise, the Maine maps and Guide we re-done recently, and are even better now than they once were. (The Maine guide and maps, in my opinion, should serve as a model to all the other ones).

Because of changes and additions, I think that hikers should be leery of using maps that are more than a few years old, and should probably seek out the most current maps and guides they can find. This not only helps support the local trail maintaining clubs (which depend on guide sales for much of their revenue), but it also ensures that the hiker will be using the most accurate, and most current information available. After all, if one is going to spend the money on these things, one may as well make sure to get the most accurate ones out there.

02-03-2006, 18:34
Do new trail guides and maps come out every year? If so, are the newest ones this year already out? If not, when?
The "official" guides and maps do not come out every year. Most are produced by the maintaining clubs and are updated every few years. These are expensive to produce, though the cost per guide goes down when larger numbers are produced.

Maine (MATC) for instance prints the number it expects to sell (mostly through ATC) in around five years.

Dan Bruce's "The Thru Hikers Handbook" and the ALDHA "Companion," do come out every year. These have information about trail relocations, shelter and campsite changes and trailside towns and businesses.

Bruce's book is available now. I think the Companion is still a few days (weeks?) away.


Kevin A. Boyce
02-03-2006, 19:05
A few of us have been going around and collecting older guidebooks, not to actually use on the trail, but to see the evolution of the trail. And it is really interesting comparing the guides from say the 1960/70's to the current ones, personally I prefer the format of the older ones.

A few comparisons... The older ones are bound with screw posts so you can add into them updates. BUT, the maps for the newer guides seem better as they are completely independent of the guide book so you do not have to carry the whole package if you do not. You could always remove them from the older guidebooks though so it is not so much a hassle, just a nit.

Having the screw posts and being able to update or carry only the parts you want to is handy, and basically you could buy just updates, some from the 1950's I have found were sold for 25 cents, and you would just add it in to your guidebook for that section. But with the ALDHA companion, the Databook, and WF's book updated yearly, it kind of makes this practice obsolete. And just look at WB as an example, you will probably find out about a relo quicker then in a book by just looking online somewhere...

If you ever get the chance, take a look at some of the older guides and maps, in some places it has not changed greatly, but others it is surprising. Like say in CT, looking at the 'old' compared to the 'new' trail is a big difference.

Catch you on the trail...